The answer is yes, but the type of claim depends on how it happens.
The economy is doing well; there is construction everywhere. But along with new construction, comes a large number of injuries and even death. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, constructions worker deaths have risen 37% since 2011, well above other industries. In fact, in 2018, the construction industry accounted for nearly one in five worker deaths in the U.S.
The law is that every employer must carry worker’s compensation insurance. Independent contractors can purchase their own workers compensation insurance as well. If you are injured in the course and scope of your employment on a construction job, you can file a worker’s compensation claim and receive benefits covering your medical bills, lost wages and permanent injuries. This is true no matter how the injury happened, no matter whose fault it was.
Because of worker’s compensation laws, it is extremely difficult to make a personal injury claim against your employer, even if your employer is negligent. However, many construction sites involve multiple contractors, service companies, third party property owners and the like. If your construction injury was caused by the negligence of a third party (i.e. not you or your employer), you can indeed make a personal injury claim and recover for your medical bills, lost wages and human losses, i.e. pain and suffering. In fact, in the case where a third party’s negligence causes your injury, you can make both a personal injury claims and a workers’ compensation claim.
A man who worked on a crew at a large construction project was helping direct a crane operator place large concrete panels for a building. The crane operator, who was employed by a different company, negligently operated the crane, causing a panel to swing wildly, striking the man in the leg, causing serious knee injuries. Eric P. Allen represented this man in a personal injury action against the crane operator and the crane operator’s employer and obtained a substantial settlement.
If you are injured working on a construction site, it is best to consult an experienced attorney to learn all of your rights to benefits.