Construction sites are among the most dangerous locations to be around, for both workers and pedestrians. There are numerous hazards at these sites that have the potential to inflict devastating injuries. Unfortunately, determining fault may not be as easy as with other personal injury claims. Fortunately, you can work with a trustworthy premises liability attorney to sort out those matters. An Alpharetta construction accident lawyer could help a passerby who was struck while walking near a construction zone, or assist a worker who may be boxed in by workers’ compensation immunity laws.
When Might a Construction Site Accident be Considered Premises Liability?
Premises liability refers to the responsibility that property owners, managers, or operators have for accidents that occur on the property they control. A construction site accident could be considered a premises liability case depending on the contractual relationships between the injured party, and either the property owner or the worksite manager. An analysis of the accident could establish which actor breached the standard of care that proximately caused the injury.
If a pedestrian is walking near a construction site, they could be harmed by the activities at the site, or by the actions of individuals going to or from the site. Some construction sites are in public areas where individuals come in close contact with the site’s activities, increasing the risk of harm. Pedestrians could be struck by falling objects, loose machinery, or construction vehicles.
What Makes Construction Accident Cases Unique?
A construction accident premises liability claim involving an injured worker is unique because an attorney must determine if the liable party is immune from a workers’ compensation claim. In Georgia, an employee of the company cannot file a suit against another employee for an accident on a construction site. Also, in most cases, an employee of a subcontractor on a site cannot sue the general contractor or its employees for acts of negligence on the site due to the workers’ compensation bar.
However, a number of exceptions to the workers’ compensation bar allow subcontractors to hold a general contractor who is also a property owner liable for injuries on a construction site. Workers for a subcontractor can file a suit against another subcontractor hired by the same person, which is a way to get around the workers’ compensation bar. A nearby construction accident attorney could advise someone on who can and cannot be sued for damages, and how third-parties are involved.
Documenting Construction Injuries
Injuries can occur in a variety of ways. Often when a worker is involved, the federal government’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will investigate and document how an injury occurred. Also, police officers from the relevant jurisdiction regularly investigate incidents that occur on construction sites when they are called to the scene, and their reports could be used as evidence.
Treatment from Doctors Covered Under Workers’ Comp
In a construction site accident, more often than not, the injured employee is treated by medical providers who are covered under the workers’ compensation insurance of the relevant employer. Traditionally, medical providers treating through the work comp system are more conservative in their diagnosis and prognosis of a worker’s injury. However, this does not preclude someone from requesting a second opinion by a medical provider not within the workers’ compensation network.
The Complexity of Construction Liabilities
Anytime an injury occurs on a construction site, the injured party should seek an attorney’s advice because the negligent entities that may be potentially at fault are often unknown without significant investigation. The contractual arrangements between the construction workers and their companies are complex and will determine whether or not someone has a cause of action against the negligent party.
There are many exceptions to the workers’ comp immunity doctrine that need to be evaluated by an Alpharetta construction site accident lawyer to determine whether the individual injured has a viable cause of action.
File a Claim with an Alpharetta Construction Accident Attorney
Catastrophic bodily harm can happen when in the vicinity of a construction zone due to the many tools and heavy objects that are found there. The ownership and managerial duties involved in these sites can complicate a claim, while workers’ compensation laws add another layer of difficulty for employees. Schedule a consultation with an Alpharetta construction accident lawyer to determine if you have a viable claim for compensation.