Even when all guidelines are followed, construction sites are still one of the most accident prone, dangerous locations. This is especially concerning for construction workers who have to be present to work each day. Many construction sites don’t follow all guidelines, making accident and injury all the more likely. The injuries which are sustained are usually severe: individuals falling from roofs or equipment malfunctioning, causing crush injuries, head injuries, or even amputation.
While workers’ compensation should be available to the worker at most construction accidents, it is rarely enough to cover all the costs of serious injuries, especially given that the damages that are covered are less than the amount you can recover under any other accident case. That’s where our personal injury attorneys can help you with a potential negligence claim in addition to your work comp case.
It is important to have an attorney who understands the intricacies involved in construction methods and operation. There are many industry terms and specific regulations, including building codes, OSHA, ANSI, and others. Oftentimes construction injuries occur due to the neglect of another contractor (a sub) who works for a different company, or due to a product defect (a ladder collapse or machine failure). In such situations, the injured worker is not only entitled to workers’ compensation but may also be able to present what is called a “third party claim” against the other company that is at fault in addition to their workers’ compensation claim. This is crucial to the injured individual because the third party claim provides full recovery of damages including pain, suffering, spousal recovery, and other losses, whereas workers’ compensation law does not provide. A brief outline of the main differences is below:
Many, if not most, workers’ compensation lawyers focus on just that—work comp. Oftentimes they may not even be looking for third party claims and over the years I have had people call me who already had a lawyer and the claim was one that seemed obvious to me, but was not being pursued. Fortunately for those folks, we were still within the time period to make a claim. However, if you wait too long you can be time barred what is known as the Statute of Limitations (laws that set limits on when cases have to be filed) What can be worse is if you agree to a full and final settlement with the workers’ comp insurance company and in the settlement papers that you sign it prevents further recovery against anyone else You can lose a case that you may not have even known you had—one that is normally significantly more valuable.
We focus on securing a full recovery for our clients, not just one piece of the puzzle. Give us a call as soon as possible to evaluate all aspects of your claim. Like all accident cases we handle, there is no cost to you up front and we only get paid if we get a recovery for you.
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