Boston Construction Accident Lawyer
Construction sites are a constant presence in Boston and around Massachusetts. While necessary for economic growth, these areas are filled with hazards that can cause serious injuries. If you are injured on a construction site, you have the right to seek compensation. However, the legal route you must take depends on your status as a visitor to the site or an employee.
In either scenario, our Boston construction accident lawyer may be able to help. Experienced attorneys with years of experience helping people injured on construction sites could help you take stock of your damages and collect whatever compensation to which you may be entitled. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan today for a free consultation at (617) 915-4523 about pursuing a construction accident lawsuit.
Common Injuries in Boston Construction Accidents
Orthopedic injuries are the most common type of non-worker construction site injuries, usually as a result of tripping caused by defective or hazardous conditions. There are lots of injuries to the foot, ankle, knee, or shoulder as the person lands and suffers a blunt trauma, and there also are head injuries from being struck.
Other injuries could include spinal injuries, neck, mid-back, lumbar or lower back, plus herniated disks involving nerve damage, or sciatic pain that radiates from the lower back to the legs. In cases in which there is a very severe neck injury, they could have radiating nerve pain going from the neck to the arms and fingers. Our Boston construction accident attorney can help you get relief based on your injuries.
Boston Construction Site Accidents Involving Non-Construction Workers
A non-construction worker could be involved in a construction site accident if the person was injured while walking outside the construction site along its perimeter. There may be some defective or dangerous conditions in the perimeter caused by the movement of heavy equipment and other vehicles crossing a sidewalk and damaging it. Another example would be a delivery person bringing material or equipment to the site and is injured by some dangerous or defective condition in the process.
Pedestrians passing on the outside of a construction site are the most common types of non-worker accidents associated with the activity in Boston. There also have been occasions when a piece of construction equipment such as a crane collapsed and parts fell into the adjoining road next to the construction site and on top of cars. Unfortunately, when these types of accidents occur, injuries could prove to be fatal. Contact our Boston construction accident lawyer to discuss your injuries and possible legal remedies.
Boston Construction Site Accidents Involving Workers or Employees
While we may often associate construction accidents with innocent pedestrians who are in the wrong place at the wrong time, accidents can also befall construction workers. Construction workers can suffer many injuries similar to those of non-workers. Falling debris, accidental explosions, and machinery run amok are still risks. However, construction workers must handle their cases differently because of their relationship with their employers.
An employee injured on the job usually cannot sue their employer for their injuries. Most times, they must file for workers’ compensation to get coverage for things like medical bills and time away from work to recover. Only in very limited circumstances could an employee sue their employer. Such circumstances exist when the employer’s willful misconduct or actions cause the accident in question. This situation is often much more challenging than a workers’ compensation claim, as workers’ compensation requires no showing of fault. Call our Boston construction accident attorney for help deciding how to file your case.
Premises Liability on Construction Sites in Boston
Premises liability refers to the personal injuries and accidents that happen on someone else’s property. In order to file a successful premises liability claim, victims are required to prove that they suffered an injury due to an unaddressed or unfixed hazard on the premises. It is the responsibility of the landowner to provide their guests with a safe environment upon their visit. When they fail to provide this safe environment, they could face substantial civil battles.
A construction accident may be considered a type of premises liability case in the sense the accident took place at a specific location or premises that was under construction. A premises liability construction accident could involve a passerby walking outside the construction site and is injured because of some defective condition, such as a depression in the sidewalk caused by equipment loaded onto the construction site.
In such a case, the construction company, construction worker, and property owner could all be different people. In many cases, the construction company is hired by the property owner to perform the construction work. Even though the construction company and its employees are responsible for making the construction site safe, the owner will also share this responsibility.
The outcome of your premises liability case will depend on your status when you were on the property. If you were unlawfully trespassing, the owner might not owe you any duty of care. But if you were invited onto the property as a visitor in someone’s home or a customer in a store, the owner might be responsible. Get in touch with our Boston construction accident lawyer to determine whether a premises liability lawsuit is right for you.
Why File a Premises Liability Lawsuit for a Boston Construction Accident?
Reasons for filing a premise liability lawsuit will depend on whether you were an employee or a non-worker. For non-workers injured in construction accidents, premises liability may be the most viable option for relief. Suing the construction company for negligence is also possible, but it can be tricky when fault is unclear. However, proving fault in a premises liability case is often simpler and could provide a faster and less complex route to relief for an injured non-worker.
For a construction worker or employee, workers’ compensation would be the typical route to relief. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation can be a bit more limited than a personal lawsuit. In most cases, personal lawsuits against your employer are forbidden. A premises liability lawsuit could provide an injured construction worker with some additional compensation that worker’s compensation does not provide. Monetary compensation could benefit the person harmed in a construction accident by providing them with financial relief for medical expenses or loss of income if they could not work because of their injury.
Besides monetary compensation, the workers’ compensation insurance company may provide the injured worker with vocational rehabilitation assistance. This could involve retraining and reeducation so that the injured worker could learn skills that would allow them to reenter the workforce. Call our Boston construction accident lawyer for more information.
What to Do if You Are a Pedestrian Injured in a Boston Construction Site Accident
Anyone who is injured on a construction site while not working there must pursue a claim through traditional personal injury laws. Specifically, they must file a lawsuit in accordance with premises liability laws. These laws center around the reasons for the visitor being on the land, whether the landowner gave permission, and the actions of the landowner that led to the injury.
In general, landowners have a duty to maintain their land in a reasonably safe condition for all lawful visitors. As a result, an invited visitor to a construction site who is injured by a hazard the site owner or operator should have remedied may be able to file a successful premises liability claim with help from a construction accident lawyer in Boston.
On the other hand, a trespasser onto a construction site who is there illegally would have a much more difficult time filing a claim. This is because landowners in Boston must only protect trespassers from intentional acts of violence committed by that property owner. However, being an unlawful trespasser may not completely bar you from recovery, depending on your circumstances. If the property owner knew or reasonably should have known about your presence on the property, you might still have a case. If you are a pedestrian who was injured at a construction site, please call our Boston construction accident attorney for help.
Suing Employees and Employers for Boston Construction Site Accidents
A question that many injured parties’ have is who they should sue. On the one hand, a construction worker may be directly responsible for the accident that caused your injuries. On the other hand, the construction company is responsible for safety across the entire construction site. While you may be able to sue both parties in the same lawsuit, we can focus primarily on the construction company as they are more likely going to be able to afford to pay you damages.
Even if the negligent construction worker’s employer is not directly responsible, they are still legally responsible under the principle of respondeat superior. This legal principle holds that an employer is responsible for their employee’s actions performed in the line of duty. So, if a construction worker accidentally runs their forklift into your car, causing you injuries, the construction company is responsible.
The employer’s responsibility for the employee’s actions only extends so far. Generally, an employer will be responsible for their employee’s actions and behavior as long as the employee is acting within the scope of their employment. If the employee deviates from their job duties, their employer might not be responsible for what happens even if they are on the clock. Our Boston construction accident lawyer can help you understand who may be responsible for your accident.
Filing for Workers’ Compensation and a Third-Party Claim for a Construction Accident in Boston
Construction workers who are injured on the job can of course file for workers’ compensation to get coverage for medical bills and lost wages. However, workers’ compensation can be limited and does not pay injured workers the full amount of lost wages but rather a percentage of their average wages. In many cases, injured workers will seek compensation from a third-party claim. Workers generally may not sue their employers, but a third-party claim is filed against someone different. For construction site accidents, this might be a negligent subcontractor who caused your accident.
A third-party claim could be a negligence suit against a subcontractor or a premises liability claim against the property owner. In either case, any damages you win in a third-party case might be higher than any workers’ compensation benefits you are receiving. If you receive money to pay for medical bills under workers’ compensation but then also receive an award in a third-party lawsuit for those same medical bills, you may have to repay some of your workers’ compensation benefits. Essentially, you cannot collect payment twice.
To begin your third-party lawsuit, contact our Boston construction accident attorney.
Why Hire a Boston Construction Accident Attorney?
One prominent challenge facing construction accident lawsuits is gathering evidence. The injured party needs to obtain the legal analysis of experts and engineers in the management of construction job sites to identify potential safety violations. They then need to present a compelling liability argument to show that the Boston construction site accident was caused by the negligence of the defendants. This is done by identifying, obtaining, and interviewing expert witnesses to analyze the evidence.
Our experienced Boston construction accident lawyers could help the individual through this complicated process. We have experience working with construction industry experts and could help the plaintiff put together the evidence needed to develop the case.
Contact Our Boston Construction Accident Attorneys Today
Construction sites are dangerous places even when a person acts with the highest level of caution. Whether you need to appeal a denial of workers’ comp benefits or pursue a traditional personal injury case, a Boston personal injury attorney for construction accidents could help you determine your legal rights and pursue damages from negligent landowners. Contact our Boston construction accident attorney today to get started. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 915-4523 for a free consultation.