Take These Protective Steps After a Third Party Injury Occurs on Your Construction Site
When a third party is injured on a construction site there a few things owner and contractors must do to ensure legal protection. But first, who is considered a third party? A third party in the construction world refers to an individual who is not working on the side of the owner or the contractor. This person is not a principal party. A simpler way to understand the definition is to determine whether the person is in anyway a party to the construction agreement. Third parties are often passersby or individuals who live or work in proximity to the construction site.
Check Your Commercial Liability Insurance
The first course of action is to determine whether the injury is covered by the contractor’s commercial liability insurance. Commercial liability insurance is issued to business organizations and covers bodily injuries as well as property damage. The injury or damage must arise out of the premises, operations, and products from the construction site. Commercial liability insurance is imperative to cover these third party claims. That is why the owner and the contractor of the project must ensure that they have secured the proper type of liability insurance. This type of insurance does not take away the injured party’s right to file a complaint in court. In some instances, the injured has the right to make a claim through the contractor’s insurance policy. In the alternative, if the injured party wins a lawsuit, the contractor can have the insurance company pay the judgment through the insurance.
If a third party is injured on your construction site, the best thing you can do is document the occurrence. This includes taking photographs of the surrounding area and speaking to workers to determine what they saw. Some contractors are wary about engaging in this kind of record keeping should the records be subpoenaed in court. They will have concerns that these records can be used against them. This notion should not stop contractors from using records to defend themselves if they believe that they are not at fault. Records can be a powerful tool in court if, in fact, the contractor can show that they followed all requirements, used warning signs and exercised the standard of care. The standard of care here is usually negligence. Negligence is the failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The court will determine whether the owner or contractor behaved in a negligent way.
Follow Safety Regulations to Avoid Further Injuries
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a government agency of the U.S. Department of Labor. OSHA passes health and safety regulations that govern the workplace and it ensures state adherence on the local level. In addition, OSHA has a compliance division that audits and investigates employers for possible non-compliance. In the construction industry, compliance with OSHA standards is imperative to the safety of workers and the public. Contracts and owners must keep their construction site within regulation. Owners and contractors should also ensure that they are following state mandated laws about construction site safety.
Your Florida Construction Law Attorney
Attorney Brendan A. Sweeney is an experienced Florida construction law attorney who he is ready to help you with third party related claims. Involving an attorney in a third party claim is a wise decision and raises the likelihood that you will prevail in court or with the insurance company. Contact us now for a consultation.