California Construction and Work-Site Injury Attorneys
The main issue when an accident occurs on or near a work-site is whether the injured person is or was a worker (employee) at the site, or a bystander?
Worker’s Compensation or Personal Injury Claim?
If the injured person was an employee of the work-site s/he was injured at or contracted a disease from, during the course and scope of her/his employment, most workers know that they have the right to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
In California it is illegal for an employer not to carry Workman’s Compensation Insurance. The California Worker’s Compensation Act provides benefits to employees who are injured on the job or suffer an occupational disease arising out of actions performed within the course and scope of their employment even if the employee is partially or even totally at fault for her/his own injury.
If the injured person was not an employee when injured on or near a work-site, then a personal injury claim is that injured party’s path for restitution.
Limitations on worker’s rights to sue employers.
In certain situations, there are limitations on the employees’ rights. Aside from very limited circumstances, employees may not ‘sue their employers’ for an injury suffered while performing the duties of their job. If the injured person was a work-site employee and was injured (or contracted a disease) while working at their site, the employee has the path available for filing a workers compensation claim. There are however, circumstances under which the injured worker can pursue both a worker’s compensation claim as well as a case for damages against a liable party other than the employer. This would be what is known as a ‘third-party’ claim/case.
A claim against a third-party for Negligence
Where a non-employee is injured on or near a work-site, as you might be able to guess, it is not always easy to determine who or which party/parties are responsible for an accident. There are property owners; architects; general contractors; subcontractors; sub-sub-contractors; engineers, and providers of products and equipment used on a site that may have been defective and caused or contributed to the injury. All of these persons and entities have duties and responsibilities with regard to providing a safe work environment and safe surroundings, providing products and tools that perform at a minimally safe standard, and providing reasonable warnings.
One advantage to a third-party claim is that it can result in substantially greater compensation than what an injured employee might receive through a workers’ compensation claim. In a third-party suit, the worker can recover damages in the form of lost wages, impairment of earning capacity, costs of medical expenses (both present and future), loss of consortium, as well as pain-and-suffering. For this reason, it is vital that the injured person/claimant retain the services of a law-firm that has extensive expertise and experience in work-site accident cases.
As you can see, there are many factors that can play an important role in the outcome of your case. Additionally, time is of the essence. Memories fade and evidence can get lost or witnesses can become unavailable.
Free Consultation and Case Review, and there are no attorney’s fees unless we win your case.
Call the Law Offices of Gregory A. Montegna at your earliest convenience. We can answer your questions and give you an idea of the value of your case. We can talk with you over the phone, or you are welcome to come into our office, or we can meet you and your family at a location that works for you.