Anyone who has suffered a serious on-the-job injury while working construction knows just how devastating it can be. Not only are victims unable to work, but they must also contend with mounting debt -- especially if they need extensive medical treatment.
While you may be tempted to seek workers' compensation benefits to cover your expenses, it is important to remember that you may be entitled to much more, particularly if your injuries were caused by a third party. This is why you need to make sure you take the correct steps in order to protect your rights.
With that in mind, here are a couple of reasons why you shouldn't simply seek only workers' compensation without first learning what other options may be available:
- A third-party/labor law claim may exist: Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may be able to seek compensation through a third-party/labor law claim. In many instances, there claims may be worth much more than workers' comp. For example, if your injury was caused by a delivery truck or the manufacturer of a defective piece of machinery, you may be able to seek compensation for your injury from these businesses. Keep in mind, though, these are simply two possibilities among countless others.
- Workers' comp may impact your third-party claim: If you decide to accept a Section 32 lump-sum workers' comp settlement, you may be required to give testimony saying that you are okay and ready to work before you can collect the settlement. As you can imagine, this can significantly affect your third-party claim -- not to mention it may even be considered fraudulent should you still attempt to obtain a third-party settlement.
Even though not every construction-related injury will involve a third-party claim, it is crucial that you check with an experienced attorney first, just in case. If you don't, and you simply move forward with a workers' comp claim, you risk leaving money on the table -- money that would otherwise help you rebuild your life.