Construction work is considered one of the most dangerous occupations. It is crucial for contractors and others to follow Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and other regulations. It is inexcusable for an accident to occur due to a dangerous condition that was known or preventable.

While there are limitations on recovering compensation from your employer on a construction site, it’s important to retain counsel to look at all contributing causes for an accident.

Whether you are a passerby or visitor to a construction site, or you were injured while working at a construction site, call the seasoned Bellingham construction accident lawyers of Walton Law to ask about your legal options.

Legal Representation to Prove Liability for Construction Accidents

Construction accident law centers around personal injury and wrongful death claims that have resulted from construction accidents as well as safety regulations, including OSHA regulations; laws; and standards that govern the construction industry at the federal and state levels.

In the last year, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s ten most frequent violations were as follows:

  • Scaffolding general requirements,
  • Fall protections,
  • Hazard communication standards,
  • Respiratory protections,
  • Control of hazardous energies,
  • Electrical wirings,
  • Powered industrial trucks,
  • Ladder safeties,
  • Electrical system designs, and
  • Machine/machine guarding safeties.

Generally, workers who are injured because of their employer’s negligence are limited to the remedy of workers’ compensation, which is a no-fault benefit for employees injured on the job. However, a construction worker may have a cause of action against another subcontractor, supplier or third party who is at fault for his or her injuries. In most cases, we would need to establish negligence, or that the defendant’s actions fell below the duty of care owed under the circumstances, in order to pursue compensation.

Violations that Cause Injuries

In addition to damages that may be awarded for construction accident injuries, an employer or workplace may also be penalized by federal and state governments for violations of OSHA. Though laws vary from state to state, the federal government has established certain penalties for the various categories of violations. These violations can be used in an action predicated on negligence per se.

Minor violations may be assessed without monetary penalty if OSHA finds the violation does not pose an actual risk to employees. This type of violation may be discussed between a compliance officer and the violating company without issuing a citation. OSHA may impose fines up to $12,500 per violations that present a significant chance of injury or death.

If the violation is a safety violation and someone is injured as a result of it, the violation may be used to show negligence per se. This is a form of liability in which the safety violation must be shown to have caused injuries, but breach of a more-nebulous duty of care need not be proven.

Suing for Willful Violations and Repeat Violations

When a company intentionally violates OSHA regulations and willingly or knowingly put employees in harm’s way, more serious penalties of up to $125,000 per violation for a nonfatal incident, or even more for a fatal incident are assessed. Any company that received a citation within the last 3 years and incurs a subsequent violation may be assessed a fine of up to $125,000.

Sometimes criminal penalties are imposed for willful violations. If you were injured by the willful violation, our lawyers may be able to seek punitive damages, or damages intended to punish and deter wrongdoing.

Consult an Experienced Attorney About Your Construction Accident Injuries

Determining who is truly responsible for a construction accident can be complex. A single negligent act can be catastrophic in the construction environment.

Whether you are a construction worker injured due to unsafe working conditions or a person who suffered an injury while passing by or visiting a site, you have the right to take legal action.

For a free, confidential consultation, please call us directly at (866) 338-7079, or contact us through our online form.

Bellingham Office Location

2219 Rimland Dr Suite 301,
Bellingham, WA 98226
(360) 543-1010