Construction Accidents & Third Party Claims

Posted By Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law

22 Feb. 2016

The construction industry is known for being one of the most dangerous occupations for anyone to work in. Often, construction workers are at risk of being struck by cranes and falling objects.

When workers are not having to worry about falling off a ladder or a roof, they're worrying about heavy machinery malfunctioning or an untrained subcontractor being careless and hurting them.

Some of the major risks involved in construction, include:

  • Electrocution
  • Falls from heights
  • Trench collapse
  • Being struck by an object

In many cases, a construction worker is injured because their employer failed to provide adequate training, proper safety equipment, or they failed to properly service or maintain heavy equipment. Safety errors are commonplace in construction.

Going Beyond the Workers' Compensation Claim

In New Jersey, injured construction workers can file a workers' compensation claim, which typically pays for their medical bills and a portion of their lost wages. It can also pay death benefits to surviving family members when the construction worker is killed.

Since workers' compensation is a "no-fault" system, the worker who receives benefits cannot go after their employer for negligence by filing a separate civil lawsuit. However, depending upon the circumstances of the case, the injured worker may have a valid third party claim.

What is a third party claim?

Workers' compensation does not cover a worker's full lost wages, only a portion thereof. That being said, when a third party contributed to the worker's injuries, the worker may have grounds to file a third party claim, in addition to their workers' compensation claim.

For example, if a construction worker was violently attacked by a property owner's dog, he may be able to file a claim against the property owner's homeowner's insurance.

Or, if a worker was struck by a vehicle in a pedestrian accident while he was unloading materials for the job, he may want to file a claim against the driver of the car that hit him.

In construction accidents, often a third party claim is filed against a subcontractor or a manufacturer of faulty machinery, but the liable party can be others as well.

To learn more about your legal options, contact Bergen County Personal Injury Attorney Brandon J. Broderick today!

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