Middleton Construction Accident & Injury Lawyer
Construction workers throughout Massachusetts face injuries on the job that could leave them with days or months away from work. These injuries could also cause serious disabilities that prevent them from going back to work, or even deadly injuries that leave their families with an empty seat at the table.
After a tragic construction accident, you could be entitled to substantial compensation from the responsible parties. In many cases, lawsuits directly against your employer are blocked, but you might still be able to sue third parties to get compensation for what happened to you or your loved one. In many cases, Workers’ Compensation benefits will still be the best way to get coverage for injured construction workers in Massachusetts.
Contact the Law Office of John J. Sheehan today at (617) 925-6407 for a free case evaluation with our experienced construction accident and injury attorneys.
Can Construction Workers and Contractors Sue for Work Injuries in Middleton, MA?
Workers’ Compensation laws in Massachusetts block lawsuits against employers for workplace injuries and instead leave insurance as the main way to get compensation for these accidents. However, that insurance does not cover pain and suffering damages and often pays far too little for long-term injuries and death. As such, our construction accident and injury lawyers often turn to alternative lawsuits to help our clients get compensation for work injuries in the construction field.
Instead of suing your employer directly, you can get the compensation you need after many construction injuries by suing a third party. Lawsuits against other at-fault parties are not restricted, so victims can file an injury claim against the manufacturer of a defective power tool, a driver who hit their roadside crew, or any other negligent party.
Claims by Independent Contractors
Under Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 152, § 1, “employees” for Workers’ Compensation purposes are presumed to be any and all workers. This means that independent contractors are often included under this definition and should be paid Workers’ Compensation and restricted from lawsuits as well. However, many construction workers are paid as independent contractors and do not receive the other benefits they should be entitled to, which can sometimes be an issue of misclassification.
If you count as an independent contractor for these purposes, you should not be blocked from a lawsuit and could be entitled to sue your client. Ch. 149, § 148B gives additional factors that go into the question of whether a worker is properly classified as an independent contractor.
Whether you are classified as a subcontractor can be even more confusing and depends heavily on the details of your job. Additionally, some workers are employees of independent contractors rather than subcontractors, and they should be barred from lawsuits against the contractor they work directly for, but not against other clients that might have hired their employer. This is all incredibly complex, and you should always consider getting help from a lawyer when trying to get compensation for a construction accident.
If your employer did not carry the proper insurance or refused to pay you benefits even though they should have covered you, then you can sue them for your injuries. However, you have to be able to prove that they were at fault in order to sue them. Many workplace accidents are not actually the employer’s fault and are better to file against some other negligent party.
When Workers’ Compensation is Best for Injured Construction Workers in Middleton, MA
If the construction worker was actually the one to cause their own accident, then a lawsuit might not pay them the damages they are looking for and they would be better off filing a Workers’ Compensation claim to get the benefits they need. Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault system, so this is often the best route to compensation when the accident is truly an accident or when someone who cannot be sued is at fault. That also means that Workers’ Compensation might be your best – or only – option for compensation if the injuries were caused by your employer or a coworker.
Damages for Construction Accident Injury Lawsuits in Middleton, MA
If you file your case through Workers’ Compensation, this could entitle you to payments for your injuries and for a portion of your lost earnings. However, you will not be able to claim compensation for pain and suffering or other non-economic damages.
When you file a lawsuit instead, our attorneys can help you get compensation for all of the economic and non-economic damages you faced because of your injury. When it comes to medical bills, this should be comparable to the payout you can receive through Workers’ Compensation. However, wage-loss damages from Workers’ Compensation covers only a percentage of the total wages you lost. A lawsuit can instead recover the full value of lost wages if you win your case.
Pain and suffering and other non-economic damages are the biggest areas where a lawsuit can potentially benefit you far more than a Workers’ Compensation claim would. Most physical injuries involve some level of pain and suffering. Courts consider this suffering worse – and worth higher compensation – when it involves widespread changes to your day-to-day life or lost enjoyment of life. Injuries such as amputation, traumatic brain injury, and back and spine injuries leading to paralysis are some examples of injuries where the pain and suffering damages will be almost essential.
If you file your case as a lawsuit, you could be entitled to get these damages paid in full, but only if you can prove that the defendant was at fault. As mentioned, injury cases where the construction worker was responsible for their own accident or where no one is legally at fault for the accident except your employer, you might have to use Workers’ Compensation instead. However, our attorneys can help you understand your options and fight to maximize compensation through either system.
Call Our Construction Accident and Injury Attorneys in Middleton, MA Today
For help with your case, contact the Law Office of John J. Sheehan’s Middleton construction accident and injury lawyers today at (617) 925-6407.