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Receiving compensation when there's third-party negligence


Construction workers are, statistically, the workers most likely to get injured on the job. In 2012, construction workers accounted for almost 20 percent of fatalities and reported high rates of non-fatal injuries. When a worker is injured on the job, he may be eligible for workers' compensation.

Workers' compensation is a relatively straightforward concept. Should a worker become injured doing their job, workers' compensation will cover certain costs related to the injury. Depending on the severity of the injury, workers' compensation may cover everything from lost wages to medical costs to vocational training. Workers' compensation is a perk that comes automatically with every legal job. The caveat is that in exchange for receiving workers' compensation funds, the employee cannot sue the employer for additional compensation. There are some exceptions to this rule, however, and they are rare, and only a qualified attorney can help you determine if you are entitled to additional damages from your employer.

What is more likely is the possibility that you can receive additional financial compensation from a third-party. A third-party is basically anyone who does not work directly for the employer. If a worker believes that they have been injured on the job as a result of faulty equipment, he or she may be able to file what is known as a third-party claim. In the construction industry, for example, construction employers and employees can follow all recommended safety precautions and still have problems. Scaffolding may collapse because it does not comply with OSHA regulations. A properly used nail gun can misfire. A dumpster can overturn, or a forklift can run amok. In these types of situations, the injured party may be able to file a claim against, say, the scaffolding manufacturer for failing to create safe scaffolding. Third-party claims may allow an injured worker to receive funds to cover problems not covered by workers' compensation.

Being injured on the job can have disastrous results. Injured workers may suffer everything from loss of wages to permanent disabilities. Seeking help from a qualified lawyer can help an injured worker receive the monetary compensation he or she needs to care for his family and go on with their life.