Construction sites are dangerous places for workers, vendors, bystanders, and other third parties. Defective machinery can be the cause of significant injuries. When you sustain an injury from defective equipment at a construction site, you need to know if you can get compensation for your injuries.
If you fall within the realm of workers’ compensation, you will need to follow the rules of that system to get medical treatment and payments for your lost wages. There are many situations, however, in which you can file a product injury lawsuit against a company or individual for your damages.
Who Can Be Liable for Your Injuries
Manufacturer or supplier of the equipment. If the manufacturer made a defective product, it will be responsible for harm the product caused. Also, the supplier of the equipment can be liable. If defective parts cause the product to work in a way that injures its users, the supplier may be liable. However, if the product was not defective until someone damaged the equipment after it left the control of the manufacturer or supplier, the intervening party will be liable.
Let’s say that a scaffolding maker sent flawed materials to the job site. Because of the defects, the scaffolding collapsed and injured people. The maker is liable. On the other hand, let’s imagine that the scaffolding was suitable when delivered to the job site, but the construction crew assembled the scaffolding incorrectly, causing it to collapse. The maker is probably not responsible, but the work crew’s company will be liable.
General Contractor/Owner of the construction project. The general contractor and owner are often vicariously liable for the actions of others at the construction site, even if neither the contractor nor the owner committed any negligent actions themselves.
Anyone whose negligence made the machinery defective or placed the defective equipment on the job site. Let’s say that some of the workers accidentally damaged the scaffolding. The workers made a weak attempt at fixing the damage, but the repairs were only superficial, not structural. Anyone injured due to the damaged equipment can sue the negligent workers.
Another reason for liability is knowingly causing defective equipment to be at the construction site. Let’s say that the driver who delivered the scaffolding did not secure the load correctly. On the way to the site, some of the scaffolding components fell off the truck, and several cars ran over them.
The delivery driver merely tossed the damaged pieces back on the truck and delivered the entire load to the work site, failing to notify anyone of the damage. The driver is responsible for injuries caused by the undisclosed defective equipment.
Damages for Injury at Construction Site
If you sustain injuries from defective equipment at a construction site, you might be eligible for damages, such as:
- Medical bills.
- Lost wages.
- Pain and suffering.
- Decreased earning capacity.
- Long-term care.