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How To Claim For A Construction Site Accident

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 24th August 2023. Have you suffered an injury in a construction site accident? Did someone else’s negligence contribute to the accident? If so, you may be able to put forward a personal injury claim for compensation. Our guide will explore the steps you can take and the rights you have following an accident.

There are various circumstances in which you could have suffered an injury on site. For instance, you may have been injured while visiting from another company or while working on the site.

However, if someone owed you a duty of care, and you suffered harm as a result of someone breaching this duty, you could put forward a claim for compensation.

Construction site accident guide

Construction site accident guide

Please continue reading for further information. Alternatively, if you have any questions whilst or after reading, you can contact our advisors using the details below.

  • Call us on 0800 073 8804.
  • Provide your contact details by filling out the form, and an advisor will get back to you.
  • Use the live chat feature to get instant help.

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Construction Site Accident?
  2. Who Is Liable For Health And Safety On A Building Site?
  3. Health And Safety On Building Sites
  4. Causes Of Construction Site Accidents
  5. How Long Do I Have To Make A Construction Site Injury Claim?
  6. Construction Site Accident Compensation Payouts
  7. Construction Site Accident Claims With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

What Is A Construction Site Accident?

A construction site accident often involves construction workers suffering harm due to poor health and safety. However, it’s important to note that not every accident will have been someone else’s fault. For that reason, the claim you hold must be valid before moving forward.

A claim may be valid if you can prove that someone acted negligently. For instance, you suffered harm after someone failed to provide you with the duty of care they owed you.

There are various circumstances in which negligence may have occurred, such as:

  • An employer failed to provide you with a hard hat where it was necessary. As a result, you suffered a serious head injury after materials fell from a height.
  • Your employer provided you with faulty equipment resulting in you suffering an amputation.
  • A fall from a height caused you to break your leg due to your employer’s failure to carry out a risk assessment of the potential dangers.

If you experienced something similar, get in touch with our advisors. They can assess whether negligence occurred. Furthermore, if they feel you have a strong claim, you could begin seeking compensation for your pain and suffering.

Who Is Liable For Health And Safety On A Building Site?

Determining who is liable for an accident can depend on how it happened. For instance, if you’re employed to work on the construction site, your employer is responsible for keeping you safe from harm. (However, you also have a duty to protect your own safety, by not acting recklessly for example.)

As per Section 2 in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, they have a duty of care to do everything reasonably possible to prevent you from coming into physical or psychological harm. For instance:

  • Providing breaks in between shifts
  • Allowing breaks in between using certain tools to prevent injury, e.g. vibrating tools
  • Providing safety equipment where relevant, e.g. ear and eye protection, hard hat, protective shoes, masks
  • Carrying out regular risk assessments to stay on top of any potential risks that could cause an accident
  • Providing adequate training to ensure you are capable of doing your job properly and safely

If the accident could have been avoided had they provided a duty of care, they may be liable for your construction site accident.

Health And Safety On Building Sites

There are often frequent visitors passing through construction sites. However, visitors to construction sites are also owed a duty of care.

As per the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, those in control of public space are expected to do everything they reasonably can to keep members of the public from experiencing harm. For instance, they may:

  • Carry out risk assessments
  • Provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to visitors where necessary
  • Make them aware of the risks when visiting

Causes Of Construction Site Accidents

An accident at a construction site could happen in various ways. For instance, employers not having the correct equipment, lack of training or exposure to dangerous substances could lead to accidents.

However, the following sections will look at some specific causes in more detail. Additionally, they will include examples of how an employer could be liable for an injury sustained in the accident.

Working without a break

Employers have a responsibility to provide you with a break during and in between shifts. The length of your shift will depend on the break you’re entitled to.

However, if they fail to provide the correct break, it could put you at risk of suffering different conditions. For instance:

  • Vibration White Finger: This condition can develop by repetitively using vibrating tools for long periods without regular breaks.
  • Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: These can often develop through repetitive movements that put a continuous strain on different parts of the body. For instance, neck or back strain can be caused by constant heavy lifting.
  • Stress, depression or anxiety: Employers have an equal responsibility to protect their employees’ mental wellbeing. Failing to do so can contribute to work-related stress, depression, or anxiety, impacting employees inside and outside work.

Lack of protective equipment

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), employers are required to take necessary measures to protect staff from external risks. However, if there are still risks present that can’t be reduced any further or removed, they should provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) free of charge.

PPE includes helmets, protective footwear, gloves, eye and ear protection, such as goggles and earplugs. Each of these can help to prevent employees from suffering from the following injuries:

  • Vision impairment, e.g. temporary or permanent blindness in one or both eyes
  • Hearing impairment, e.g. tinnitus or industrial hearing loss in one or both ears
  • Head injuries, e.g. a fractured skull or brain damage
  • Foot injuries, e.g. fractures, sprains or strains
  • Hand injuries, e.g. chemical burns

If your employer fails to provide the necessary PPE and you sustain an injury as a result, they could be liable for the accident that caused your injuries. For more information, call our advisors on the number above.

How Long Do I Have To Make A Construction Site Injury Claim?

After an accident at a construction site, you typically have three years from the date you were injured to bring forward a claim. There are circumstances where the limitation period can be suspended. For example:

  • If someone is under 18, the three-year time limit is suspended until their 18th birthday. For example, someone could be involved in a construction site accident. They would have until their 21st birthday to take action unless a litigation friend started a claim on their behalf.
  • The time limit is indefinitely suspended if the claimant lacks the required mental capacity to bring forward their own claim. For example, if they suffer a traumatic brain injury in a building site accident, they may be left unable to make their own decisions. If they ever regain the mental capacity required to start a claim, the three-year limitation period begins from the date of recovery.

Get in touch at any time if you are unsure what time limit applies to your case. Our advisors can clarify free of charge and can also discuss if a litigation friend could help you.

Construction Site Accident Compensation Payouts

Compensation is often divided into two categories: general and special damages. General damages cover the compensation you may receive for your physical or psychological injuries.

When calculating damages for your injury, there will be consideration given to the impact it’s had on your quality of life. Additionally, whether your injuries have had a long term impact will also be observed.

As each injury is unique, it’s difficult to provide an average compensation settlement figure. However, we have created a compensation table below which gives examples of how different injuries may be valued.

The figures used in the table come from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), which is a document often used to help value claims. However, other evidence is used alongside the JCG, so it’s advisable to only use the figures as a guide.

Type of Injury Additional Comments Compensation Award
Minor Brain or Head Injury Injuries where there is minimal brain damage. £2,070 to £11,980
Injuries affecting sight (b) Complete blindness In the region of £252,180
Injuries affecting sight (c) (ii) Complete blindness in one eye with reduced vision in the other eye alongside double vision. £60,010 to £99,440
Deafness/Tinnitus (a) Complete loss of hearing in both ears £85,170 to £102,890
Deafness/Tinnitus (d) (iii) Tinnitus of a mild nature as well as noise-induced hearing loss. £11,820 to £13,970
Chest Where the person has inhaled toxic fumes or smoke resulting in residual lung damage. £5,000 to £11,820
Chest Lung cancer that causes severe pain and has an impact on the person’s quality of life. £65,710 to £91,350
Asbestos-Related Disease (a) Mesothelioma which results in severe pain and has an impact on the person’s quality of life. £65,710 to £118,150
Vibration White Finger (a) Most serious cases where the injury impacts daily life and the person is required to change jobs. £29,690 to £36,060

If you’d like to calculate your claim yourself, why not use our compensation calculator? Alternatively, give our advisors a call for a free estimate.

In addition to seeking compensation for your injuries, you are entitled to seek reimbursement of any financial losses incurred due to the accident under special damages. These cover both past and future losses the injury causes, such as:

  • Care costs
  • Travel expenses
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of earnings
  • Loss of pension contributions

However, not every claim will include these, so they will be calculated separately before being added to your settlement figure.

If you have any questions regarding compensation, please don’t hesitate to contact our advisors by calling the number above.

Will I need evidence to support my claim?

Evidence is important in supporting your claim in various ways. For instance, it can help to prove an accident happened that wasn’t your fault and that you sustained an injury in the accident. This might include:

  • CCTV footage
  • Logs of the accident in the accident workbook
  • Witness statements
  • Photographs of the accident scene and injury

Additionally, medical evidence in the form of doctor or hospital reports can provide details on the extent of your injury. For instance, the severity of your injury, as well as any treatment or diagnosis you received, can be recorded in medical notes. Furthermore, it can help when valuing your claim alongside the JCG.

As part of the claims process, you may need to attend an independent medical assessment. This could be helpful if you sustained your injury a while ago, as it can show the current state of your condition. In addition, it can provide an insight into the long term impact your injury may have.

The resulting report’s purpose is also to show that your injuries were caused or exacerbated by the accident. (If it shows that there’s no link, you could find it hard to claim.)

If you’re seeking special damages, receipts, payslips, and invoices can help to provide evidence of any financial losses you’ve incurred.

For more information on obtaining evidence to build a strong construction site accident case, call our advisors on the number above.

Construction Site Accident Claims With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

If you have strong grounds to claim construction accident compensation, you could speak with our advisors about getting support from a solicitor. Our advisors may connect you with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.

One of our No Win No Fee solicitors could offer to support your construction site accident claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under such an agreement, you won’t have to pay any upfront or ongoing service fees to your solicitor. Furthermore, you won’t need to pay your solicitor for the work they have provided on your case if your claim proves unsuccessful.

If you succeed with your claim, then the No Win No Fee solicitor who helped you will take a success fee. This is a legally capped percentage taken from the compensation awarded to you.

To learn more about construction accident claims, or to see if you could be eligible to work with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors, you can contact our advisors for free today. Please get in touch using any of the following contact details:

  • Call us on 0800 073 8804
  • Provide your contact details by filling out our online form, and an advisor will get back to you.
  • Use the 24/7 live chat feature.

Learn More

For more information on your rights after an accident at work, see our guide.

Read our guide on the process of making a personal injury claim against your employer.

See the Health and Safety Executive for more workplace accident statistics.

Visit the NHS website if you require any medical advice.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) provides guidance on accident prevention in the workplace.

Thank you for taking the time to read our guide on the process of seeking compensation after a construction site accident. We hope you found it informative.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.