Despite the best efforts of all parties involved, construction sites can present a variety of risks for both workers and pedestrians. From falling objects to defective tools and safety equipment, numerous issues can lead to serious injuries. Thus, property owners, builders and other entities involved in construction projects must take appropriate steps to mitigate their risk of liability.
Liability for Construction Site Accidents in the Dominican Republic
With regard to construction site accidents in the Dominican Republic, there are two primary forms of civil liability: contractual and extra-contractual. Depending on the circumstances, each entity involved in a construction project could potentially face liability for an accident victim’s losses. This includes:
- Builders and construction companies
- Contractors and subcontractors
- Product sellers and manufacturers
- Professional practices (architecture and engineering firms)
- Property owners
Along with accidents involving falling objects and defective products, other types of construction-related accidents that can lead to liability include, but are not limited to:
- Falls from heights
- Vehicle collisions
- Electrical issues
- Release of toxic fumes or dust
- Machinery and equipment accidents
- Building collapses
- Scaffolding accidents
Ways to Mitigate Liability for Construction Site Accidents
Fortunately, there are a number of different ways that individuals and companies involved in construction projects in the Dominican Republic can reduce their risk of liability in the event of an accident. While it may not always be possible to entirely avoid liability for construction site accidents, four examples of effective risk mitigation strategies are:
- Following Workplace Safety Rules and Adhering to Best Practices – Many construction site accidents result from the property owners’ and employers’ failure to follow appropriate safety practices. Maintaining an effective safety compliance program can not only reduce the risk of accidents, it can also help insulate companies from liability when accidents occur.
- Implementing Policies and Procedures – Beyond adopting appropriate safety practices, companies involved in construction projects should implement other necessary policies and procedures as well. For manufacturers, this could mean improving quality control in order to limit product defects. For construction companies, it could mean ensuring that all employees on the jobsite are adequately trained.
- Structuring and Properly Maintaining Limited Liability Entities – Stock companies (SAs), limited liability companies (SRLs) and other entities established under Dominican law afford their owners protection from business-related debts. This includes injury related liabilities. Property owners and others involved in construction projects should carefully consider their options and structure legal entities that will help shield their personal assets in the event of a construction-related accident.
- Purchasing Liability Insurance – Businesses involved in construction projects should strongly consider their options with regard to liability insurance. Different types of policies provide coverage for varying types of accidents (e.g., professional errors and omissions versus jobsite liabilities), and companies should carefully assess their liability exposure in order to select appropriate coverage limits.
The Del Carpio Office – Civil and Commercial Lawyers in Santo Domingo
The attorneys at The Del Carpio Office provide experienced and insightful legal representation for individuals and companies involved in construction projects throughout the Dominican Republic. If you have concerns about liability exposure, we can help. To schedule an initial consultation tell us how we can help online today.