Can You Sue for a Construction Accident Injury in Massachusetts?
Construction sites are incredibly dangerous areas and should only be entered by trained and experienced workers. Heavy machinery and hazardous equipment are the norms on construction sites, and as such, accidents are not uncommon. Lawsuits for construction site accidents will differ for construction site employees and ordinary people who may have just been passing by.
After a construction site accident, it is possible to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, who you file the lawsuit against may be restricted depending on your circumstances. Workers’ compensation may be required by law and a personal lawsuit against your employer could be barred. However, if other third parties bear some responsibility for the accident, they could be sued instead.
If you were injured at a construction site, whether you are an employee or not, you should call our Massachusetts construction site accident lawyers. We can help you file your claim against the most appropriate defendants so you can claim your damages and move on with your life. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 for a legal consultation with our team.
When You Can Sue for a Construction Accident Injury in Massachusetts
Generally, workers’ compensation would cover injured employees who were hurt in work-related accidents. However, if someone other than an employer was responsible for your accident, you may be able to sue them personally. Potential defendants may include third parties who may have caused the accident or created unsafe conditions.
In construction sites, third parties are quite common. General contractors may hire many different independent subcontractors to do specific jobs. For example, electricians and plumbers may work on the same site but are typically not employed by the same people. These third parties might all be working on the same construction project, but they do not necessarily have the requisite employee-employer relationship needed for a workers’ compensation claim. Therefore, a personal lawsuit may be possible after an on-site accident.
It may also be possible to sue the manufacturer of work equipment that malfunctioned and caused your accident. Construction sites often employ heavy machinery and dangerous power tools to get the job done. Workers rely on this equipment being in proper working order for their own safety and the safety of other workers around them. Sometimes, construction equipment can have defects that make them very dangerous. For example, if the brakes fail to work correctly on a bulldozer, a severe accident could occur. The manufacturer need not be present on the construction site to be responsible for their faulty equipment.
If you want to sue a third party for your accident, reach out to our Boston construction site accident lawyers today.
How Workers’ Compensation Affects Your Right to Sue After a Construction Site Accident in Massachusetts
Ordinarily, workers’ compensation would bar most employees’ rights to sue their employer for a work-related accident. Workers’ compensation is usually an employee’s only option. However, workers’ compensation does not cover specific types of employees, which can include certain independent contractors.
Independent contractors are typical on construction sites, as mentioned previously. Construction projects are often very large and require workers to perform vastly different jobs. Bricklayers, plumbers, electricians, and others may all be hired to do various jobs on one construction site. If they are independent contractors, they may not be covered by workers’ compensation and may be able to sue for work-related accidents.
Even if workers’ compensation covers you, you may still be able to sue if your boss failed to get workers’ compensation insurance. Employers are legally mandated to have the necessary insurance to provide their employees with workers’ compensation. If they fail to obtain this insurance, their employees can sue them for accidents and injuries on the job. Contact our Wakefield construction accident attorneys to discuss your ability to file a personal lawsuit.
Damages from a Construction Site Accident in Massachusetts
When suing for a construction site accident, you need to consider what damages you want to claim. Damages include the injuries and losses you suffered due to your accident on the construction site. Damages are often measured in financial losses, and some less-tangible damages can be challenging to measure. Our Cambridge construction accident attorneys can help you determine your damages for your lawsuit.
Damages typically include any medical expenses you incur as a result of your accident. Medical expenses often involve more than just your emergency room visit on the day of your accident. Medical treatment may be a long-term process that involves multiple treatments and expensive medications. The entire extent of your medical treatment must be factored into your total damages.
While recovering from their injuries, employees will likely need to take time off work. This time away from work undoubtedly means lost wages. If it were not for the accident caused by someone else, you would not have to miss work and lose out on potential earnings. You may claim lost wages as part of your damages. If you do not expect to come back to work any time soon, you can even calculate future lost earnings.
Construction site accidents can be very frightening and traumatic experiences. The injuries you sustain may also be very painful. Pain and suffering should be considered when calculating damages. These kinds of damages are a bit harder to put a price tag on and we may have to call in mental health and medical professionals to get a better idea of what your pain and suffering are worth.
Suing for Construction Site Accidents for Non-Employees in Massachusetts
More than just employees can be injured on construction sites. Construction sites often border public areas where pedestrians and passersby may be at risk. It is not unusual for hazardous construction sites to run alongside public sidewalks. If a pedestrian or passerby were injured in an accident, they could sue for damages. Our Malden construction accident lawyers can help you begin your lawsuit.
Unlike an employee on the construction site, a non-employee would be unrestricted because workers’ compensation rules would not apply. Generally, a non-employee could sue anyone mentioned above, like the site owner and various general and subcontractors. However, a non-employee’s lawsuit will look somewhat different because of their relationship to their defendant.
Non-employees are ordinarily not supposed to be near construction sites for their own safety. If a non-employee is injured in a construction site accident, they must prove that the accident was not due to their own negligence. For example, someone who decides to cut through a construction site as a shortcut might have a weak case. The construction site owner or workers may not owe unknown trespassers a duty of care.
Call Our Massachusetts Construction Site Accident Attorneys for Help
If you were injured in a construction site accident, you might be entitled to damages. Our Massachusetts construction site accident lawyers can help you get the compensation you need and deserve. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 for a legal consultation.