The construction accident injury litigation firm of Zachar & Associates, P.C. is a personal injury and wrongful death law firm, located in Phoenix, Arizona, serving victims of negligence and misconduct in communities throughout Central Arizona. Experienced trial attorney Christopher Zachar has earned an excellent reputation, and he is recognized for providing effective representation that is focused on helping injured construction workers seek full and fair compensation for their injuries suffered on the job.
There are many different parties who may be liable when a construction worker suffers an on-the-job injury, including the property owner, the general contractor, sub-contractors, architects or other designers, engineers, construction managers and suppliers (equipment and materials). The number of potential liable parties depends on how large and sophisticated the project is. While many construction projects are based on general contract relationships (where a general contractor retained by the site owner enters into agreements with sub-contractors as needs require), larger projects are increasingly being handled by “construction management” organizations.
If you or your loved one has suffered injuries as the result of a construction accident, preserve your legal rights by speaking with an attorney about your case. A lawyer experienced in construction accident and injury litigation at Christopher J. Zachar in Phoenix, Arizona can explain your options to you.
Potential Liable Parties
To determine who may be liable for injuries resulting from a construction accident, it is helpful to take a close look at the duties and legal responsibilities of individuals who may be involved in the construction project at issue:
· Construction site property owners
Generally, landowners have a duty to keep and maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. If someone is injured on their property, landowners will be liable if they knew or should have known of the dangerous condition. Whether or not the property owner of the construction site will be liable for any injuries depends on the amount of control over the property exercised by the property owner. If the landowner turned over control of the premises to an independent contractor, the landowner may not be liable for a construction worker’s injuries.
· General contractors and sub-contractors
Both the general contractor and sub-contractor must provide workers a construction site that is reasonably safe and they have a legal duty to warn of any defects or hazards at the site (as well as any hazards inherent in the work being performed). Typically, a general contractor or sub-contractor will have a duty to make sure that, to the extent they have been delegated control over a portion of the work being performed at a construction site, work is being performed safely. This duty extends to the hiring of reasonably competent employees, and ensuring compliance with safety regulations.
· “Prime” contractors
Prime contractors share similarities with both general and sub-contractors, depending on the specific construction project at issue. While a general contractor has responsibility for the entire project, a prime contractor is responsible only for the work that is identified in his or her prime contract. A prime contractor also is responsible for any work that he or she chooses to delegate to sub-contractors, and has exclusive responsibility over those sub-contractors (including as to payment and work quality).
· Architects and engineers
These design professionals can be charged with differing amounts of responsibility for a construction project, and often the best way to determine the extent of that responsibility is to look to the design professional’s contract with the site owner. Duties can include progress observation to ensure compliance with plans and specifications, and site inspection to ensure compliance with code regulations. Aside from any duty specifically identified in the relevant construction contract, these design professionals are held to certain accepted standards in performing professional services during the design and/or construction phases of the project. An architect or engineer can be held liable for any injuries suffered by construction workers as a result of their failure to meet those standards.
· Manufacturers of construction machinery or equipment
Manufacturers of defective construction machinery or equipment can be held liable for the design and manufacture (and in some instances maintenance) of that equipment. The legal principles that place liability on a manufacturer or designer of a defective product apply to construction machinery and equipment, including the concept of “no-fault” or “strict” liability. In products liability law, manufacturers have a duty to design products that are reasonably safe for their intended and foreseeable use.
Especially in situations involving major construction projects, the parties involved will be required to carry adequate insurance coverage. For example, the owner or property manager may be required to carry premises or property liability insurance; and the general and/or sub-contractor may need workers’ compensation, commercial general liability, and employer’s liability insurance. The insurance coverage of each party involved in a construction project, and the extent of that coverage, are important issues when assessing legal responsibility for a construction injury.
If you have been injured in a construction site accident, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney with experience in handling construction site injury cases from the firm of Christopher J. Zachar will know how to uncover all of the parties who may be responsible for your injuries.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.