Construction workers have some of the highest injury rates of any occupation in the U.S., so you need to be prepared in the event of an injury. It’s important to know whether your injury is covered under workers’ compensation and if you have a case that allows further legal action against other parties referred to as 3rd Parties.
In New Jersey, the law requires every business to have of worker’s compensation insurance. Workers’ Compensation benefits workers to provide medical coverage for all related necessary treatment, temporary disability payments and permanent disability payments. However, Worker’s Compensation doesn’t provide benefits for pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life, permanent lost wages or other economic losses.
If you were injured on the job, chances are it is covered by workers’ compensation. Since it works on a no-fault system, the issue of which party’s negligence caused the injury isn’t a factor.
Types of Injuries Covered by Worker’s Compensation
- Injuries in the course of employment
- Preexisting conditions aggravated through the workplace.
- Injuries sustained during work-sponsored outings or breaks.
- Diseases contracted through exposure to toxins at the workplace.
- Injuries caused by physical and mental stress at the workplace.
Often there may be another claim that arises from a workplace accident, these are called Third Party Claims.
Injuries Caused by a Third Party
Even if you filed for worker’s compensation, you may be able to file a lawsuit for additional financial compensation. If you were injured as the result of a negligent act by a third party or faulty product, there may be another claim that you have in addition to the Worker’s Compensation claim. Depending on the nature of the accident and injury, the defendant in your case will vary.
- Site Safety: accidents on construction sites are rarely the fault of one party alone. Construction sites can be dangerous, but more often than not they do not need to be. Frequently there are other contractors who may be responsible or a general contractor who is supposed to make the site safe by Federal and State laws. When other parties negligence cause accidents, fail to enforce safety rules or allow dangerous conditions, they can be held responsible.
- Dangerous practices: With construction projects, the work and tools can be dangerous. Confined spaces need to be ventilated. Ladders must be secured. Scaffolding has to have safety rails and not be overloaded. Workers using cutting tools needs eye protection. There are many other precautions necessary far too numerous to list. When those practices are allowed, it is often the fault of the general contractor, a sub-contractor or safety person whose job it was to protect the worker.
- Vehicle Accident: Most construction sites have heavy vehicle traffic moving around, from construction vehicles to delivery trucks. If you were injured as the result of negligence by the operator of a vehicle from a third party, you may be able to file a third party lawsuit seeking damages for your losses caused by your injuries.
- Mechanical Malfunction: If you were injured as the result of dangerous or defective machinery or equipment, you may be able to take legal action against the manufacturer of the device. Whether the equipment or device was improperly designed or malfunctioned, if it helped cause your injury, the manufacturer may be found to be at fault in court, and you could be awarded compensation on top of your workers’ compensation
If you were injured on the job by a third party or have a worker’s compensation claim, it is probably in your best interest to seek legal advice. At Levinson Axelrod, P.A., our construction accident attorneys are dedicated to providing the best representation in New Jersey. Consultations are free and fees are only incurred if there is a successful claim. We fight on behalf of injured individuals, and with lawyers with certifications in Civil Practice and Workers’ Compensation Law and, we are certainly qualified. Contact us today for your free case consultation and let us help you on your way to recovery.