Tacoma Construction Accident Lawyers
According to statistics reported by IMEC Technologies, 21 percent of all work-related deaths occurred in the construction industry. As of 2016, there were more than 10 million construction workers in the United States. Other statistics associated with the construction industry include:
- The ninth-most-dangerous job in 2018 was a construction supervisor.
- The construction industry is growing every year.
- Forty-three percent of all construction workers will work well past the age of 65.
- If the construction industry were to adopt new technology (virtual reality, advanced tracking, and more connected job sites), the industry could be boosted by $1.6 trillion.
- The “Fatal Four” causes of fatalities in the construction industry are:
- Falls (38.7 percent of all construction deaths)
- Struck by an Object (9.4 percent of all construction deaths)
- Electrocution (8.3 percent of all construction deaths)
- Caught In-Between (7.3 percent)
- According to OSHA, if the “Fatal Four” were eliminated, 582 construction workers’ lives would be saved in the United States each year.
- In 2017, the most cited standards in the construction industry included:
- Lack of fall protection
- General scaffolding requirements
- Faulty ladders
- Lack of training
- Lack of eye and face protection
- According to the CDC, 90 percent of construction workers are male.
- Nearly half of all deaths on construction sites occur in companies with ten or fewer employees or among those who are self-employed.
Determining Liability in a Washington Construction Accident
It can be difficult to determine who is liable for a Washington construction accident, due to the fact that there may be multiple potentially liable parties involved. Construction accidents can occur at a private residence or at a commercial development and can range from a small incident to a catastrophic accident. On any given construction site, there can be an intricate hierarchy of landowners, general contractors, sub-contractors, and engineers, making it extremely difficult to sort it all out and determine responsibility. Generally speaking, the more responsibility a person or entity has over the everyday site operations, the more responsibility the person or entity bears should something go awry. The primary liability for a construction site accident will be traced back to the person or entity directly responsible for the failure which caused the accident, but there can be other liable parties as well, including:
- The owner of the construction site—The landowner of the construction site could be held liable for any injuries experienced by those working on the site. This is true only if the owner has consistently maintained some significant level of control over the property rather than handing over the entire control to the contractor. Even so, if a construction accident is the result of a potentially hazardous condition on the landowner’s property that he or she should reasonably have been aware of, then the landowner may still bear responsibility. If the harmful condition was caused by the contractor, however, and the landowner could not have reasonably known of the condition, then the landowner could not be held liable.
- The General Contractor—Contractors at a construction worksite have an obligation to create a work situation which is reasonably safe. The general contractor is responsible for ensuring competent workers are hired, that all workers are properly following safety regulations, and that all work is accomplished in a safe manner. When a construction worker is injured as a result of an unsafe condition on the construction site, then the general contractor or one of his or her sub-contractors could potentially be held liable.
- A Subcontractor—sometimes known as “prime” contractors, these are contractors hired by the general contractor to complete a specific part of the job. The subcontractor or prime contractor is responsible only for the work identified in their contract, therefore only the safety of employees and site conditions associated with that specific work.
- An architect or an engineer—Architects and engineers may be held liable for construction site injuries when a failure to adhere to all required safety standards during the design or construction phases of a project. If a construction accident occurs as a result of this failure, then the architect or engineer may be held liable for an accident.
- The manufacturers of machinery or construction equipment used on the construction site—If the accident was caused by a defect in equipment or a defect in machinery, and these defects resulted in injury to the operator of the equipment or machinery, another worker, or an innocent bystander, the manufacturer could potentially be held liable.
- Multiple parties—Much like a truck accident, once a construction accident occurs, an experienced construction accident attorney must untangle the facts of the case in order to determine which parties should be held liable. Serious construction accidents often have more than one liable party. As an example, if the landowner and the contractor were aware of a potential hazard at the construction site, then both would bear responsibility. If the contractor knew or should have known about a defect in equipment, then the manufacturer and the contractor could be held liable.
Construction sites contain some inherent dangers, even when regulations and safety guidelines are properly followed, therefore construction workers are responsible for following all safety regulations and site rules. It can require a comprehensive investigation to determine liability following a construction accident; because of this, insurance companies may be quick to offer a low settlement to an injured construction worker or his or her family, to avoid paying for all compensable factors of the accident.
If you have been the victim of a construction accident, caused by the negligence of a person or entity, it is imperative that you have a highly experienced construction accident attorney by your side, from start to finish. Your Washington personal injury attorney will investigate whether occupational and safety standards were properly adhered to, and which party had control over the work being done (and the degree of that control). Your construction accident attorney will determine the various types of insurance coverages carried by different entities, including whether the general contractor and sub-contractors carried general commercial liability and/or workers’ compensation.
How Palace Law Can Help Following Your Construction Accident
At Palace Law, we handle construction accidents of all types. Perhaps you are an electrician, a laborer, a plumber, a carpenter, a roofer, or another type of craft worker. Regardless of your position on the job, we understand that your family’s livelihood can be wholly dependent on your job, therefore, we are dedicated to helping you get the justice and compensation you need and deserve. Palace Law is built on the idea that you—and every client who walks in our door—deserves a competent team of legal professionals to handle every aspect of the case. We will work hard on your behalf to obtain compensation for your construction accident, whether through Washington workers’ compensation, a legal claim against the negligent party—or both. Contact Palace Law today.