Who’s Liable If You’re Hurt at a Construction Site?

Published on Apr 9, 2024 at 8:03 pm in Workers' Compensation.

You were struck by a vehicle or falling tool, injured by dangerous machinery or heavy equipment, or suffered harm in some other way while on a worksite here in Illinois. If you’re wondering who’s liable if you’re hurt at a construction site like this, we’ll share those details below.

How Your Injuries Occurred Matters

Not all construction accidents occur under the same circumstances; however, how yours occurred may dictate who you can hold liable for what happened. Take the following scenarios into consideration:

  • You were hurt while using power tools, machinery, or heavy equipment: If you were using the item as directed and still got hurt because it was defective, you might have a valid claim against the product’s designer, manufacturer, or advertiser, depending on what flaw was determined to have caused the equipment to malfunction or otherwise to have harmed you.
  • You were struck by a hardware company employee as they were delivering building supplies onsite: You may have a viable claim against that person’s employer, especially if you can show that they weren’t properly trained on operating the truck or forklift, that they failed to adequately supervise their staff to ensure they weren’t distracted, or otherwise not reasonably suited for their role or task at hand.

Aside from a product manufacturer or distributor and third-party vendor, as referenced above, other potential parties you may be able to hold liable if you get hurt on a construction site include:

  • A property owner
  • A construction company you’ve been contracted to perform work for
  • A subcontractor or contractor hired by the construction company that performed insufficient work
  • Other third parties, such as a security company that failed to adequately surveil or secure the premises or a gas company that failed to properly indicate “no dig” areas (an oversight that led to an explosion and fire)

Your Employment Status May Also Impact Liability Determinations in Building Site Accident Cases

According to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC), most Illinois businesses are required to purchase workers’ compensation coverage if they hire any employees, even if they’re part-time.

Generally, the way this employee benefit works is that unless you were engaging in horseplay or some other type of recklessness when your injuries occurred, you’d generally be able to receive compensated medical care, reimbursement of lost wages, etc.

So, if you were injured as a bona fide employee on a construction site, you may be able to receive compensation by filing a workers’ comp claim.

Independent contractors and third parties wouldn’t be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

It’s also important to note that even if you receive workers’ comp, it may not preclude you from filing a third-party claim against a product manufacturer, for example, if they produced a defective item that ultimately harmed you.

There’s a different threshold you must meet when filing a workers’ comp claim in Illinois.

For example, whereas in a personal injury case, you, as the injury victim, must prove how you were harmed and who is responsible for recovering compensation, you need only to show that you were hurt on the job as an employee to recover workers’ comp.

Proving Liability in Construction Injury Cases

If you were seriously hurt on a building site here in Marion, greater Williamson County, or anywhere else in southern Illinois, and you plan to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your accident-related losses, you must act quickly.


Remember that the onus rests on you to prove liability in your case. You know how fast-moving things are on construction sites. Unless you act quickly to preserve evidence, you run the risk of critically important evidence being destroyed, which can make proving your case challenging.

Here at Prince Law Firm, we have extensive experience handling construction accident cases on behalf of a wide range of injury victims.

This history provides us with tremendous insight into what evidence to preserve and how to do it best so that we can secure the highest possible settlement on your behalf. So, if you were hurt on a construction site and are looking to better understand who to hold liable, consider reaching out to us.

Meeting with a workers’ comp or personal injury attorney in our office to learn more about your rights is free.




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