Construction Site Injuries Caused by Negligence: Find Out What to Do

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Construction Site Injuries

A construction site is a busy and dangerous workplace.

For the 6.5 million Americans who work at more than 250,000 construction sites, maintaining the highest level of safety is always imperative. A work site may have dozens of subcontractors, each working on a different aspect of the project. Without strict safety rules, workers are at risk for sustaining debilitating back, neck and head injuries as well as burns, broken bones, electric shock, and worse.

Accidents can be prevented with good communication, organized site coordination, proper training, and mandatory safety enforcement. However, at a busy construction site, determining who is responsible for keeping workers safe is often difficult. While a site manager is responsible for planning workflows, making safety inspections and enforcing good safety practices, each contractor and subcontractor also has a duty to follow best practices for safety and prevent hazardous conditions whenever possible. When someone is injured on the job, who is responsible?

Liability for Construction Site Injuries

In many states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey, workers injured on the job can apply for workers’ compensation benefits. This no-fault form of insurance allows a worker to still receive compensation—even if he or she is at fault for the injury. The benefits will cover medical bills and some lost wages while that person is unable to work. But when a work injury is someone else’s fault, can the victim also hold the responsible party accountable in a lawsuit?

If a worker is injured or killed by a anyone who is not employed by the same employer, or by any type of dangerous equipment or machinery, they are entitled to be compensated for their injuries, or their family is entitled to substantial compensation for their death. Here are examples of where you can sue for injury or death:

  • The site manager responsible for overall safety on the construction project,
  • Another subcontractor,
  • The property owner,
  • The seller, distributor or manufacturer of a tool machine, or plant equipment (such as scaffolding, vats or or catwalks) that caused your injury.

For workers who were injured on a construction site, it may be unclear exactly what happened and whose actions led to the incident. We can help. If it happened to you, we urge you to contact our construction injury attorneys right away. During a free, no-obligation meeting, an experienced lawyer will listen to your story and let you know if you have grounds for a third-party liability claim. The sooner you contact us, the more evidence we will be able to gather before it disappears.

If you do have grounds for a claim, we welcome you to retain legal representation with our firm. Our construction injury attorneys will represent you on a contingency basis. That means you don’t pay us until we win your case. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.

Why Choose Ostroff Injury Law

  • No Fee Unless You Win
    Our clients pay us only after we win their case.
  • More than 100 Years Combined Experience
    Our personal injury lawyers are known locally and nationally for our aggressive representation and outstanding results.
  • 30 Days to Settle Guarantee
    We give the insurance company 30 days to settle with our clients, or we file a lawsuit.

Construction Injury FAQ

If you or a family member was hurt on a construction site, you likely have many questions about who might be at fault and what to do next. Below are answers to the most commonly asked questions about construction injuries and lawsuits.

After I was injured, I filed a workers’ compensation station claim. Can I also file a lawsuit?

If you were injured on the job, you likely have a right to file a claim for workers’ compensation. If the injury was caused by someone other than the employer, you may have the right to file a separate personal injury claim against the party responsible for the injury. That person or entity is called the third-party, and a lawsuit against that person or entity is called a third-party liability claim.

I feel that my employer’s negligence caused my on-the-job injury. Why can’t I sue my employer?

You may have told your employer that your working conditions were hazardous and that you were risking injury, and now you are hurt. You want accountability.

However, workers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are generally barred from suing an employer for a workplace injury, because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. Employers that provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees are protected from liability for on-the-job accidents – no matter who is at fault. So, in most cases, you cannot sue your employer for a workplace injury. However, there are a few exceptions:

  1. 1. Your employer intentionally caused you harm.
    If you were injured at work and you believe your employer intentionally caused the injury, you can file a lawsuit. This means that your boss committed a specific act with the intent of harming you. You still cannot file a lawsuit against your employer for negligence.
  2. 2. Your employer doesn’t have enough workers’ compensation insurance to cover your injuries.
    If your employer cannot cover your injuries and lost wages with workers’ compensation, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover related damages.
  3. 3. Your employer violated OSHA safety regulations.
    You may receive workers’ compensation and pursue additional damages if OSHA determines that your injury occurred because your employer violated federal safety rules.

Our construction injury lawyers at Ostroff Injury Law are well-versed in the exceptions to the no-fault rule. Contact us for more information if you believe your situation might be an exception.

If workers’ compensation benefits are covering my medical bills and lost wages, why should I also file a third-party claim?

Workers’ compensation benefits are limited to medical costs and only a portion of your lost wages. Filing a third-party lawsuit allows you to seek compensation for the following:
• All your lost wages,
• Any future loss of income,
• Property damage,
• Pain and suffering,
• Emotional distress,
• Loss of enjoyment,
• Loss of consortium, and
• In some cases, punitive damages.
This means that your third-party claim could be worth significantly more than your workers’ compensation case.

I work for a subcontractor at a Pennsylvania construction site. Who is responsible for safety at my worksite?

The controlling contractor is responsible for providing a safe site for all workers including subcontractors. However, subcontractors are also responsible for completing their work safely and without posing a hazard to others. This means that if a worker at a construction site is injured, there are several parties that may be found responsible for the injury. This may include:
• The general contractor or construction manager responsible for day-to-day operations,
• The contractor or subcontractor who created the hazard, and/or
• A contractor or subcontractor who was responsible for correcting the hazard.
Workers’ compensation law prevents New Jersey and Pennsylvania workers from suing their employer. However, it is possible to file a third-party lawsuit against anyone else who contributed to your injury. If you were injured while working at a construction site, our construction accident attorneys can investigate your injury at determine whether you have grounds to file a third-party claim.

Do You Have a Third-Party Claim?

For decades, Ostroff Injury Law has successfully represented many workers who were injured in on-the-job construction accidents as well as machinery-related incidents, fracking site accidents, work-related dog attacks, mining accidents, on-the-job vehicle crashes, and more. We offer free consultations to injured workers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
If you were injured, contact us by filling out our online form or by calling (800) 818-8148.

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