Construction Site Accident Lawyers in Kansas City
“In most cases, worker’s comp won’t be enough to cover
your financial losses after a construction site injury. There may be third
parties who are responsible for your injuries. We seek maximum money damages
from every responsible party.”
- Partner, Scott Nutter
Injured on a Construction Job? Call Us.
Construction workers are asked to perform their jobs in the most dangerous environments in the world. Every year, more than a million hardworking men and women are injured on construction sites. Some accidents are simply an act of God. Most, however, are the result of negligence on the part of the property owner, equipment manufacturer and other sub-contractors on site.
Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman is a prominent personal injury trial law firm serving construction workers throughout Missouri, Kansas and the Midwest. We understand the dangerous conditions on a job site and we know how to investigate your accident to uncover every liable party.
Common Types of Construction Site Accidents
A construction site accident refers to any unexpected and undesirable event that occurs during construction activities, resulting in harm to individuals, damage to property, or both. Construction sites are dynamic and inherently risky environments due to the presence of heavy machinery, power tools, scaffolding, elevated structures, and various construction materials. Accidents can occur at any stage of construction, from excavation and foundation work to the completion of the structure.
Common types of construction site accidents include:
- Falls from Heights: Falls from scaffolding, ladders, roofs, or other elevated surfaces are common. Lack of proper fall protection measures can contribute to these accidents.
- Struck-by Accidents: Workers can be struck by falling objects such as tools, equipment, or construction materials. This may happen when items are not properly secured or when workers are in the path of moving equipment.
- Caught-in or Caught-between Accidents: Workers can get caught in or between machinery, equipment, or structures. This includes accidents involving trench collapses, being caught in machinery, or being pinned between heavy objects.
- Electrical Accidents: Contact with live electrical wires or faulty electrical equipment can result in shocks, burns, or electrocution.
- Collapse of Structures: Structural failures, such as the collapse of walls, floors, or scaffolding, can lead to serious injuries or fatalities.
- Trips and Slips: Uneven surfaces, debris, wet conditions, or inadequate housekeeping can lead to slips, trips, and falls.
- Machinery Accidents: Accidents involving heavy machinery, such as cranes, forklifts, bulldozers, and excavators, can occur due to operator error, equipment malfunctions, or inadequate training.
- Exposure to Hazardous Materials: Construction sites may involve the use of hazardous materials, and exposure can lead to chemical burns, respiratory issues, or other health problems.
- Fire and Explosions: Welding, cutting, and other hot work activities can lead to fires. Additionally, the presence of flammable materials can increase the risk of explosions.
Common Causes of Construction Site Accidents
Construction site accidents can result from a combination of various factors, often involving a lapse in safety measures or oversight. Common causes of construction site accidents include:
- Lack of Proper Training: Inadequate training of workers on equipment operation, safety procedures, and emergency protocols can contribute to accidents. Workers need to be well-versed in the tasks they perform and the associated safety measures.
- Poor Communication: Ineffective communication between workers, supervisors, and other stakeholders can lead to misunderstandings and errors. Clear communication is essential for coordinating tasks and ensuring everyone is aware of potential hazards.
- Inadequate Safety Measures: Failure to implement or enforce safety measures, such as fall protection, proper barricading, and personal protective equipment (PPE), can significantly increase the risk of accidents.
- Insufficient Planning: Poor planning, including inadequate risk assessments and lack of coordination among different trades, can result in unforeseen hazards and accidents.
- Faulty Equipment: Malfunctioning or poorly maintained equipment can lead to accidents. Regular inspection, maintenance, and prompt repair of machinery are crucial to prevent equipment-related incidents.
- Human Error: Mistakes made by workers or supervisors, such as misjudgments, failure to follow procedures, or lack of attention, can contribute to accidents.
- Inadequate Housekeeping: Cluttered and poorly maintained work areas increase the risk of trips, slips, and falls. Proper housekeeping practices are essential for maintaining a safe construction site.
- Inadequate Supervision: Lack of proper supervision can lead to unsafe work practices and failure to address potential hazards promptly. Supervisors play a crucial role in ensuring that safety protocols are followed.
- Time Pressure and Tight Schedules: Project deadlines and time pressures may lead to shortcuts and compromises in safety. Rushed work increases the likelihood of accidents.
- Lack of Fall Protection: Falls from heights are a significant risk in construction. Failure to use appropriate fall protection measures, such as guardrails, safety nets, or personal fall arrest systems, can result in severe injuries or fatalities.
- Subcontractor Coordination Issues: Lack of coordination and communication among different subcontractors on a construction site can lead to conflicts, errors, and safety oversights.
- Inadequate Emergency Response Planning: Lack of preparation for emergencies, including medical incidents or fires, can exacerbate the consequences of accidents. A well-defined emergency response plan is essential for mitigating the impact of unforeseen events.
Who is Liable for a Construction Site Accident?
Determining liability for a construction site accident can be complex and often depends on the specific circumstances of the incident. Liability may be shared among multiple parties, and it is typically assessed based on factors such as negligence, contractual obligations, and legal responsibilities.
Here are some key parties that might be held liable for a construction site accident:
- General Contractor: The general contractor is often responsible for overall site safety and coordination. If the accident resulted from a failure in supervision, planning, or implementation of safety measures, the general contractor may be held liable.
- Subcontractors: Subcontractors responsible for specific tasks or areas of the construction site may be held liable if their work or negligence contributed to the accident. This can include improper installation, inadequate safety measures, or other subcontractor-related issues.
- Property Owner: In some cases, the property owner may be held liable for construction site accidents, especially if they are actively involved in the project, have control over the site, or are aware of hazardous conditions but fail to address them.
- Architects and Engineers: Design professionals may be held liable if the accident resulted from a design flaw or if the construction did not adhere to the specified plans and specifications. However, this liability is usually more relevant to design-related issues than on-site safety.
- Manufacturers and Suppliers: If the accident is related to a defective product or equipment, the manufacturer or supplier of that product may be held liable under product liability laws.
- Inspection and Safety Agencies: Entities responsible for inspecting and ensuring compliance with safety regulations may be held liable if they failed to identify hazards or enforce safety standards adequately.
- Individual Workers: Workers who engage in negligent or unsafe behavior may be held individually liable for accidents, especially if their actions directly contributed to the incident.
- Government Entities: Public construction projects may involve government entities. In some cases, liability may extend to the government if the accident was caused by negligence in planning, design, or oversight.
- Equipment Rental Companies: If the accident involves rented equipment, the company that provided the equipment may be held liable if the equipment was faulty or if proper maintenance and safety instructions were not provided.
Although injured construction workers are covered by workers' compensation insurance from their employers in the event of a work-related accident and injury, if an employee suffers an injury caused by a third party (e.g., property owner, manufacturer, etc.), then the injured party may pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Why Turn to Us? Prominence and Results.
Our attorneys have long been known in the legal community as among the best trial attorneys in the Midwest. The many types of recognition they have received include:
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America Directory for more than 25 years
- Top 10 and Top 50 Super Lawyers in Kansas, Missouri, and Kansas City
- Fellows and members of exclusive, invitation-only national trial attorneys associations, including the International Academy of Trial Attorneys (limited to the top 500 trial attorneys in the U.S.)
We have recovered millions of dollars in money damages in settlements and verdicts for victims of negligence throughout the Midwest. In fact, our clients often refer friends, families and co-workers to us because of our commitment to integrity and vigorous representation that is focused on maximum results.
Contact our construction site accident lawyers to learn more about our record of success. Our experienced trial attorneys represent clients in cases throughout Missouri, Kansas and the Midwest.