Can an employee sue for OSHA violations at a construction site? In most cases, the court does not allow employees to sue their employers, even after an OSHA violation. Instead, the court expects employees to file a workers’ compensation claim in most cases for job-site accidents.
However, you may have a chance to file a lawsuit if a third party caused your construction site accident. Therefore, some cases allow you to file a lawsuit for injuries that result from an OSHA violation.
You can learn more about these legal options with our team at the Morelli Law Firm. Call or complete our online contact form to get started.
What Are OSHA Violations for Construction Sites?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets forth and enforces safety standards for job sites around the country. The agency issues many different safety codes, which cover things like:
- Communication of hazards to employees
- Appropriate fall protection
- Appropriate respiratory protection
- Safe set-up of ladders and scaffolding
- Lockout/tagout procedures
- Use of personal protective equipment
- Machine guarding regulations
The above list contains only examples of areas that have OSHA regulations. Companies that fail to adhere to these rules put their employees at a higher risk of experiencing an accident. However, failure to comply with a code does not always cause an injury immediately.
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Can You Sue if You Notice an OSHA Violation at a Construction Site?
Generally, employees cannot sue for OSHA violations at a construction site. However, you can directly report your employer to OSHA. After you file a report, OSHA will investigate the nature of your complaint, and if they find your employer committed a violation, they can impose sanctions.
In many cases, OSHA fines businesses that fail to uphold their regulations. OSHA will also mandate that the company fix the violation or risk additional sanctions.
You do not receive any funds or damages for making a report to OSHA. However, your actions can result in an overall safer environment at work.
How Do You File an OSHA Claim After a Violation?
If you notice an OSHA violation at work, you can file a complaint online. You also have the option to file:
- Over the telephone
- By fax
- Through email
- In person at an OSHA office
Taking this step can help keep you and your coworkers safe.
What Can You Do If an OSHA Violation Caused an Injury?
Can an employee sue for OSHA violations at a construction site if the violation causes an accident and injury? Unfortunately, in many cases, employees cannot file a lawsuit even if they sustain injuries due to the actions of their employer.
Instead, employees in this situation can file a workers’ compensation claim. You can file this claim if you sustain an injury while at work. Workers’ comp claims do not focus on liability, so you do not have to prove fault to secure funds to cover your losses.
Generally, filing a workers’ comp claim after a construction accident allows you to secure funds to cover your current and future medical expenses and a percentage of your lost wages. A workers’ comp lawyer can help you learn more about this option for securing funds.
Can You Sue a Third Party After a Construction Site Accident?
In very specific circumstances, you can sue for an OSHA violation at a construction site that resulted in an accident and injury. You can take this legal step if a third-party directly causes your accident.
For example, depending on your situation, you may have a chance to sue:
- The owner of the property under construction
- General contractors working at the construction site
- Manufacturers of defective products that caused an accident
You must prove liability when suing another party for your injury. While filing an OSHA complaint is not the same as filing a lawsuit, having proof that the third-party violated government regulations can help your claim in many cases.
Therefore, we recommend that you report any OSHA violations as soon as you notice them, even if you have yet to decide about filing a lawsuit.
What Damages Do You Get if You Sue a Third Party?
Generally, employees cannot sue for OSHA violations at a construction site. However, if you qualify for a lawsuit due to the wrongful actions of a third party, you may file a personal injury claim.
If you file a claim, you may receive funds to cover your healthcare expenses, lost wages, lost earning potential, pain, and suffering.
The amount of compensation you receive can depend on the severity of the injuries you face. A lawyer can review your losses to estimate the possible damages on your behalf after a construction site accident.
How Long Do You Have to File an OSHA Complain for a Construction Site Violation?
OSHA recommends you report any violation as soon as possible for the best results. If you wait to report a violation at a construction site, your employer may clear it away, preventing OSHA from appropriately penalizing them for the failure.
It’s also important to report any accident or injury you sustain at a construction site. If possible, you should file an accident report before leaving your workplace. Moving quickly can help you establish your claim.
We Can Help If You Face an OSHA Violation at a Construction Site
Can an employee sue for OSHA violations at a construction site? You might be able to file a lawsuit if a third party caused the violations, resulting in an accident and injuries. In other cases, you may file a workers’ comp claim to secure funds to cover your losses.
A construction accident lawyer at the Morelli Law Firm can help you review your options in more detail. Call us or complete our online contact form to get started.