Oftentimes, when a construction worker gets hurt at work, the injured worker may have legal rights for his or her work injury against a negligent third party in addition to their right to workers compensation benefits.
What Is Workers Compensation?
The Massachusetts workers compensation statute is General Laws, Chapter 152.
If you are an employee and are injured in the course of your employment, you are entitled to workers compensation benefits. Basically, there are three forms of workers compensation benefits:
- Weekly Benefits
- Medical Benefits
- Specific Benefits for Loss of Function and VISIBLE Scarring and Disfigurement
The only things that you need to prove in order to be legally entitled to Massachusetts workers compensation benefits are:
- You are an employee
- You got injured while acting the course of your employment
- You require medical treatment for your work-related injury
- You are medically disabled from working as a result of your work-related injury
You cannot sue your employer or co-workers as a result of a work injury. The Massachusetts workers comp statute is your exclusive remedy. This is commonly referred to as the exclusivity rule.
However, sometimes a work injury is caused by some person or company who is not part of your employer. Such a person or company is referred to as a third-party in workers comp.
Construction Third Party Claims
When a worker gets injured on a construction site, it is very common that the work injury was caused by a third-party’s negligence.
For example, there may be a third-party claim if an employee of one subcontractor is injured due to the negligence of another subcontractor or a company making a delivery to the construction site. The general contractor has a non-delegable duty to provide a safe workplace to all workers on the construction site, including employees of subcontractors.
It is very common that an employee injured on a construction site may have a third-party claim against both the subcontractor that caused the injury and the general contractor.
If you have questions about a potential Massachusetts workers comp and construction third-party claim, you should contact an experienced attorney to protect your legal rights to just and fair compensation.