Construction workers often encounter more dangerous situations than other workers. However, this doesn't mean that injuries caused by defective construction tools, equipment, and substances (like asbestos) must be accepted as part of the job. Each state regulates a worker's ability to file a personal injury lawsuit against employers in the construction industry, so you need to know what your rights are before taking any legal action.
Workers' Compensation Laws
All states provide construction workers who are injured on the job workers' compensation insurance, which provides financial assistance while you're out of work recovering from your injuries. Typically, however, the availability of workers' compensation limits or restricts your ability to sue your employer for injuries caused by defective or malfunctioning construction equipment and tools.
Equipment and Tool Manufacturers
Receiving workers' compensation doesn't preclude you from suing the construction product's manufacturer for your damages. Some states impose strict liability on manufacturers, and sometimes even on the vendors who sell the products, when construction tools and equipment are the reason for a worker's injury. This means that if you fall off a defective ladder or get struck in the head by a malfunctioning crane, for example, you don't have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent to win your case.
Manufacturers and Vendors Can Be Strictly Liable
You or your lawyer can assert various claims against the manufacturer and/or vendor of the construction equipment that causes your injury. Strict liability is imposed when the equipment isn't manufactured properly, if the tool's design is inherently flawed, and when the manufacturer doesn't place a warning sticker on the equipment that could have alerted you to possible safety hazards. Vendors of manufacturing equipment can also be strictly liable if they market the product for uses that the manufacturer never intended.
When you decide to sue a manufacturer or vendor, your court award can cover different types of monetary damages. You can get reimbursed for all past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for your pain and suffering. Depending on the severity and permanence of your injuries, pain and suffering awards can be fairly substantial. If your loved one was killed in an accident caused by construction tools and equipment, you can file a wrongful death suit against the manufacturer or vendor and claim strict liability.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
The law surrounding personal injury is complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. For more detailed, specific information, please contact a personal injury lawyer.