Construction Accident Lawsuit: Causes & Compensation (2024)

Sarah Edwards


Reviewed By Adam Ramirez, J.D.


Read in 4 mins

Construction workers have the highest rate of fatal injuries of any industry. In 2022, construction workers also suffered the eighth-highest number of non-fatal injuries. No matter how you look at it, construction accidents happen often.

Most construction accidents fall under the state’s workers’ compensation laws. This system ensures people who suffer on-the-job injuries have access to medical care and partial wage replacement. However, this guarantee comes at a price. Employees cannot file a construction accident lawsuit against their employers for on-the-job injuries except in narrow situations like intentional harm or uncorrected safety violations.

The immunity given to employers does not extend to third parties. A worker injured on a construction site might have construction accident claims against anyone other than their employer who contributed to their injuries.

Situations When a Construction Accident Lawsuit May Arise

Construction sites may involve dozens or even hundreds of workers. Unfortunately, not all these people carry out their job duties carefully. Once you mix in hazardous materials and dangerous equipment, you could get injured almost every time you head to work.

Since you can only assert construction accident claims against parties other than your employer, they tend to arise in only a few situations, including:

Vehicle Accidents

Vehicle crashes can injure construction workers who drive as part of their job duties. For example, a worker whose job includes picking up and delivering building materials can get into a car accident while on the road. Similarly, road construction workers can get hit by cars while walking around a work zone.

When these crashes result from negligent driving, the injured worker may pursue an insurance claim or injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Thus, suppose that a construction worker was hit by a driver who was texting while driving through a work zone. In this case, the worker would assert that the driver’s inattention constitutes negligence.

Defective Equipment

Construction workers can pursue lawsuits against manufacturers. Product liability claims apply to construction workers just as they apply to consumers. When a manufacturer distributes a defective product, they bear strict liability for any resulting injuries. Strict liability means the manufacturer is liable even if they did not intend to create the defect. They can even be held liable for defects they did not know about.

A lawyer only needs to prove the defect that injured the construction worker existed when it left the manufacturer’s hands. Defective products can include:

  • Defects inherent in a product’s design
  • Defects introduced during manufacturing
  • Defective instructions and warnings

Suppose that you suffered an injury after you slipped on a roof and your safety harness broke. A design defect might involve a hook that was too weak to hold an average worker. A manufacturing defect might be present if the factory used the wrong thread to sew the hook to the harness. If the instructions failed to explain that you had to use two hooks for people over a certain weight, that would indicate a warning defect.

Toxic Materials

Toxic materials fall under product liability claims. Thus, construction workers can assert that a material had a design defect that made it dangerous for all uses, a manufacturing defect that made certain batches dangerous, or a warning defect that failed to explain how to use it.

The difficulty with construction accident lawsuits involving toxic materials is proving causation. If a caustic material splashes on you, causing chemical burns, causation is straightforward. But if breathing toxic fumes causes you to develop lung cancer after 20 years, causation is more tricky.

However, workers have successfully pursued claims for injuries caused by toxic materials. Asbestos was sprayed on pipes and used in floor tiles as fireproofing. Years later, workers developed mesothelioma from breathing the asbestos fibers. Construction workers can claim compensation even though they were exposed several decades ago.


Other businesses on a construction site owe a duty of care to all the workers on site. When they expose workers to an unreasonable risk of injury or death, injured workers can pursue claims against any of those businesses other than their employers.

For example, the owner of a building under renovation might be liable if a construction worker slips and falls in the building lobby due to the owner’s negligence in cleaning up a janitor’s spill. Similarly, an electrical contractor might be liable for negligently connecting a generator that electrocuted workers who tried to use it.

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ConsumerShield and Construction Injury Lawsuits

Construction injury cases often involve high stakes. A construction injury can leave you with permanent disabilities like paralysis, brain damage, or amputation. As a result, you may face a lifetime of expensive medical care and lose your ability to earn a living.

ConsumerShield provides educational resources to help those who have suffered grievous injuries. We can connect you with a lawyer to analyze your case and pursue much-needed compensation. Fill out our contact form for a free case evaluation to learn how we can help you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • You have two main sources of medical benefits after a construction accident. First, you can claim workers’ compensation benefits. Second, you can pursue a third-party claim against any person or business other than your employer that contributed to your accident. To learn about these options, consider contacting a lawyer.

  • There is no standard amount for construction accident settlements. Instead, your settlement will depend on factors unique to you, including your medical bills, lost income, and out-of-pocket expenses. Settlements can also include compensation for pain, suffering, disability, and other non-economic losses.

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified the four most common fatal construction accidents. These accidents include:

    • Falling
    • Being struck by an object
    • Getting caught in or between objects
    • Electrocution

    Roughly 34% of construction deaths involve a fall, making it the most common cause of construction worker death.

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