If you are a construction worker who was injured on the job site, workers' compensation will most likely pay for your medical care and cover part of your lost wages. In addition to those benefits, you could potentially file a lawsuit against a third party. To determine what options you have available to you, here is what you need to know.
Which Injuries Are Covered?
In most instances, all of your injuries are covered by workers' compensation. Workers' comp is considered to be a no-fault system, so even if you were partially or fully responsible for your accident, there is a good chance that your injuries will still be covered. There are some exceptions though.
For instance, if you were intoxicated at the time of the accident, your employer's insurance company could fight your claim.
Is a Third Party Responsible?
In some construction accidents, there is sometimes a third party that is responsible. To identify the third party, you need to consider the circumstances of the accident.
For instance, if you were injured because the tractor you were operating had a design flaw that caused it to tip over, you could hold the tractor manufacturer responsible for your injuries and file a lawsuit. If your employer relies on a contractor to construct the scaffolds on the site, the contractor could be legally liable for your injuries.
What Do You Have to Prove in a Lawsuit?
If you plan to file a lawsuit against a third party, it is important to remember that the lawsuit is considered to be a personal injury case. As such, you must prove that the third party had a duty to ensure your safety and failed to do so. You also have to show that you did suffer injuries as a result of the accident.
For instance, the contractor had a responsibility to construct the scaffold according to the directions provided by the manufacturer. By failing to do so, the contractor breached its duty of care. As a result, you suffered an injury. To prove your injuries, you can provide your medical records, witness testimony, and attest to how you have been physically and emotionally impacted by the accident.
Consult with an experienced attorney to receive help with filing your workers' compensation case and to assess whether or not it is possible to file a lawsuit against a third party. If it is, the attorney can help you file the lawsuit and possibly settle the case. For assistance talk to an attorney like Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn LLP.