Knowing Your Case: Third Party Claims in Construction Accidents
As a construction worker, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), sets the standard on construction site safety. Even if your company adheres to OSHA standards, there are dangerous conditions on a construction site. Workers’ compensation may cover your medical expenses and a portion of your lost income if you are injured on the job, but will not compensate you for your pain and suffering. Compensation is sought through a personal injury claim against the responsible party.
Workers’ Compensation covers employee’s medical benefits and lost wages when they have been injured on the job. However, workers’ compensation does not cover the entirety of your lost wages, and does not cover any pain and suffering. Delaware Law does not allow you to file a claim against your employer or a co-worker for negligence. However, you may have a third party claim on behalf of another’s negligence.
A third-party claim is brought against a party who was at-fault for your accident. Third party claims are filed against an individual or business (excluding a co-employee or employer) whose negligence contributed to your injuries. Third-party claims are rewarded in addition to the payments provided through workers’ compensation. However, the workers’ compensation carrier may have a lien against any third party recovery, and may have a credit for any net proceeds that you receive from the third party case.
Examples of Third-Party Claims
While riding in a construction vehicle on the job and you are involved in an accident by someone who is not your co-employee
Exposure to toxic fumes
Vehicle and heavy equipment accidents where your co-employee or employer is not responsible
Uneven and dangerous grounds, stairs, or missing handrails.
Slip/trip and fall accidents when your employer is not responsible.
Lack of proper harnessing
The attorneys at Kimmel Carter have extensive experience dealing with third-party claims. Managing Partner, Larry Kimmel, and Partner, William Peltz of Kimmel Carter, settled cases involving third-party claims for over a million dollars rewarded to their clients. Knowing the necessary steps of filing your workers’ compensation/third-party claims will help recover what you deserve.
Take the following steps after an injury on the job site:
1. Call emergency services
2. Document and photograph scene
3. Complete an incident/injury report
4. Start filing the proper workers’ compensation paperwork
Finally, begin your claim against any third-parties who were liable for your injuries. The clock begins ticking the moment after the injury. There are several deadlines and statutes of limitations that apply to both workers’ compensation and third party claims. You will need an experienced personal injury lawyer to take on this process.