DC Construction Accident Damages

Construction sites are dangerous places. The heavy machinery and large building materials can pose a threat to the safety of others, resulting in construction accidents. Construction accidents are accidents that occur when someone is at a construction site. If you have been injured in a construction accident, speak with a qualified construction accident attorney that could help. You may be entitled to DC construction accident damages and an experienced legal advocate could help you recover the damages that you deserve.

How do Construction Accidents Happen?

Generally, if someone is walking near the construction site and debris will fall off and hit them or they will trip and fall on construction debris. If the injured party is not an employee, then there is no workers’ compensation. They can sue any party involved in the construction and pursue DC construction accident damages, but also contributory negligence is still a factor.

How Liability Changes if the injured Party is an Employee of the Construction Site

 If the injured party is working on a construction site, they cannot sue their own employer because there is workers’ compensation. If they are hurt and there is not only their employer but other parties  involved, then if they can show that there is an OSHA violation at the site, then the affirmative defense of contributory negligence is struck which means that even if someone is partially at fault, if they can show there is a health and safety violation, then they are not held liable for their own negligence.

Common Injuries From Construction Accidents

Common construction accident injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Fractures
  • Death
  • Paralysis
  • Soft-tissue injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Knee injuries
  • Wrist injuries
  • Ankle injuries
  • Foot injuries

How do Construction Accident Injuries Differ From Premises Liability Injuries?

The severity of the injuries in a construction site does not differentiate the case from other types of premises liability cases. The only thing that is different is that if a person can show an OSHA violation, there is no contributory negligence which is significant because contributory negligence is a major factor on other premises cases whereas in a construction site, if it becomes a non-issue, then the case is much more powerful.

Calculating Damages in Construction Accident Cases

There are two types of DC construction accident damages, economic damages and non-economic damages. Both can be divided in past and future.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are medical bills and lost wages, and those are calculated by the cost of the person’s prior medical bills, the cost of their future medical care and their lost wages which are lost wages from the date of the accident up to the date of the verdict, and if the person cannot go to work, the present-day value of the lost wages moving forward.

Past medical bills are determined by the costs of the medical treatment received as the result of the injury. Past lost wages are the time the person missed some work compensated and if they cannot work again in the future, any medical care in the future would also be entitled to the present-day value of both of those things.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages and compensatory are conscious pain and suffering which is the amount or value that a jury attributes to pain and suffering that the person went through as a result of the accident.

Punitive Damages

Another type of DC construction accident damages that an individual could potentially recover is punitive damages. If they can prove that a construction site had a series of violations, that they were warned about it, but the same violations they already cited for on multiple occasions, were not fixed and then that causes a serious injury to someone, that might be the kind of situation where there would be punitive damages. There is no cap on punitive damages in DC.

Role of Contributory Negligence in Construction Accidents

DC is a contributory negligence jurisdiction. If a person has contributory negligence in the absence of the OSHA violation, then they cannot recover anything. If there is an OSHA violation, then the defense of contributory negligence is inapplicable so it does not factor into an award that a jury could give. It would factor into the value of the settlement but it would not factor into a jury’s determination.

Steps to Take Following a DC Construction Accident

If you have been injured in a construction accident, the first thing that you should do is make a report. You should report it to somebody at the work site and you should seek medical treatment and tell them how you got hurt. Following medical treatment, speak with a skilled construction accident attorney. A determined lawyer could work diligently to help you recover the DC construction accident damages that you deserve.