Building Site Accident Claims *
It is essential to take all necessary safety precautions on a building site as by their nature present challenges to working safety on a daily basis. Building sites have the highest injury rates of all working environments by a considerable margin. Employers of building sites have a responsibility to ensure that the best possible safety procedures are carried out and followed. If an employer is seen to be negligent to any safety hazards causing personal injury * to a person they may then be held accountable. If you or a family member have suffered a personal injury * on a building site as a result of unfit working conditions contact our team of personal injury solicitors * and tell us about your case.
Employer’s duties to towards building site workers
Employers have a duty to ensure safety standards are met in the workplace, which in theory should help to minimise the amount of building site accidents *. Some of the safety standards include:
- Employers must provide a safe workplace for all workers
- Ensure that there are a safe entrance and exit to a from the site
- Necessary training must be provided for all aspects of the building site, such as safe pass programme, manual handling, appropriate licences for driving different machinery and training for work with dangerous machinery
- Ensure that all workers working at a height are secured and stable
- Provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all workers
- Store all equipment adequately and ensure employees are protected from falling objects.
Common types of building site accidents *
Building site workers are susceptible to many different forms of safety challenges. The most common type of injuries on a building site are lifting and handling accidents *.
It is important that the employee abides by all safety instructions given to them by management. A building site must be constructed for the safety of all employees in order to prevent and avoid any injuries from occurring. Some of the most common types of building site accidents * include:
- Lifting and handling awkward loads
- Falling down from unsecured ladders, roofs or scaffolding,
- Defective equipment
- Explosion, fire or electrocution
- Crushing injuries due to collapsed structures or buildings,
- Being stuck from falling objects such as tools
- Industrial deafness from exposure to excessive noise
If you have suffered from any of the personal injuries * mentioned or any form of workplace accident * it is advisable that you speak with a solicitor as soon as possible if you have decided to pursue a claim.
Making a Claim
If you find yourself in a situation where you suffer an injury on a building site and have decided to pursue legal action, it is important to follow a set of recommended guidelines firstly for your own safety and secondly to ensure the claims process runs as smoothly as possible for you.
1. Seek Medical Attention
The biggest priority is your own health and safety. Get treated and examined by a medical practitioner as soon as possible. Any contact information of emergency services workers present at the building site should be obtained.
2. Report the accident
It is critical to report the accident to the manager or foreman working on site. It doesn’t matter how small you think the accident may be. By law, building site accidents * are required to be reported if the person is injured and can’t perform their daily work tasks for more than three days. Make sure to fill out an Accident Report Form. This can be used in reference to any medical examination and will also prevent any similar accidents that could happen in the future.
3. Identify Witnesses
If possible try to collect the contact details of anybody that witnessed the accident. This may be of good use if you do decide to pursue a building site accident claim *.
4. Document the Incident
Keep a record of the details of how the accident happened, who was involved, keep pictures of the scene, medical reports, details of any expenses incurred, hospital bills, details of any loss of earnings. Your solicitor will need this information as you move forward with your claim.
5. Speak with a Solicitor
Having a solicitor involved early in the process can help to ensure that your claim runs as smoothly as possible. Your solicitor will help you in gathering all necessary documents, submit your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment and assist you in bring your case to a close.
The settlement of a case will vary as each case will be different. Generally, the settlement procedure would work as follows (of course, this is subject to change and your solicitor will keep you informed at each stage of the process):
- Your solicitor will submit your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment
- The Injuries Board assess your case and revert with a suggested compensation amount
- You then decide whether to accept the amount suggested or to reject and move the next stage of the process
- If both parties accept the compensation suggest, then your case will be settled at this point.
- If one of both parties decline the suggested settlement amount then you move to the next stage of the settlement process
- In cases where the Injuries Board assessment is not agreed to, then legal proceedings are issued and your case moves forward to a court hearing.
- Before the court hearing, settlement talks do take place. In most cases, a case is resolved, settled and compensation agreed at the settlement talks before having to step foot into a courtroom.
- If your case is not settled at the settlement talks stage then your case moves to a court hearing where a Judge will make a decision on your case.
Settlement talks are a good opportunity for your legal team to talk to the other side’s legal team to settle any disagreements on what costs are to be awarded. Costs awarded usually consist of an amount for the injury itself and added expenses you may have incurred, these claims are called damages:
- General Damages: Non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following the incident and impact of the injury on your quality of life.
- Special Damages: Out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the accident * for example, loss of earnings (if you were out of work), future loss of earnings for extended time out of work, medical bills, future medical bills, and any added travel costs as a result of the injury, for example, travel to and from the hospital.
Defective Building Work
Suppose that an accident occurred following the completion of a building and the cause of the accident was defective building works – in this case who is responsible for the accident?
It is normally not until the builders have long gone that a construction defect that is concealed becomes apparent. The people responsible for the construction of the building have a duty of care to ensure that the building is of a certain standard. Therefore, contractors, architects and engineers on a project are usually the people responsible for repairing construction defects.
Latent defects clause
In the construction contract when building a property and also in a contract for the sale of a property a latent defect clause may exist. This clause provides that the owner of the building with a certain amount of time to highlight any construction defects in the building, which must then be remedied by the contractors, architects and/or Engineers involved.
Even if no latent defect clause exists in the contract or it has expired, it may be possible to pursue the responsible parties by way of breach of contract or a case for negligence.
You could be entitled to pursue a claim for repairs of the property defects and any other problems associated with it.
Taking legal action for a construction defect may also include the stress and inconvenience of a defective premises, re-decorating or recouping the cost of relocating whilst the repair works are carried out.
Legal time limits
Dependant on the type of situation, the legal time limits to make a claim * can vary. For most cases, a person has two years from the date of the accident to make a building site accident claim *.
The Injuries Board
Building site accident * claims must be passed through the Injuries Board for assessment before proceeding to settlement or to court. For more information on the Injuries Board application and assessment process, feel free to contact our dedicated personal injury * team.
Tell Us About Your Case
If you have suffered from a building site accident injury *, our team of local personal injury solicitors * in Dublin are available to answer any queries you may have. For a confidential discussion, please call Maria Lakes on 01 649 9900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and to tell her about your case. If you rather we call you please do feel free to tell us about your case by leaving your details along with a message outlining your query on the form below and we can call you back.
With 30 years’ experience as specialist personal injury solicitors *, Tracey Solicitors, ensure not to overwhelm you with legal jargon and can provide you with legal advice and guidance with your best interest at heart, in a language that you can understand.