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Beyond Workers’ Compensation: Know Your Rights in a Construction Accident

Posted on March 15, 2017

Imagine being injured at work. You see the company doctor to file a workers’ compensation claim. That’s it, right? Not necessarily.

If you’ve been involved in a construction accident in Philadelphia, it’s possible that other parties can be held responsible (directly or indirectly) for your injury.

Here’s how it works: almost all employees are covered by no-fault workers’ compensation insurance. That means if you’re injured on the job, you’re covered even when the accident is your fault (there are exceptions, of course, but in most cases, you’re covered).

However, if you’re injured in a construction accident in Philadelphia and it is not your fault, you may also be able to pursue damages from the parties who contributed to your injury. This includes medical costs, loss of wages, and pain and suffering.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) governs safety at construction sites. If your injury resulted from negligence, such as faulty safety equipment or hazards at the work site, then you may have a case. An experienced construction accident attorney can guide you through the process, as damages may come from the construction site owner, architect, engineer, contractor, construction manager, even the manufacturer of equipment on the construction site.

Construction site injuries can be serious, and typical workers’ compensation claims may not cover all of the associated expenses, which is why many people opt to pursue lawsuits. For example, when Maria Mangano, a high school administrator, slipped on wet flooring glue being applied by a contractor at her school in North Philadelphia, the fall left her in debilitating pain and unable to work. Even though it was an injury at work, she successfully sued the contractor and was awarded a $5 million settlement for her injuries.

Even if a construction accident tragically results in a death, the estate of the worker can still recover damages for the family left behind. When 32-year-old technician Stanley Zarzecki died after falling 10 stories from a Philadelphia rooftop, his estate received $4.45 million in a lawsuit for his wife and two children. The suit alleged that the roof where he was working had a low wall and no fall protection.

Stories like these show how injuries in Philadelphia can be life-changing. Always consult an attorney to know your legal rights.

You are welcome to contact us at any time with questions related to this post, or if you have a specific legal situation you would like to discuss.