Construction Accident Lawyer Scranton
Construction jobs are among our nation’s most dangerous. Workers frequently toil with heavy machinery, on scaffolding, and in trenches, while also operating other dangerous equipment. Exposure to the elements can lead to dehydration, heatstroke, or frostbite. Even though you’re surrounded by these hazards, you have a right to work in a reasonably safe environment. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) protects workers from unnecessary risk by setting workplace standards for health and safety.
If you’re a construction worker and have been in a work-related accident, you have several options for filing a claim.
The Workers’ Compensation Program
The state of Pennsylvania protects workers by mandating employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This program is intended to compensate for workplace injury by providing benefits to pay for medical expenses and lost wages. If you’ve been injured on the job, alert your employer immediately and have them begin preparations for a workers’ compensation benefit claim. They will provide you with the name of an in-network provider, so you can get the care you need.
Workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system, meaning you do not have to prove your employer was negligent to collect benefits. It also means that you’re limited in your ability to collect additional compensation. In exchange for avoiding a costly litigation, you essentially give up your right to pursue damages for pain and suffering.
Other Civil Lawsuit Options
Workers’ compensation benefits rarely provide enough to fully compensate for your injuries and lost wages. For this reason, many construction workers look for additional legal recourse beyond a workers’ compensation claim. In some cases, you may be able to bring an additional claim against other companies or entities.
In you’re in the construction industry, you often work with other companies and vendors. If one of these individuals acted negligently, in a manner that led to your injuries, you may have grounds for an additional claim. It then becomes a traditional personal injury case, with the same rules and procedures of a civil lawsuit. You will have to prove a few things to be successful:
- The defendant had a duty to act in a reasonable and safe manner in your work environment.
- They failed in that duty, committing negligence.
- That negligence directly led to your injuries.
The following are examples of how a vendor might commit negligence on your construction site:
- A vendor failed to assemble scaffolding properly.
- A truck driver onsite was reckless.
- A bad decision led to hazardous waste leaks.
- A work trench collapsed because of faulty barriers.
A Matter of Product Liability?
In other cases, you may be able collect compensation using the theory of product liability. This applies when your injuries result from a piece of defective equipment. In a product liability case, you may pursue a personal injury claim against the parties involved in the manufacture, distribution, or retailing of equipment. Examples of product liability in construction accidents include:
- A defectively designed harness that fails, causing you to fall
- A defective product leading to electric shock
- Defective scaffolding that fails while you’re on it
To succeed in a product defect case, you’ll have to show that:
- You were using the product as intended.
- The tool was unreasonably dangerous or defective.
- The defect led to your injuries.
Contact a Scranton Construction Injury Lawyer
If you believe you have a personal injury case beyond a workers’ compensation claim, contact Rosenbaum & Associates for a free initial consultation and see if our contingency fee legal services are right for you. We’ve been helping Wilkes-Barre area employees receive compensation for their injuries for over 25 years and we want to do the same for you. Call us to schedule your free case evaluation now.