Working in the construction industry comes with a lot of work hazards. Construction workers face suffering injuries in falls, from electrocution, from faulty equipment or in an on-the-job vehicle accident. One thing you may not realize as a construction worker is that you may need to make both a workers’ compensation claim and personal injury claim if you suffer an injury at work.
When workers may need a personal injury claim
First, if you suffer an injury at work, you are eligible for a workers’ compensation claim. Even if you fell from a ladder because your boots were wet, you can receive workers’ compensation. You have a personal injury claim if you suffered an injury because of someone else’s negligence or a defective or hazardous product. You may have a third-party personal injury claim for a workplace injury if:
- Someone else’s negligence led to your injury. Perhaps, you are a subcontractor and the general contractor failed to set up the scaffolding correctly at your worksite. You suffer an injury when the scaffolding collapses. Or you are on a job site and the property owner has a vicious dog that bites you. That could be a workers’ comp and personal injury claim.
- You suffer an injury because of defective equipment. A saw you use regularly gives you an electric shock or the ladder you are using suddenly collapses because of a manufacturing flaw. You can make a personal injury claim against the tool’s manufacturer.
- You suffer an injury in an on-the-job vehicle accident. Large worksites often have multiple vehicles traveling in nearly any direction. A driver could hit you or the vehicle you’re traveling in and you suffer an injury, making you eligible for a workers’ compensation claim and personal injury claim.
- You are exposed to toxic substances at work. If you discover you have an asbestos-related illness, it likely was caused by exposure at work. You can make a personal injury claim against the manufacturer of the product containing asbestos.
What to do after a work injury
Any time you suffer an injury at work, you need to report your injury right away and seek immediate medical treatment. If you believe you have a personal injury claim as well as a workers’ compensation claim because of your injury, you need to consult an attorney. An attorney can help determine if a negligent party or defective product led to your injury, making you eligible for further compensation.
You need to take steps to protect yourself when you suffer an injury at work. Consulting with an attorney about a workers’ compensation claim or personal injury claim is part of that.