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Who Could be Held Liable for a Construction Site Accident?

Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on Sep 12, 2017 in Personal Injury

construction fall accident Injuries from construction accidents are unfortunately very common and can range in severity from minor wounds to life-threatening conditions.

When a construction accident caused by negligence results in severe injury or death, the at-fault party can be held liable for the damages suffered by the victim. However, there are several determining factors that must be considered to identify which party is at fault for causing the accident. These factors include:

  • The location where the accident occurred
  • The condition of the accident site
  • The type of equipment that was involved
  • How the equipment was being used at the time of the accident
  • Who had control over the site and equipment
  • Whether the injured party was an employee, independent contractor or bystander

Construction sites are often dangerous and busy environments that may consist of several parties that are in control of different functions or areas of the site.

Because of this, a skilled personal injury attorney may be necessary to help you identify the parties that could be held liable for an accident on a construction site.

The Owner of the Site or Property

The liability of the property owner depends on the level of control he or she has over the construction site. If the property owner directly controls the construction site, he or she has an obligation to maintain the site to prevent hazards from injuring workers or visitors.

However, the owner of the land may not be considered the legal owner of the site if he or she has released control to a contractor or outside party.

In this situation, the party who assumes legal control of the construction site is responsible for any injuries that result from an accident caused by a dangerous property hazard.

If the possessor of the site is aware of a hazard located on the property, he or she must warn workers of the condition or take steps to correct it.

General Contractors

Contractors are legally required to create a reasonably safe work environment for their workers and must comply with safety and health regulations set by the Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA).

This includes creating a reasonably safe environment and warning employees of potential hazards.

A contractor has the responsibility of ensuring that work is being performed safely and responsibly according to OSHA’s standards.

Contractors must warn their employees of any inherent hazards in the duties of their work. This also includes hiring competent and experienced employees who understand OSHA’s rules and regulations and comply with these standards.

If a person is injured because of unsafe conditions found on the construction site or through the carelessness of an employee, the general contractor could be held liable. 

Prime Contractors

A prime contractor is only responsible for the work detailed in his or her signed contract. Prime contractors can also hire subcontractors who they are legally responsible for, including the subcontractors quality of work.

These types of contractors are liable for the conditions and safety of employees involved in the work they have been assigned. If an accident were to occur under the work a prime contractor was overseeing, he or she would be held responsible.

Manufacturers of Construction Equipment

If a construction worker is injured by defective equipment or machinery, the device’s manufacturer can be liable for any injuries that occur.

If the problem occurred because of inadequate maintenance, those who were tasked with monitoring or maintaining the equipment may also be held liable for any injury that occurs.

Architects and Engineers

Professionals who plan a construction project, such as an architect or engineer, are responsible for ensuring the construction site or building is practical and reasonably safe.

Architects and engineers are also responsible for planning a project to be designed in accordance with building and safety code regulations. Typically, an architect or engineer’s contract will outline the safety precautions he or she needs to follow when designing a building or site before construction begins.

If these standards are not met and an injury results because of it, the architect or engineer may be at fault for professional negligence and could be held liable.

Multiple Parties

It is not uncommon for multiple parties to be liable for the same accident. For example, if a construction worker was injured after falling from inadequate scaffold, the worker could sue the property owner who failed to identify the dangerous work condition, as well as the contractor who chose that piece of equipment to be used on the site.

Contact an Experienced Construction Accident Attorney in Fort Worth

Because of the enormity of construction projects, it may be difficult to determine who is liable if a construction-related accident occurs.

If you were injured on a construction site accident, we will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to find out who may be at fault. We will investigate the cause of the accident to find out if multiple parties can be held liable and possibly maximize the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

Our dedicated attorneys work only on a contingency fee, which means we will provide our services at no charge and will only collect payment if we recover compensation for your claim.

Call (877) 920-9009 if your injury was caused by another’s negligence.