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Construction Insurance Bulletin

Who Gets Sued?

By October 10, 2016No Comments

1610-con-1Let’s say a teenager wanders onto your construction site. Maybe they’re looking for a place to hang out with their friends, maybe they just weren’t looking where they were going while playing Pokemon Go. However they got there, there’s a whole lot of potential danger on the site. There are nails to step on, ledges to walk right off of, and plenty of things to trip over or bump into. Long story short, somebody who shouldn’t be on the construction site gets injured, and their family decides to file a lawsuit for it.

The question this leaves us with: Who gets sued?

Oftentimes, but not always, the answer is: Whoever can most afford to get sued.

An attorney is going to look for the biggest possible target. If Wal-Mart hires a local construction crew and somebody gets hurt on the site, Wal-Mart is likely to offer a huge settlement to make the whole problem go away. The construction crew has a reputation to maintain and relatively limited resources, and they’re more likely to fight the case, and more likely to go to great lengths to prove that they were not at fault.

The injured party is, more often than not, just looking to get their medical bills paid, and, more often than not, that means looking for a cash settlement from the biggest financial entity involved, not suing a local roofing company and spending weeks in court.

This may not always be the case. The person filing a claim may have it out for the construction crew, thinking them primarily at fault. The client may have a reputation for spending more money in court than they would if they had simply agreed to a settlement. A number of factors play into who winds up being targeted in a lawsuit. More often than not, the people filing the claim are only looking to have their ends covered as quickly as possible, but there are a lot of variables.

The point is, it’s not always the party most at-fault that winds up defending themselves in court. An attorney helps to select the target based on a number of factors, and whether or not a party is most at-fault is less important than whether the most fiscally powerful party can be said to be at fault.