Determining Liability in Construction Accidents
When It Comes To The Equipment, Who Is Going To Be Potentially Liable? Are There More Product Liability Cases Or Is It Workers Compensation?
No, they are neither. Sometimes our New York construction accident lawyers will handle a products liability case arising out of a construction site accident, but that is only if the equipment itself was recently purchased. Typically there is been wear and tear on the equipment if it is usually older equipment. Under the labor laws, the construction site owner and the general contractor have a responsibility to make sure that all the equipment is safe and that is where the responsibility or liability lies. If there is a failure of the general contractor or a worksite owner to provide for the proper equipment and make sure that workers are using the proper equipment, they are ultimately responsible for the injuries that result. So, you do not have to prove all the elements of a product’s liability case because that only applies to dangerous conditions at the time of sale of a product.
For example, the pump jacks and poles are usually constructed on site by the workers. Usually, it is not a sale issue although certainly if you have defective wood or wood that is sold below grade, then it could potentially be a part’s liability, but certainly there are uses for low grade lumber in construction. In order for there to be liability of a warehouse or a material supply center, they would have to have some specific knowledge of a particular grade that was being ordered and the wood delivered or material delivered would have to be below grade.
On the construction site, if something is improperly used, then it ultimately is the responsibility of the general contractor, land owner, a construction manager or safety site inspector if they have one. That is who can be held liable directly for a labor law violation, and that is in addition to any workers compensation benefits.
Is Anyone Held Responsible In Case If A Trench Or A Building Collapses?
Of course, because our New York construction accident lawyers know that trenches do not collapse and buildings do not collapse unless there is some negligence somewhere. Typically with a new construction, which is more structural components collapsing, you will see more cases where maybe one of the more frequent problems is that something is not properly positioned. It could be part of the ceiling or part of a ceiling in a new construction is not properly constructed where it shifts or if it is overloaded. If some of the engineers did not properly assess the amount of support that was necessary to support an existing structural component, then there is definitely negligence or liability on behalf of the site owners. Our construction accident lawyers have significant experience in handling all types of construction accident cases.
In case of trenches, they are required to be short and braced. If it is not short and braced and they collapse or cave in, then the general contractor and land owner are responsible for that. For example, in any trench or excavation, you are supposed to have either shores, struts or braces that are of adequate size to provide stiffness and are adequately braced to withstand any loads imposed on the sides of the trenches which are supposed to keep it from collapsing.
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