Types of Construction Accidents
Your attorney will need to carefully examine the details of your case to determine who is liable for causing your injuries. To do this, they will need to closely review the type of construction accident you were involved in.
Under the worst conditions, construction accidents can take virtually any form. Some common types of accidents include:
- Scaffold accidents
- Ladder accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Crane accidents
- Falling from elevated heights
- Being struck by falling objects
- Explosions and fires
- Forklift accidents
- Demolition accidents
If you have been involved in another type of construction accident that was not listed above, you may have the right to financial compensation.
Find out more about what legal options may be available to you when you reach out to a construction accident attorney in Pennsylvania for help.
Laws Related to Construction Accidents
Several personal injury laws could have a dramatic impact on the outcome of your construction accident claim in Pennsylvania. The first is the statute of limitations.
Under Pennsylvania 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5524, personal injury claims, including construction accident civil claims, must be filed within the two-year statute of limitations. If the statute of limitation expires before you have had an opportunity to file your claim, you lose the opportunity to recover the compensation you would otherwise be entitled to.
Pennsylvania Comparative Negligence Laws
You should also be aware of Pennsylvania’s modified comparative negligence system under Section 7102 of the Pennsylvania General Assembly with a 51% bar rule. If your portion of fault does not exceed 50%, you can still recover compensation for the portion of blame that is not yours.
For example, if you were using your cell phone on a construction site when you were suddenly hit by a falling object, the judge might find you 10% liable for your injury. To hold you accountable for your portion of fault, you could expect your injury settlement then be reduced by 10%.
If you have questions or concerns surrounding how your construction accident insurance and civil claims could be affected by Pennsylvania’s personal injury laws, do not hesitate to contact your construction accident attorney in Lancaster for more information.
Workers’ Comp or Construction Accident Lawsuit?
After your construction accident, there may be several ways you could collect compensation for your damages. The first is by filing a claim with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider. Your workers’ compensation benefits might consist of:
- Coverage of your medical expenses
- Disability benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits
- Death benefits for surviving family members
However, workers’ compensation benefits may not always be enough to fully cover your damages. You may also need to be prepared to pursue insurance or civil claims against the liable parties.
If you are not a construction worker or construction site employee, you will not have the right to file workers’ compensation benefits unless you were injured on the job. Instead of pursuing workers’ comp, you will instead move forward with insurance or civil claims depending on the details of your case.
After reviewing the circumstances of your construction accident, your attorney can give you a better idea of which avenues are most likely to produce a favorable outcome in your case.
Your construction accident lawyer in Pennsylvania will be responsible for establishing liability after your accident. This may be one of the only ways you can recover a total compensation for your damages, depending on your status as an employee.
Due to the complex nature of construction sites, several parties could share liability for the injuries you sustained. Some of the individuals and entities who are frequently found liable for construction accidents in Pennsylvania include:
- Construction equipment manufacturers
- Other third parties
Your attorney will need to closely evaluate the evidence in your case to determine which individual or entity should be held accountable for your construction accident injuries.
Proving Construction Negligence
Since establishing liability is an important part of your construction accident claims, we will need to gather powerful evidence to support your case. Many different types of evidence could be used to prove culpability after a construction accident, including:
- Photos of the accident scene
- Video of the accident
- Photos of your injuries
- Witness statements
- Forensic evidence
- Safety inspection reports, or lack thereof
- Police and crash reports
- Reports from accident reconstructionists
Evidence of this nature will go a long way in helping to establish negligence. The four elements of negligence must be met for your case to be successful with the insurance company and in civil court. The four elements of negligence include:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
Damages Possible in Construction Accidents
When someone else’s negligence causes your injuries, you should be compensated accordingly. You have the right to be repaid for every loss you suffer. Often categorized as either economic or non-economic, the various damages you could recover as part of your construction accident claim include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Lost wages or diminished earning capacity
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Medical expenses
- Property damages
- Diminished quality of life
You may also be entitled to punitive damages if the judge finds the defendant’s actions reprehensible or grossly negligent.