Construction Fatalities and Work Injuries
Construction workers die on the job at very alarming rates. At one point, it had been reported that a construction worker died every 16 hours. While there are several ways workers get injured on the job, one of the most common causes of deaths in the construction setting are falls from structures.
To put it bluntly, the construction industry is notorious for failing to carry insurance that covers injuries to all workers on the jobsite. The absence of work injury insurance coverage is more prominent as you go down the ladder from general contractor to sub-contractor to independent contractor to worker to day laborers. Those at the bottom of this hierarchy have no idea that there is no coverage if they get injured on the job. There are, however, exceptions where an injured worker could file a work injury claim against a negligent third-party company on the construction jobsite. These cases have to be looked at with a careful eye and often turn on who was in control of the circumstances that led to the work injury or fatality.
Commercial Insurance Coverage versus Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
I often hear injured workers say that a contractor “has to have insurance” because the general contractor requires it in order to work on this jobsite. The confusion here is that typically, the insurance that the general contractor requires is that the sub-contractor carry a commercial liability policy. It is important to understand that these policies do not provide any kind of coverage for injuries to employees of that employer. Commercial policies provide coverage if the company’s employees are negligent and cause damage to another’s property or, their actions cause injuries to employees of another company on the jobsite. The reason why commercial policies do not provide coverage for that employer’s employees is because that is the role of workers’ compensation coverage.
Workers’ Compensation insurance is coverage that a contractor could carry in order to make sure any his employees are covered for any injuries they suffer. The next question raised is, who is an employee of the contractor? Very often, day laborers or independent contractors have no idea that they are not “employees” of the sub-contractor. Since they are not employees, they would have qualified for benefits under that sub-contractor’s workers’ compensation insurance if they are insured on the job.
Third-Party Construction Site Work Injuries
The family of deceased worker could have a case if, the incident was caused by the negligence of a third-party. For example, if a worker was on site performing electrical work for his employer and, the roofing company causes a collapse that kills that electrical worker. That worker could file a claim against the roofing company for their negligence. The roofing company would look to their commercial liability insurance to provide the coverage for the incident.
What to look for in a Construction Accident Attorney?
While there are no guarantees or promises that any work injury attorney can make in a construction accident injury case. The proof is in the work performed by the lawyer. At Sandoval Law Firm, my staff and I will do our very best to quickly review your case with you, inform you whether it’s a case that we can handle and, if it is, we’ll get to work right away. If it’s not a case that we can handle, I do my best to explain why we cannot represent or, why we may not believe it’s a case that we can handle. Sometimes, our clients value the explanation just as much as if they had a case.
When hiring a construction accident lawyer, you should pay close attention to the details of types of cases the lawyer and firm have handled in the past. If the firm’s experience is not properly explained to you, YOU NEED TO ASK about the qualification of your personal injury attorney in your case.
Call and put Sandoval to work for you!