Construction sites can be hazardous environments, resulting in many accidents and injuries each year. Contractors and many other parties involved in a construction project can create dangers throughout the site.
If you have suffered an injury on a construction site, it is critical to identify who is responsible for the accident. While your injury will be covered by workers’ compensation regardless of who was at fault, you may also have an additional claim for monetary damages if your injury was caused by a third party besides your employer.
Common third parties on construction sites that could be held liable:
- Owner of the construction site – The liability of the landowner depends on how much control he or she has over the construction site. In some instances, the landowner may hand control of the property to the contractor during construction, which makes him or her not the legal owner of the land.
- Contractors and subcontractors – General contractors are obligated to ensure the construction site and construction workers are safe, and uphold OSHA standards. They are also responsible to ensure all work is being performed safely and that any hazards present in work duties being performed are identified for employees. This duty also extends to the responsibility of hiring able and competent employees.
- Construction equipment and machinery manufacturers – If a defective part or dangerous design in a machine or piece of equipment causes an injury, the manufacturer may be liable for the accident.
- Architects and engineers – Professionals in charge of designing what is being constructed must ensure that the structure is practical and safe. They possess many responsibilities, including verifying if the project meets safety codes during construction and final stages. If design safety standards have been neglected, resulting in an accident, the architect or engineer may be held liable.