There is no denying construction sites are full of hazards, and accidents are certainly more common on construction sites than those sustained by workers in other industries. As a construction worker, being injured while on-site can have devastating effects. When serious injuries are sustained, they can lead to extended time off work being needed. There are also the costs of medical bills and ongoing treatment or physical therapy.
For construction workers in locations such as Washington, Everett, and Spokane, fortunately, workers’ compensation laws exist to provide financial relief following a workplace injury. This provides some much-needed relief from costly medical expenses and any loss of income suffered due to the accident. In addition to workers’ compensation claims, an injured employee may be entitled to make a personal injury claim in Pacific Northwest when their injuries happened due to someone else’s negligence on site.
What are My Rights Following an Accident at Work?
In the case of construction sites in Washington state, construction companies must carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees. Therefore, if an employee suffers an injury at work, they are entitled to the benefits related to this. This stands regardless of if the employer was at fault or not.
Any injured employee should be aware that although workers’ compensation is a significant benefit that can provide financial assistance at a difficult time, it does not offer full coverage for the financial and non-financial costs suffered by the injured party. Disability benefits take time to implement. Although in most cases, workers’ compensation should cover the total cost of treating your construction site injury, there are some limitations to the cover. It should also be noted that workers’ compensation does not consider the pain, suffering and emotional trauma, and a whole host of other possible losses.
Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury claims, by contract, can provide total compensation for the financial and non-financial losses suffered by the employee. The critical difference is filing a personal injury claim; the employer must have been at fault for the employee’s accident due to workplace negligence.
Therefore, to start a personal injury claim, the individual will need to prove the employer’s liability for their accident. But what do we mean by employer negligence? If your accident occurred as a direct result of any of the following circumstances, the employer could be liable and the employee entitled to make a personal injury claim:
- Inadequate safety training
- Inadequate access to safety equipment required to carry out the job
- Neglect to properly maintain on-site equipment
- Failing to train employees to a competent level
- Inadequate fall protection
- Not carrying out site risk assessments and minimizing the risk of injury where possible
If any of the above apply to your situation, we recommend contacting a legal professional as soon as possible to discuss your case.
In cases where the employer has workers’ compensation coverage, the employee can be limited by the benefits of this cover. This is not applicable if the accident occurred due to the negligence of a third party.
If you manage to file a successful personal injury claim against your employer, you may have to pay back your worker’s compensation benefit. However, in most cases, filing a personal injury claim can only increase your overall financial compensation.
If you have been affected by a construction site accident, you should speak with a lawyer specializing in workers’ compensation claims and personal injury in the workplace.