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A construction site can be an extremely hazardous workplace. Construction workers are challenged to be aware of their surroundings at all times. They need to watch out for falling objects, be aware of moving hazards all while getting the job done with excellence and precision. In addition to the construction worker, the people responsible for the worker’s safety have an obligation to ensure all safety measures are in place.
Davy Yockey is an experienced construction accident lawyer and has seen the devastation construction injury can have on an injured victim and his/her entire family.
Construction Accident Claims Introduction
Thousands of construction workers are injured or killed in construction site accidents each year. Construction companies must inspect each site with safety engineers and provide safety programs, but unfortunately, accidents still occur due to the inadequacy of these provisions.
When a construction site accident occurs, the owners, architects, insurance companies and manufacturers of equipment can be held responsible for inadequate safety provisions. The general contractor and all subcontractors are required to provide a reasonably safe site, to warn of hazards inherent in the site and work, to hire careful employees, to coordinate job safety and to supervise compliance with safety specifications.
Third Party Negligence
Manufacturers of construction equipment are responsible designing and maintaining safe products. Defective or dangerous products may include the following: scaffolding, cranes, power tools, derricks, hoists, conveyors, woodworking tools, ladders, winches, trucks, graters, scrapers, tractors, bulldozers, forklifts, backhoes, heavy equipment, boilers, pressure vessels, gas detectors and other types of construction equipment.
It is often possible to find liable third parties in the event of an accident or injury. Since most sites involve many subcontractors, it is very common to locate several potential third party Defendants. The lawyer may also consider claims against the general contractor, who may be responsible for supervision and may be contractually responsible for the injury. In more complex cases, the legal principles of Agency and analysis of Corporate law may lead to sophisticated determinations as to who is technically an "employee" and who the "third parties" are in a given situation.
Workers' Compensation law is designed to help injured workers as well as employers in dealing with the problems of health insurance. The Workers' Compensation Act provides benefits to workers who are injured on the job or suffer an occupational disease arising out of and in the course of employment. The benefits under Workers' Comp include weekly payments based on a percentage of the employee's average weekly wage for temporary total disability, partial disability, permanent and total disability and permanent loss of function and disfigurement. Workers' Comp also covers medical expenses for treatment that is reasonable, necessary and related to the industrial injury and vocational rehabilitation services.
Unfortunately Workers' Compensation alone may be insufficient compensation especially in the case of very serious and catastrophic personal injuries. As indicated above it is necessary to look for a negligent third party such as the manufacturer of a dangerous or defective product, improper safety devices or some other party who is at fault. These cases require immediate attention and expertise because the responsible third party may be difficult to locate and evidence (such as a piece of defective machinery) needs to be preserved.