In October 2012, a 62-year old crane operator was killed at the Hawthorne Pacific Construction yard in Kahului. Mr. Ronald Nakasone died at the scene when the crane he was operating tipped over and crushed him.
Because this tragic event was ruled an industrial accident, survivors of Mr. Nakasone are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits including funeral expenses. But why did the crane tip over at 8:44 AM that particular Tuesday morning? Who owned the crane? Had it been properly inspected and maintained? Were others onsite involved with movement of the crane?
Thorough investigation of an accident scene is essential to uncover fault and identify the parties responsible for tragic injury. In industrial accidents, benefits beyond workers compensation may be appropriate for accidents where workers are injured or killed through the negligence of third parties.
What is a third party lawsuit?
While workers compensation usually precludes legal action against an employer, the actions — or failure to act — by other parties involved in the accident may give rise to a third party lawsuit. A third party lawsuit seeks compensation from parties other than your employer.
For example, on a construction site, equipment may be owned or maintained by a business or vendor not associated with your employer. You may be injured by a boom, harmed by an explosion or machinery, or struck by debris due to the negligence of an onsite contractor. The equipment itself may be defective, in which case the manufacturer is liable for your damages.
If you or a loved one suffered serious injury, you may require compensation for a lifetime of care, lost wages, and suffering. Knowing how your injury occurred and who is responsible is essential. When you are hurt on the job, get good medical help — and then seek knowledgeable legal advice.