Falls are the leading cause of construction site accidents resulting in injury or death, accounting for more than 31% of all construction fatalities, according to the Occupational Health Safety Administration (OSHA). Construction workers who are working on the unprotected sides of a building, on scaffolding in disrepair or around worksite debris have a high risk of being injured on the job. If you have been injured in a construction site fall accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation intended to cover your medical expenses, lost income and more.
Workers Compensation for a Construction Site Fall Accident
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning workers can collect benefits regardless of who was to blame for the accident. If you suffer an on-the-job injury in New Jersey or New York, and your employer has workers compensation insurance, you can file a claim to receive medical benefits to cover the cost of treating your injuries. Workers compensation benefits also may include financial compensation for lost income. These benefits can be temporary or permanent, depending upon the severity of the injury.
Limitations of Workers Comp
There are some limitations to workers compensation benefits. For instance, you may be required to have an independent medical exam and receive medical care through an employer or insurance approved doctor. Lost income compensation is capped at ⅔ of your pre-injury income, up to a state-set maximum. Workers compensation also may preclude you from filing a lawsuit against your employer, if they were at-fault for the accident.
Personal Injury Claims for a Construction Site Fall Accident
While workers’ compensation bars you from filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit against your employer, there may be other parties liable for a construction accident. By filing a personal injury lawsuit, you can collect money for damages beyond the limitation of the workers compensation system. Plaintiffs in a personal injury claim can seek compensation for lost income, without a limit, and can pursue damages for intangible losses, like mental anguish as well as pain and suffering.
Personal injury claims after a construction site fall accident are most commonly filed against a third party. Pursuing a personal injury claim requires proving that the third party acted negligently or failed to act, which caused the accident. Common examples of liable parties for third party lawsuits after a construction accident include:
Property owner. If a property owner fails to keep the premises safe and free from hazards, they could be liable in a claim, even at private residences.
General contractor. In the same way a property owner is required to keep the premises safe and free from hazards, a GC also bears responsibility for keeping the entire construction site safe by coordinating subcontractors and adhering to safety laws and regulations.
Subcontractors. If a subcontractor is hired to install equipment or bring certain machines onto the site and fail to do it properly, thus causing your accident, they could be held liable.
Product manufacturers. If you’re injured by failed safety equipment, it’s possible a manufacturing defect caused the accident, in which case a lawsuit could be filed against that company.
In some cases it may be possible to receive both workers compensation and file a third party claim. Construction accident cases can be quite complex and another third party’s liability may not be obvious at first. If you or a loved one has been injured while working at a construction site, protect your rights by contacting an attorney who can help you understand your options.
Hiring a Lawyer for a Construction Site Fall Accident
A construction site is often chaotic; any one or more entities may be legally liable when a construction worker is injured or killed. If you’ve been injured, you should contact an attorney who will review your case and offer options to seek the maximum amount of compensation.
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we are dedicated to assisting clients throughout New Jersey and New York with their injury cases. We have years of experience in both workers compensation and workplace personal injury claims. Our top-rated attorney team has the extensive resources you need to secure a fair case result. If you or a loved one has been injured at a construction site, contact us immediately to discuss your case.