Construction worker shaking hands with attorney

Determining Liability at a Construction Site

Construction is one of the most dangerous industries, with the highest injury rate. When you’re injured at a construction site, most employees know that they can get workers’ compensation benefits. 

Typically, these benefits may reimburse you for lost wages and cover medical bills. But that’s generally all you can get from workers’ compensation benefits. 

However, suppose a third party caused the work injury. In that case, you may be able to make a claim or file a lawsuit against the negligent party and seek pain and suffering compensation, above and beyond what you received from the workers’ compensation insurance company. 

These types of lawsuits are called third-party claims. With third-party claims, you have to be able to show that the other party was liable or responsible for your serious injuries. This article will discuss how to generally prove liability in a construction site accident lawsuit.

Common Construction Site Accidents

There are many ways for construction workers to get hurt on the job. So many things could go wrong that could hurt someone. Here are some examples of construction site injuries where third parties could be responsible:

  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Defective machinery
  • Scaffolding collapsing from improper setup
  • Ladder-related injuries
  • Lifting injuries
  • Burns
  • Exposure to dangerous chemicals
  • Electrocution from dangerous, incorrect, or exposed wiring
  • Being hit by heavy machinery like backhoes and bulldozers

These are just a sampling of the many things that could go wrong on a job site. But the main point is that if the accident and injury were caused by someone other than a co-worker or your employer, you have to have evidence that the third party’s negligence caused it.

Examples of Third Parties Who Could Be Liable for a Construction Site Accident

Most construction projects have a general contractor plus many other companies and employees of other companies working at the site. Here are some of the potential parties that could be responsible for a construction site accident and injuries, depending upon the facts of the case.

Property Owner

Every construction site is on property that is owned by someone else. Depending upon the facts of the accident, the owner of the property upon which the construction site is located could ultimately be responsible. 

The owner could be liable just by being the owner of the land. But there are also actions that the land owner either did or didn’t do that could be evidence of specific negligence.

General Contractor

The general contractor is the individual or company that is in control of the construction site and is in control of everything that happens and who works on the site. If you are injured at the job site and work for the contractor or a subcontractor, you could potentially have a third-party claim against the general contractor.


Subcontractors are typically hired by contractors to complete specific tasks, such as a plumber or electrician. Suppose that you are an employee of a different subcontractor, the general contractor, or another entity working on the site. In that case, you could potentially have a claim against a subcontractor that was negligent in some way and caused an injury.

Architects and Engineers

In some cases, the designers of the building can be held responsible under certain circumstances. They create the blueprints that the engineers and general contractors use. If they make a mistake that causes injuries, they can be held liable.

Have a question about construction site injuries?

If you have suffered a construction site accident, you may think that workers’ compensation is your only resource for compensation. But you could potentially file a lawsuit against a third party and seek compensation for pain and suffering. 

The construction site lawyers at Kohan Law Group can help you if you’ve been seriously injured in a Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk), New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island), or Westchester County construction site accident. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.