Construction Accidents: Who Can Be Held Responsible?

If you were injured in a construction accident, you might be wondering who can be held responsible. There might be several liable parties, and it can often be difficult to determine which party or parties should be held accountable. When you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer, they can investigate and determine who should be named in a personal injury lawsuit. If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation.

Potential Responsible Parties

Some of the possible responsible parties include the following:

The Construction Company

It’s common for the construction firm or company to be liable for construction accidents, as they are in charge of safety and anything that goes wrong. If the employee who caused the accident was negligent, they will likely be responsible, but the company they work for can often be held responsible as well through vicarious liability.

Contractors

Many construction workers are independent contractors and do not work for a construction company. If the worker engages in actions that cause harm to someone else, they are likely responsible for damages if the elements of the claim can be proven.

The Owner of the Construction Site

In California, owners of construction sites can be held liable for injuries if they were caused by willful acts or a lack of ordinary care in property management. If the owner is aware of a hazard that could lead to injury but does nothing to remedy the situation, they can be held liable.

Makers of Construction Equipment

Not all construction accidents are caused by a lack of safety. Sometimes, accidents on a construction site arise due to faulty machinery. When a piece of equipment has an inherent defect from the manufacturer and becomes the cause of an injury, the manufacturer may be subject to a civil lawsuit.

Engineers and Architects

Designs are an integral part of every construction project. Both the engineers and architects have the task of creating and implementing designs that ensure safety. If the engineer or architect makes a mistake that leads to someone else’s injuries, they could be held liable for the injuries and other damages.

Negligence

If you are filing a claim against a construction company or employee, the claim will likely be based on a negligence framework. This means that to recover monetary compensation at trial, you and your attorney must prove that the party you are filing a claim against was negligent, and that their negligence caused your injuries. Additionally, the responsible party must have owed you a duty of care, and the breach of that duty must have led to your injuries. If you can show that the defendant was negligent in causing the accident, you will be able to recover compensation.

Premises Liability

If you are filing a claim against the property owner, your claim will follow a premises liability framework. To be successful in this type of claim, you must prove the following elements at trial:

  • The defendant owned, occupied, or controlled the property
  • The defendant was negligent in the use or maintenance of the property
  • You as the plaintiff were harmed
  • The defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in your harm

For example, if the owner knew that there should be certain warning signs and barriers to protect people walking by the construction site but failed to implement them, you could file a claim against them.

There are other frameworks that can be used in a construction accident depending on who you are trying to hold responsible. If you have questions or need assistance, contact our Los Angeles construction accident lawyers today for a free consultation.