There is a much greater potential for serious injury in construction sites than in comparison with most other workplaces. At the very least, a construction accident can render someone unable to work for a substantial period of time.
Recovering from injuries suffered in a construction accident requires many steps, some involving medical issues and others involving legal and financial issues. You want the best medical team looking after your medical needs, but it is also important to secure good representation for your legal needs too.
A dedicated Somerville construction accident lawyer may help you obtain benefits or other compensation necessary to counteract the effects of the accident. A skilled injury attorney could evaluate your situation, explain your options, and guide you through the process to help you take the steps toward recovery.
Types of Compensation Available for Construction Accidents
Those suffering serious injuries from a construction site accident often have substantial medical bills and other unanticipated expenses at a time when income is reduced due to the inability to work. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to receive financial assistance from a number of different sources.
Compensation for accident victims may include amounts to cover medical expenses, both in the past and in the future. You may also be able to receive money to make up for wages lost due to time off work and reduced earning potential in the future. A Somerville construction accident lawyer can evaluate the reasonable amounts for each type of compensation to determine whether a settlement offer is fair and provides sufficient resources to meet future needs.
Workers’ Compensation System for Injured Employees
Employees injured in the course of their employment are protected by the state workers’ compensation system. Massachusetts requires most employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. If an employee suffers an injury at work, the insurance can provide benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages.
However, workers’ compensation does not provide monetary benefits for consequences such as pain and suffering, and the amounts provided to make up for lost wages are substantially less than the employee would have earned if it had been possible to work. Moreover, insurers often deny initial claims, so the employee must go through a complicated appeals process. To help ensure that requirements are fulfilled and the necessary evidence is presented correctly, many applicants choose to work with a dedicated lawyer when seeking workers’ compensation benefits.
Filing a Claim Against a Third Party
The workers’ compensation system provides benefits through a no-fault system in which the employee does not need to demonstrate negligence or wrongdoing on the part of the employer to receive benefits. However, that scheme also usually prevents employees from suing their employers after an accident.
In some cases, however, it may be appropriate to file a lawsuit against a third party whose actions caused the construction accident. For instance, the accident may be traced to defective equipment provided by an outside company or repairs performed by a contractor. In a lawsuit, the injured employee may be able to recover more compensation, including amounts for pain and suffering.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance Companies and Subrogation Liens
It is common for insurance companies in Somerville to have subrogation interest that they often have internal specialized units to protect the company’s rights and ensure that they will be reimbursed for claims. Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 152 Section 15, an insurance company that pays workers’ compensation benefits to an injured worker – either direct lost wage benefit payments or payments of medical bills – that workers’ compensation insurer has a subrogation lien against the injured workers’ third-party claim. That does not mean that the workers’ compensation can take all the money if there is a third party settlement. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that the workers’ compensation insurer’s Section 15 Lien does not apply to compensation for pain and suffering or loss of consortium. Settlement nogotiations in a third party construction accident case can be very complicated and an injured worker should be represented by an experienced construction accident attorney who will do everything possible under the law to ensure that the injured worker and his or her family receive the maximum net compensation possible.
Speak with a Somerville Construction Accident Attorney Today
Construction accident cases can be complicated. Different parties may bear liability for causing the accident, and often substantial investigation is needed to prove causation. In addition, since compensation is often available through the workers’ compensation system, it is important to comply with all appropriate administrative procedures.
A knowledgeable Somerville construction accident lawyer can provide valuable help during this difficult time. An attorney who understands construction accidents may provide guidance throughout the process to help reach the best available recovery. To get started on working on your claim, call now to schedule a consultation.