Construction Accidents ~ What You Need To Know

A construction site is a dangerous place where construction accidents are common. There are loud noises, heavy equipment, and sharp tools in constant motion.  Nearly 1/4th of all worker fatalities that occur in private industry happen in construction. 

It’s the employer’s duty to ensure that construction sites are safe and that employees are properly trained to handle the tools.  If you have been injured because these duties were not performed, then you have a right to compensation.

Personal Injury Claim and a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Most construction accidents involving employees are settled with a workers’ compensation claim.  This is actually somewhat different than a personal injury claim.  A worker’s compensation case is handled with the state’s administrative workers’ compensation agency and is closed faster than a personal injury claim.  However, you likely won’t receive as much as you would through a personal injury claim or a lawsuit.

The major difference between the two is the need to prove negligence.  Negligence is at the heart of most personal injury cases.  If you want a faulty party to pay for your medical bills or losses, then you need to prove that they were negligent and that the accident was their fault.  You do not need to prove negligence to win a workers’ compensation claim.

There are also differences between the amount of compensation offered.  For example, a personal injury claim will allow you to receive compensation for any and all damages that you suffered because of the accident.  This can include loss of enjoyment, pain, impairment, ongoing medical treatment, lost earnings, and much more.

The compensation you receive from workers’ compensation is far more limited. You will receive a weekly amount as well as enough to cover medical bills and rehabilitation.  You may also receive additional benefits for permanent impairment. You cannot receive any sort of compensation for pain and suffering.

Almost any employee that is harmed while working on the construction site is entitled to benefits from workers’ compensation. There is no need to prove that the employer was negligent.  As a matter of fact, you can still receive workers’ compensation if you were the negligent party.

Personal Injury Claims Because Of Faulty Equipment

You are still advised to speak with a well-versed personal injury attorney even if you believe that workers’ compensation laws apply to you.  There are some cases in the construction industry where the fault is not with the employer or contractor.  In those cases, workers’ compensation would not apply because the claim would be filed against someone else.

What if you were injured because of faulty construction equipment on the job? You would not file a claim against the employer or subcontractor because that would fall within the category of workers’ compensation.  Instead, you would file a personal injury claim against the manufacturer of the equipment.

Personal Injury Claims For The Public

Have you been injured at a construction site where you are not an employee?  If so, then workers’ compensation obviously does not apply. Instead, you would file a standard personal injury claim.  It is the duty of the manager of the construction site to warn people of possible dangers. 

It’s also up to them to keep the worksite as safe as possible. Not only to their workers but to the passing public as well.  If you are injured because of the work at a construction site, then you should immediately contact a personal injury attorney.

It’s also possible for construction to cause injury long after the construction has been completed. This would be due to a defect in the building or the materials used. These types of injuries occur frequently and are handled with personal injury claims or lawsuits. Though, identifying the faulty party can be somewhat difficult because of the various elements at play.

Help For Employees And The Public

Construction sites pose a danger to their workers and to the public. But there are certain individuals responsible for controlling that danger and warning others.  If you are an employee who is harmed at a construction site, then workers’ compensation will ensure that your medical bills are paid and you receive adequate compensation. 

If you are not an employee, then you will need to pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit.  In either case, you should start by contacting a new york construction accident attorney with experience handling construction-related cases.