Is My Construction Accident a Personal Injury or a Workman’s Comp Case?

July 1, 2013  |  Adriel B. Villarreal

Though non-employees are injured in construction accidents the bulk of construction accidents happen to employees. Sometimes the parties involved can try to avoid responsibility by telling you that it’s a workman’s compensation matter and nothing more.
If you’re injured on the job then you certainly do have the right to seek workman’s compensation benefits. However, you may be entitled to additional compensation if the negligence of a third party caused your accident.
Determining this negligence can be difficult. For example, your injury might have been caused by defective materials that a vendor provided to your company. You might not ever learn this without an extensive discovery process.
It’s worth talking to a lawyer simply because workman’s compensation benefits will rarely cover all of the costs of a construction accident, costs which often include not only medical bills but lost wages as well. You shouldn’t expect to be able to pinpoint all of the responsible parties by yourself, and you certainly shouldn’t rely on your employer’s interpretation of events since your employer might well have a stake in avoiding a personal injury conflict.
It usually takes a qualified personal injury attorney’s discovery process to locate the proof that you’re entitled to more compensation. This is because construction cases are often a complex web of potential responsible parties, insurance companies, building codes, safety regulations, industry standards and company policies. These cases are defended vigorously.
Often, things can get even more complicated simply because multiple insurance companies who are involved may spend a lot of time and energy trying to shift liability and blame to one another, or to you. It’s rare to find an insurance company that says, “Yes, you’re absolutely right. We do owe you this money because this is the exact situation our client pays us premiums to cover. We’ll cut you a check for a truly fair amount right away.”
This is why you should avoid speaking to any representatives of any insurance companies until you’ve spoken to a personal injury attorney. Let your attorney deal with them, since you could potentially say something that keeps you from getting the reparations you deserve later in the process. Instead, focus on taking plenty of pictures, seeking medical treatment, and following the doctor’s orders.
At Barna, Guzy & Steffen, we have decades of experience working with construction accident claims. We can help you get your life back if you’ve been injured in a construction accident. Call us today to find out what we can do to resolve your case.