Construction Site Injuries
In 2010, there were over 195,000 construction site injuries and more than 750 construction site fatalities in the United States.¹ Contact with equipment, falls, fires, explosions, and exposure to harmful substances all contributed to those injuries and fatalities. When a person suffers an injury while working at a construction site, liability for the injury may fall upon a variety of people.
Construction Injury Lawsuits in WashingtonIn Washington, an employee may not sue his or her employer for an injury occurring as the result of the employer's or a co-worker's negligence. In these situations, filing a claim with the Department of Labor and Industries may be an employee's only recourse. There are times, however, when another employer, the general contractor, or a subcontractor on the site may be liable for the injury. In order to have a claim against another employer or contractor, a worker must be able to prove that the employer was negligent, and the negligence was a proximate cause of his or her injury. Proving fault in a construction site injury often requires the testimony of experts in order to establish the cause of the injury as well as each party's responsibility in causing it.
Assigning Fault in Construction Site Injury CasesBlame for an injury may lie in more than one place. This can be especially true of construction site injuries. When an injury occurs in Washington State, legal responsibility for the injury is apportioned amongst the parties who caused it. For example, if a worker, in a restricted area where he or she should not have been, is run over by a forklift after its brakes fail, the injured worker, forklift operator, and the contractor who failed to ensure the brakes were in proper working condition might all be assigned a percentage of the blame for the injury. This is called comparative negligence, when used as defense by a negligent party who claims he or she was not 100% at fault and another party should share in the blame.
If you or a loved one has been injured on a construction site, you should consult with an attorney right away in order to ensure that your legal rights are preserved and that you receive the compensation you deserve. Construction site litigation is a rule-intensive practice requiring an experienced attorney. Our job at Stephen Haskell Law Offices is to provide the expertise needed to get you the maximum possible settlement for your construction site injury.