Construction work is dangerous, and most professionals in the field recognize that fact. Construction workers need to carefully comply with safety regulations and best practices to protect themselves from the possibility of severe injury or worse. Sadly, injury and death rates for construction workers remain relatively high when compared with most other private industries. Oftentimes, workers hurt on the job have grounds for a workers’ compensation claim, but they may also sometimes have the option of pursuing civil litigation.
When an outside party is responsible for a construction injury, the injured worker or their surviving family members can potentially take the matter to court. Accordingly, these are a few common scenarios wherein a third party might be liable for a construction injury.
After an act of violence
Sometimes, there are intense emotions attached to a construction project. Local residents may resent what they view as gentrification, for example. Other times, someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol might wander into a construction site and then become aggressive when told to leave. In scenarios where someone intentionally injures a construction worker, the victim of that assault could potentially file a lawsuit against the person who hurt them.
After a vehicle-related incident
There are many ways in which motor vehicles could endanger the safety of construction workers. A drunk driver might strike the scaffolding supporting workers outside of a building. Someone distracted by their phone could back up into a trench, causing a cave-in that injures someone. When a construction site injury is the result of an outside party’s poor driving, the injured worker may be in a position to make a claim against that person’s car insurance or file a lawsuit against the driver.
When products at the site have defects
There are many products that are safety-critical for construction workers. From the harnesses that keep the workers on scaffolding safely to the power tools that they use on the job, products play a major role on the average construction site. Defective products that have bad components or faulty design elements can cause a broad range of different incidents and injuries. From electrocution to traumatic injuries and preventable falls, there are many types of injuries that could occur because of a defective product. Construction workers hurt by a product could potentially take legal action against the company that manufactured the product or the defective component in the product.
Given that workers’ compensation largely prevents lawsuits against employers, looking into third-party liability might be one of the best options for those facing massive financial losses related to a construction site incident. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to get started.