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The Importance Of Evidence In Construction Accident Lawsuits

Imagine standing at a bustling construction site hearing the hum of machines and suddenly a scaffold gives way — leaving injured workers and families struggling with the aftermath of a construction accident.

Seeking compensation for injuries sustained at a construction site can be challenging. The outcome relies on your ability to present strong evidence.

At Spar & Bernstein, our personal injury attorneys know a thing or two about construction accidents — and how to win a settlement for clients by presenting strong evidence.

We’ll explain the types of evidence needed, the importance of evidence in construction accident lawsuits and how working with a construction accident lawyer can help you get compensation for your injuries.

Looking for a construction accident lawyer?

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Bradford H. Bernstein

This article was written and reviewed by Bradford H. Bernstein, a second-generation leader at Law Offices of Spar & Bernstein, P.C., who has helped over 100,000 clients with immigration and personal injury issues. Brad joined the firm in 1993, became a partner in 1997, and assumed leadership in 2000 after Harry Spar retired.


Why Is Evidence Needed In Construction Accident Lawsuits?

From defining liability to establishing negligence, evidence in construction accident lawsuits provides a factual framework of the incident and helps determine who is at fault.

Evidence in a construction case offers the benefits below.

Creates A Timeline Of Events

Evidence is used to construct a chronological timeline of the events that led up to the construction accident, along with the events that followed.

Demonstrates Compliance Or Violations

Evidence is used to demonstrate whether the parties involved complied with the required safety standards or committed violations that contributed to the accident.

Establishes Liability

Evidence is needed to determine who is at fault for the construction accident. It helps establish whether the responsibility lies with the employer, subcontractors, equipment manufacturers or other parties.

Proves Negligence

Evidence serves to demonstrate negligence on the part of the responsible party. Negligent behavior might include inadequate safety measures, failure to adhere to regulations or negligence in maintaining equipment.

While workers’ compensation typically protects your employer from lawsuits, there are specific situations where you might still be able to pursue legal action for negligence against them.

Find out if and when you can sue your employer for negligence.

Demonstrates Causation

Evidence is used to establish a direct link between the construction accident and the injuries you sustained. To demonstrate causation, evidence needs to prove that harm was directly caused by negligence or unsafe conditions.

A lawyer with a client​
Evidence in construction lawsuits is used to establish liability, demonstrate causation and prove negligence​

What Kind Of Evidence Is Used In Construction Accident Lawsuits?

There are many different types of evidence that can be used to prove negligence, assign fault or demonstrate causation in a construction case. Examples include:

Witness Statements

Testimonies from witnesses who observed the accident can provide valuable perspectives and contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the events that led to the accident and the aftermath.

Witnesses that can provide statements include:

  • Co-workers
  • Supervisors
  • Site visitors
  • Law enforcement officers, if they were called to the scene
  • Paramedics, firefighters or other emergency personnel who responded to the scene

Photographic Evidence

Photographic evidence can be used to document the conditions at the time of the accident.

This might include photos of:

  • The accident scene
  • The equipment involved
  • The safety signage at the scene
  • Hazards present
  • Injuries

Surveillance Footage

Video recordings from surveillance cameras at the construction site can present information about the sequence of events, the accident scene, and the behavior of those on the site.

Medical Records

The medical records of the injuries sustained show a direct link between the construction accident and the resulting harm.

Records might include:

  • Emergency room admission records
  • Diagnostic imaging reports
  • Surgical reports
  • Prescription and medication records
  • Physical therapy notes
  • Rehabilitation records
  • Psychological or psychiatric evaluations
  • Records of medical expenses

Employment Records

Employment records help establish the employer’s duty of care, along with the employee’s qualifications. They provide information about the context of the accident and whether the tasks performed aligned with safety protocols.

Employment records can include:

  • Employment history
  • Job responsibilities
  • Participation in relevant trainings
  • Time and attendance records

Maintenance & Inspection Records

Records detailing the regular maintenance and inspections of equipment and the construction site can reveal whether safety measures were in place at the time of the accident.

Maintenance and inspection records can include:

  • Equipment maintenance logs
  • Scaffold inspection records
  • Crane inspection reports
  • Ladder inspection records
  • Vehicle inspection reports
  • Excavation safety inspection records

Safety Regulations & Compliance Documentation

Documents illustrating adherence to or violations of safety regulations and standards on the construction site can help determine negligence.

Safety and compliance documentation can include:

  • Safety manuals and procedures
  • Safety inspection and audits
  • Hazard communication programs
  • Emergency response plans
  • Safety trainings
  • Records of safety meetings
A worker helps an injured colleague after a construction accident​
To support your construction accident lawsuit, you can use photographic evidence, witness statements, medical records and compliance documentation​

How Is Evidence Used In Construction Accident Lawsuits?

The parties involved in a construction accident lawsuit use evidence in legal proceedings for specific purposes.

Lawyers Use Evidence To Build A Strong Narrative That Supports Your Claim

Lawyers organize and present evidence to establish liability and the worth of your case.

Lawyers can use evidence during several stages of the proceedings:

  • Discovery process: Construction accident attorneys gather evidence from various sources, including witness testimonies, documents and other relevant information. This phase is crucial for establishing facts and identifying the best legal strategies.
  • Presentation of arguments: During legal proceedings, attorneys present evidence to support their arguments and make the case easier to understand.
  • Cross-examination: Lawyers use evidence to cross-examine witnesses presented by the opposing party, whether an employer, subcontractor or equipment manufacturer. The aim is to challenge the credibility of the evidence provided by the other party and probe for inconsistencies.

Insurance Companies Use Evidence To Evaluate Your Claim

Insurance companies use evidence for:

  • Claim evaluation: Insurance companies evaluate the validity of claims based on the evidence. They review medical records, accident reports and other evidence provided by the claimant to determine the extent of injuries, liability and potential damages.
  • Settlement negotiation: Based on the evidence, insurance companies engage in negotiations with you or your attorney. Strong evidence plays an important role in determining the settlement amount and the willingness of the insurance company to resolve the case outside of court.

The Court Uses Evidence To Make A Final Judgement

If you do not settle outside of court, your case will go to trial, where evidence will be important for several reasons:

  • Admissibility: The court assesses whether the presented evidence meets legal criteria.
  • Jury consideration: In jury trials, evidence is presented to the jury for consideration.
  • Rulings on legal issues: The judge rules on legal issues related to the admissibility of evidence, objections raised by attorneys and other procedural matters that impact the presentation of evidence.
  • Final decision: The court considers the evidence presented by both parties and makes a final judgment. This judgment includes determining liability, awarding damages or dismissing the case based on weak evidence.

Who Can Gather Evidence In A Construction Accident Lawsuit?

While you can personally gather certain pieces of evidence to support your construction lawsuit (such as photos and medical records), a significant portion of evidence might fall outside of your ability or authority to gather.

Parties that can help you secure evidence to build a strong case include:

  • Construction accident attorneys: Legal professionals play a central role in gathering evidence. They can subpoena documents, depose witnesses and utilize legal channels to obtain critical information that may not be voluntarily provided. Read more on how to choose a construction accident lawyer in our guide.
  • Private investigators: In some cases, lawyers might hire private investigators to collect additional evidence, conduct interviews and assess the accident site. Their findings can provide an independent perspective and uncover details that might not be easily noticeable.
  • Law enforcement agencies: If law enforcement was involved after the accident, they can provide evidence related to safety violations, criminal negligence or other legal aspects of the construction accident. Although their primary focus is not on building a civil case, the reports they file can be used by lawyers to pursue compensation for your injuries.
  • Insurance companies: Insurance companies involved in the construction project might have access to relevant documents, such as contracts, policies and records, which could be requested during the legal process.

A trusted legal team can help you navigate the complex process of gathering evidence. With over 50 years of experience in personal injury law, our attorneys at The Law Offices of Spar & Bernstein have represented thousands of construction accident victims and have helped them win their cases.

Check out our success stories — the latest of which is securing compensation of $14,75 million in a construction accident lawsuit against New York City.

Were you injured in a construction accident?

Contact Spar & Bernstein

Do You Have A Construction Accident Case? Contact Spar & Bernstein

Our experienced attorneys at Spar & Bernstein understand the profound impact a construction accident can have on you and your family.

We approach each situation with compassion, knowing that behind every case is a person whose life has been disrupted by unforeseen circumstances.

If you have suffered injuries in a construction accident, our team will:

  • Conduct an on-site investigation
  • Meticulously collect evidence
  • Collaborate with experts to evaluate the damages you can pursue
  • Complete and file your lawsuit
  • Handle negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf
  • Take your case to trial
  • Keep you informed of the case’s progress

If you or your loved one are a victim of a construction accident, we will seek justice and fair compensation for the injuries sustained.

Looking for a construction accident lawyer?

Schedule a consultation