Working construction is highly physical, hard work. While work that is so demanding can be gratifying, some dangers come along with it too—running big equipment and heavy machinery, working in areas up high, and even handling high voltages or sharp tools. No matter how much you train, wear protective gear, and take all measures to be safe, construction accidents still happen.
If you have been in a construction accident or other worksite mishap that resulted in injuries, you might be wondering what your rights are. Is Workers’ Compensation all you can claim? Let’s look at what an accident at work means for you and your family.
Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Lawsuits
After being injured at work, your Human Resource department will encourage you to fill out the paperwork for Workers’ Compensation (Workers’ Comp). Unfortunately, once you have done that, many companies imply that Workers’ Compensation is all you need to do, and things will be taken care of.
The truth is Workers’ Comp benefits only relate to direct employer and employee legal claims. Yes, you can still file a suit with Workers’ Comp against your employer, but it seldom results in the compensation you are probably seeking. After all, you may deserve reimbursement for missed work and lost wages as well as several medical bills. Then there are the damages that have resulted from your construction accident, including lasting injuries and the suffering and pain that goes with it. You may also have lost the ability to continue working at your job. And don’t discount the disabilities that have come because of negligence by your employer or faulty equipment, etc.
An attorney will tell you that you also have the opportunity to file a personal injury claim. A construction site can include many kinds of trades, companies, and employees. A personal injury lawyer like Wormington & Bollinger can help you sort it all out and uncover who was responsible for the negligence that took place on the day of your accident. A Workers’ Compensation lawsuit and personal injury suit may be the best option in your situation.
What If a Death Occurred in the Construction Accident?
If your loved one passed away because of a construction accident, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit against those that were negligent and responsible. This kind of lawsuit will enable the family of the deceased to be compensated for their death. However, there is a limit to family members being allowed to seek compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. This includes:
- Surviving Spouses or Domestic Partners
- Children and Grandchildren (if the children have passed away)
- Anyone that would be authorized or entitled to receive property of the descendent
Some of the damages typically recovered in this type of lawsuit may include:
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of financial support the deceased family member would have provided
- Value of service the deceased family member would have provided
- Loss of companionship and affection
Who Could Be Liable and Held Responsible for Construction Accidents?
There are many ways to be injured on a construction site, especially a commercial construction site! With so many different trades, companies, and equipment on-site each day, there can also be many other people or businesses that can be found at fault. Those that can be held liable may include:
- City where the construction site is located
- An engineer or architect
- Property owner
- Construction company (or employer)
- Equipment or tool manufacturer
- Contractors or subcontractors
Did you know that even if you are partially at fault for the accident at work, you can still file a claim against others that were to blame for the other portion of the accident? The jury involved in the case will assign percentages to those at fault according to the amount they believe each party played in the accident.
Are All Accidents the Result of Negligence?
It may seem that negligence is the main reason for an accident in the workplace, but other things can be to blame. For example, some of the other personal injury claims may be a result of:
- Product defects – Under specific liability laws, the creator, manufacturing company, supplier, and seller of a product or equipment can be held liable for any damages caused by their product. Anyone along the line, from a product being invented to where it gets in the hands of the owner, can be held liable.
- Premises liability – If an accident happens on someone’s property, they can be held liable, depending on the reason the victim was there in the first place.
- Vicarious liability of an employee – Negligent employees can be held liable, but the company that employs that negligent employee can also be found accountable.
Don’t Be Taken Advantage of
A construction accident and the injuries that happened because of it is not something you want to mess around with. Although you may have the desire to heal and get on top of things before contacting a personal injury lawyer, you should do all you can to involve them as early as possible.
Wormington & Bollinger are one call away and are ready and willing to assist you in both Workers’ Compensation claims, and the personal injury claims or wrongful death claims you may choose to pursue. You’ll have an advocate working for you in even the messiest of claims so that you can concentrate on getting better as fast as possible.
While someone working on a construction site can get compensation through Workers’ Comp, it’s essential to know that there are other options. You can choose depending on how you were injured, how badly, and who was responsible for the damages. Before you fill out any paperwork or sign any documents accepting Workers’ Compensation, be sure to talk with your legal team to make sure it is in your best interest.
You deserve compensation for your construction accident. Don’t expect anything less than the best. Contact Wormington & Bollinger today to get expert advice on your construction accident claim.