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Understanding liability in a construction injury case

As many Minnesota readers know, construction sites are some of the most dangerous workplaces. Construction workers are at high risk for accidents and work-related injuries. Agencies such as the Occupational Health and Safety Administration along with federal and local statutes seek to promote safe practices to prevent construction site accidents.

In spite of ongoing efforts to improve construction safety, accidents will continue to take place at construction work sites. Common construction accidents include exposure to hazardous materials, electrocution, being struck by falling or moving equipment, and falls from scaffolding or ladders. When a workplace accident occurs, it may be investigated by local law enforcement and OSHA.

Depending on the circumstances, several individuals and organizations might be held liable for a construction accident. An important consideration when assessing liability is the sophistication, size and arrangement of the construction project. For example, large-scale construction projects may involve several sub-contractors. If an individual is injured, the main, or prime, contractor and one or more sub-contractors may be found liable.

A personal injury lawyer may assess what the legal responsibilities and duties of the individuals and organizations involved in the project are. Some potentially liable parties might include the property owner and general contractor along with various sub-contractors. In addition, architects, equipment manufacturers and insurers may also bear liability in a construction accident case.

Someone who is injured in a construction accident may wish to work with a lawyer to file a claim for workers' compensation. If a third party may have been responsible, an injured employee could decide to file a lawsuit instead.

Source: Findlaw, "Construction Injury Overview", August 20, 2014

Source: Findlaw, "Construction Injury Overview", August 20, 2014

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