If you are a construction worker and have been injured at work, you may have more legal options than you think. Most workplace injuries are covered by workers’ compensation. However, many construction site accidents are also covered by personal injury law.
That means you may have the right to file a lawsuit even if you have claimed workers’ comp. In some cases, you could receive more money when you file for both.
Workers’ comp covers you when your employer or a coworker injures you. A personal injury lawsuit is available when your injury was caused by someone other than your employer or coworkers. This includes accidents caused by workers from another company on the same site. It also includes injuries from dangerous property conditions or defective products.
Common construction injuries caused by third parties
There are many ways to be injured on a construction site, such as:
- Falls from high places
- Being hit by falling objects
- Fires and explosions
- Accidents with vehicles, such as backovers
- Getting crushed between a vehicle and a stationary object
- Trench collapses
- Scaffolding collapses
- Building collapses
- Defective machinery
Whether you have a personal injury claim on top of your workers’ comp claim depends on who was responsible for the incident. If it was your boss or a co-worker with the same company as you, you may only be able to claim workers’ comp. If the person worked for another company, such as a subcontractor or the client, you may have a personal injury claim.
For example, if you were injured while using heavy machinery that malfunctioned, the manufacturer of the machinery might be responsible. Since they don’t work for your company, you can file a personal injury claim.
In another case, you might have been injured by an electrical fault in the building you were rehabbing. It could have been because of a dangerous property condition. If so, the building’s owner may have been responsible, and you could file a personal injury claim.
Another common situation is when a different subcontractor was in charge of part of the job. For example, the project may have had a company specifically to put up the scaffolding. If it did and you were injured due to poor scaffolding, you could have a personal injury claim against the scaffolding company. The same is true whenever another company handles part of the job.
If you have been injured while working on a construction site, you need to know all of your legal options. Have an attorney evaluate whether you have a personal injury claim on top of your workers’ comp claim.