When you are hurt in a construction site accident, or in any work-related incident, your first recourse will often be through state workers’ compensation laws. In many instances, that may be your only recourse, as the laws are set up to make workers’ compensation the “exclusive remedy” for the negligence of your employer or a co-employee. There are situations, though, where you may be able to file a lawsuit in court, either instead of or in addition to a workers’ compensation claim.
Third Party Work Injury Claims
Workers’ compensation claims replace traditional lawsuits only for actions based on the negligence of an employer or a co-worker. Accordingly, if your injuries are caused by some other “third party,” someone other than your employer and not in the employ of your company, the workers’ compensation laws don’t apply. Here are some specific examples of the types of work injury claims that may be excluded from workers’ compensation:
- Injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents either on the job site or while in the course of your employment
- Injuries caused by tools, machinery or equipment not designed or manufactured by your employer-this is known as product liability, and can include negligent design, manufacture or marketing of a dangerous or defective product
- Slips and falls on property not owned by your employer
- Injuries caused by suppliers, vendors, customers or by someone on adjacent or other property
In a third party lawsuit, you won’t be limited to the damages set forth in the workers’ compensation laws. However, the process for recovering compensation will typically be longer, as you’ll have to follow the legal process-filing of documents, gathering of evidence, settlements conferences and trial, if necessary.
Contact the Law Offices of J. Lewis & Associates
To discuss your legal needs with an experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll-free at 1-800-228-0507. There is no charge for your initial consultation. Se Habla Espanol.