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Construction Accidents FAQs

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January 23, 2024

1. What is a construction accident lawsuit?

A construction accident lawsuit is a legal claim made by someone who has been injured on a construction site as result of negligence or a safety violation. This could involve faulty equipment, dangerous site conditions, or failure to adhere to safety standards. The lawsuit aims to seek compensation for the injured party's medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages directly related to the accident. It can be filed against various entities such as the construction site owner, contractors, or equipment manufacturers, depending on who is found liable for the accident.

2. What types of construction accidents are typically involved in these lawsuits?

Construction accident lawsuits can involve a range of incidents, such as falls from scaffolding, accidents involving machinery or heavy equipment, electrocutions, trench collapses, and incidents related to safety equipment failure. Other cases might involve injuries caused by falling objects, fires and explosions, or exposure to hazardous materials. It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive and other types of accidents on construction sites can also lead to lawsuits.

3. What types of injuries are typically involved in construction accidents?

Construction accidents often involve a wide range of injuries due to the hazardous nature of construction sites combined with the disregard for safety requirements by some negligent site owners and supervisors. Some of the most commonly reported injuries include falls from height leading to fractures or broken bones. We also see injuries involving heavy machinery and equipment, including crush injuries, lacerations, and even amputations. Exposure to harmful substances can cause burns, respiratory issues, and long-term health complications. Some victims suffer traumatic head injuries and concussions in accidents involving falling objects. These injuries can have long-term consequences for a victim’s health and financial security, and the law will hold a negligent site owner or manager accountable. 

4. How do I know if I have a valid case for a construction accident lawsuit?

Determining the validity of a construction accident lawsuit hinges on a few key factors. It is crucial to establish negligence by showing that the defendant owed you, the victim, a duty of care that was breached and resulted in your injury. Furthermore, you must be able to demonstrate that your injury resulted in damages such as medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering. Proving negligence can be technically and practically difficult, but it is necessary to hold negligent defendants accountable and get injured plaintiffs the compensation they need. It is always advisable to seek professional legal advice from a seasoned personal injury attorney, such as the construction accident lawyers at Morris James, who can thoroughly assess your situation and guide you through your potential case.

5. What should I do if I am injured in a construction accident?

If you are injured in a construction accident, there are steps you can take to ensure your safety and protect your rights. 

  • Firstly, seek medical attention promptly, even if injuries appear minor. Your health is a priority and a medical report will serve as a crucial piece of evidence. 
  • Notify your supervisor about the incident. You may be required to submit an incident report form. This form will be important in any legal claim therefore it is crucial to include only truthful and essential information at this time. Unnecessary details could confuse the account and affect a later claim for compensation. 
  • If possible, gather evidence from the accident site, such as photos or videos using your smartphone, and contact details for any witnesses. 
  • Finally, consult a reputable construction accident attorney. Many attorneys, including Morris James, will offer a free consultation to hear your story and advise you on the possibility of a claim for compensation.

6. How long do I have to file a construction accident lawsuit?

The deadline for filing a construction accident lawsuit, known as the statute of limitations, varies from state to state. In Delaware, you must file your lawsuit within 2 years of the accident. While the statute of limitations is 2 years, you should consult with an attorney right away as cases like these often require significant investigation to determine who the proper defendants might be.  Furthermore, there is oftentimes significant evidence that needs to be gathered and/or photographed before construction proceeds. If you fail to file within the 2-year statute of limitations period, there are very limited exceptions which would still allow you to file your claim. It is crucial to consult with an experienced Delaware construction accident attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you do not lose your legal right to compensation after a construction accident.

7. Who can file a construction accident lawsuit?

A construction accident lawsuit can be filed by the victim of a construction accident or, in the case of a fatal accident, their surviving family members. This includes construction workers, independent contractors, visitors to the construction site, and even bystanders or passersby who were inadvertently harmed during the course of construction. When a construction worker is injured on the job, they may be eligible for compensation through the workers’ compensation system rather than by filing a construction accident lawsuit. At Morris James, our workers’ compensation attorneys work closely with our construction accident attorneys to determine the best path for compensation for you after your construction accident.

8. How long does the construction accident lawsuit process typically take?

The duration of a construction accident lawsuit can vary significantly based on a multitude of factors. On average, it may take anywhere from a few months to several years. Factors influencing the timeline include the complexity of the case, the severity of injuries, the determination of liability, the willingness of parties to settle, and the court's schedule. At Morris James, we work diligently to achieve the outcome that you want and deserve as efficiently as possible.

9. What type of compensation can I expect to receive from a construction accident lawsuit?

In a construction accident lawsuit, the compensation you may receive can include two types: economic damages and non-economic damages. 

Economic damages refer to tangible financial losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, cover intangible costs such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. The amount of compensation awarded will depend on many factors including the severity of the injury, the effect on the victim’s working and personal life, and the feelings of the jury if a case goes to trial. 

A construction accident lawyer can advise you on the relevant factors in your unique circumstances and what past victims in similar cases may have been awarded, but they can never guarantee an amount of compensation in your case.

10. What are the potential outcomes of a construction accident lawsuit?

A construction accident lawsuit can result in several potential outcomes, depending on the circumstances of the case and the people involved. The majority of personal injury cases that we handle are resolved by an agreed settlement between the parties following negotiation. If a case does go to trial, each side will present their case and the court will decide whether or not the defendant has been negligent and how much compensation should be awarded. A construction accident lawsuit can also result in changes to safety regulations and practices at the construction site, either as part of the agreed settlement or by court order, to prevent similar incidents in the future.

11. Do I need a lawyer for a construction accident lawsuit?

Yes. Construction accidents are complex, typically involving multiple parties and life-changing injuries. An unrepresented victim can easily be overpowered in negotiations with defendants and their insurance companies, backed by teams of lawyers. When this happens, construction accident victims do not get the financial compensation that they need to cover the expenses and damage that they have already suffered as a result of their injuries, as well as compensation to provide for future financial security. It is essential to have an experienced construction accident lawyer who understands the technicalities of the law and strategies of defendants to ensure that your interests are protected and negligent wrongdoers are held accountable.

12. What factors should I consider when choosing a lawyer for my case?

When choosing a lawyer for your case, you should look for someone that you trust to work diligently to get justice for you after your construction accident. Firstly, do your own research. Find a lawyer with experience and success handling personal injury cases, in particular construction accidents. You can find some of this information on their website, but it is also important to get independent recommendations and do your own research. 

Secondly, take time when you meet with an attorney to find out more information. Ask about their success rate, how your case will be handled, their fee policy, and anything else that might be important to you. It is essential that you feel comfortable with your lawyer's style and approach, understand their fee structure, and know that they have the time to dedicate to your case.

13. Why should I hire Morris James for my Delaware construction accident lawsuit?

The construction accident attorneys at Morris James have decades of experience handling, and winning, complex personal injury litigation in the Delaware courts. Our team of skilled litigators are well respected in the Delaware legal community for their skills and their successes. We know the law, the systems, and the people in this area, and we use our experience to strengthen your case. 

When you come to Morris James, we offer a free no-obligation consultation to discuss your case, your questions, and your options. If you choose to pursue a legal claim, we will handle your case on a contingency basis, which means that we will not charge you fees unless you win. To talk to one of our construction accident attorneys, contact us online or by calling 302.655.2599 today. 


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