Rhode Island Injury Lawyer Blog

Articles Posted in Construction Accidents

Bryant University in little Rhode Island made national news this week for some horrible and unfortunate reasonings.  The news reported that a new construction at Bryant intended for athletics collapsed and fell mid construction.  At least six workers, some of whom were from out of state, were injured in the collapse.  The severity of the injuries vary, though, fortunately no one was killed in this accident.  A few of the workers remain in the hospital at this time recovering.  The cause of the collapse was not immediately known and OSHA has indicated that a full report on the cause of the collapse could take months.

These workers, or others injured in a construction site accident, are entitled to workers compensation at a minimum.  This will cover medical bills and lost wages while they are unable to work.  Workers Compensation may also allow for a small settlement amount, but workers comp does not cover pain and suffering such as is available in a personal injury claim.  The law is clear that an employee can not sue his/her employer for injury.  The workers compensation system is intended to protect injured workers hurt while working on behalf of their employers.  On construction sites, however, there are potentially dozens of different companies (or subcontractors).  Depending on who is at fault or who contributed to a workplace accident, an injured construction worker may still be able to bring a personal injury claim against one of the OTHER employers or companies.  This will allow for much greater financial compensation including pain and suffering.

For instance, early reports have suggested that a crane operator for the steel company is at fault for this accident.  Any of these injured workers who do NOT work for the steel company (i.e. they are employed by the general contractor or a plumbing company, etc.) can bring a personal injury claim against the steel company.  (I am not familiar with the investigation into negligence and I am only citing what I have read on turnto10.com.)  The investigation into negligence on an incident like this could take quite some time (As OSHA has indicated) and an experienced construction accident attorney will need to dig deep and find out who caused the incident and for whom do they work.

If you have been involved in a construction site accident, contact our office for a free initial consultation.  Understand your rights, the differences between workers compensation and personal injury claims, and what you are truly entitled to in compensation.

Construction remains among the most dangerous professions in our country and, as such, accounts for very serious life-altering injuries. OSHA among with State and Federal laws and guidelines have attempted to reduce the dangers of working on a construction site, but they will always remain. Quite honestly, creating and maintaining an absolutely safe environment at a construction site would send project costs sky-high and would likely add months to any project.

Construction accidents can be caused in countless ways but some of the most common causes of work place injuries are:

  • Defective products on the work site;
  • Falls;
  • Co-workers negligence and inexperience;
  • Falling objects from workers stationed above;
  • Disregard for safety measures.

If you have been seriously injured in a construction site accident you are entitled to workers compensation. This will pay for your medical bills and a portion of your wages. Workers compensation, however, is limited. Most notably, you are not entitled to pain and suffering through workers compensation. It is imperative for you to understand, that despite the workers compensation laws in Rhode Island and Massachusetts that you may still be able to bring a third party case for negligence in a construction accident case. If successful, this will award you damages for pain and suffering.


The workers compensation laws prevent you from bringing a third party claim against your employer. That is still the case on a construction site. The difference, however, is that on a construction site there may be a dozen subcontractors and different companies involved. If any of the employees or agents of a company, other than your own, was the cause of the accident or injury you may be able to bring an action against that company. You will not be barred from this action because you do not actually work for the defendant. The most common defendant in construction site cases is the general contractor. Often injured employees work for a subcontractor, whether it is iron work, labor, electric, etc. The general contractor is responsible for the overall safety of the workplace and if you are not a direct employee of the general contractor, you may not be limited to workers compensation for your injury claim.

Construction site injuries can be extremely serious and life-changing. These include:

Broken Bones;
Head injuries;


If you were seriously injured while working on a construction site it is absolutely imperative that you contact a personal injury firm experienced in these types of cases. I have represented numerous victims of construction site injuries and understand the complexities and challenges that these cases present. Contact my office for a free consultation and as with all personal injury claims with my office, there is no fee unless I recover damages for you.