If you sustained a work-related injury on a construction site, you may have questions about your legal rights, particularly in regard to workers’ compensation versus a personal injury lawsuit. You may not see the point of hiring an attorney if you are already receiving payments from workers’ compensation during your recovery. It is possible, however, that you may be entitled to damages that go beyond what workers’ compensation pays. That’s why it can be helpful to hire an attorney soon after your accident who can explain your options to you and what you deserve in your particular situation.
You may have heard that if you file a workers’ compensation claim, you cannot also file a civil suit. This is not altogether accurate. It is true that you forfeit your right to file any personal injury action against your employer once you start receiving workers’ compensation benefits, but if there is a third party who bears some responsibility for your accident, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against that individual or entity.
When it comes to work injuries, a construction site is a special situation in that the construction company that employs you may have subcontracted work out to other individuals or companies. If one of these entities contributed to your injuries, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit without involving your employer or affecting your work comp benefits.
Sometimes the party responsible for your injuries doesn’t work with the construction company at all. You may have been injured as the result of a dangerous or defective piece of equipment, in which case you may have grounds to bring a product liability suit against the manufacturer.
If you do take civil action in regard to a construction site injury, the third party’s insurance company may approach you with an offer to settle the case and compensate you for your injuries. Almost without fail, this offer will be less than you deserve, and it will often be insufficient to cover all your financial losses, both present and future. It is in your best interest to consult an attorney before signing such a settlement. Don’t wait until afterward because by signing, you waive your right to bring future legal action.
After an accident, you should concentrate on your recovery. Worrying about legal issues and paperwork can create an unneeded distraction and a lot of unhelpful stress. An attorney can help you manage the paperwork and reduce the associated hassle, alleviating at least some of your worry. For more information about how we can help you, contact our office today.