Construction sites can be some of the most dangerous work areas in Richmond. Although there are many safety measures in place, accidents still often happen to both employees as well as nearby pedestrians who may have strayed too close to the site. If you were injured due to construction site negligence, consider retaining a Richmond construction accident premises liability lawyer. A local premises liability attorney could assist in seeking compensation for the injuries and damages you suffered.
Although injuries generally happen to workers at the site, a person with no relation to the construction industry could find themselves involved in an accident due to flying debris or improperly maintained machinery. Construction accidents could also cause portions of the structures to collapse and hit bystanders or drivers.
For employees, some common construction accident injuries result from using power tools, such as a nail or saw going through a finger, dropped objects hitting somebody on the head, and heavy objects falling onto feet and toes. There are also many falls that can occur, including off of structures or through unfinished floors which could cause more serious damage than is seen in other premises liability cases.
Liability for an accident changes if the injured party is an employee at the construction site as opposed to a bystander. If the injured party is an employee, and they were working at the time, their most likely remedy is to go through workers’ compensation rather than through the civil court system.
Compensatory damages for construction accident cases are calculated the same as any other case. Injured claimants may be eligible to recover compensation for their medical bills, including future treatment. An expert witness could testify to what medical treatments the injured party would need in the future. If the claimant is unable to work, they could ask for lost wages.
Non-economic damages, such as for pain and suffering, can also be sought in a personal injury case. Construction workers who are injured on-the-job may only be eligible to recover workers’ compensation benefits, which do not include compensatory damages.
Certain situations could cause punitive damages to be awarded in a construction accident. A local construction accident premises liability attorney will need to prove willful and wanton negligence on behalf of the property owner. This means the owner knew their actions would most likely to cause an injury, such as throwing something off the side of a building. In Richmond, the cap on punitive damages is $350,000.
Smaller construction companies have a reputation of trying to address accident injuries without going through workers’ comp. When one of their workers is injured, the manager will frequently take them to a nearby hospital or clinic to get checked out, pay for it out of their own pocket, and tell the employee that they do not need any more medical treatment.
However, employees have a right to file a claim with workers’ compensation any time they are injured on the job site. It is illegal to fire an employee for filing a workers’ comp claim and they have the right to get proper medical treatment and not just to obey the request of their boss.
Companies, especially the smaller ones, do not want to increase their insurance rates, and will try to put an end to potential claims on their own. Even a mild injury has a chance for long-term problems and should be addressed properly.
Whether you are an employee or a pedestrian, you should not bear the burden of a construction site accident alone. Property owners and companies have a duty to protect the people on their premises and should be held liable when an accident occurs. Reach out to a construction accident premises liability lawyer to discuss your legal options for recovering compensation for damages.