If you are injured while working, do not assume your only source of recovery is workers’ compensation.
Under most circumstances, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which provides partial wage benefits and payment of medical bills in the event an employee is injured on the job. In turn, workers’ compensation laws provide the exclusive remedy for employees against their employers. Benefits under workers compensation are awarded without the need to prove fault, so long as it is shown that the employee was acting within the course and scope of his or her employment, benefits will be awarded. However, workers compensation may not be the only source of recovery for your injuries. This “exclusivity” rule discussed above does not apply where injury or death results from the negligent act or omission of someone, or something, other than your employer.
Injuries Arising From Inadequate Instruction or Warning
A third party claim may arise, for example, where power tools, equipment, or heavy machinery is defectively designed, manufactured, or put into use without providing employees adequate training or instruction on how to use the equipment. In other cases, injury or death may arise where a company misrepresents material information, fails to disclose, or fails to warn individuals or businesses about a dangerous condition or violent person.
Dangerous Property Conditions
Our attorneys have also represented clients who suffered injuries resulting from a dangerous property condition at their jobsite. It may be the case that a condition, such as a stairwell or hand railing, was not designed or constructed in compliance with applicable industry codes and regulations. When those situations arise, both the owner and operator of the property can be held responsible for negligently maintaining, failing to warn, and failing to remove the dangerous condition.
Liability of Co-workers
Under some circumstances, co-workers may be liable for injuries suffered on the job. The circumstances are few, but workers compensation immunizes employers and their employees for failing to honor the basic duty of providing a safe work place. When a co-worker does “something more”, liability may be extended. What constitutes “something more” is constantly in a state of flux, and more often than not, the co-worker is immunized. On job sites with multiple contractors, whether a worker from another contractor or the contractor may be liable is dependent on the relationship of the contractor to the employer of the injured worker. The intricacies of this analysis are too great to discuss here, but you should consult with an attorney whenever you are injured on the job.
Contact Our Experienced Attorneys
Over the past three decades, the team at Monsees & Mayer is responsible for obtaining significant financial compensation for clients who have suffered injury or death from third party negligence. If you, a friend, or a family member is seriously injured while on the job, it is vital that you contact an injury attorney right away. Only then is it possible to make sure that key evidence is preserved for later use and that important legal issues that could affect, or limit, your recovery are addressed head on.