Who to Sue for Construction Site Accidents in Pennsylvania

Construction Worker Helping Injured coworker at Construction Site

Construction sites can be dangerous places. Uneven ground, dangerous machinery, and exposed utility lines are just a few obstacles that can cause serious injury for workers and bystanders alike. When the worst happens and you are seriously injured in a construction site accident, you need to know where you can turn for compensation. In other words, you need to know who to sue for your injuries.

Workers: Can You Sue Your Employer for Personal Injuries on the Job?

For many construction workers, minor cuts and scrapes are part of the job. However, a serious personal injury accident can put you out of work for weeks or even months. You may want to sue your employer for injuries suffered on the worksite. However, except in extreme cases or where your employer acted intentionally, your best option won’t be a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. Instead, you should file a “no-fault” claim with your workers compensation insurance. That’s not to say a lawsuit may not help cover your expenses. Depending on what happened and where, you may still have a claim against some of the third parties discussed below.

Premises Liability Lawsuits Cover Injuries Because of the Property Itself

Construction sites can create a catch 22 for property owners. On the one hand, they are legally required to keep their property safe from dangerous conditions, like broken steps or loose railings. But sometimes, you have to make a mess to clean it up. When a property owner is making repairs or upgrades to their property it can often create a bigger danger in the meantime. The construction site accidents that happen during this transition period can create “premises liability” claims when individuals are hurt because the property owner didn’t take reasonable steps to secure the premises or make them safe for the general public. Some common causes of injuries due to the construction sites themselves include:

  • Falls due to lack of guard rails
  • Open holes
  • Missing stairs
  • Falling objects
  • Missing warning signs

Product Liability Options When Construction Equipment Fails

Sometimes it isn’t the property but the equipment that causes a construction site accident. When construction equipment malfunctions it can cause serious, often permanent injury, or even death. Often, these malfunctions fall under the scope of “product liability.” A construction worker or visitor injured because of the manufacture or design of a piece of construction equipment can sue the manufacturer for personal injuries, time off work, temporary or permanent disability or disfigurement, and pain and suffering.

Bystanders Have Construction Site Accidents Too

You don’t have to be on staff to be injured by the negligent behavior of a construction worker. Bystanders and passers-by are often injured by falling or misplaced construction materials, or where a worker has created an unreasonable hazard in the midst of their work. When this happens, bystanders can often sue the construction company, general contractor, and any subcontractors involved in the work, in addition to the property owner. Often, the legal theories behind a bystander accident include:

  • Premises liability claims (discussed above)
  • Lack of proper supervision or site management
  • Lack of safety protocol or equipment
  • Negligent hiring, supervision, or retention of workers with poor safety history

Special Consideration for Children “Attracted to the Nuisance”

Most adults know to take care around construction sites. However, for generations, machinery, construction materials, and holes in the ground have captured children’s interest and tempted them into dangerous situations. When a child is injured by an “attractive nuisance” on a worksite, the family can sue the property owner and the construction company for failing to take reasonable precautions to eliminate the danger and protect children from injury. These cases depend on the balance between the risk of harm and the burden on the property owner to remove the danger.

Construction site accidents can cause extremely serious injuries and often involve complex layers of liability between construction companies, product manufacturers, and property owners. If you have been injured on a construction site, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Berman & Associates can help you identify all the players and sort out the legal theories against each one. We will help you demonstrate your injuries and what caused them so you can maximize your recovery. We welcome you to contact us to speak with us about how we can help with your construction site accident lawsuit.

Categories: Personal Injury