Who is responsible for job site injuries?

Working in construction comes with more than its fair share of risks. Individuals employed in the field are subjected to a large number of inherent dangers. It’s always important to follow safety procedures, but unfortunately, accidents still happen. These are the most common injuries on construction sites and what you need to know about who may be held responsible.

Falls and falling objects

These are the two most common risks in construction. Roughly half of all safety procedures in construction across the nation were developed to mitigate these two kinds of accidents, and they still represent the biggest risk. To prevent injury, always follow safety procedures and use the appropriate equipment. When injuries happen despite safety efforts, workers’ compensation is usually the first available resource for help. Make sure the incident is reported and documented. If, however, the scope of the injury exceeds the benefits of workers’ comp, then additional liability may be pursued. Each case is handled on an individual basis, but the most common recipients of culpability are the individuals responsible for the injury and the injured worker’s employer.

Equipment accidents

These can be tied to other specific kinds of injuries, such as falling, but when an injury arises from the use or failure of equipment, a new case arises. Like most work injuries, these should also be covered by workers’ compensation. Like above, if that coverage isn’t sufficient, then finding liability requires splitting equipment accidents into two categories. The first category is operational error. In these cases, the person operating the equipment may be found at fault or partially at fault for the accident, and supervisors and employers can be found responsible as well. The other category stems from equipment failure. In these cases liability may fall on the person or persons in charge of maintenance, the heavy equipment insurance or the manufacturer or designer of the faulty equipment.

Vehicular accidents

While many might consider construction vehicles to be heavy equipment, they are insured separately. These accidents can range from wrecks on the highway while transporting tools or materials to the all too common case of workers being struck in construction zones. Like other job-related accidents, if you are at work, then you will likely have a workers’ compensation claim. Unlike the other cases, company owned or operated vehicles are typically insured by law. That means the owner of the vehicle may be deemed responsible by default, but in extreme circumstances drivers or supervisors can be held personally responsible.

If you face a work-related injury, make sure you receive proper care. If you have questions about your right to workers’ compensation benefits or other possible claims, consider consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney about your legal rights and options.