Legal Options and Rights for Injured Construction Workers
If you’ve been injured on the job, you may be entitled to compensation. Generally speaking, your options will be limited to the following: worker’s compensation and personal injury lawsuits. Depending on the cause of your injury, you may choose to sue your employer or a third party, such as an equipment manufacturer. Each option has its own set of rules and regulations that you should be aware of.
Worker’s compensation is often the only option for an injured employee. It typically pays less than a successful personal injury lawsuit, and is financed in part by insurance held by your employer. However, claiming worker’s compensation does not require that you prove negligence on the part of your employer. For this reason, worker’s compensation may be easier to collect than a personal injury settlement.
If you file a personal injury lawsuit, you may choose to name your employer or client as the responsible party, but you may also name a third party in some cases. For example, malfunctioning equipment may be the fault of the manufacturer and not the person overseeing the project. To establish the defendant as negligent, you’ll have to prove that they were responsible for your safety in the first place. This can be complicated, and your case is best left in the hands of a qualified attorney who specializes in personal injury lawsuits.
As a construction worker, you may have been hired as an independent contractor. Independent contractors are not eligible for worker’s compensation, but may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, sometimes a company will wrongly classify its employees as independent contractors to avoid paying for worker’s compensation. This may affect your right to compensation in the event of an accident, so it’s important to rule this out if you think it’s a possibility. Just because you’ve been told that you are not an employee doesn’t mean it’s true, even if it says it on paper.
If you have been injured on the job and want to learn about your right to compensation, or if you’re a contract worker and have questions about your classification, call the Franco Firm at (813) 872-0929 for a consultation.