Construction sites are dangerous. Working at heights, scaffoldings, and trenches with heavy machinery, dangerous equipment and tools make your surrounding a hazardous one. But still, you expect your workplace to be reasonably safe so that you can stay protected from any potential injuries and risks. If you work at a construction site and suffer from an injury, here are the legal options available for you.
Workers’ Compensation Claim
As with any other occupation, construction workers are also eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Generally, it is a no-fault system for receiving compensation, which means that you don’t need to prove your employer’s or co-worker’s fault to receive disability or medical benefits for your injury, even if it was your fault. You only need to prove your injury and that it occurred while you were at work.
Since you don’t need to go through litigation and prove that your injury was caused due to someone else’s negligence, damages like suffering and pain are not covered under workers’ compensation claims. However, handling the claims process is not easy, and finding a personal injury lawyer to file your claim can maximize your compensation.
Your employer legally requires workers’ compensation insurance, through which the compensation benefits are paid to the injured worker. A workers’ compensation claim typically pays for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Permanent or partial disability
Apart from the workers’ compensation, you can also file a claim for damages against other entities and persons responsible for your injury. While working at a construction site, you work with several vendors, subcontractors, machine operators, truck drivers, and others. If any person other than your employer is responsible for your injury, you may file a claim against them or even their employer. The actions you take are similar to a personal injury claim after a car accident. For such a civil lawsuit, you need to prove three points:
- The entity or person was responsible for your security
- The entity or person failed to fulfill that responsibility and that they were negligent towards their duty
- You got injured due to their negligence
Examples of accidents at construction sites caused due to another entity or person’s negligence include:
- Truck driver recklessly driving at the site
- You fell from a scaffolding that was not erected properly
- The safety equipment you were wearing was defective
- Injuries caused due to repetitive motion
- Toxic chemical spills due to malfunctioning equipment
- Trench collapse due to low-quality trench barriers
Product Liability Lawsuit
Sometimes, you may get injured due to a product or piece of equipment even though you used it correctly. The tool, machine, or equipment might have caused your injury due to poor manufacturing or faulty design. If that’s the case, you may file your claim as a product liability lawsuit.
You may file your lawsuit against the tool’s designer, parts supplier, or manufacturer. Although these people or entities were not present at the construction site, their negligent actions played a role in your workplace injury. At the time of filing a product liability lawsuit, you have to prove the following points in the court:
- The equipment, tool, or machinery responsible for your injury was built and supplied in an unsafe and dangerous way
- You followed the instructions correctly while using the product
- The product was dangerously defective, and that injured you
Although you cannot file a claim against your employer for your job site illness or injury, you can pursue a workers’ compensation, civil or product liability lawsuit to recover your benefits. The best course of action would be to hire a personal injury lawyer and let them evaluate the situation and represent you for maximum chance of success. They will help you navigate through the claims process and recover the compensation that you rightfully deserve.