Construction Accidents

When a worker is injured while working at a construction or other work site, if he or she is hurt by the negligence of a person other than his/her employer or other employees of his/her employer, then that worker has the ability under Washington State law to bring a claim against that person or that person's employer or business for all of his/her damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc., that are caused by that negligence. Often such negligence takes the form of a general contractor not to living up to its non-delegable duty to provide safe working conditions for all workers at construction and/or work site, including those workers who are not employees of the general contractor. Such a non-delegable duty to provide a safe construction and/or work site also applies to not only general contractors (and possibly the land owners or possessors of the land upon which any such construction or work site is being occurring) but also from all upper tier sub-contractors to the lower-tier sub-contractors in the contracting pyramid of responsibility at any given job site. Therefore, while a worker must keep in mind that Washington State law prohibits a lawsuit from being filed against his/her employer for the injurious negligence of the employer or that employer's workers, there could be many other entities that may be responsible for a worker's injuries, and that such entities can be sued for damages in this state.

So, when a worker is injured at a construction site and/or a work site, if said injury was caused by anybody other than the worker's employer of co-employees of his employer — meaning the employees of a general contractor or another sub-contractor, as well as the land owner or possessor or any person from the general public — then that worker may have a claim against the person whose negligence [which includes the failure to follow the safety requirements mandated by the Washington State Industrial Safety Act (WISHA) or the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)] for his/her injuries and the resulting damages. As a result, as soon as an injured worker files a claim with the Department of Labor & Industries to get his medical bills and his time loss covered by that agency, that person should think about whether the injury was caused by a third party (i.e., not his employer or his employer's employees). If the injured worker thinks that the accident may have been caused by a third party, then he or she should contact an attorney such as James A. Conley, Attorney at Law, to see if it would be in the worker's interest to inform the Department of Labor & Industries that he/she is electing to pursue a claim for damages against the negligent third-party. These damages could include, beyond the incurred medical bills and lost wages and any future earning capacity, pain and suffering, any permanent (or even temporary) disability, and any future health care expenses that are reasonably related to the workplace or construction accident or injuries. If the determination is made that such a claim could be pursued, then James A. Conley, Attorney at Law, stands ready to bring such a claim on behalf of the injured worker or employee for the full amount of the damages that are provable against the negligent party.

James A. Conley, Attorney at Law, has successfully represented many workers who were injured on- the-job by the negligence of entities or people other than his/her employer or co-workers in their third- party claims for damages, and looks forward to speaking with you about your workplace or construction site accident and injuries. Call 425-672-7150, toll free at 877-211-8736, or email us to schedule a consultation.