Construction Site Accident Claims
Have you had an accident on a building site?
Construction sites can be dangerous places. When working or visiting a construction site, you may be met with heavy machinery. You may also have to work at height, carry heavy loads, or even work with dangerous chemicals or electricity. It is therefore unsurprising that construction accidents are the highest across any industry, according to the Health and Safety Executive.
Here at The Compensation Experts, we help victims of construction site accidents. These include falls from scaffolding and ladders, those hit by moving works vehicles and forklifts, or those who have had an electric shock. Their injuries may vary from mild to severe. However, one thing they have in common is that the accident could have been avoided.
Employers have a duty of care to make sure construction sites are safe for both workers and visitors. If you have had a construction site accident, even if you are not sure if it was a genuine accident or one due to negligence or error, The Compensation Experts are happy to assist.
At The Compensation Experts we offer a No Win No Fee* contract (*Conditions may apply. Please see details at the bottom of the page) which removes the financial risk of paying legal fees upfront.
What is a Construction Accident Claim?
A construction accident claim allows you to claim compensation for accidents that occur on a building site that aren’t your fault. Construction accidents can happen when employers are negligent in their duty of care.
Construction Accident Claim Types
There are many different types of accidents that you can have on a construction site, including:
- Falls from height, for example, from ladders and scaffolding
- Objects that fall from height
- Manual handling accidents
- Defective machinery accidents.
- Moving vehicle accidents, such as forklifts and dump trucks
- Welding and chemical burns
- Electric shock injuries
Lifting and handling accidents are by far the most common cause of injury. Yet falls from height cause the most serious injuries. These range from broken bones and head injuries to internal injuries and paralysis. They may even result in death. Falls from height account for approximately 30% of all construction accident claims.
Who is Responsible for Construction Site Accidents?
Construction site accident claims tend to be complicated as there are usually many people with various jobs working on the site. Because of this, it is not always easy to determine who is to blame for accidents. It is even possible that another company may be responsible, such as the site owner or a company that supplies materials.
Because of the number of people who could be at fault, there must always be an investigation before you can make a construction accident claim. This includes investigating the construction site, interviewing witnesses, and reviewing the contractual relationships between everyone involved. In some cases, more than one person may be at fault for a construction site accident.
It is your solicitor’s job to figure who did what, and if anyone is responsible for your injuries.
They may also ask you if your employer:
- Carries out risk assessments of access to the site, and the tools you use
- Educates you about the dangers of your job, and gives you training on how to use tools correctly
- Provides the correct protective equipment for your role, such as noise defenders and hard hats
- Has procedures in place for clearing away spillages
- Regularly schedules maintenance of equipment to ensure it is safe to use
If the answer to any of these statements is “no”, the personal injury solicitors we work with at The Compensation Experts may be able to help you with your construction accident claim.
An example of a successful claim for compensation for a construction accident was an electrician who slipped when walking on a wet gangplank. Although there was no blame for the wet weather, the walkway was too steep with foot plates too narrow to provide adequate grip. The victim injured his knee and because he was a self-employed contractor, he lost income due to being unable to work while it was healing.
What if you are Partly Responsible for the Construction Site Accident?
Employees and the self-employed, as well as employers, have certain duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Specifically, you must comply with workplace safety practices and follow the safety training that you have had. There is an expectation that you will take reasonable care for your own safety, and the safety of others.
If you don’t behave responsibly, and have an accident, then the Court may decide that you are partly responsible for your injuries. This is known as “contributory negligence.”
A common example is when a worker chooses not to wear a hard hat. He has an accident where masonry falls on his head. By not wearing a hat, the worker did not cause the accident, but his injuries might be worse than they would have been if he had worn his hard hat.
In cases with contributory negligence, it is still possible to make a claim. The Courts will divide blame between everyone who played a part in the accident. For example, the Court may decide that the Defendant was 75% responsible for your injuries, and you were 25% responsible.
Once blame is divided, the compensation is reduced by the percentage of your portion of the blame. In this example, you would receive 75% of your compensation.
Who is Responsible if you are Self-employed?
If you are self-employed and have an accident, you should not assume that you cannot make a claim. If you are self-employed, an employer is still responsible for your safety.
In most cases, it is impossible to distinguish between employed and self-employed workers on a construction site. Legally they should treat you exactly the same. Any company that has control over your workplace owes you the same duty of care that they owe to their employees. So, if you were self-employed, and they failed to follow health and safety rules, then you may be able to make a construction accident claim.
The Law Relating to Construction Accident Claims
Employers must follow the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to keep their employees safe. Employers must provide their workers with a safe working environment, training, adequate supervision, and safe, risk-assessed work processes.
Other legislation includes:
- The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM)
- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH)
- Manual Handling and Operations Regulations
- Work at Height Regulations
- Electricity at Work Regulations
- Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations
- Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations
- Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER)
- Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations.
They are important as they set out the standard expected of an employer in charge of a construction site. You still have to prove negligence to bring a construction accident claim, however, it is much easier to prove if it is clear that someone breached a health and safety rule.
What do you have to Prove in a Construction Accident Claim?
To make a construction accident claim, you must show that someone had a duty of care to you which was not followed. You must also show that this was the cause of your injuries.
It is up to you to prove your claim. It will help if you keep a record of the following:
- The date and time of the accident
- The address of the site
- The contact details of any witnesses
- Who you reported the accident to
- Details of any medical treatment you had
- Photographs of the scene of the accident
- A copy of the accident report, or details of who filled it in
The more detail you can provide, the more likely it is that you will be able to convince the other side and the Court of your claim.
What is the Role of the Health and Safety Executive in Construction Accident Claims?
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is an independent watchdog that oversees work-related health and safety. Their aim is to protect the health, safety and welfare of people at work.
The HSE has powers to enforce the law when there are health and safety breaches or issues of risk. If you suffer a construction site accident and your injuries are serious, or the incident was serious, then the HSE may investigate. They may take action against the employer if they detect breaches.
The type of enforcement action differs depending on the seriousness of the incident. Typically, the HSE will issue a notice of improvement. They will then stop certain activities that create serious risks. Finally, they will prosecute those responsible for serious transgressions. Anyone found guilty of serious health and safety breaches faces an unlimited fine. They may also face prison.
The HSE does not award compensation. They will have no involvement in your construction accident claim. However, it is beneficial to await the outcome of the HSE investigation. This is because it will determine whether the employer was acting outside health and safety laws. It would be difficult for an employer to deny your claim in these circumstances.
What if you are Injured While Visiting a Construction Site?
Visitors to construction sites are not covered by the same rules that protect workers. If a construction site accident occurs however, in most cases, a claim for compensation may still be made.
Property owners must follow The Occupiers Liability Act of 1957 to keep their property free from hazards that might injure visitors. This includes construction site owners. Owners must ensure visitors wear helmets and the visit should stay within safe, open areas. Site managers are also responsible for carrying out good housekeeping to prevent slips, trips and falls.
If the construction site owner did not follow good health and safety practices then they may be to blame if a visitor has an accident.
Claiming Compensation for Construction Accident Injuries
If you’ve been injured in an accident on a building site, contact The Compensation Experts and ask about our No Win No Fee* service (*Conditions may apply. Please see details at the bottom of the page). We work with an experienced panel of personal injury law firms who will help build a construction accident claim. There is no need to worry if you’re unsure whether you have grounds for a claim, as we will help determine that before you commit to anything. This is in a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our friendly advisors.
There is a three-year time limit for starting construction accident claims. If you do not apply to the Court before then, it is unlikely that you will be able to make a claim.
Call The Compensation Experts today, or fill in our online form and let us know when you would like us to call you back.
How Much Could Your Construction Accident Claim be Worth?
The level of your construction accident claim compensation will depend on your injuries and the severity of the incident. Serious and longer-lasting injuries typically receive more compensation. This is because they usually have more of an impact on your life.
Figures for each type of injury are recommended in the Judicial College Guidelines. Solicitors, insurance companies and Courts use these when valuing your claim.
You can also claim compensation for out-of-pocket expenses. It is known as special damages, and includes travel expenses, medical bills, lost earnings, and personal care. If your injuries mean you have to stop work, then you can also claim for future loss of wages.
Need some help?
Am I eligible?
If you have been harmed physically in the last 3 years due to someone else’s negligence, the short answer is yes.
Exceptions to this are for instance industrial disease or if you were a child at the time of the accident. In this case you may have a longer period to claim.
How much could I claim?
As every injury is different, the amount of compensation can differ case to case. Varying factors lead to the final figure. These include: extent of your injuries, loss of earnings, future losses and more.
Our dedicated team of experts will give you an indication of how much you could potentially claim for.
How does the process work?
We understand that when making a claim it’s important to know what to expect and when to expect it. That’s why we make the process as transparent & clear as possible.
Your solicitor will gather all the evidence and will notify the negligent party that you wish to begin claim proceedings. With your solicitor negotiating on your behalf, you will be up to date every step of the way.
Why should you use The Compensation Experts?
No Win No Fee*
We assess all claims on a No Win No Fee basis, then we can determine how successful a claim is likely to be. This service is 100% free.
We assess each claim on its merits with the information you provide. This then helps us determine its likely success rate.
Our dedicated panel are experts in securing compensation no matter the injury.
Our personal injury solicitors are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you while providing expert support every step of the way.
Personal Dedicated Solicitors
Each client has their own Personal Injury solicitor who will work on the case from start to finish, being there every step of the way. The client will have a direct phone number and direct email address of the solicitor.
Construction Site Claim Experts Working for You
We work on a No Win No Fee basis – if we don’t win your case you don’t pay! Once you make contact, our experienced team will work to recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to. However, you should be aware that the panel of solicitors we work with may charge up to 25% of the total compensation awarded if your claim is successful. Further, if you terminate the agreement before your claim for damages ends you may also be liable to pay basic charges including (but not exclusively) disbursements, and barrister’s fees.
Whether you are ready to make a construction site accident claim, or you would just like a free conversation with a legal professional, we have trained advisors on hand to give you all the information you need. Take the first step to getting what you deserve by filling in our quick contact form and we will call you back whenever suits you.