Working on a construction site has always been considered one of the most dangerous jobs in America. In fact, recent OSHA statistics show that more than 20% of all deaths in the workplace take place in the construction industry. The large-scale nature of many projects, combined with dozens of workers and heavy equipment all working under tight deadlines, can create a dangerous environment even under the best and most careful of circumstances.
So, it is not uncommon for construction accidents to take place with unfortunate regularity. And in virtually all cases, construction accidents are due to negligence in some way, shape, or form. When negligence is present, it opens up the door for a skilled construction accident attorney to seek damages on a victim’s behalf. Suits may be brought for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, and other similar impacts.
However, while proving negligence can be a fairly straightforward proposition, deciding who is at fault can be a much more complicated matter at times.
Who may be at fault in a construction accident
There are about 150,000 construction site accidents each year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Just as each construction site is unique, so are the factors that can lead to an accident. Unraveling who is ultimately responsible can be challenging because there are so many different parties who are involved.
Property owners – sometimes property owners turn over control of a job site to a general contractor. Other times, they retain control. This is one of the first relationships attorneys will take a closer look at.
A general contractor – If control of a site is turned over to a general contractor, they may or may not retain control. This is because in some construction jobs, they may turn over the controls for some functions to any number of sub-contractors.
Sub-contractors – Attorney’s may also drill down to the conditions created by electricians, plumbers, dry wallers, glazers, or iron workers. Each of them may create an unsafe environment for their particular part of the job, making them the responsible party if an accident takes place.
Engineers – In some jobs, safety flaws begin in the design process. It takes some digging, but there are some instances of negligence that can be traced all the way back to architects and engineers.
Equipment manufacturers or lessors – It is the responsibility of the leasing company or manufacturer to place safe equipment on a job site. If the equipment is defective or has not been maintained properly, an accident may result due to their lack of care.
The Law Offices of Donald D. Hiney serves clients in San Diego, Chula Vista, and surrounding San Diego communities.