It’s all too easy to get hurt while working on a construction site. The combination of dozens, even hundreds of people, heavy machinery, tall heights and weather conditions can all conspire to make a construction worker an easy target. This is why construction accidents continue to be one of the main causes of workers getting hurt or even dying when on the job across the country.
That’s also why workers’ compensation claims exist. If you get hurt on the job because of your employer’s actions or negligence, you have a right to be reimbursed for your medical expenses and even paid for your pain and suffering.
That being said, it’s rarely ever that easy. Construction companies have lawyers on retainer for a number of reasons, but workers’ compensation is definitely one of them. On top of that, you have to consider that insurance companies aren’t looking forward to making a big payout either. They, too, will have a small platoon of attorneys at their disposal.
Other Parties Involved
Unfortunately, those aren’t the only factors working against you. A lot of times, construction workers get hurt, not because of their employer, but because of the people they’re working with. As long as it’s not an issue where the coworker wasn’t properly trained (which could thus be employer negligence), a workers’ compensation suit may not be possible. Rather, you’d have to sue the coworker for personal injury.
Likewise, think about all the tools that get used on a construction site. They represent a number of different manufacturers. If you get hurt because a nail gun backfires, you can’t very well sue your employer for that. You’d have to go after the company that made the nail gun with a product liability suit. There are also all the people who may be working on the site, but not strictly employed by the same business that employs you. People dropping off deliveries, union representatives and others could be behind your injury, but they wouldn’t make good targets for a workers’ compensation suit.
Knowing When to Settle
When a workers’ compensation suit is appropriate, more often than not, it will end in a settlement rather than liability being assigned by a judge or jury and damages being paid out. This is just a symptom of how difficult and long these cases can be. Reaching a settlement doesn’t have to be a bad thing though. While it’s clearly atypical, a man in New York recently settled his workers’ compensation suit for $62 million.
Settlements can be discussed at any time during the trial, even when damages are being negotiated post-liability.
The Importance of Legal Representation
Hopefully, this makes it clear that you should have legal representation when filing a workers’ compensation claim. While you want to do it as quickly as possible, proceeding without a qualified lawyer could gravely hurt your chances of seeing any damages for all you’ve been through.
At Ingerman and Horwitz, we have the experience and knowledge to help you through every step of your workers’ compensation claim. Contact us today and we’ll give you a free consultation to show how we can help.