Tennessee Construction Injury Law: Construction Design Negligence
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost half a million injuries and hundreds if not thousands of deaths occur annually as a result of construction-related accidents. Injuries sustained on construction sites have a high chance of being crippling or even deadly. While employers will typically not be held liable during injury litigation for injuries sustained while working, third-parties could be taken into consideration.
The construction accident lawyers at InjuryTN are aware of the numerous entities upon whom legal actions are often taken after construction-related incidents, which can often include inspectors, architects, planning and design professionals, and even engineers. Designers have the potential to be charged with differing levels of responsibility when it comes to injuries that are directly caused by the construction performed on their designs. When determining the extent of one’s responsibility in a construction accident, the most effective method of identifying who is liable is to take a close look at the designers’ contract.
Professional Liability in Construction Designers
With certain cases, the designers of a plot bear the responsibility of maintaining careful observation of its construction throughout the entirety of the project to ensure its conformity with design specifications in addition to all local, federal, and state codes and regulations. The majority of these contracts are meticulously drafted to restrict the architect or designer’s duty to frequent the construction site, to monitor work being done, and approve its accordance with contractual terms and other legal obligations. Still, in many cases, the owners and contractors of the construction site will be held the most liable for occurrences on-site, but this may not always be the case.
Abiding by Industry Regulations & Standards
Past the regulations detailed in the legal contract, designers, architects, and engineers are also held to a certain set of established industry standards, which must be strictly adhered to throughout the entirety of the construction and development of the site. In the event of a design team’s failure to abide by these standards, the individuals involved may be held responsible for the injuries sustained by workers. Some examples of historic rulings which are still referenced today in construction design negligence cases include:
- The reason for legal action as a response to a professional’s negligence may exist without regard to a contractual cause of action. This is the case even when their contract contains provisions for limitations on liability.
- Firms may held liable for their inability to authenticate the adequacy of inspection reports which are provided by renovators. These reports may be prepared at a time when the the integrity of the building’s structure is questionable. In such cases, firms may be alleged to fail in abiding by industry standards of due diligence in performance.
- In other cases still, the inability of an architect or designer to wholly consider the present condition of the soil underneath the plot where construction is taking place will be seen as negligence that should be reasonable foreseeable, but results in an injury or other accident.
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Liability Claims for Construction Design Negligence
Project managers and owners who employ designers, architects, and engineers could be held liable for the negligence of their employee vicariously by way of the legal doctrine respondeat superior. This doctrine establishes that a party can be held solely responsible for the actions of their employees.
Although claims for workers’ compensation in Tennessee do stop at a certain limit (even if the incident involves the loss of life), these types of independent personal injury suits taken against professionals in architecture, design, or other construction-related planning field will not be held to the same damage caps. A few possibilities for the recovery of damages in such may include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of wages
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Continued care after the incident
Talk to a Professional TN Construction Accident Lawyer
The accomplished legal team at InjuryTN is fully prepared to launch a thorough investigation into the construction architecture, planning, design, and engineering work done by the professionals on your job site in order to identify whether or not liability could be held against any such entities. Contact our office today to schedule your free and confidential case evaluation with an experienced construction design negligence attorney. For all personal injury cases, you will accrue no fees or charges until we win the case.