When you work in construction, you spend a lot of time around heavy equipment. Between dangerous tools, machinery and climbing over scaffolding, there’s plenty of accident potential. In most professions, getting injured on the job means you’re generally limited to workers’ compensation. In some cases, however, you may be entitled to sue your employer or a negligent third party.
Workers’ Compensation Limitations
Workers’ compensation is a “no fault” type recovery—you don’t have to prove your employer was at fault. Instead, you simply need to prove that your injury occurred in the course and scope of your employment. Your employer should have workers’ compensation insurance, which will cover lost wages, medical expenses and any disability (partial or permanent) stemming from the injury. This allows the employee to recover compensation for the harm suffered without having to pursue litigation, which can be costly and time-consuming.
There are some cases where an employee can also sue their employer. This is usually only allowed when the employer purposely caused the employee harm, or purposely removed safety precautions.
Third Party Lawsuits
Even if you can’t sue your employer, you may have other recourse. Third parties like subcontractors and contractors might be held responsible for your accident under a negligence theory. In that case, you’ll need to prove that they owed you a duty of care (a level of responsibility to prevent injury), they violated that duty and you were harmed as a direct result. If a third party was the cause of your heavy equipment accident, you should be able to recover workers’ compensation as well as damages from a negligence lawsuit.
Finally, you may be able to pursue a product liability claim. If you were injured thanks to defective heavy equipment or safety equipment, the manufacturer may be to blame. Product liability doesn’t assign fault in the same way negligence does. If you can prove the equipment left the manufacturer in a dangerous condition, you used the equipment in the manner it was intended and the equipment caused your injury, the manufacturer is strictly liable.
The benefit of suing a third party is that you can potentially recover additional damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium and punitive damages, among others. These are not available in workers’ compensation claims.
Call My Office for Help with Your Construction Injury Claim
I have years of experience representing injury victims in Ohio in a wide range of personal injury cases, including heavy equipment accidents. I can assess your case and will help determine the options you have for seeking financial compensation. If another person or party is responsible for your injuries, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call me at 877.944.4373 so that I can evaluate your case as soon as possible.