A construction site is a dangerous place that can unnecessarily put construction workers in harm’s way, if not managed carefully. Construction workers are faced with daily dangers such as, scaffolding, live electricity, power machinery, scissor lifts, fork lifts and cranes. These regular tools of the construction trade are potentially hazardous if used unskillfully, or negligently. Unfortunately, when an accident occurs on a construction site it often leads to serious injuries.
When workers are injured on the job, they are entitled to workers compensation. And, other than in specific circumstances, a worker is legally prevented from filing a lawsuit against his or her employer for workplace injuries. In those circumstances, workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy of the injured worker.
However, an injured worker who has a workers’ compensation case may also have a civil case. If the injury occurs because of the fault of someone other than the employer, the worker is entitled to sue that person. That means that the worker will have both a worker’s compensation case and a case against the at faulty party.
OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration which sets and enforces protective workplace safety and health standards. When an accident occurs at a jobsite, OSHA often will investigate to determine whether there were any violations of OSHA standards. Under California case law, it has been determined that OSHA regulations may be given as law to the jury to establish negligence.
When an accident occurs on a construction site, an injured worker’s medical expenses are typically paid either through health insurance or by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Other times, medical expenses are handled on a lien basis which simply means that a medical provider agrees to wait for payment until a case is resolved. As discussed above, an injured worker may have a lawsuit against an at-fault party even if the worker has a tandem workers’ compensation case. In that situation, when the worker gets a recovery from the at-fault party, he or she must then reimburse health insurance or the workers’ compensation insurance carrier for the medical expenses they paid.
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