Construction Accident Claims
Construction sites can be dangerous places to work. Large, heavy machinery is moving around and you may have to work at height. Workers frequently carry heavy loads and work with fire, chemicals and electricity. So it’s unsurprising that construction has the highest accident rate of any industry according to the Health and Safety Executive.
If you have been injured on a construction site and it was not your fault, you may be able to claim. Our experts have years of experience dealing with accidents on building sites. So they can potentially help get you the maximum compensation you deserve.
Types of construction accident claims
Every year, huge numbers of workers sustain serious injuries on a construction site. Accidents are divided into the following categories:
- Falls from height, for example, from ladders and scaffolding
- Objects falling from height, for example, bricks, masonry, tools and equipment
- Manual handling accidents
- Defective machinery accidents.
- Moving vehicles, such as forklifts and dump trucks
- Welding and chemical burns
- Electric shock injuries.
Of these, lifting and handling accidents are by far the most common cause of injury. Yet it is falls from height that 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 accident claims?
Construction accident claims tend to be very complicated. There are usually many people with various jobs at the site. Because of this, it is not always easy to find out who is to blame. Another company may even be responsible, such as the owner of the site or a company that has supplied materials.
Because of the number of people who could be at fault, there must always be a thorough investigation. This includes investigating the construction site, interviewing witnesses, and reviewing the contractual relationships between everyone involved. In some cases, there will be more than one person responsible for your accident.
It is your solicitor’s job to figure who did what, and whether anyone can be held responsible for your injuries.
What do you have to prove in construction accident claims?
To make a successful 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 recorded the information.
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 are the laws relating to construction sites?
Employers must follow the Health and Safety at Work etc 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 compensation claim. However, it is much easier to prove if it is clear that someone breached a specific health and safety rule.
Do self-employed workers have the right to make construction accident claims?
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 working environment owes you the same duty of care that they owe to their employees. So, if you were working on a self-employed basis, and they failed to follow specific health and safety rules, then you may be able to make a claim.
What if I am injured while visiting a construction site?
Visitors to construction sites are not covered by the same rules that protect workers at the site. 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 their visitors. This includes construction site owners. Owners must ensure visitors wear helmets and the visit should stay within safe, open areas. Site managers are responsible for carrying out good housekeeping to prevent slips, trips and falls.
If the property owner did not follow good health and safety practices then they may be liable if a visitor has an accident.
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 health and safety breaches or issues of risk have been identified. If your injuries are serious, or the incident was serious, then the HSE may investigate. They may take enforcement action against the employer if they detect health and safety breaches.
The type of enforcement action differs according to the seriousness of the incident. Typically, the HSE will issue a notice of improvement. They will then stop certain activities where they 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 imprisonment.
The HSE does not award personal injury 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 very difficult for an employer to deny your claim in these circumstances.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for the 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 been given. 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 partly responsible for your injuries. This is known as “contributory negligence.”
A common example is when a worker chooses not wear a hard hat. He is then injured when masonry falls on his head. By not wearing a hat, the worker did not cause the accident. But it would mean that his injuries might be worse than they would have been if he had taken proper precautionary steps.
In cases with contributory negligence, it is still possible to make a compensation 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.
How much are construction accident claims worth?
Compensation reflects the nature and severity of your injuries. Serious and longer-lasting injuries typically receive more compensation than moderate injuries. This is because they have less of an impact on your quality of life.
Maximum and minimum 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.
How long do I have to claim compensation?
There is a strict 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 claim.
If you have been hurt in a construction accident, we may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve. Our specialist team of solicitors have years of experience in the sector. They have also secured compensation for construction workers injured all over the country.
If we can help, then our solicitors will act on your behalf. They work on a No Win, No Fee basis. This means that if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not pay us a penny.
For further information, and to find out whether you can make a claim, call us today. Or complete and submit our claim form and an advisor will call you to discuss your case at a time of your choosing.
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 us?
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.
Expert solicitors working for you
We specialise in helping victims of injury claim the compensation they deserve.
We work on a No Win No Fee basis, so 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.