According to Bureau of Labor statistics, the construction industry is one of the most popular, but also the most dangerous, occupations in the country, with nearly 7 million workers, and almost 1,000 deaths annually. Because much of the work is done at significant heights above the ground and because the work often involves the use of heavy equipment and power tools, the risk of serious injury, even from a seemingly minor accident, is great. If you have been hurt on a construction job, what are your options?
FILE A WORKERS' COMPENSATION CLAIM
In most instances, your employer will be required to have Workers' compensation insurance to compensate you for any work-related injuries. With a workers' compensation claim, you generally only have to show that you were hurt and that the injury occurred in the normal course and scope of your job. If your claim is approved, you will start to receive benefits within a few weeks. The amount of your benefits, though, will be based on your average weekly wage before your injury. Workers' compensation benefits typically cover medical expenses and you may be eligible for an additional award if you have a permanent disability.
FILE A THIRD PARTY CLAIM
Workers' compensation benefits are intended only to compensate you for any negligence of your employer or a co-worker. If you suffered injury because of the wrongful acts of a third party, such as a vendor, supplier or customer, the workers' compensation laws do not prohibit you from filing a civil lawsuit to recover damages from that party. You can file a third party action simultaneously with a workers' compensation claim, but you cannot recover double damages for the same injury. If you successfully apply for workers' compensation benefits that pay for medical expenses, you cannot recover the same medical expenses in a separate action against an unrelated third party.
CONTACT THE ATTORNEYS AT MALLON & TRANGER
We offer a free initial consultation to anyone who has suffered any type of loss or injury as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another person. To set up a meeting, contact us online or call us at 732-702-0333 (toll free at ) for an appointment. We have offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.