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How Third Parties Can Be Liable for Construction Worker Falls

 Posted on April 15, 2019 in Construction Accidents

How Third Parties Can Be Liable for Construction Worker FallsFalls cause more deaths at construction sites than any other work-related accidents. Construction workers are sometimes positioned high in the air, making any fall a life-threatening event. Even falls with little or no elevation can be dangerous if the worker falls onto a piece of equipment or hard surface. When seeking compensation for their injuries, many construction workers must file a workers’ compensation claim because their injuries occurred as a result of performing their job duties or negligence by their employer. However, there are situations where a third party was responsible for the fall and is liable in a personal injury lawsuit.

Faulty Equipment

Construction workers use equipment from third-party manufacturers to reach high places and protect themselves while up there. You could file a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer or seller of the equipment if its failure caused your injuries, such as a ladder that collapses or a safety harness that fails to secure you. To hold a third party liable for a faulty product, you must prove that:

  • There was a flaw in the product’s design;
  • The materials used to build the product were substandard;
  • The manufacturer was negligent in constructing the product; or
  • The seller knew of the product’s flaws when you or your employer purchased it.

Unsafe Conditions

You and your employer may lack control over the conditions of the work site if you are working with a subcontractor or other third party. Leaving equipment strewn across the ground or spilling a slick substance may cause you to fall from tripping or slipping. Because this is a third party claim, you must prove that:

  • The outside party created the conditions that caused your fall;
  • The responsible party acted negligently in creating the conditions; and
  • You could not have reasonably foreseen or avoided the accident.

Premises Liability

Construction companies work on sites that other parties own. The property owner has a duty to warn visitors about hazards that they cannot reasonably predict or notice. For instance, a large hole in the ground is easy to notice, but a smaller hole that is partially covered may surprise workers. You can file a personal injury lawsuit against the property owner if a site hazard caused your injury. However, it is more difficult to hold a government entity liable than a private property owner.

Contact a Barrington, Illinois, Personal Injury Lawyer

A personal injury lawsuit can be more valuable than a workers’ compensation claim because the lawsuit can include compensation for pain and suffering. However, you must prove liability when filing a lawsuit against a third party. A Barrington, Illinois, personal injury attorney at Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC, can help you prove that a third party’s negligence caused your injuries. Schedule a consultation by calling 847-381-8700.


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