A simple Google search turns up three reports of construction site accidents for the month of August: one involving a GDOT employee in Atlanta, another at a Georgia Water and Power site, and a third where three workers were injured at another power plant in Madison County. We all know construction sites are dangerous, but we don’t often consider how dangerous they are – both for the workers, and the public at large.
Premises Liability and the General Public
There are numerous hazards on any given construction site – broken and uneven pavement, open pits, holes, and unstable structures, all of which could cause serious bodily injury. Construction companies, therefore, owe a duty to the public to ensure that the work site does not pose a hazard to passersby and the general public. As a result, construction companies are obligated to post signs warning of potential hazards, such as “keep out,” “authorized personnel only,” and “do not enter.” In addition, they must keep the site secure by means of fencing, barriers, locked gates, and other means from preventing entry. Construction sites are especially attractive to children, and so particular attention must be paid to keeping them out.
Another thing to consider is the danger of falling tools or other equipment. Scaffolding collapses are especially dangerous to nearby pedestrians. The construction company has a duty to ensure that there is no danger to the public from falling tools and equipment.
One additional consideration is the traffic at a construction site. A busy construction site generates a great deal of traffic, and usually creates unusual and unpredictable traffic patterns. Construction site entrances are often unmarked and are in unexpected places. To make matters worse, the construction vehicles are often heavy equipment such as dump trucks and loaders. In the event of an accident, the driver may not have been negligent, but the location and signage of the construction site entrance may be to blame.
A construction company is negligent when it fails to maintain a safe work site and someone is injured. The company, therefore, may be held liable for the victim’s medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses. However, this is no easy task – the construction company is a corporate entity, and more than likely has a law firm that defends them from all such claims. As a result, if you’ve been injured on a construction site, we strongly recommend that you at least consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in order to understand your options.
Dangers to the Workers
If you’re a worker injured on a construction site, the situation is more complicated. While the construction company also owes a duty to its workers to maintain a safe work site, construction work is dangerous by nature. As a result, it may be difficult to determine whether or not the company was negligent.
Generally speaking, you have two options: (1) you can file a worker’s compensation claim; or (2) you can seek compensation for your injuries by way of a personal injury lawsuit. We reviewed these two options in this post, but it’s important to understand that you can’t pursue both a worker’s compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit. The best advice we can give you is to consult with an experienced personal injury and worker’s compensation attorney.
Contact an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured at a construction site, either as a worker or as someone just passing by, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you sort out your options. The lawyers at Slappey & Sadd have been helping accident victims since 1992, and we’re ready to help you with your case. If you’ve been injured on the job and would like a free consultation, contact us at 404-255-6677 or email us via our online contact form.