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 a construction worker at the job site.
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 make a claim for 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 injury claim.
Common Injuries in Boston Construction Accidents
Construction workers who get hurt on the job at a construction site can suffer a variety of injuries including:
- Head Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Spinal Injuries including Herniated Disc Injuries
- Shoulder Injuries
- Ankle Injuries
- Repetitive Stress or Trauma Injuries
Common Causes of Construction Accidents
According to OSHA, falls from heights are the number one cause of construction accidents. The top 10 most frequently cited OSHA health and safety violations are:
- Fall protection
- Hazard communication
- Control of hazardous energy – lockout/tagout for electricity
- Respiratory protection
- Powered industrial trucks
- Fall protection and training
- Machinery and machine guarding
- Eye and face protection
In our law practice, we represent construction workers who were hurt from falls off roofs, ladders and scaffolds. These accidents frequently happen due to lack of fall protection and safety equipment, incorrectly installed scaffolds, faulty or defective equipment or weather conditions especially working at heights during the winter months.
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
Workers injured in construction site accidents have the right to receive workers compensation benefits. These benefits pay for the injured worker’s medical expenses and a percentage of their lost wages.
If the injured workers direct employer did not have worker’s compensation insurance, then the worker may make up a workers comp claim through the contractor that hired their employer or through the general contractor. If the injured worker’s employer did not have workers’ compensation insurance and there were no other contractors on the construction job site, then the worker could make a workers comp claim through the Massachusetts Workers Compensation Trust Fund.
Call our office to speak with a Boston construction accident attorney to get help filing your claim.
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.
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.
Third-Party Claims for a Construction Accident in Boston
Under the Massachusetts workers’ compensation statute, you cannot sue your employer for a work accident. You are limited to filing a workers’ compensation claim through your employer’s insurance company. However, if another person or company caused your construction accident, then you could file a third-party claim in civil court. With a third-party claim, you can recover damages that are not covered by workers comp such as pain and suffering damages.
Frequently, there may be multiple contractors on the construction site who were legally responsible for your construction site accident. These may include another subcontractor and the general contractor.
Pursuant to OSHA health and safety regulations for the construction industry, the general contractor has a non-delegable duty for the health and safety of all workers on the construction site. That means that even if another subcontractor caused your accident, the general contractor may be liable too for violating its non-delegable duty to take reasonable steps to ensure that all contractors working on the construction site follow OSHA safety regulations.
If you receive compensation through a third-party claim in a settlement or court judgment, the workers compensation insurer will have a lien pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 152 §15. Under recent decisions by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Massachusetts Appeals Court, the Section 15 Lien does not apply to pain and suffering or loss of consortium compensation. An experienced construction accident lawyer will not only negotiate the most money possible in the settlement of your third-party claim, but also negotiate the smallest reimbursement of the workers’ compensation lien. That way the injured worker will receive the most amount of money possible from the third-party settlement.
Many construction accident third-party claims are settled in a Mediation, which is a formal settlement conference with a mediator who is usually a retired judge or a senior lawyer. We have had a lot of success settling construction site accident third-party claims at Mediation. A good mediator will keep working with the parties and insurance adjusters until a settlement is reached.
All third-party settlements must be approved by a judge where the lawsuit is pending or an administrative judge at the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. Your construction accident attorney will prepare a Section 15 Petition that summarizes the accident, injuries and medical treatment, the amount of the workers compensation lien. The petition will include the amount of the attorney’s fee, the amount of attorney costs and the amount to be paid for the Section 15 Lien.
To begin your third-party lawsuit, contact our Boston construction accident attorney.
Why Hire a Boston Construction Accident Attorney?
One main challenge facing construction accident lawsuits is gathering evidence. The injured worker 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 third-party claim, 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.