Construction Site or On-The-Job Injuries
Often workers are injured on the job or at a construction site through no fault of their own.
Roofer recovers $965,000. There may be many trades on a construction site. One trade or even the general contractor may accidentally cause a worker from a different trade to be seriously injured.
In Washington, under the Washington Industrial Safety Act (WISHA), the general contractor on any work site has a nondelegable duty to enforce all safety regulations for all employees on site, not just the employees of the general contractor. This duty runs from all upper tier subcontractors to all lower tier subcontractors which the sub may hire on the job site. This nondelegable duty to enforce all safety regulations on all work sites applies not just to general contractors but to owners, developers and those with supervisory authority in the work place. All employers are obligated to provide a reasonably safe work place for its employees and those with whom it contracts with to furnish labor and materials for it.
If a worker is injured in the work place, he may file a worker’s compensation claim. An injured worker not only has a right to file a worker’s compensation, e.g. a Labor and Industries claim, but may also have a viable “third party claim” to recover damages against the contractor, subcontractor or any other independent trade which was negligent. This would be a claim against any negligent company or an employee of another company on a job site which caused the worker’s injury. The injured worker may file a third party claim against the employer of the negligent worker and arguably claim that the employer or its employee failed to enforce or follow certain WISHA or OSHA regulations.
Remember, an injured worker may not bring a third party claim against his or her own employer. An employer is immune from suit under Title 51. However, it is very important to understand that an injured worker may recover general damages on a third party claim in addition to a recovery of his or her full worker’s compensation first party benefits.
The election of a third party claim will not compromise or affect your right to receive complete workers’ compensation benefits. It would be foolish not to hire an attorney to pursue a third party claim for you, as the State of Washington will not zealously pursue a third party claim. Its concern is merely the recovery of its worker’s compensation benefits and not the general damages to which you are entitled. This includes recovery of your pain and suffering, disability, loss of earning capacity, and future permanent problems. For this reason, it is so important that you elect not to assign your third party recovery to the State, and that you elect to pursue it on your own with the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Mr. Kornfeld has handled many claims by workers who elect to bring a third party claims against a negligent contractor for failing to enforce WISHA of OSHA safety regulations:
SHEET METAL WORKER RECOVERS $825,000 from fall off of man lift. Rob Kornfeld successfully litigated and settled at mediation an injury claim of construction worker after he suffered a spinal injury and underwent surgery.
Construction laborer recovers $650,000 after fall from a scissor lift. Rob Kornfeld successfully litigated and mediated a settlement for an injury to a worker in Spokane County, Washington.
Framer falls through a hole in a roof not covered by contractor and receives $175,000. A framer fell through a hole in the roof when framing a new house and suffered low back and leg injuries on a job in Pierce County. Mr. Kornfeld represented him and secured a settlement for the client without litigation.
All workers who are injured, by reason of the fault of someone other than a fellow employee, should bring a third party claim to recover damages caused by the negligence of another company. This allows an injured worker to RECOVER the financial compensation you deserve, as worker’s compensation/Labor & Industries will not compensate you sufficiently. Through a third party claim, you may recover additional compensation you deserve, including general damages for pain, suffering, loss of consortium, loss of opportunity to enjoy life, permanent disability, future medical and wage loss or loss of earning capacity and retirement/fringe benefits. A third party claim also allows the injured worker to RECOVER general damages for the loss of the companionship of family members, loss of services, emotional and psychological distress, death, disability, permanent injuries, dismemberment, and other damages. Labor & Industries will not fully compensate you for these damages, which often are the most substantial portion of any injury claim.
An example of a construction accident in which Rob represented a worker in a third party claim resulted in an excellent settlement short of trial. In Staub v. CIG Corporation, Cause No.: 97-2-10022-4SEA in King County Superior Court, the injured worker fell in excess of ten feet to a concrete floor below because he was not given fall protection. The worker suffered a traumatic brain injury. Because we pursued a third party claim for the worker, we RECOVERED an additional settlement for him, in addition to Labor & Indusries/worker’s compensation benefits, in the amount of $335,000.
There is a time limit by which you must file a worker’s compensation claim and a different statute of limitations governing the filing of a third party claim.
Contact Rob Kornfeld For a Free Case Evaluation
If you were injured by the negligence of another at a work site or while on the job, CALL Rob Kornfeld NOW for a FREE consultation to determine if you have a viable third party claim. We can be reached at (800) 282-4878 or you can Contact Rob directly. You can also fill out the online contact form below.
Author: Rob Kornfeld