Construction sites are extremely dangerous work environments. A construction site accident could leave you injured, in pain, and unable to work for some time or permanently. 

If you have been involved in a construction site accident, you may be able to make a workplace accident claim for compensation for your injury, as well as for the effect it has had on your quality of life and ability to work.

O’Brien & Company Solicitors, based in Dublin, can advise and assist you in making a personal injury claim for compensation where the construction site accident or the injury you received was not your fault or was due to another person’s negligence.

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What is a construction site accident claim?

If you have had a construction site accident or been injured as a result of your work in construction, you may be able to make a construction site accident claim.

Your employer has a duty of care towards their employees and if your accident or injury is a result of a breach of that care or due to their negligence, then you may be entitled to compensation for your injury, as well as for the financial consequences for you of being injured and unable to work.

Following your injury, you may be unable to work and earn, you may face medical and other bills as a result of your accident or injury. A construction site accident claim is a workplace injury claim for compensation for your pain and suffering as well as any financial loss caused by the injury or accident.

Types of construction site accident injuries

Types of construction site accidents range from cuts and bruises to muscle sprains, broken legs and severe injury causing a disability. A building site can be a dangerous place to work, but the employer must ensure the construction site workers have a safe workplace and reduce risk where possible.

Common types of construction site accident injuries may be:

  • Slips, trips, and falls injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Sprained muscles
  • Ligament damage
  • Back or neck injuries
  • Eye damage
  • Hearing damage
  • Brain damage
  • Crush injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Injuries when hit by plant and heavy machinery
  • Vehicle impact injuries such as concussion
  • Electrocution from power tools
  • Burns from dangerous substances
  • Suffocation in a trench collapse
  • Repetitive Strain Injury, RSI
  • Asbestos-related cancers
  • Needle Stick injury from clearing old buildings
  • Lacerations from broken glass and steel

Construction site injuries result from accidents that happen every day. Employers are obliged to assess and manage the risks to their employees to provide a safe workplace for them.

The duty of care of an employer in reducing risk includes providing appropriate equipment, providing and advising on the use of personal protective equipment, PPE, providing proper training and allowing staff to take rest breaks to avoid tiredness. 

If you are injured when your employer breaches their duty of care to you, you may have one of the common construction site accident claims for compensation.

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Common construction site accident claims are:

Common construction site accident claims range from a broken leg after falling from a height to contracting cancer from exposure to asbestos and a fatal injury on a demolition site.

A construction site injury could have you off work for a time, leave you with hefty medical bills, and maybe even require you to make adjustments to your home and car.

If you suffer a construction site accident injury, you may have a claim for compensation. You make the construction site accident claim to cover your costs and other damages today and in the future.

Scaffolding fall claim

An employee broke his leg in a fall due to faulty scaffolding boards is not an unusual compensation claim on a construction site. Scaffolding should be installed by qualified personnel and only approved for use when it is safe to do so.

Accidents can and do happen if the construction site is not properly maintained and run according to Health and Safety rules. Regular inspections and safety reports should detect issues with scaffolding boards and keep the area safe for employees.

When a scaffolding board cracks, causing an employee to fall through and break their leg, they could have a compensation claim if they can show the scaffolding was not maintained at acceptable standards.

Asbestos exposure claim

Construction workers contracted cancer from exposure to asbestos when the building site was not properly inspected prior to work beginning. Asbestos was used in many older buildings like schools and hospitals, in fireproofing and insulation, and inspections must be made for asbestos before work begins.

The dust from asbestos gets into the body and causes diseases like mesothelioma, lung cancer, pleural thickening, and asbestosis. The symptoms may not become evident for many years, and often, the disease will have taken hold before a diagnosis.

Construction site workers can make a compensation claim for the effects of exposure to asbestos on their families.

Electrocution on a construction site claim

A construction site worker electrocuted using a faulty power tool may have a compensation claim for the injuries caused in the accident. Electrocution can cause severe burns, nerve damage, PTSD and, in some cases, the death of the construction site worker.

All power tools must be kept at an acceptable working standard and be inspected on a regular basis. The power tool must not pose a danger to construction site workers and should be replaced after a number of years.

Electrocution can be a serious injury, and the worker may have a construction site accident claim if it happens due to a faulty power tool.

Construction site demolition injury claim

A demolition site worker suffered a broken leg when the wall collapsed may be a valid claim if the area was not safeguarded before work began in the building. Old walls collapse, but they should only do so under safe conditions that do not put employees at risk.

If a worker breaks a leg due to a construction site accident, they could be off work for a long time. Driving could be difficult, and even daily duties like washing, getting dressed and caring for the children could become an issue.

A worker with a broken leg may have a compensation claim for the injury and the effects of it on their daily life.

Construction site concussion accident claim

A building site labourer sustained a concussion when hit by a delivery truck, as there was not any traffic management on the construction site. The employer has a duty of care to all employees, including implementing a safe traffic management plan for the site.

An employee working on the site can easily be injured when not expecting to be close to a delivery truck. Similarly, the truck driver may hit a worker on a poorly managed site.

The building site labourer may have a compensation claim if they suffer a concussion or other injury when hit by a truck on a site without a traffic management plan.

Fatal fall accident claim

The construction site worker suffered a fatal fall from a height as the correct safety procedures were not followed on site. Working at a height can be dangerous, but the employer must take all the necessary steps to reduce the risk to employees.

A safety harness must be provided for anyone working at a height, and a qualified employee must supervise the work. The safety harness and other equipment must be maintained and replaced when necessary.

The dependants of a loved one who loses their life on a construction site can make a compensation claim against the employer for the loss and the financial effects on their lives.

Repetitive strain injury due to work practices claim

A Repetitive Strain Injury, RSI, due to work practices can happen to any construction site employee. Repeated movements, such as unloading trucks or clearing rubble without a break, may cause the RSI, which can be difficult to treat.

Employers must ensure employees change tasks regularly and have standard breaks to avoid the repetitive nature of construction site work. An RSI is an avoidable injury, but employers must take steps to keep construction site workers safe from developing an RSI.

If you suffer an RSI due to poor work practice on a construction site, you may have a claim for compensation for the effects on your life.

Construction site accidents happen every day in Ireland. If you suffer an injury in a construction site accident that was not your fault or only partially your fault, you may have a construction site claim for compensation.

Compensation for construction site accident claims

If you have been injured in the course of your work on a construction site, you may be able to claim compensation. 

Your award for compensation will depend on your individual circumstances including the type and extent of your injury and its effects on your life. You may also be able to claim if you have had a financial loss as a result of your injury.

You may be able to claim for:

General damages would entail your physical injury and its effects on your life as well as any emotional or psychological effects as a result of the injury. These would be non- financial effects.

Special damages would comprise any financial effects of your injury or accident. If you are unable to work or cannot work to the same extent following your accident or injury, this would be taken into account in any award for compensation.

Expenses such as medical bills or out of pocket expenses such as travel to and from appointments etc. might also be taken into account.

Future losses or anticipated ongoing expenses may be included in special damages.

Need Advice? Speak With An Expert.

If you are a victim of medical negligence, obtaining the advice of a professional and experienced solicitor is in your best interests.

How to make a personal injury claim

In almost all cases, you have two years from the ‘date of knowledge’ of your injury to make a claim for compensation. This would generally be the date of your construction site accident.

If you have had a construction site accident or been injured through the course of your work on a construction site then O’Brien & Company Solicitors can advise and assist you in making a claim for compensation. The process can be intimidating but your solicitor will be there at each step of the process.

Your specialist solicitor will advise you and prepare your application to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB). You will also need a medical report to accompany your application as well as any evidence you have to support your claim. You will be known as the Claimant.

The PIAB will notify the person against whom the claim is being made, the Respondent, and they will usually agree to the claim being assessed by the PIAB. If they do not agree, the case can be heard by the Court.

The PIAB may require further medical evidence at this stage, as well as evidence of financial loss or additional expenses.

The Claimant and the Respondent will receive a PIAB Notice of Assessment which will include the details of any compensation to be awarded.

Timeframes involved making a claim

You will have 28 days to either accept this assessment or pursue your case through the Court. Your solicitor will guide you in this decision.

It is thankfully rare but workplace fatalities do occur. If your loved one has had a fatal construction site accident, you  may be able to pursue a claim for compensation for your financial loss due to their death. If you have been financially dependent on your loved one, you will at least have some financial security following an award for compensation.

Evidence to help support your workplace accident claim

It is essential that you gather any evidence that you can to support you in making your construction site accident claim. The types of evidence you may need include:

Initially at the scene of the accident, it is essential to ensure that you and others around you receive medical attention. Even if you do not appear to have injuries, it is important to get medical attention, either from A&E or your own GP, in case you have injuries that are not immediately apparent.

You should fill out an accident report form which should be available at your workplace. It is also important to record your accident and how and when it happened as well as take photos of the injury, the scene of the accident and any equipment in use at the area.

You should have contact details of any witnesses to the accident or injury. You may also be able to use CCTV evidence, if there is any, where your accident took place.

It may be necessary at a later date to produce medical receipts as well as payslips or other evidence that your earnings have been affected by your injury or accident. You may also be required to produce evidence you attended a doctors surgery or other medical establishments such as A&E.

Workplace accident claims

Many employees worry that they will lose their job if they make a claim for their construction site injury or accident. However, there are legal protections for employees who bring a claim for a workplace injury or accident against their employer. 

Section 27 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, prohibits an employer from penalizing an employee who makes a claim following an accident or injury due to workplace health and safety.

If you lose your job for making a claim against your employer, the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977- 2015, may apply and you may be able to make a separate claim for compensation against them.

Employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe workplace for employees and in any case, they will have employers liability insurance to protect them should such a claim be made.

Make a claim today

At O’Brien & Company Solicitors we have extensive experience of workplace accident claims, as well as in-depth knowledge and expertise in construction site accident claims.

If you have been injured or had an accident on a construction site, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury as well as any financial loss or expenses you have faced. 

Contact us today and allow us to put our knowledge and experience to use for you. We can advise and assist you at each stage of the process for a successful outcome. 

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in confidence.

O’Brien & Company Solicitors has a wealth of experience and a history of success in personal injury and medical negligence cases.

We pride ourselves on achieving the best results for our clients whilst at the same time making everything as straightforward and clear for you as possible.