Construction Accident Lawsuit: Can You Sue a Third Party as Well as an Employer?

If you were the victim of a construction accident, you can file a lawsuit against the responsible party and recover damages to pay medical bills, make up for lost wages, and more. However, you might wonder who you can sue. With the help of a construction accident lawyer, you can recover damages from your employer, but there are additional third parties who can be held responsible.

Understanding Liability in Construction Accidents

Employers have a reasonable duty of care toward their employees. In the context of construction work, this duty of care translates into providing safe equipment, following OSHA regulations, and training everyone to work safely.

If an employer breaches this duty of care and fails to provide safe working conditions, they’re liable for your accident because they acted in a negligent manner. However, there are cases where more than one party can breach their duty of care, or where another party can cause an accident even though your employer did their best to keep you safe.

Who Can Be Liable for a Construction Accident?

With over 16,000 injuries a year, construction ranks among the most dangerous industries. While employers are liable in a majority of these cases, construction accidents can stem from the negligence of different third parties.


It’s common for construction companies to get help from contractors or subcontractors. Customers can sometimes hire multiple construction companies to work on different components of a project, requiring several companies to share a job site.

If another contractor present on the job site failed to follow OSHA regulations or was negligent in any other way, this company could be liable for your accident. A contractor can also be responsible if they were in charge of the job site when the accident took place or if a structure they built proved to be unsafe.

Another Employee

If another employee puts you in danger, your employer will typically be liable since they failed to enforce safety standards. However, there are situations where you can sue another employee for criminal negligence or inflicting an injury on purpose.

Another employee can be liable for your workplace injury if they acted recklessly, for instance, by operating heavy machinery while drunk. If another employee hurt you on purpose or demonstrated extreme negligence, you can file a criminal negligence case against them.


Unfortunately, reckless drivers are a threat to construction workers. If you sustained an injury after being hit by a car while working on the side of the road, the driver will be held responsible. It’s a common scenario, with over 100 construction workers losing their lives in highway work zones each year. Most states have steep penalties and criminal charges for these drivers.

Property Owners

Depending on the role the property owner plays in the construction project, they might have a duty of care toward employees and can be held negligent in case of an injury. For instance, a property owner who failed to disclose a known safety issue with their property can be liable for a construction accident.


If a structure collapsed or another design flaw caused unsafe conditions for workers, the engineering or architecture firm that came up with the faulty design can be accountable.

This type of case is more complex, since you’ll need to enroll the help of experts to establish that the design was flawed and determine that the engineers or architects were negligent.


As a construction worker, you operate tools and machinery on a daily basis. When operating these tools results in injury even though you took all the necessary security precautions, you can file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer.

How Does a Construction Accident Lawyer Determine Liability?

An experienced construction accident lawyer can help determine who is liable for your accident and who you should sue. Read on to learn more about how these professionals work, or visit this page for more details.

Retracing the Accident

A lawyer will usually begin their work by gathering as many details and documents as possible. Their goal is to paint a comprehensive picture of what happened to retrace the circumstances of the accident and understand who is involved.

Identifying Who Is Liable

Next, your lawyer will look at who was in charge of the construction site at the time of the accident. They will establish liability for maintaining safe working conditions, operating equipment, disclosing important information, and more.

Understanding What Caused the Accident

The next step is to identify the action or lack of action that caused the accident and injury. A lawyer can identify actions your employer or a third party could have taken to prevent the accident, assess their knowledge of the dangerous conditions, and determine who exhibited negligence.

While employers are often liable for construction accidents, you can sue third parties such as contractors, property owners, manufacturers, and more. Your best option is to work with a lawyer who specializes in construction accidents to retrace what happened and determine who is liable for the accident.


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