The Four Primary Causes of Construction Accidents
Construction sites are hazardous places. Heavy equipment, high places, and many moving parts all contribute to danger and require constant coordination for safety. There are four recognized causes that lead to the most accidents on a site, and workers should be alert for these risks at all times.
Failure to Follow Safety Procedures. It is tempting to cut corners and disregard all the rules and regulations about safety. Tossing equipment from one level to another, unhooking safety harnesses, driving too fast for conditions: all are shortcuts that can lead to disaster. Safety procedures can be time-consuming, but they are in place to prevent accidents and save lives.
Employee Negligence. Not always the same as failing to follow safety procedures, negligence can include forgetting to follow lockout-tag out procedures or carelessness with tools or machinery. Coming to work while sick, tired, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol is also negligent behavior.
Poor Working Conditions. Negligence on the part of the employer or contractor can lead to accidents. Bad lighting, improperly maintained equipment, inadequate materials, or poorly trained workers can all lead to accidents on the worksite.
Inadequate Site Supervision. If the manager, site supervisor, or contractor is not on the site overseeing the work, then there is nobody to report the above conditions to and nobody who can correct them. Some problems are temporary or transitory but need to be corrected right away. If there is no site manager, then the workers cannot fix them in a timely manner. Accidents result when problems accumulate.
What Insurance Claim Gets Filed?
In a construction site accident, the most typical insurance claim filed will be worker’s compensation. Worker’s compensation is insurance that covers injuries suffered while on the job, no matter who was at fault. Worker’s compensation usually covers medical treatment and may include compensation for lost wages and partial disability.
The downside to worker’s compensation is that it prevents the employee from bringing a claim against the employer if the injury was the fault of the employer. In a construction site injury, the accident may have been caused by someone on the job site. In that case, a third-party claim may be filed.
A third-party liability claim can be brought when another person’s negligence caused the accident. On a construction site, there are often workers who are employees or agents of subcontractors or working for off-site companies. Third-party claims could be brought for:
- Vehicle accidents on the job site caused by delivery drivers, equipment operators, and other drivers.
- Equipment defects. If the equipment can be shown to be defective when purchased or if brought from another location in a defective condition, the manufacturer or provider could be liable through a product liability claim.
- Failure to warn, instruct, or properly hire workers. The off-site company could be liable for neglecting to keep their own employees up to date on all conditions at the job site.
- Property liability. The property owner may be liable for conditions of the property itself if there are known hazards on the land that should have been disclosed to the contractor or site manager.
How The Mandel Law Firm Can Help
If you were injured in a construction accident, you might be told to go for your worker’s compensation claim and forget about a third-party claim. Worker’s comp is no-fault, meaning that if the accident happened on the job, nothing else needs to be proven. However, to bring a third-party claim, the injured party must prove that the workplace accident was caused by someone who owed a duty of care to the injured person and that they breached that duty, leading to the injury.
At The Mandel Law Firm, we can help you with this complicated burden of proof and help you determine which insurance claim is best for you to file. It is possible that both types of claims may be filed, and that will require the assistance of a skilled attorney.
Contact the New York construction accident attorneys at The Mandel Law Firm at (646) 779-1441 and schedule a consultation today so that we can help you with your injury claim as soon as possible.