Who Is Liable If a Civilian Was Injured on a Construction Site?
Construction sites are dangerous places, and not only for the workers. Construction sites throughout Kansas City, Missouri can contain many health and safety hazards for civilians who have to walk or drive through them. It is a construction company’s responsibility to reasonably ensure the safety of a construction site. If a civilian suffers an injury on a construction site, he or she may be eligible for financial compensation from the construction company or another party.
Common Civilian Accidents and Injuries at Construction Sites
Construction sites are notorious for the number of injury risks they present. Every year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides statistics that name construction as the deadliest industry in the U.S. In 2019 alone, 1,061 construction workers died on the job – representing about 20 percent of all workers killed in 2019. This doesn’t include civilian injuries and deaths.
Civilians can get injured at construction sites in many ways, including:
Falls into holes or ditches
Trip and fall accidents over building materials or tools
Car accidents from confusing detours
Struck-by accidents and injuries from falling objects
Injuries due to structural or scaffold collapses
Runaway construction vehicles
Runover or crushed by heavy machinery
Exposure to toxic substances, such as asbestos particles in the air
Burns from fires and explosions
Electrocutions from contact with live electrical elements
Injuries suffered by civilians in construction zone accidents can include bone fractures, muscle and soft-tissue injuries, head trauma, brain injuries, spine injuries, lacerations, burns, and illnesses. Although no amount of financial compensation can take these injuries back, an award from the at-fault party can help pay for medical expenses and allow the victim to move forward with greater peace of mind.
Who Is Liable?
Liability is the legal term for financial and legal responsibility for an accident and resultant injuries. In personal injury law, the person or party that is liable for a victim’s injuries (the defendant) is generally the same party that is at fault for causing or substantially contributing to the accident.
Most construction site injury lawsuits name the construction company as the defendant. A construction company has a legal obligation to prevent foreseeable injuries to workers and bystanders. This obligation comes with responsibilities such as maintaining a safe workplace, inspecting this site for potential hazards, remedying known hazards, providing appropriate safety gear and posting visible warning signs of risks to visitors.
If a construction company fails to fulfill its legal obligation and does not adequately maintain a safe work site, the company can be liable for all related injuries and deaths. Another party could also bear liability for your construction zone accident, however, depending on the circumstances. If a product contains a defect and this caused your injury, for example, the manufacturing company could be liable.
When to Speak to a Construction Site Accident Attorney
A construction site accident takes the form of a premises liability claim in Missouri. Premises liability law states that the owner or controller of a piece of property is responsible for its care and maintenance. If a property hazard, such as an injury risk at a construction site, causes injuries, it is the property owner’s legal responsibility to pay for the victim’s related losses.
Before you can recover financial compensation from a construction company or another party, however, you or your lawyer will need to prove liability. This requires clear and convincing evidence that the defendant(s) owed you a duty of care, breached this duty and caused your accident.
Determining and proving liability may require help from a construction site accident lawyer in Kansas City. A lawyer with experience in premises liability law can investigate your construction accident for signs of fault. Then, your lawyer can collect any available evidence against the defendant(s) to prove fault. An attorney can help you fight for maximum financial compensation for your past and future losses while protecting your legal rights.