The attorneys at Scanlon & Wojton, LLC handle cases involving workplace injuries, including those sustained on construction sites. We are familiar with the federal and Pennsylvania regulations specific to these types of claims, and can help navigate these laws to help you recover for your losses. There are a number of complex liability issues that pertain to construction accident lawsuits, so it’s important to contact an attorney who has experience in handling third-party injury claims. At Scanlon & Wojton, LLC, our lawyers have handled workplace accident and personal injury lawsuits in Pennsylvania for more than four combined decades and have the resources needed to help you recover compensation for your losses.
Construction accidents can occur for a number of reasons. The OSHA and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania require employers to obtain certain permits, conduct regular inspections, and implement job safety programs to limit workplace accidents. Negligence, product defects and failure to adhere to safety policies and procedures can result in avoidable construction site accidents.
Some of the leading causes of construction accidents include:
- Insufficient training;
- Poor safety precautions and oversight;
- Crane accidents;
- Hoist accidents;
- Harness accidents;
- Collapsed structures;
- Improper use or maintenance of equipment;
- Compressed gases;
- Mechanical hazards;
- Exposure to toxic substances;
- Falls from elevations;
- Slips and falls;
- Defective equipment;
- Fires and explosions;
- Scaffolding accidents;
- Misuse of tools;
- Electrical accidents;
- Welding accidents and Falling objects.
Who can be held liable for construction accidents?
- If an employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, they are typically provided immunity from personal injury lawsuits. Workers’ compensation does not bar lawsuits against employers if the injury was intentional or egregious; however, it is more common to file claims against a third party.
- Construction Site Owner(s): In these cases, liability typically hinges on the degree of control the owner has over the premises, compared to the degree of control over the work being conducted itself.
- General and Sub-Contractors: Under OSHA, both general contractors and sub-contractors have the duty to provide workers with a reasonably safe construction site and a duty to warn of any hazards at the site or inherent in the job itself. They must ensure that work is being performed safely and that safety regulations are being followed. When an injury occurs, the failure of a contractor or subcontractor to perform these duties may allow an injured worker the opportunity to seek compensation for their losses.
- Prime Contractors: Prime contractors are responsible only for work that is identified in their contract, or for any work they delegate to subcontractors so long as they have exclusive responsibility over such subcontractors.
- Architects and Engineers: In some cases, architects and engineers have a duty to observe progress and ensure compliance with plans and relevant code regulations. To determine whether an architect or engineer may be liable for an injury, it is necessary to establish which duties were outlined by their contract with the construction company.
- Manufacturers: Any party in the chain of distribution of a defective product, including manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers, may be held liable if a defect in their product causes an injury.
What should I do if I, or a family member, is involved in a construction accident?
- Get prompt medical attention for the injury;
- Report the injury to the employer or manager and note who they told;
- Get accounts and information from any witnesses;
- Take photographs of the injury, scene of the injury, and any equipment involved; and
- Contact an attorney to learn more about their legal options