Construction accidents happen in Pennsylvania every day. In the summer of 2013, for instance, a six-story building under construction on the campus of Temple University partially collapsed, severely injuring several construction workers. All construction workers who are injured, including these Temple workers, are entitled to full compensation for their injuries, and that often requires looking beyond workers’ compensation.
Most injured workers turn solely to workers’ compensation to cover the cost of their injuries and their time away from work. However, most people don’t realize that workers’ compensation covers only basic medical bills and lost wages. If you desire more compensation for your pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life, you can recover much more by filing a lawsuit for your injuries.
Your lawyer can help you determine whether you have a good basis for a lawsuit and, if so, against whom:
Who to sue ? Many different entities, besides your employer, can be responsible for your injuries. Although you are typically limited to workers’ compensation remedies against your employer, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit outside of workers’ compensation against the other responsible entities, such as the manufacturer of a machine part that injured you, the owner of the property, the architect, the contractor or construction management company.
Basis for your lawsuit ? Manufacturers of machinery can be held liable under products liability theories. In these types of lawsuits, you sue the manufacturer of a product or component part that injured you because either a defective design or a defect in the manufacturing process made the product dangerous. Property owners also can be held liable because they have certain duties to keep their property safe and free from hazards for persons who enter the property to work on it, such as construction workers. If the property owner breaches this duty, you may be able to recover for your injuries suffered as a result.
If you’ve been injured on the job at a construction site, it’s important to realize that workers’ compensation is not your only remedy.