Each Birmingham construction accident attorney at Cross & Smith is experienced in premises and product liability law. Cross & Smith offers comprehensive personal injury representation and individualized attention to every client. Conveniently located in the Landmark Center, our Birmingham office provides compassionate service to victims injured in construction accidents caused by negligence.
Construction zones are modern minefields dotting the urban landscape. From falling planks and platforms to shooting nails, potential injuries abound. The trend toward faster building and less regulation of the construction industry has made the job more dangerous. These risks are amplified by a system of awarding contracts to the lowest bidder and setting impossible deadlines for completion. Construction accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
Property owners and parties in control of the property, such as general contractors, in Birmingham and elsewhere in Alabama have a duty to keep the premises and work area safe. Often, the contracts executed between the parties to a construction project will contain language regarding responsibility for job site safety. In addition, state and federal law impose certain requirements for the prevention of construction site accidents and injuries. And, Alabama law provides that parties in control of the property are responsible for protecting invitees from unreasonable harm. Invitees may be workers, guests, and other parties on the property at the express or implied invitation of the party in control of the property and there was a business purpose or material benefit for the invitation. Workers rendering services on a construction site provide a material benefit to the party in control of the work area. Property owners breach this legal duty when invitees are injured by a dangerous condition on the premises. A dangerous condition may be anything from an obstruction that causes a slip-and-fall injury to an ungrounded socket causing third-degree burns. In addition to the property owners, managing parties like employers, engineers, foremen, and contractors all have a responsibility to eliminate or repair dangerous conditions. Failure by these parties to train workers, perform safety inspections, and properly fence off dangers in a construction area may constitute negligence.
Construction workers are often injured by the tools of their trade. While some call construction accidents “occupational hazards,” injuries caused by equipment malfunctions and defective machinery are clearly preventable. Manufacturers have a legal duty to ensure products are safe before they enter the market. This protects consumers and workers who would otherwise fall from shoddy ladders, lose limbs to faulty power tools, or suffer chemical and electrical burns. Any flaw in the construction, design, or packaging of the product can be fatal to the end user. Manufacturers must either identify and correct the defect or warn consumers of the dangers to meet their legal duty. Otherwise, they may be strictly liable to parties injured by the defective product.
Most employers in Birmingham and across Alabama are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This program provides benefits to injured employees, regardless of fault. The law in Alabama provides certain limited benefits to employees injured on a construction site accident. These benefits are specific and set out in the Code of Alabama. In addition to workmen’s compensation benefits, employees may have a third party claim against, for example, the property owner, a general contractor or product manufacturer. A complete and detailed investigation of a construction site accident is necessary to determine which, if any, third parties may be liable for the workmen’s injuries. Third party claims require proving fault, but provide the opportunity for monetary damages that are not allowed by workmen’s compensation. If a third-party claim is made, the workmen’s compensation insurance carrier will have the right of subrogation for certain benefits paid. This issue should be addressed as part of the third party claim or lawsuit. An injury award should reflect the liability of not only the employer, but other workers, their employers, subcontractors, and third parties common in construction projects. It should also include “off-site” parties like negligent property owners, engineers, and manufacturers responsible for the injury. Because accidental injuries in construction often involve multiple issues, the ability to recover from all liable parties in a civil suit results in a far greater verdict or settlement for the victim than a single insurance payout.
If you were injured in a construction site accident, contact a skilled Birmingham construction accident attorney of Cross & Smith today. Our attorneys have extensive experience litigating complex cases involving premises and product liability. Whether you were harmed by a dangerous condition or defective product, Cross & Smith researches all liable parties and represents your rights. By controlling the size of our practice and limiting our caseload, we are able to provide each client with personal attention, creating an effective strategy for individual needs. As a result, our seasoned attorneys have been able to recover substantial awards for injured victims in Birmingham and across Alabama. At Cross & Smith, we treat your case with the utmost importance, helping you recover the compensation you need. Call (877) 791-0618 for a free consultation or contact us online.