October 13, 2022
Liable Parties in Construction Accidents & Their Responsibilities
By Jonathan Damashek
The construction industry is known for being a perilous line of work. However, construction sites are dangerous not only for construction workers, contractors, subcontractors, and other construction workers but also for the public.
If you suffer injuries in a construction accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. However, establishing liability and understanding where to pursue the compensation you deserve is essential.
Who Can be Liable after a Construction Accident?
You must prove negligence in most construction accident claims. Your construction accident lawyer must establish the following elements of negligence:
- The defendant owed the construction accident victim a duty of care
- The defendant decided or took action that breached their duty of care
- The defendant’s conduct is responsible for causing the construction accident victim’s damages
- The construction accident victim suffered considerable emotional trauma, financial losses, or physical injuries because of the defendant’s conduct
However, proving negligence is not essential for every New York construction accident claim. Liability is irrelevant if you seek worker’s compensation benefits due to a work-related construction accident injury.
Workers Compensation Vs. Third-Party Liability
New York worker’s compensation laws bar employees from suing their employers if they are injured in a work accident. This is partly because you may be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits.
These workers’ compensation benefits could consist of:
- Total coverage of your medical expenses
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits
- Disability benefits to replace a portion of your lost wages
- Death benefits to construction accident victims surviving family members
Although worker’s compensation benefits may be beneficial, they in no way replace the total amount of your damages. For that reason, even if you are eligible for worker’s comp, reaching out to a construction accident attorney may be wise to move forward with a construction accident personal injury claim so you can recoup your damages in full.
Third Party Liability
Even though you may not be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer, multiple other parties could share liability for your construction accident damages.
If you are not eligible for worker’s compensation benefits, you could also hold these parties accountable for your damages, depending on the circumstances of your case. Potentially liable parties in construction accident personal injury lawsuits include:
Construction Site Owners
Construction site owners are likely liable for construction accident damages when they continue to allow hazardous conditions on construction sites or fail to implement construction site safety measures and operations.
General contractors must maintain the safety of the construction site, addressing unsafe construction conditions, informing contractors and subcontractors of dangerous conditions on the construction site, ensuring safety regulations are followed, and hiring employees who have the skills to get the job done safely.
You could sue subcontractors in third-party construction accident liability claims when they fail to adhere to safety regulations or otherwise acted negligently.
Architects, Engineers, Designers
The designers, architects, and engineers of construction sites have an obligation to draw up plans that ensure building safety, pass construction site inspections, and comply with local, state, and federal building regulations.
Manufacturers and Distributors of Defective Products
You could sue manufacturers and distributors of defective construction equipment when they fail to notify consumers of potential safety risks, fail to adhere to manufacturing laws and regulations, or fail to issue recalls when they discover defective or malfunctioning equipment.
Pedestrians or Outsiders
Pedestrians, outsiders, and anyone else who may have acted negligently that share liability for the cause of the pedestrian accident could get sued for a victim’s damages.
Filing a Third-Party Claim
In filing a third-party liability lawsuit for a construction accident injury, you must acquire a construction accident attorney’s legal guidance and support. The process includes the following:
- You hire a construction accident attorney to take on your case
- Your lawyer investigates the cause of your injuries and establishes fault
- Your attorney goes over your damages to accurately calculate your claim’s value
- Your attorney prepares insurance documents and other records
- Negotiations with the insurance company commence
- Your attorney brings your case to court if your insurance settlement doesn’t meet your needs, or the liable party does not have coverage
If you hope to help your construction accident lawsuit, do your due diligence to obtain evidence that supports your case from the start.
This might include the names, phone numbers, addresses, and contact information of any witnesses, coworkers, or other parties who could help support your version of the construction accident events.
Our New York City Construction Accident Lawyers Can Answer Your Questions
After everything you have been through, you likely have many unanswered questions about the construction accident claims process, your claim’s worth, and what to expect next.
When you choose our New York City construction accident lawyers at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. to take on your case, you can rely on us to maximize your compensation and help you get justice.