Accidents On Construction Sites – Who Is Responsible?

By Samuel Okoronkwo

Construction is an ever-ongoing process, with buildings, retail spaces, homes, and various projects requiring constant construction, remodelling, demolition, or expansion. However, with this bustling activity comes the inevitable occurrence of construction accidents. Safety should always remain a top priority in the construction industry…

Today, we will be discussing the most common accidents and where responsibility falls in the event of an accident. 


Common Construction Accidents

Construction accidents can occur in a myriad of circumstances, including but not limited to:

  • Chemical spills
  • Heavy objects falling from heights
  • Equipment that malfunctions
  • Materials catching fire
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Accidents related to vehicles within the construction site


Frequent Injuries in Construction Accidents

Due to the inherent nature of the work and the materials used, construction accidents often lead to severe consequences, with some resulting in permanent disabilities or even fatalities.

Some of the most common construction injuries are:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Injuries to the back and neck
  • Burns, including chemical burns
  • Injuries to the eyes and vision loss
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones and sprains

In the event of an injury on a construction site, it’s crucial to establish liability for your injuries before proceeding with a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim.


How Is Liability Determined?

To ensure you receive the rightful compensation for your construction accident injuries, the initial step involves identifying the liable party. Once the cause of the accident is established, it becomes clearer to determine fault, considering that numerous parties may be accountable in such incidents. Among those potentially liable are:

  • Landowners
  • Municipalities
  • Supervisors
  •  Contractors
  • Equipment manufacturers and operators
  • Vehicle manufacturers or drivers


What Are The Next Steps?

Whether you were present at the construction site as part of your work or were simply passing by, the immediate priority after the accident is to seek medical care for your injuries. Additionally, it is crucial to thoroughly document all aspects of the incident. Collect names and contact information of any witnesses and obtain their testimonies. Take notes of relevant details, such as the accident location, time, date, weather conditions, and any other information that can serve as potential evidence. Being proactive in gathering this information can greatly assist in any future claims or legal proceedings.

Remember, if you are faced with a construction dispute, Mercantile Barristers will be happy to assist. Do use the enquiry form below to contact us to discuss your matter further.



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Our approach to legal practice is always to articulate creative and value-adding solutions for clients whilst delivering timely, efficient and affordable professional services. All clients conduct their affairs within a legal context and Mercantile Barristers’ role is to advise on the conduct of their transactions and affairs in ways that avoid conflict and disputes.


However, should a dispute become inevitable, then our prior engagement would have assured that all the necessary precautions have been taken and mitigating steps adopted. Thus, clients will begin any dispute resolution in a strong position to achieve their desired objectives.


Whether by adjudication, arbitration, litigation, members at Mercantile Barristers will adopt a firm, swift and decisive approach to achieve the best possible results for clients within the shortest possible time. We recognise that no two cases are the same, so we will adapt our style to suit the occasion.


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