Construction sites are some of the most dangerous work environments. Even when every possible precaution is taken to ensure a safe job site, there are certain hazards that can cause an injury at any time. Falls from scaffolds, defective machinery, explosions and collapsing buildings are just a few of the ways in which you can suffer a catastrophic injury. When a construction accident occurs, who is responsible for your injury?
Determining liability after a construction accident can be complicated, and it’s important to work with an experienced attorney who can help you hold all negligent parties accountable for your damages. At Shaw Cowart LLP, we’ve helped many construction accident victims recover compensation after a devastating injury. We’ll investigate every aspect of your accident to ensure that the proper parties are included as part of your claim. This will give you the edge you need when seeking to maximize the value of your compensation.
Will My Injuries Be Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a system that is set up to provide you benefits after a workplace injury, regardless of who was at fault. It’s important to seek the workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled. However, you should also understand that there are limitations associated with this system:
- Workers’ compensation only covers the immediate costs associated with your injury, and this may not reflect your total losses. If you need long-term medical care, these costs may not be covered under workers’ comp.
- In many instances, there may be one or more third parties liable for your injuries. You have the ability to file a lawsuit against these third parties to supplement the workers’ compensation benefits you receive. Often, filing a personal injury lawsuit will help you recoup many of the expenses not covered by workers’ comp, such as ongoing medical care, diminished earning capacity, or pain and suffering.
- The filing process for workers’ compensation benefits is highly complex, and failure to fill out all forms properly can potentially result in a reduction in benefits or even an outright denial of your claim.
At Shaw Cowart, we will walk you through the process of filing for workers’ compensation benefits to ensure it is done properly. We’ll also handle any appeals if your claim is unfairly denied. In addition, we can help you file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue compensation against all negligent third parties.
Common Parties Held Liable after a Construction Accident
Depending on the specifics of your construction accident, one or more of the following parties may be held liable for your damages:
- Construction site owners
- Contractors and subcontractors
- Equipment manufacturers
- Safety managers
- Construction site managers and foremen
- Manufacturers and suppliers of the equipment, materials and machinery used at the construction site
How Is Liability Determined in a Construction Accident?
The following factors are evaluated when determining potential parties to hold liable in a construction accident claim:
- Accident location – Construction workers may perform a variety of jobs on a construction site, and this often causes them to work at different locations of the work site based on the task at hand. The specific location of the accident can often dictate who is liable.
- Conditions at the accident site – All construction sites are governed by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) regulations. If the accident scene fails to meet OHSA safety standards or hasn’t been maintained properly, the party responsible for overseeing the work site safety conditions may be held liable for your injuries.
- Equipment being used – If the equipment you were using malfunctioned, the parties responsible for the manufacture, sale and maintenance of this equipment may be held liable.
- How the equipment was being used – If the improper use of construction equipment caused your injury, the individual using that equipment at the time of the accident may be held liable. If that person wasn’t properly trained on how to use the equipment, the party responsible for this training may be held liable.
- Who was overseeing the construction site and equipment – If the party supervising and managing the construction site at the time of your accident made an error or acted negligently, that person may be held liable.
- Your employer – If your employer was responsible for the accident, then filing a workers’ compensation claim may prevent you from seeking additional compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. However, if a third party caused the accident, you may be entitled to seek compensation from this party in order to supplement the workers’ comp benefits you receive.
Contact our Austin Construction Accident Lawyers
Due to the complexity of construction accident cases, it’s crucial that you work with an experienced attorney. At Shaw Cowart, we’ll fight aggressively to ensure that all negligent parties are held liable for your damages.
Please contact Shaw Cowart LLP using the form on this page or call 512-499-8900 today to schedule your complimentary consultation. We serve clients in the Austin, Texas area.