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Types of Evidence in Construction Accident Claims [2024 Guide]

Use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a Construction Accident Lawsuit Claim.

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Written By:
Tor Hoerman
Tor Hoerman

Attorney Tor Hoerman, admitted to the Illinois State Bar Association since 1995 and The Missouri Bar since 2009, specializes nationally in mass tort litigations. Locally, Tor specializes in auto accidents and a wide variety of personal injury incidents occuring in Illinois and Missouri.

This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy and clarity by the team of writers and attorneys at TorHoerman Law and is as accurate as possible. This content should not be taken as legal advice from an attorney. If you would like to learn more about our owner and experienced injury lawyer, Tor Hoerman, you can do so here.

TorHoerman Law does everything possible to make sure the information in this article is up to date and accurate. If you need specific legal advice about your case, contact us. This article should not be taken as advice from an attorney.

A Guide to Different Types of Evidence in Construction Accident Claims

On this page, we’ll discuss the different types of evidence in construction accident claims, the legal process regarding construction accidents and resulting injuries, legal protections and rights of injured construction workers, and much more.

The Importance of Gathering Evidence for Construction Accident Lawsuits

The construction industry is notorious for its high rates of accidents and injuries.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction industry documented 1,015 cases of fatal work injuries in 2021.

This high number of accidents is due to the dangerous nature of construction work, including working at great heights, handling heavy machinery and equipment, and working in hazardous environments.

Construction accidents are a serious issue – and it is extremely important for injured construction workers to gather evidence to effectively pursue compensation.

construction accident claims; construction accidents; construction accident lawsuit; construction accident lawyers

It’s common for injured construction workers to seek legal action against their employers.

The success of a construction accident claim lies in the quality of evidence gathered.

It’s important for injured workers to work with experienced construction accident attorneys.

We understand the complexities of construction accident cases and are dedicated to helping our clients navigate the legal process.

Contact us for a free consultation.

Schedule a free consultation with TorHoerman Law today.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a construction accident lawsuit instantly.

Table of Contents

The Complexity of Construction Accident Cases

Unlike car accidents or other personal injury cases, construction accidents are often extremely complicated due to the unique and hazardous nature of construction sites.

Multiple involved parties, including contractors, subcontractors, property owners, and equipment manufacturers, can contribute to this complexity, making it challenging to pinpoint liability.

Additionally, the layers of regulations and safety standards governing construction sites introduce further intricacies in establishing negligence or violations.

The variety of potential injuries, from falls to machinery accidents, requires a thorough understanding of both legal and construction industry practices.

The interplay between workers’ compensation laws and personal injury claims adds another layer of complexity, necessitating skilled legal expertise to navigate effectively.

Multiple Involved Parties

The first of the many hurdles you might face when dealing with a construction accident case is the issue of multiple involved parties.

Most personal injury lawsuits hinge on the legal doctrine of negligence — the liable party is the one who acted negligently and caused the injury.

Construction accident injuries often involve more than one responsible party.

This party can include the property owner, general contractor, subcontractors, safety inspectors or supervisors, equipment manufacturers, and more.

Because multiple parties are involved, determining negligence and liability can become complicated.

Each party might try to shift the blame onto someone else, making it challenging to hold the responsible parties accountable.

The Construction Employees

The most apparent liable party in these accidents is the construction employees involved.

These employees might be responsible for their own injuries and potentially those of others due to their actions or negligence.

For example, a worker who fails to follow proper safety protocols could cause an accident, resulting in a severe injury.

In this case, the injured party can hold the employee liable for their negligence and seek compensation.

Pinning the liability to the injured construction employee isn’t always clear-cut.

In most instances, when their attorneys look into the systems and processes involved in the employee’s work, they find that the problem lies in the mandated workflow.

In this case, the blame would shift to the employer or the company.

The Construction Company Management

Construction companies can be liable for their employees’ injuries.

The management is responsible for ensuring that all safety protocols and regulations are followed on the job site.

Failure to do so could result in a lawsuit.

For example, if a construction company fails to provide proper training or equipment to its workers, the company could be liable for any resulting accidents and injuries.

It’s the employer’s responsibility to hire a competent and qualified workforce — if they fail to do so, it could result in severe injuries.

The Construction Equipment Manufacturer

Aside from the construction company and their contractors, equipment manufacturers could also be liable for accidents on the construction site.

If a piece of equipment malfunctions and causes an injury, the manufacturer could be held accountable due to negligence.

Construction companies have a duty to ensure that all equipment used on-site is in proper working condition.

They might not be aware of any defects or issues with the equipment, making it challenging to hold them solely responsible for an accident.

When the construction equipment manufacturer is involved, a simple construction accident case could have a product liability component, making it even more complex.

The attorneys have to look into the equipment’s design, production, and maintenance to determine if the manufacturer is liable for the accident.

Other Involved Third Parties

Other than the three specified above, other parties, such as the property owner, safety inspector, or subcontractors, could also be held liable for construction accidents and injuries.

Each case is unique, and the responsible parties can vary depending on the specific circumstances.

  • Property Owner: In some instances, the property owner can be held liable if they were aware of hazardous conditions on the job site and failed to address them.
  • Safety Inspector: A safety inspector’s failure to identify or report potential risks in the workplace could contribute to an accident. In this case, they could also be held liable for their negligence.
  • Subcontractors: If a subcontractor’s negligent actions contribute to an accident, they could also be held responsible for the resulting injuries.

A construction accident requires a meticulous investigation to determine the liable parties and gather evidence to support the case.

With multiple involved parties, this process can become complicated and time-consuming.

The Possibility of Shared Negligence

Shared negligence isn’t uncommon in personal injury cases.

For instance, both involved drivers in a car accident can share the blame for their injuries.

In this case, the compensation is divided based on the state’s comparative negligence rule.

The same occurrence could apply to construction accident cases.

In some instances, multiple parties share the blame for an accident, making it crucial to accurately determine each party’s level of negligence.

For example, a worker attempted to skip a process to get a job done more quickly.

They fell in a slip-and-fall accident, which could have been prevented if the company ensured a safe environment for their employees.

In this case, both the worker and the company could share the blame for their negligence.

In such cases, determining fault becomes even more challenging, making it necessary to have a skilled personal injury attorney who can navigate these complexities effectively.

Their expertise can help you identify all responsible parties and hold them accountable for their actions or inaction.

The Workers’ Compensation Claim

Workers’ compensation is the company’s answer to the rising work-related injuries.

This compensation covers an injured employee’s medical costs and lost wages, regardless of who is at fault.

Workers’ compensation restricts employees from seeking legal recourse against their employer.

In some cases, this restriction could make it challenging for injured employees to receive the compensation they deserve.

Workers’ compensation might not cover all damages, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress.

Most construction companies require employees to sign a workers’ compensation waiver as a condition of employment.

This waiver is intended to protect the company from lawsuits related to work-related injuries.

There are instances where an employee can still file a personal injury claim against their employer even if they signed a workers’ compensation waiver.

Consulting with an experienced construction accident attorney is necessary to understand if your case qualifies for a lawsuit or if you are limited to workers’ compensation benefits.

Strong Evidence Is Needed for Construction Site Accident Cases

Acquiring substantial and tangible evidence is crucial in construction accident cases, as it forms the backbone of a compelling legal argument.

The burden of proof lies with the injured party — without sufficient evidence, it becomes challenging to win a case.

This evidence can include eyewitness testimonies, accident reports, medical records, and photographic or video documentation of the site conditions.

Expert testimonies from safety experts or medical professionals can further strengthen a case by providing insights into how the accident occurred and the extent of the injuries.

It’s also important to gather evidence quickly, as conditions on a construction site can change rapidly, potentially compromising the availability or integrity of crucial information.

This rigorous approach to evidence collection is essential to establish liability, demonstrate negligence, and ultimately secure fair compensation for the victim.

Accident Reports

Accident reports hold invaluable information about the accident and could help you determine who’s at fault or narrow down the potential liable parties.

They could also provide crucial details about any safety precautions that were overlooked or ignored, contributing to the accident.

The accident report documents the involved parties and their vital information.

These reports also outline the initial overview of how the construction accident transpired based on the accounts of the injured party and witnesses.

The details included in this report could help your lawyer build a solid accident case and hold the correct party liable for your injuries.

This report could also help maximize your potential compensation when a lawsuit is viable.

Medical Records

Another crucial document you must preserve is medical records.

Your medical records outline the injuries sustained, what they could lead to, the treatment required, and any long-term repercussions.

These records are vital in substantiating your injuries and their impact on your life.

They can also help determine the amount of compensation you may be entitled to.

In some cases, construction accidents could result in catastrophic injuries that require ongoing medical care or lead to permanent disabilities.

Medical records can provide evidence of these long-term effects, which could significantly impact your potential compensation.

Witness Statements

Third-party accounts of the accident provide a fresh and unbiased perspective, and their statements could strengthen your case.

Witnesses can corroborate the evidence you have gathered and provide crucial details you may have missed.

A witness could be anyone present at the construction site when the accident occurred, such as other workers, supervisors, or bystanders.

Witness statements can help disprove any false claims made by the other party or support your version of events.

When looking for a witness, you won’t have to record their statement or have them sign an affidavit.

All you have to do is collect their contact information so your lawyer can reach them if needed.

Photographic and Video Evidence

Photographic and video evidence are invaluable in cases where there are conflicting accounts of the accident.

Unlike witness statements, photographic and video evidence provides an objective and tangible record of what happened.

This evidence can also help strengthen your case by showing the severity of the injuries sustained.

It’s essential to gather this evidence as soon as possible, as construction sites are dynamic environments that change quickly.

Take photographs or videos immediately after the accident before any potential hazards are corrected or removed.

Obtaining a copy of the surveillance footage from the company could be challenging.

It’s best to leave the collection and preservation of evidence to your lawyer, who has experience handling such matters.

Expert Testimony

Expert witnesses are professionals with specialized knowledge and experience in a particular field.

In construction accident cases, expert witnesses can provide crucial insight into the cause of the accident, identify any safety violations or hazards, bridge information gaps, and help determine who is liable for the injuries sustained.

These professionals could include construction safety experts, engineers, medical professionals, or occupational therapists.

Their testimony carries significant weight in court as they are considered authoritative figures in their respective fields.

Expert witnesses can provide insight into the potential long-term effects of the injuries sustained and how they could impact your life and ability to work.

Their testimony can strengthen your case and possibly increase compensation.

Employment and Safety Records

Referencing the labor law and federal safety protocols is critical when handling cases involving injured construction workers.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for regulating and enforcing safety standards in the workplace.

Under OSHA, employers are required to provide safe working conditions and adhere to specific safety protocols.

If an employer fails to comply with these regulations, they could be liable for any injuries or accidents on their worksite.

Employment records can also help determine if the injured party received proper training, had the necessary safety equipment, and whether the company followed appropriate safety protocols.

Obtaining data from past safety evaluations and audits can also provide valuable insights into the company’s commitment to maintaining a safe working environment.

Equipment Information

The construction equipment manufacturer could also be liable if the accident occurred due to a design or manufacturing defect.

In such cases, gathering information about the equipment could help determine if it contributed to the accident.

Some important documents you must acquire include the equipment’s make, model, and serial number.

You may also need to obtain maintenance records, repair logs, and any prior incidents involving the equipment.

When investigating the possibility of an equipment defect, your lawyer would also look at past recalls, similar cases, and safety reports on the equipment.

This information is vital in determining if there is a history of issues with the equipment that could have led to your accident.

The Significance of Having an Experienced Construction Accident Lawyer

Hiring an experienced construction accident attorney is crucial to ensure you have the best chance of receiving fair compensation for your injuries.

Construction accident cases can be complex and require a thorough understanding of state and federal laws and experience in handling similar cases.

An experienced lawyer will have the knowledge and skills to navigate the intricate legal landscape, including identifying all potential sources of liability and accurately assessing the full extent of damages.

They can also effectively negotiate with insurance companies and defense attorneys, who often employ tactics to minimize payouts.

An experienced construction accident attorney will be adept at gathering the necessary evidence and expert testimonies to build a strong case, ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

Having an experienced construction accident lawyer by your side can significantly impact the outcome of your case, increasing the likelihood of a favorable settlement or verdict.

Deeper Understanding of the Nuances of Construction Accident Claims

As emphasized, a personal injury lawsuit involving multiple parties, like a construction accident, is a complex issue requiring an expert’s knowledge.

An experienced personal injury lawyer can navigate through the complexities of these cases and help you understand your rights to receive compensation.

Your attorney must have experience working with construction companies, contractors, and insurance companies who are experts in denying or undervaluing claims.

An experienced attorney knows how to counter these tactics and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

Effectively Gather and Present Evidence

When an accident occurs at a construction site, evidence can quickly disappear or become less reliable.

Gathering as much evidence as possible at the accident scene can vastly improve the chances of a successful claim.

If you’re personally unable to do so, have someone do it for you.

If you couldn’t recover enough evidence at the accident scene, your lawyer can use their resources and expertise to gather the necessary information.

Lawyers have the authority to access and collect evidence that may not be available to the general public.

Your lawyer knows what evidence is essential to prove your case and how to present it effectively in court.

Your lawyer could bring in an expert witness, pull up your employment records, etc.

Extensive Network of Local Experts

Established lawyers often have a vast network of local experts to call on for additional support and insights.

Having access to these professionals could be critical in strengthening your case’s evidence and providing expert testimony when needed.

For example, an experienced New York construction accident lawyer would have connections with safety experts or engineers familiar with New York’s construction laws and regulations.

This knowledge can be invaluable in building a solid case and fighting for fair compensation.

At TorHoerman Law, we have connections with vetted and reputable experts in Chicago, St. Louis, and Edwardsville.

This extensive network and resources help us provide our clients with solid legal representation.

Compelling Negotiation With the Other Party

Dealing with construction companies could put you at a disadvantage when negotiating compensation for your injuries.

These companies often have teams of lawyers and insurance adjusters whose primary goal is to minimize liability and pay out as little as possible.

Having an experienced construction accident lawyer by your side can level the playing field and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

Your attorney will have the necessary skills and knowledge to negotiate on your behalf and present a convincing case.

Construction accident lawsuits are often settled outside of court through negotiations.

If the other party refuses a fair settlement, your lawyer can take the case to trial and advocate for your rights before a judge or jury.

Effective Representation in the Court

A construction accident doesn’t always turn into a lengthy construction accident lawsuit.

Having an experienced lawyer by your side can significantly impact the outcome if your case goes to court.

An experienced construction accident attorney has extensive knowledge of state and federal laws related to construction accidents.

They also have experience presenting evidence in court.

Having a skilled attorney representing you in front of a judge or jury can immensely improve your chances of recovering substantial compensation.

Recovering Compensation in Construction Accident Cases

An active construction site harbors numerous potential hazards, making it a high-risk area for construction workers.

If a construction worker sustained serious injuries on the job site, they may be entitled to compensation.

The legal system offers various types of compensation for construction site accident victims.

Some common types of damage recovery in construction accident cases include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Loss of future earning capacity

The specific types and compensation amounts available will depend on your case’s circumstances.

An experienced construction accident lawyer can assess your situation and determine what damages you may be eligible for.

TorHoerman Law: Representing Victims of Construction Site Accidents

Construction accidents are complicated in nature.

Without the proper evidence and legal representative, your case is at risk of being undervalued or denied altogether.

At TorHoerman Law, our experienced construction accident attorneys have the expertise and resources to help you navigate these complexities.

Suppose you’re a construction worker injured while in the line of duty.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation, or use our in-page chatbot for a quick case qualification.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is physical evidence, and why is it important in a construction accident claim?

    Physical evidence refers to tangible items that can help demonstrate what happened in a construction accident.

    This includes items like damaged equipment, tools that were involved in the incident, and personal protective gear.

    Physical evidence is crucial because it can provide concrete proof of the conditions and factors contributing to the accident, helping to establish liability and the extent of damages.

  • How can photographs and video footage be used in my construction accident claim?

    Photographs and video footage serve as visual documentation of the accident scene, the injuries sustained, and any hazards or unsafe conditions present at the time of the accident.

    They can be powerful evidence, offering a snapshot in time that can corroborate testimonies and illustrate the severity of the accident.

    Legal professionals often use them to strengthen the case by providing clear, indisputable visual evidence to insurance companies or in court.

  • Why are witness statements important in constructing accident claims, and how are they collected?

    Witness statements are testimonies from individuals who saw the accident occur or are familiar with the circumstances leading to it.

    These statements can provide additional perspectives on the accident, helping to establish a timeline, fault, and the conditions that contributed to the incident.

    Legal teams collect these statements through interviews, written accounts, or depositions, ensuring they are documented accurately and thoroughly for the claim.

  • Can expert testimonies impact the outcome of a construction accident claim?

    Yes, expert testimonies can significantly impact the outcome of a construction accident claim.

    Experts in fields such as construction safety, engineering, and medical professionals can provide specialized insights into how the accident occurred, the adherence to safety protocols, and the extent of injuries.

    Their analysis can help establish liability, demonstrate negligence, or refute opposing claims, making them a valuable asset in substantiating the claimant’s case.

Written By:
Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law

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