Construction Accidents: How Workers' Comp and Third-Party Claims Differ

constructionConstruction sites are dangerous workplaces and as a result, on-the-job accidents aren't uncommon.

Due to hazards of the job, when a construction worker is hurt, their injuries may be quite serious, requiring extensive medical treatment and recovery time.

Medical bills from a construction accident can add up quickly, leading injured workers to wonder about their options for compensation.

After a construction accident, injured workers may be entitled to benefits under Pennsylvania's Workers' Compensation Act, which requires employers to carry insurance coverage to compensate workers hurt on the job.

A no-fault system, workers' compensation allows injured workers to collect medical and lost income benefits, regardless of who caused the construction accident and injuries.

Not having to prove negligence in order to collect benefits is one of the main advantages of seeking compensation through the workers' compensation system. However, workers' compensation may not be the only avenue that injured workers can pursue. Construction workers injured in on-the-job accidents caused by a worker from another company may have grounds for a third-party personal injury claim.

Examples of potentially liable third parties in construction accident cases include:

  • Subcontractors
  • Property or business owners
  • Equipment or machinery manufacturers
  • Non-employee supervisors
  • Drivers (in work-related vehicle accidents)

Third-party construction accident claims require plaintiffs to show the defendant owed them a duty of care, breached that duty of care, and that breach was the direct cause of the injuries and losses they sustained.

Though objectively more difficult than collecting workers' compensation benefits, there are definite advantages to pursuing a third-party personal injury claim. While workers' compensation benefits are relatively limited, third-party claims allow injured workers to seek compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, mental and emotional anguish, scarring or disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Were You Injured in a Construction Accident?

If you're a construction worker injured on the job, it's important to understand your legal rights, as well as all your options for compensation. The knowledgeable attorneys with the Accident and Injury Law Group can review your case to determine if you have grounds for a third-party claim. Contact a workers' compensation attorney today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.

 

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