If I’m Injured While Working on a Construction Site, Can I Get More than Just Workers’ Compensation?

If I’m Injured While Working on a Construction Site, Can I Get More than Just Workers’ Compensation?

Construction workers at building sites can recover workers’ compensation benefits from their employers when they are injured at construction sites, but they generally cannot sue their employers for damages 0ther than those benefits. When a party other than their employer is negligent and that negligence is the cause of their injuries, workers may be able to sue non-employer parties for pain and suffering and other damages that workers’ compensation does not cover. 

The Los Angeles construction accident attorneys at Ellis Injury Law help injured construction workers in Southern California to recover the full amount of compensation they deserve following a construction site accident. We understand the complex interactions that characterize construction sites and we work to understand the facts and details that demonstrate a party’s negligence and liability for a construction worker’s injuries. 

When parties other than an employer be responsible for compensation in excess of workers’ compensation benefits? 

Several parties other than an injured construction worker’s employer might be liable for negligence at a building site:  

  • the general or prime contractor, and other subcontractors working at the site 
  • the site’s owner or manager, who is responsible for keeping the premises free from safety hazards and dangers or warning site personnel about those dangers 
  • construction equipment manufacturers and installers, including scaffold suppliers, that supply or assemble defective equipment. 

LA construction attorneys will review the conduct of every party that is working at or supplying materials or equipment to the site to support an injured party’s claims for damages other than workers’ compensation benefits.  

What damages might be available other than workers’ compensation?  

Workers’ compensation benefits include reimbursement of an injured construction employee’s actual medical costs and expenses, replacement of lost wages, and income for a partial or permanent disability that results from a work-related injury. An injured worker who receives these benefits will not be able to claim the same compensation from a negligent third party but may be able to recover damages for pain and suffering, anticipated future medical bills, reduction in earning potential, loss of consortium, and enjoyment of time with family and friends, and similar hardships that are the direct and proximate result of a construction site injury. 

Are an injured worker’s damages from a negligent third party evaluated under the same standards as workers’ compensation benefits? 

Workers’ compensation benefits are not fault-driven. An employee that suffers a job-related injury will not be required to demonstrate that his or her employer was at fault for the injury to recover those benefits. 

An injured worker will, however, have to demonstrate that a third party was at fault before negligence damages will be paid to that worker. An experienced construction lawyer will use the facts of the accident and resulting injuries to show fault. In specific cases, this will require the lawyer to show, for example, that: 

  • a construction site owner failed to alert contractors about known unstable ground conditions or contamination that caused an injury 
  • a building site general contractor or architect failed to coordinate a building project according to established industry safety standards 
  • a supplier negligently assembled a scaffold, leading to its collapse 
  • another contractor failed to properly shield live wires, leading to electrocution risks. 

An injured worker’s lawyer will best be able to record and establish these facts in the days or weeks immediately following an accident. Because facts are more difficult to establish after memories and information about an accident fade, an injured construction worker can best protect his or her right to recover damages in excess of workers’ compensation benefits by retaining a construction attorney as soon as is possible after an accident. 

Can an injured construction employee sue a co-worker whose negligence caused an injury? 

Worker’s compensation laws preclude injured employees from suing their employer and any co-workers that are on the employer’s payroll. This limitation protects all employees who work for the same employer from bearing any liability to co-workers for on-the-job injuries.   

Call the LA accident and injury attorneys at Ellis Injury Law to determine if you can get more than workers’ compensation after a construction site injury 

Please see our website or call the California construction accident attorneys at Ellis Injury Law for more information on when you can recover damages in excess of your workers’ compensation benefits when you have experienced a construction site injury. Our lawyers will review the facts of your case at no cost to you and determine if a third party bears additional responsibility for the damages that are not compensated by workers’ compensation.