Unfortunately, accidents often happen on construction sites. Worse yet, because of how dangerous a construction site is, these accidents often leave workers with serious injuries. If you were hurt on a construction site, you could be entitled to compensation that can help cover medical expenses, lost wages, and more. Getting these damages paid, however, can sometimes be difficult.
Columbia construction accident and injury lawyers work to help victims of serious accidents and their families get the compensation they need. If you were injured – whether as a worker or as someone walking or driving through a construction site – an attorney may be able to help you hold the construction company or other negligent people responsible for your injuries.
For a free case consultation, contact Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers today. Our Columbia, SC construction accident and injury lawyers work to help our clients and their families get compensation to help them through these troubling times. Call (803) 451-4000 to set up a free legal consultation with our attorneys.
Filing a Lawsuit for Injuries that Occur on a Construction Site in South Carolina
Victims of construction accidents are often entitled to file a claim for their injuries. Sometimes, Workers’ Compensation is the only system where victims can claim compensation, but construction injuries sometimes fulfill the parameters to file an actual claim or lawsuit.
When you are injured at work, you can file a Workers’ Compensation claim to get compensation without having to prove fault. However, the damages paid often cover only 2/3 of your lost wages, and there are no damages for pain and suffering. If you are able to sue for your injuries instead, you will need to prove how the injuries occurred and who was at fault. If able, this process can allow you to access higher damages.
Construction workers are sometimes employees of the construction firm or employees of a contractor that are covered by Workers’ Compensation, but many others are independent contractors. Electricians, masons, and other contractors or subcontractors are often hired on a contract basis, so they are not covered by Workers’ Compensation insurance. These workers can sue whoever is at fault for their injuries, whether that be the construction firm, another contractor, or even someone else not affiliated with the project. For example, contractors can often be injured in vehicle accidents at the construction site.
Other workers can also sue third-party defendants. Workers’ Compensation rules block you from suing your own employer, but they do not limit your right to sue contractors, drivers, manufacturers of defective equipment, or others. Talk to one of our Columbia, SC construction accident and injury lawyers about your ability to sue for a construction injury.
Common Construction Injuries in Columbia, SC
Injuries can range in severity from minor cuts and scrapes to severe, life-altering injuries. Regardless of how “serious” the injury is, the courts look at the consequences when addressing lawsuits: if you faced pain and suffering, lost wages, or medical expenses from the accident, you should get compensation.
Construction site injuries often fall into a few different categories and types of injuries. Some of these injuries – like cuts, scrapes, and burns – might not be severe enough to keep you from working. However, more serious injuries like the following can often lead to high-dollar damages:
- Serious lacerations and cuts
- Broken bones
- Burns (electrical, heat, and chemical)
- Head injuries
- Back and spine injuries
These injuries can happen in many different ways, with construction sites facing many different types of accidents:
- Car accidents involving construction site workers
- Malfunctioning or defective power tools and equipment
- Malfunctioning or defective safety gear
- Miscommunication about live wires leading to electrocution
- Negligent clean-up or repair leading to trip and fall or slip and fall injuries
- Dropped tools
- Falling or collapsing structures or equipment
- Crane injuries
- Loading and unloading injuries
Proving Fault in a Construction Accident in South Carolina
If you were hurt, you will need to prove who was at fault for your injuries before the court can award damages. Proving fault typically starts by addressing the relationship between the victim and the defendant and the duty that this places on the defendant. From there, the court needs evidence of how a breach of this duty caused the injuries and damages.
To prove that a duty existed between the defendant and the victim, you must look at their relationship. Employers owe their employees a safe workplace with reasonable training and precautions to avoid injuries. OSHA might also require more specific training and safety practices, violations of which can constitute a breach of duty.
Evidence of a breach of duty is sometimes obvious. Things like testimony about missing equipment or malfunctions can help show the court how the duty was breached. Sometimes other evidence is required, potentially including expert testimony and reports. For example, to prove that a driver was drunk when they crashed into a roadside construction crew, you may need to get a blood test report from the police or even have a lab technician come to testify about the drunk driver’s results.
Proving that the negligence actually caused the injury is a necessary step in any accident injury case. Sometimes accidents are inevitable, and it is possible that the accident might have happened even if everyone was doing everything they were supposed to do. These kinds of unavoidable accidents can be difficult to claim compensation for because you cannot prove that the defendant actually caused the accident.
Some accidents happen without injury. Typically, you cannot sue for mistakes that did not actually harm you physically or mentally. Because of this, you must be able to prove what injuries and damages you suffered in the accident.
Our Columbia Construction Accident and Injury Attorneys Can Help
If you or a loved one was injured on a construction site, call (803) 451-4000. The Columbia, SC construction accident and injury lawyers at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers are available for free legal consultations to help with your potential injury case.