Construction jobs tend to be more dangerous than most other jobs. In fact, about 20 percent of all work-related fatalities happen on construction sites. When someone is injured on a site, where can they turn for compensation – workers’ comp or personal injury? Either is possible, but there are definite pros and cons to each.
First, Some Details About the Injury
Who was injured – a worker or a visitor? An injured worker might choose between workers’ comp or personal injury. A visitor or other non-employee only has the option of filing a personal injury claim.
Workers’ compensation only covers work-related injuries, occupational diseases, and fatalities. Like all employees, construction workers generally are not covered by workers’ comp before they start their shift or while commuting to and from work. Once they are on the job site and working, they will be covered by workers’ comp.
But is workers’ compensation always the best way to be compensated for your injuries?
Workers’ Comp or Personal Injury Claim?
Who caused the injury matters. Construction sites often are managed by one company with subcontractors and third parties handling some of the work. A construction worker who is injured by a third party might have a workers’ comp claim because the injury happened while at work. However, suing a third party for your injuries might end with higher compensation.
When a worker claims workers’ compensation benefits, those benefits should start right away. Taking the personal injury route will delay your financial recovery a bit.
In some cases, accepting workers’ comp means you cannot sue your employer. However, this does not mean you cannot file a personal injury claim against another party. For example, Joe was injured at his work site. He accepted workers’ compensation benefits from his employer because his injury was work-related. But the injury was caused by a negligent third-party. Joe should talk to an attorney about filing a personal injury lawsuit against the third party.
No-Fault or Not?
Most workers’ compensation injuries are no-fault. An injured person can still get workers’ compensation benefits even if partially responsible for the incident, though there are some exceptions.
However, state laws affect how personal injury compensation is awarded. Some states use comparative negligence, which means that your percentage of blame might reduce your award. So, if Joe receives $100,000 in a personal injury claim but was found 20% at fault, he might only receive $80,000.
The important thing to remember about deciding between workers’ comp or personal injury is that you need experienced legal counsel. If you are injured at a construction site, contact an attorney immediately to preserve your options.
Call Us to Discuss Your Workers’ Comp or Personal Injury Decision
If you are interested in the matters discussed in this blog, be sure to call us for a free consultation or leave a comment.
At the Dailey Law Firm, P.C., our team of skilled lawyers and professionals provide the high-quality legal services you need. Call us at 844-342-5353 to set up a free consultation or use the Contact Form on our website. There’s no fee for personal injury cases unless we win.
We represent clients throughout the entire United States. You can reach us online or visit one of our offices in Detroit, MI; Chicago, IL; or Valparaiso, IN.