Can Construction Workers Sue for Injuries on the Work Site?
Safety at work should be a given, but if you work in construction, you may be at an increased risk for a workplace injury. According to 2020 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 31.4 in 10,000 full-time construction workers suffered non-fatal injuries in the workplace. This is much higher than the national average across all industries, which is just 21.7.
You deserve compensation if you have suffered an injury at work or developed an illness resulting from your job, especially if you work in an industry like construction where employers should be aware of potential risks and doing everything possible to prevent them.
Your compensation depends on your worker status and the extent of your injuries. The attorneys at Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers can help you receive the benefits or compensation you’re entitled to through Wisconsin’s workers’ compensation program or a workplace injury claim.
Learn about how workers’ compensation works in Wisconsin and how our workers’ comp lawyers can guide you through the process.
Employees generally cannot directly sue their employers over work-related injuries; however, if you have suffered a workplace injury as an employee, you are in most cases entitled to file for workers’ compensation.
Three types of compensation are available to Wisconsin workers injured on the job:
Wisconsin’s workers’ compensation program covers medical expenses related to your workplace injury. Under the law, you have a right to select your own doctor for treatment as an employee. This includes physicians, psychologists, chiropractors, dentists, and other medical professionals licensed to practice in Wisconsin.
Workers’ compensation typically does not cover treatment by a physical therapist, masseuse, or pain clinic unless ordered by your physician.
If you aren’t satisfied with your first doctor, you are entitled to a second opinion. If your doctor refers you to a specialist, the state considers these referrals as treatment by a single doctor.
Before any medical treatment can begin, you must report your injury and that you need medical attention to your employer to establish a workers’ compensation claim. If you forget to report your accident, your employer may suspect that your injury happened outside the workplace, which may affect your worker’s compensation eligibility.
Depending on the severity of your workplace injury, you may qualify for temporary disability benefits. With temporary disability, you typically receive a portion of your average weekly wage (AWW) while recovering from illness or injury. Temporary disability benefits can help you and your family stay afloat financially during your recovery period.
The amount of money you receive depends on your work schedule (full-time vs. part-time) but is typically calculated as two-thirds of your weekly earnings.
If your illness or injury is severe enough to prevent you from returning to work of any kind permanently, you may qualify for permanent disability benefits. Permanent disability benefits typically offer you either a portion of your pre-injury wages or a flat rate determined by the state.
You may seek compensation for a workplace injury through a personal injury claim; however, you may only use this approach under specific circumstances. Employees cannot sue their employers over workplace injuries when workers’ compensation is available; however, if your employer breaks the law by not carrying this required insurance, you might have a case.
Additionally, you might file a personal injury claim if:
- You suffer an injury as a contractor on the job
- Your injury occurs due to the negligence of a contracted employee/supervisor
- You are injured due to malfunctioning equipment manufactured by a third party
A personal injury claim allows you to seek damages through the responsible party’s insurance company or the court system if their insurance doesn’t agree to settle for a reasonable amount. You can claim damages for calculable expenses, such as medical bills and lost wages, and non-quantifiable costs like pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life.
If you are not eligible for workers’ compensation and wish to file a personal injury claim, you can work with a personal injury attorney from Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers to walk you through the legal process. We can help you collect and present evidence to prove negligence and win you maximum compensation.
Workers’ compensation can help you pay your medical bills and compensate for your lost wages. However, these benefits can sometimes be difficult to obtain without the help of a lawyer. Our Green Bay workers’ compensation lawyers have extensive knowledge of Wisconsin’s workers’ compensation system and know what it takes to file a successful claim.
We can help you prove that your injury happened at work and during the course of your work duties. We investigate the cause of your injury by collecting incident reports and interviewing eyewitnesses, so there is no doubt in anyone’s mind how your injury or illness occurred and that your injury or illness qualifies as a workplace injury.
Next, we help you file your claim. Claim forms can be complicated, and it is easy to miss sections or input incorrect information. We ensure you complete your paperwork correctly and submit it on time to reduce the chances of a denied claim. If you’ve already submitted a claim and it has been denied, we can help you appeal it.
If you suffer an injury on the job as a construction worker, contact a workplace injury attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer from Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers can help you assess your options for compensation after a workplace injury and determine whether you need to file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury suit.
We’ll help you every step of the way, from filing the paperwork and meeting deadlines to appealing or negotiating if necessary. Call our law office today to schedule a free consultation and learn the next steps toward getting compensation for your injuries.