We are in the midst of summer, and things are continuing to open up. Here in Massachusetts, we’ve noticed that the construction and building industry, in particular, is ramping up. The other day, I was talking to a friend who is interested in getting a pool (who wouldn’t want a pool with the heatwave we’re experiencing). He said he called a few pool companies, but most are booked up with construction projects until the Spring of 2021. This just shows how busy one sector of the construction industry has become.
Construction is a tough business. Joe and I have represented many construction workers who were seriously hurt on the job. These workers deserve a lot of credit for the difficult jobs they perform. Construction sites are considered some of the most dangerous work environments in the country, and the risk of accidents and serious injuries is very high. Workers often deal with heavy machinery, work from dangerous heights, and sometimes have a rushed deadline, which can all lead to mishaps. Many times, there is more than one construction company working on a project at the same time, and this can also lead to unanticipated accidents.
When a worker is hurt on the job in Massachusetts, they are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. I like to think this is pretty well known. These benefits are available to cover a portion of the lost wages an injured worker incurs as well as the full cost and expense of their medical treatment.
What I have found is that there is some important information that some injured workers DON’T know: if the work injury was caused by the carelessness of a third-party (a worker or company unrelated to the injured worker’s employer), the injured worker may have a third-party negligence claim in addition to a workers’ compensation claim. Third-party negligence claims are very common in construction accidents due to the multiple companies working on one project. This can be a huge benefit for a seriously injured worker because it offers additional compensation.
I have written an article that explains the differences between workers’ compensation claims and third-party claims. You can read it here. The chart in this article will help you understand what each claim offers an injured worker. For example, one major difference is that pain and suffering is not compensable under the workers’ compensation laws in Massachusetts, but it is in third-party negligence cases.
Of course, we always recommended that injured workers speak with an experienced attorney who can evaluate all potential claims and options. I hope this was helpful, and I wish everyone a safe and fun rest of the summer.