Construction sites are often dangerous places to be, with serious injuries happening as a result of work on roads or buildings. Accidents may happen to private citizens or construction workers on the site. If a construction accident results in serious injuries, you may need to take time off work and get substantial medical treatment. You can bring a claim under any of several legal theories, and the choice will depend on why you were at the site and how you were injured. At the Neumann Law Group, our principal, Kelly Neumann, is an award-winning injury lawyer. Ms. Neumann has consistently settled more than $3 million in personal injury cases each year for the past several years. Our Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City construction accident lawyers are ready to get to work on your behalf.Establishing Liability for Construction Accidents
If you are a private citizen injured on a construction site, you may be able to sue the construction company, and possibly also the owner of the premises, for negligence. You will need to prove a duty of care, a breach of duty, causation, and actual damages. As a private citizen, your ability to recover damages under a premises liability theory depends on your status as a visitor. Landowners do owe a duty to use reasonable care to protect people legally on their property from unreasonable risks of harm, based on dangerous conditions about which they know or reasonably should know. However, a lesser duty is owed to trespassers, except in some cases involving children.
If you are a construction worker who is injured in a job-related accident in Michigan, your primary and exclusive remedy may be filing a workers' compensation claim with your employer's insurer under MCL 418.301(1) and MCL 418.131. Although workers' compensation may be your exclusive remedy against your own employer, you may be able to sue another individual or entity that is liable for your injuries, as long as that individual or entity is not your employer.
Usually, a principal contractor is not liable for negligent acts or intentional torts committed by independent contractors (or subcontractors) that it employs. However, there are exceptions in which you can sue a principal or general contractor. The common work area liability theory allows you to sue for injuries that you sustain due to a dangerous condition or defect that exists in a work area that a number of workers share on a construction site. A general contractor may be liable for failing to implement safety measures to avoid observable and serious risks of injuries in areas where a number of different workers are active.
To recover under the common work area liability theory, you would need to prove that the defendant is a general contractor who had supervisory and coordinating authority over the construction site, you were injured in a common work area that is shared by employees of more than one subcontractor, there was a readily observable danger in the common work area that could have been avoided, and it created a great degree of risk to many workers.Contact a Construction Accident Lawyer in Grand Rapids, Traverse City, or Detroit
At the Neumann Law Group, we offer experienced legal representation to injured individuals. If you suffered serious harm at a work site, our Detroit, Traverse City, and Grand Rapids construction accident attorneys may be able to guide you. We represent injured people in Ann Arbor, Flint, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Wyoming, Saginaw, Muskegon, Midland, Holland, Dearborn, Warren, Petoskey, and communities throughout the Upper Peninsula. Our personal injury and wrongful death attorneys also can assist victims in Massachusetts and California. Contact us at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form to schedule a free consultation.