Construction projects involve a wide range of individuals, any number of which could share fault when a worker is injured. One of the advantages of workers’ compensation is that an employee does not need to prove fault in order to recover benefits. However, if someone other than the employer is responsible for the accident, a worker can file a lawsuit against the negligent third party to recover additional damages.
Why Construction Workers Are Likely to Suffer Car Accidents
Construction workers are unfortunately likely to be injured in collisions on the job. Whether they are struck by passing cars, pinned under forklifts, or trapped beneath the wheels of heavy equipment, these accidents have the potential to cause serious injuries or death.
Construction employees are at high risk of a collision when they are:
- Traveling between sites. Construction workers are regularly required to travel between and around job sites, exposing them to a potential crash with every journey. They typically use their own vehicles to pick up additional construction materials, bring building materials or co-workers to the job site, and drive from one end of a site to another to complete tasks on schedule.
- Performing road work. Road work collisions are a major cause of construction worker fatalities, particularly those involving passing cars and trucks. Road construction and maintenance may happen during peak traffic hours on well-traveled highways, combining speed, unprotected workers, and high numbers of frustrated drivers.
- Working with construction vehicles. The wide variety of vehicles on construction sites increases the risk of collisions injuries. From company trucks and sedans to excavators and cement mixers, the likelihood of being struck, backed-over, crushed, impaled, or thrown from a vehicle is much higher than in other work environments.
Third Parties Who May Be Liable for Construction Crash Injuries
Employees are often eligible for workers’ compensation benefits after a construction car accident, but these benefits only cover a worker’s income losses and injury costs. The advantage of filing a third-party lawsuit is that victims can recover damages for the full costs of the accident, even if some costs have already been covered by workers’ compensation. Our construction injury attorneys examine every case carefully to identify all potentially liable parties who may owe you compensation.
Common third parties who may be found negligent include:
- At-fault drivers. A drunk, distracted, or careless driver may be sued for damages if he or she strikes an employee performing road work.
- Fleet operators. The company that provides your construction equipment could be liable if you were injured by a worn or damaged vehicle. Employers and site owners may also be named in the lawsuit if failure to perform regular maintenance or safety inspections on the vehicle contributed to the accident.
- Another company’s employee. A subcontractor’s employee may be liable for negligent actions such as improper use of construction vehicles or failure to follow safety protocol.
- Vehicle manufacturers. Both construction vehicles and passenger cars are required to measure up to certain safety standards before purchase. The vehicle or parts manufacturer may be liable for injury costs caused by non-functional brakes, backup signals, lights, rollover guards, or other safety equipment.
- Property owners. Federal guidelines require all site owners to ensure that any areas where vehicles may travel are properly graded, level, and stable. Owners can be held liable for injuries caused by unsafe work site conditions, including car accidents.
- Government entities. A state agency or public authority may be partially responsible for accidents caused by inadequate guardrails or barriers, insufficient lane markings, or other road hazards within the construction zone.
Depending on the specifics of the accident, workers may have only a short period of time to file a claim for construction injury compensation. Our attorneys will work to get you the compensation you are owed, and we do not collect any fees until after your case is won. Simply fill out our quick online contact form or call (800) 362-9329 to speak with a lawyer at Hofmann & Schweitzer today, or learn more about your rights in our FREE brochure, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone.