Elements of a Successful Construction Accident Claim

Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran

Construction site accidents can have lifelong consequences for construction workers. Although your contractor carries insurance to help cover medical expenses on the job, you may be eligible for more compensation than you realize if someone else’s negligence contributed to your injury.

Your case needs to be handled by a law firm that knows the ins and outs of construction site laws, from your initial consultation to your final settlement or trial. Because of the nature of subcontracting and the laws that govern workplace safety issues, the right path for your claim might be more complex than just filing for workers’ compensation.

In addition to getting the best law firm, you’ll need complete medical records and solid evidence establishing the events that led to your accident. That way, you can identify the parties responsible for your accident and get the maximum compensation possible under Michigan law.

Thorough Medical Documentation

Every step in your treatment and recovery should be fully documented, even after your hospital discharge. You may need to see multiple specialists during your recovery, especially if your employer begins to question the extent of your injury.

Even if your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company is covering the full cost of your medical expenses and lost wages, hold on to your medical documentation. You may need your records later if your condition worsens or new information is uncovered that allows you to file a negligence lawsuit.

Evidence of the Accident’s Occurrence

Typically, there are enough witnesses to a construction site accident to establish the cause and timeline of events. Once you are out of immediate harm’s way, you must file a report with your employer to be eligible for workers’ compensation.

In rare cases, your employer or the general contractor may dispute the case’s facts even before the issue reaches the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. It’s best to reach out to an attorney as soon as an accident occurs to ensure all evidence is preserved appropriately and the employer or another party doesn’t influence witnesses.

Construction Accident Claim

Pursuing the Right Party

Most Michigan construction accidents are covered by workers’ compensation law, which bars you from suing your employer for negligence. However, in some cases, an entity other than your employer can be sued for negligence.

Michigan applies the Common Work Area doctrine to determine when a principal or general contractor is liable in a construction site accident case. The doctrine states that if your accident was caused by a hazard in a common area accessed by multiple contractors’ employees, you can sue the principal or general contractor for negligence.

This is because your subcontractor cannot control all areas of the worksite, and the general contractor has the duty of care of common areas. Standing water, unsafe ledges, and other hazards in these areas could be grounds for a lawsuit.

In extreme cases, the property owner could be sued for egregious cases of negligence. This typically only happens if the property owner knowingly hired a general contractor with an unsafe track record, failed to repair previous property damage, or otherwise directly contributed to a safety issue at the job site.

A Strong Legal Team

A successful construction accident claim requires personal injury attorneys with extensive experience in construction job site laws. Construction workers face unique hazards, and only a specialized law firm can provide the right legal advice for you to win.

It helps even more if your legal team has strong medical knowledge. Sorting through all the documentation required for your medical expenses, physical therapy, and other needs require technical knowledge and understanding of what is required to win your case. General workplace laws are essential, but a deeper understanding of specific legal standards applicable to construction sites is also critical to winning.

Your Hometown Law Firm

Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. has a track record of excellence in pursuing wrongful death cases, pain and suffering compensation, and other construction accident claims in the Detroit, Michigan area. We know that recovering from your injury takes time and energy, so we’ll come to you wherever you are to help you take the next steps in your case.

Whether you’re a private citizen injured by a freak accident on a construction site or a subcontracted employee covered by workers’ compensation laws, you can call us to schedule a free consultation. Reach out to our team at 866-MICH-LAW as soon as possible so we can get started. Remember, construction site accidents are subject to a statute of limitations, so don’t let the clock run out on your case.

Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.

Hannah Johnson has her Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs with a specialization in civic engagement. Her career has focused on labor-related research, including unions, workers' compensation, and contract law. She is now broadening her career to include research and policy analysis in East Asia, specifically in countries like South Korea and Japan where the aging population is creating a new frontier in economic trends and public policy innovation.

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