When it comes to working on a construction site, workplace accidents are practically inevitable.
Even small scale construction sites host an array of hazards. Construction involves the use of potentially dangerous power tools and often there are many contractors and subcontractors performing different tasks on the same site. There may be heavy equipment, machinery, and building materials involved in the process.
Taking all of this into consideration, you should never underestimate the risk of serious injury on a construction site. As a construction worker, you may wonder how you may be compensated after involvement in a construction accident.
Most accidents that occur on a construction site are caused by the worker’s own error or by the negligence of the employer or a co-worker. Due to this fact, most injured construction workers will be able to resort to workers’ compensation benefits to cover lost wages, medical care, and necessary rehabilitation.
However, if you’ve been involved in an accident where a third party is partially or fully responsible for your injury, it may be possible to bring on a lawsuit in addition to filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Most injuries that occur on construction sites are caused by the mistakes or carelessness of either the injured party, a coworker, or the employer, falling under the theory of negligence. However, under the exclusive remedy rule, it is typically impossible to bring a negligence act against your own employer or coworker.
When multiple contractors or subcontractors are involved or operating at the same construction site, your injury may be caused by a third party. In this situation, it may be possible to pursue a personal injury action against that individual and that individual’s employer.
A product liability claim is filed as a result of an allegation that the plaintiff’s injury was caused by a product that was unsafe, typically by way of a design defect, production defect, inadequate warning labels and instructions, or foreseeable misuse. In this case, the third party (someone outside of that employment) is responsible for the design, installation, maintenance, and appropriate warning labels associated with operating that machinery. Therefore, that person is negligent in carrying out their duties and you may be able to pursue a product liability action against that third-party in relation to the injuries you suffered.
Construction site accidents can also come in the form of long-time exposure to workplace or environmental toxins. For example, shipyard workers have found decades later that they suffered from asbestos-related illnesses. Welders are potentially exposed to manganese in welding rods, causing manganism. Similarly, use or exposure to lead paint can cause lead poisoning.
Construction injury cases can pose a bit of difficulty in determining the role of the employer and in some cases can make it harder to determine that an injury is actually work-related.
No matter what situation they find themselves in, injured construction workers will generally benefit from at least a consultation with a qualified workers compensation lawyer like Montagna Law. A lawyer will be able to review your case for workers’ compensation and also for potential recompense from third-party defendants if applicable.