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Who is Liable in a Construction Site Accident



July 27th, 2016

Construction accident

Accidents are prone to occur anywhere, and construction sites are no exception. Whether it is a small project or a major commercial development, construction work is quite dangerous. Safety is extremely important on a construction site. All the safety regulations, specifications, and inspections have to be met in order to prevent construction site accidents. The job safety programs help prevent construction site accidents and create safety awareness for all parties involved in the construction project. However, when a construction accident occurs, determining liability can become a problem and cause major difficulties. This is because of the large number of people involved in the construction project.

While filing for a construction site accident lawsuit or an insurance claim, it is important to identify the parties that are at fault for the harm caused. However, identifying the parties can be a challenging task. The system followed at a construction site will be an important consideration that needs to be taken into account when determining the potential liability of the numerous individuals involved in the project. When assessing liability for injuries at a construction site, the extent of a potential party’s control of the premises where the construction is being done, and the amount of control they have over the work, is generally a main determination.

Here is a guide to help you determine who could be held liable for the injuries that you suffer from in an accident at a construction site:

Identifying Who is Liable

  • Construction Site Owner– While the construction project is under way, the landowner might not be considered the legal possessor of the land. This depends on how much control he has given to the contractor. However, by virtue of being the owner or possessor of the land, the landowner is liable for any construction site accident that occurs. Since the injury was caused at his site, the owner can be held liable if he or she knew about a potential danger on the site, and the accident occurred due to that hazard. The court will consider how much control the landowner has over the work itself and will come to a decision as to who is legally at fault for the injuries sustained.
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  • General Contractors and Sub-Contractors – It is the legal duty of the contractors and sub-contractors to warn the employees of any potential hazards or defects on the site. Additionally, they are expected to provide a safe environment for the workers. It is their responsibility to hire competent employees and to abide with the safety protocols and OSHA regulations.
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  • Prime Contractors– A prime contractor differs from a general or sub-contractor, because he or she is only responsible for the work that is stated in his or her prime contract. Also if a prime contractor chooses to delegate work to sub-contractors he or she has exclusive responsibility over the sub-contractors (including as to payment and work quality).
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  • Architects and Engineers– Architects, engineers and design professionals are responsible for meeting certain standards during the design and/or construction phases of the project. Their extent of responsibility can be determined by looking at their contract with the site owner. The duty of an architect, engineer, or design professional may include progress observations in order to ensure it complies with the specified plans, and site inspections to make sure they comply with the code regulations. If the standards are not met, the architect or engineer can be held liable for the construction site accident.
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  • Manufacturers of Construction Machinery– Manufacturers of faulty and defective design of construction machinery can be held liable in the case of a construction site accident.
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  • Insurers– In major construction projects, the parties involved are required to have ample insurance coverage. This should cover all aspects of the construction project. The insurance coverage and the extent of that coverage are important issues that need to be assessed to determine if the insurance company is liable for the construction site accident.

Need help? Contact us Dervishi Law Group P.C.

If you or a loved one is injured in a construction site accident, construction accident attorneys at Dervishi Law Group, P.C. can help you. We specialize in construction accidents. If you would like a free consultation, call us at 718-619-4525/ 917-300-0797 or email at fdervishi@dervishilaw.com.

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