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Construction Accidents: Workers' Comp vs. Personal Injury Claim

By Matthew Golitko on March 14, 2013

When a worker is injured on the job, they are generally entitled to collect workers' compensation benefits. But if the injury was caused as a result of another person or party's negligence, the injured person may want to file a personal injury lawsuit. The Indianapolis workers' compensation attorneys of Golitko & Daly can help those who have been injured on the job decide if they should file a personal injury claim or a workers' compensation claim. In certain cases, it may be appropriate to file both a workers' comp and personal injury claim. Schedule a case evaluation at Golitko & Daly so our lawyers can discuss your options and help you navigate the legal process.

Proving a Workers' Comp Claim

In a workers' compensation claim, employees are not required to show any negligence on the part of the employer or another worker. Instead, the employee must simply show medical records that detail the type and the severity of the injury, and show evidence that the injury occurred at work. An example of a straightforward workers' comp claim is an office worker who develops carpal tunnel due to working on the computer for several hours a day, or a mover who suffers a pinched nerve due to carrying heavy objects for several hours a day.

Proving a Personal Injury Claim

When an employee is injured on the job, he or she has the option of filing a personal injury claim. A personal injury claim may be filed against:

  • The employee's employer; if you elect to file a personal injury suit against your employer, you waive the right to any workers' compensation benefits.
  • A third party; this may include another construction company working at the site or the manufacturer of a defective product.

In some cases, the injured party may file a workers' comp suit against the employer and a personal injury suit against a third party. The injured party could also file a personal injury suit against the employer and a third party. The option that is best for each worker depends on the unique circumstances of the work injury case.

To prove liability in a personal injury case, our Indianapolis construction accident attorneys will investigate and reconstruct the event to determine which parties played a contributory role in the accident. We may be able to prove fault if:

  • The employer or another construction company at the site did not properly train workers
  • The employer or third party did not establish safety protocols according to OSHA
  • A worker was not following proper safety regulations.
  • Construction tools or equipment were found to be defective
  • The premises were unsafe
  • Hazard signs were not posted in appropriate areas
  • Safety barriers were not in place

These are just a few of the ways in which our attorneys can show liability on the part of an employer or third party. The strategy that is appropriate for your claim will be formulated after we review your case. To schedule a case evaluation at Golitko & Daly, contact our Indianapolis practice today.

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