One of the first things an injured person must do for their construction site accident claim is to determine which parties might be responsible for the accident. Responsibility in a construction site accident could fall on contractors, property owners, or construction workers. Construction sites should be properly managed to ensure the safety of the construction workers and others on the job site. When they aren’t properly managed, and someone is injured, the responsible party may be liable for negligence.
Generally, an injured person must establish the following four elements to prove negligence:
- The responsible party owed a legal duty to the injured person, such as the duty to act in a reasonable and safe manner;
- They breached that duty;
- This caused injury to the victim; and
- The victim sustained damages.
If you can prove all four elements, it might be possible to recover compensation after your accident.
Duty of Care
The first step in proving negligence is establishing that the responsible party owed you a duty of care. In a construction site, the property owner, contractor, or subcontractor may be responsible for ensuring the safety of workers and visitors on the site. Maintaining a safe work environment, providing appropriate safety equipment and training, and enforcing safety regulations are all ways they can show they acted reasonably safely.
Breach of Duty
The second step in proving negligence is demonstrating that the responsible party breached their duty of care. This may mean that they failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the accident from occurring. If a construction company provides improper safety equipment, improper ear protection, or unsafe scaffolding, this may be considered a breach of the duty of care. For example, if a construction worker fell from a scaffold because the contractor failed to provide proper safety harnesses, this would be a breach of duty.
For this element, you must prove that the breach of duty caused the accident and resulting injuries. Causation is often the most difficult step to prove because sometimes other factors contribute to an accident. Proving causation may involve getting evidence such as expert witness testimony, accident reports, or witness statements.
Lastly, you must show that you suffered damages from the construction accident. Generally, this step is satisfied if you are injured. Your damages could include the following:
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Other expenses related to your injuries.
Keep detailed records of all costs related to your injuries because any expense could be calculated into your overall damage amount.
How Can an Attorney Help?
Proving negligence in a construction site accident can be complex. An attorney can help you build a case by performing a full investigation. They can collect evidence to determine who is responsible and establish the responsible party’s negligence. The evidence an attorney may collect in a construction accident claim includes:
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violation and citation records,
- Medical reports or opinions,
- Testimony from witnesses,
- Investigative reports from the accident site, and
- Information about the equipment used.
An attorney can use this information to help you negotiate with insurance companies or file a claim for damages.
Our Construction Site Accident Attorneys Can Help
If you were injured at a construction site and want a professional, aggressive, and client-centered advocate for your accident case, look no further than the Hartley Law Firm. Our experienced attorneys have received numerous awards and are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. We can help you understand your legal options after a Texas construction site accident.Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you.