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Construction workers: Know your legal options after an accident

Working in construction is not easy. Not only is it physically demanding, it is also mentally taxing, considering the fact that even a small mistake or oversight can have fatal consequences.

Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen on construction sites across New Jersey. When they do, it is crucial for workers to get medical attention for their injuries. They would also be wise to examine their legal options, as there could be compensation available.

Assessing the damages

Too many people initially dismiss their legal options, concluding that they do not have a significant injury. However, most construction accidents will result in some type of damages. Some may be less obvious or immediate than others, but they are still significant. For instance, you should think about:

  • Lost wages due to missed work days
  • Medical care
  • Your long term health
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Emotional distress stemming from a serious or permanent injury
  • Cost of retraining for a new job

These are all damages for which financial remedies could be available, depending on the type of claim or claims you file.

Types of claims 

Workers who suffer injuries on the job are typically eligible for workers' compensation benefits. These benefits partially replace your wages if you are unable to work and cover your medical expenses. In addition, if you hire an attorney you should be able to recover a monetary settlement for your injuries.

You may also have grounds to file a lawsuit against a third party after a work accident to secure compensation that is not available through workers' compensation. This includes non-economic damages like pain and suffering and, in some cases, punitive damages.

Third-party lawsuits may be an option if you were injured by a drunk driver while you were working on a road construction site, for example. Or, if a machine on site malfunctioned and caused catastrophic injuries, you could file a lawsuit against the maker of the defective machine. 

Examining your situation with legal guidance

Before you make any assumptions or agree to any settlements after a construction accident, you should thoroughly understand your legal rights and the options for compensation. You can discuss these details with an experienced attorney. If you choose to not do this, you risk missing out on financial resources that could dramatically improve your recovery.

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