Philadelphia Construction Site Injury Attorneys
Serving Victims of Construction Accidents in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
Construction accidents can cause devastating injuries to people who suffer them. Determining whether you have the right to sue if you are injured on a construction site can be complex. This is why you need the experienced personal injury attorneys of Rodden, Rodden & Breslin on your side if you are hurt on a construction site.
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Why Construction Site Accidents Are Different From Other Work Injuries
In both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, when you are injured at work, you generally may only collect workers’ compensation benefits. Those benefits include:
- A percentage of lost wages
- Medical care
- Compensation for loss of limb, hearing, or eyesight
- Death benefits for surviving dependents
In most cases, you may not sue your employer when you are hurt at work. This means you may not sue for pain and suffering, and a family may not sue for wrongful death if a loved one dies. However, there are exceptions that are common in construction work. These exceptions may allow a construction worker or his family to file a lawsuit and seek compensation for their harm.
You Do Not Work for the General Contractor
It is common for construction workers to be independent contractors or employed by a subcontractor. In such cases, it may be possible for the injured worker to seek compensation from the General Contractor when they are not an employee of that company. This is known as a third party-work injury claim.
Another Company’s Employee Caused Your Injury
Under workers’ compensation law, if you are injured by a fellow employee, you may not sue your employer. But on construction sites, it is common for employees of different businesses to be present. If an employee of another company caused your injury, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against that business.
Failure to Maintain Equipment
If a business that is not your employer is maintaining or providing equipment, and that equipment is improperly maintained and causes your injury, you may be able to sue that business. For example, if a forklift malfunctions and you get hurt, you may be able to sue the owner of that forklift, as long as it is not your employer.
Construction Site Product Liability
A product liability suit involves a claim against the manufacturer, designer, or marketer of a product that causes you harm. The most common issues on building sites involve improper manufacture or design of equipment and building materials.
Manufacturers are required to use reasonable care in the creation of their products. If they fail to control the manufacturing process properly, defective equipment can be the result. An example of such a situation would be if a tool broke because the materials used to make it were substandard and you suffered a serious injury when the tool hit or cut you.
The process of designing a product can be challenging. Especially when it comes to items being used in the construction process. When a company is creating a product, it is required to take reasonable steps to make certain that the product is safe for its intended purpose. An example of negligent design is if a piece of equipment that a worker is meant to stand or climb on is not strong enough to hold the weight of the average construction worker. The item collapses, the worker falls, and is injured.
Consumer products are required to have labels to warn of dangers that might be present. In the prior example, the failure to note the weight limits on the equipment workers climb on would be an example of negligent marketing.
The owner of the site or those responsible for maintaining it are required to keep it safe. If you are not employed by the owner or the party responsible for site maintenance, and you are injured due to their negligence, you may have the basis for a premises liability suit.
Your Employer was Grossly Negligent
Gross negligence is an exception to your employer’s protection from suit under the workers’ compensation laws. Ordinary negligence is when someone makes a careless mistake. We are all expected to go about our lives taking reasonable care to prevent harm to others. For example, someone left a tool in the wrong location and it fell, hit you on the head, and injured you. Such a situation is negligence.
Gross negligence is different. When someone shows a reckless disregard for the safety of others, then that can be gross negligence. Similarly, if your employer intentionally injuries you, that is another way to defeat the limitation to your right to sue.
Injured on a Construction Site?
If you are working on a construction site and get injured, you should seek your workers’ compensation benefits immediately. However, unlike most employees, you should not assume your right to compensation stops with those benefits. Instead you should speak to the experienced construction site accident lawyers at Rodden, Rodden & Breslin. Our lawyers will help you determine whether you have the basis to file a claim against the party that injured you.