What Can You Sue for After a Construction Site Injury?
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
A construction site presents many hazards that can result in workplace injuries. In 2020, 74 fatal accidents on construction sites were reported to the Michigan State Safety Plan (MIOSHA). Even though Michigan has strict safety standards, accidents still occur on regulated sites.
Construction workers injured on the job site may be able to file a personal injury claim for pain and suffering. The knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorneys at Cochran Kroll & Associates, P.C. can investigate your construction site accident and advise you on filing a lawsuit.
Who is Liable?
Deciding who is responsible for your injuries is not always simple, and the instinct to sue your employer is not always correct in a construction site accident. While your employer may be partially at-fault, you may be able to hold multiple parties accountable.
To make sure you receive the compensation you deserve, you must properly determine who is liable and file a personal injury lawsuit against them. A misstep over pursuing the wrong party may seriously impact recovering the compensation you are due.
The parties who may be liable for your injuries include:
- Your employer: if they failed to observe MIOSHA’s safety regulations or could have reasonably foreseen that the accident would happen. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance may cover whether your employer is liable for your accident or not.
- The principal contractor: may be liable under some circumstances. Generally, this happens when the principal contractor is in control of all aspects of the construction site.
- Government agencies: such as the Michigan Department of Transportation, may become liable if they took part in the planning and approval of the construction project. However, there must be negligence in the planning or approval process.
- Building owners and landlords: may become liable if your accident was caused by the building violating local ordinances.
Generally, the employer will be liable for a construction site accident, but you should consider all the possible parties who may be liable.
Suing for Damages in a Construction Site Accident Case
An injured worker may file a personal injury claim against the negligent party. Damages in these cases do not have the same limits as workers’ compensation claims. Damages fall into two categories: Economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are monetarily quantifiable losses, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Attendant allowance
- Property damage
- Other financial losses that would not have been incurred had it not been for the accident.
Non-economic damages cover losses that have no specific financial value:
- Pain and suffering
- Serious bodily impairment
- Permanent serious disfigurement
- Mental trauma as a result of the accident
These damages can be recovered in addition to your workers’ compensation benefits for lost wages and medical bills.
What is the Statute of Limitations Period for Construction Site Accidents?
The Michigan statute of Limitations provides for three years to file a lawsuit in personal injury cases. This period typically runs from the date of the accident. However, an exception may apply if the effects of the injury do not manifest themselves until later. You must seek legal counsel and file your claim as soon as your injuries become apparent.
Construction Site Accident Death Claims
Regrettably, workers do die in construction site accidents. The worker’s family killed while on the job at a construction site can file a workers comp claim. In these cases, dependents receive 500 weeks of workers’ compensation benefits. They will also receive $6,000 for funeral expenses.
The family may also file a wrongful death claim against a third party whose negligence caused the accident. The family may file a claim for the pain and suffering of their relative from the time of injury until the date of death. In addition, they will be able to claim loss of society and companionship of their loved one.
It is possible in some circumstances for a family to claim both workers’ compensation benefits and damages for wrongful death.
Contact an Experienced Construction Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a construction site accident, you will need assistance filing your claim. Personal injury lawyers at a law firm like Cochran Kroll & Associates, P.C. can explain how the law applies to your case.
We have the skill and experience to handle the complexities of construction site accidents and communicate with construction companies and their insurance companies on your behalf.
If you are injured on a construction site, contact us today. Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 866-MICH-LAW and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.
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.