Legal Injury Facts Construction Workers Must Know

A legal injury is defined as physical damage to property or harm done to another person as a result of someone breaking the law. However, the damage or injury done has to be in direct correlation with the illegal actions taken by another person or entity. Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for construction business owners to be partial to legal grey areas when conducting their business, which makes it incredibly important for construction workers to be aware of the key legal injury facts in order to ensure their rights will be protected should anything happen.

1. Workers' Compensation Benefits

There are plenty of legal injury facts that construction workers should be aware of when it comes to their rights regarding Workers' Compensation benefits. For starters, an oil refinery accident attorney explains that the employer has to carry workers' compensation insurance in order for the full-time and part-time employees to be covered, but it's important to keep in mind that this doesn't include independent contractors. This means that if the construction worker is an independent contractor and suffers an injury on-site, they're not eligible for such benefits. However, this is only in regards to making a claim to the insurance. Should an employee - be it an independent contractor or otherwise, take it to court, they would likely be able to get damages from the business owner since the Occupational Safety and Health act covers everyone, regardless of their employment status.

2. Personal Injury

Depending on the circumstances of your case, you might be eligible to file a personal injury claim against the responsible party. The main difference between workers' comp and a personal injury claim is that a personal injury claim means that you are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering as well as medical bills. It's important to consult a construction lawyer immediately in order to determine if this is a possibility for your case or file a claim with your local Workers' Compensation Office in an effort to receive at least some compensation for your injuries. Depending on the extent of your injuries, as well as other contributing circumstances, such as whether you were following the safety procedures, you might also file a third-party claim.

3. Third-Party Claims

A third-party claim means that someone else is at fault for your injuries and you're filing the claim on their accountability, as opposed to against your employer. This would mean that another individual or company has gone against what's legal by breaking one of the many construction safety laws in a way that caused you harm. In this case, the injured person must be able to prove that the person or business was negligent and that their negligence led to your injury. For example, if there was another company on the site working as a subcontractor, and if their negligence or unlawful actions led to your injuries, then they would be the ones you'd file the claim against.

4. Property Damage/Theft

When it comes to illegal activities on-site, property damage or theft is something that construction workers must be aware of. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employers are required by law to report any incidents of property damage or theft on their premises. While it would be pretty obvious in this case that someone acted unlawfully, it might not be as easy to determine who should bear the legal responsibility for it. If the person that inflicted the property damage is unknown, depending on the contract you have with your employer, and whether or not the property was kept in reasonably safe and secure conditions, you might have a shot against the company. However, this would depend on the contract so it's best to consult a lawyer before taking legal action, whenever possible.

5. Wage And Hour Violations

Another legal injury fact that construction workers must know is that sometimes, their employers will violate laws regarding workers' wages and hours to save money. Failing to pay workers' compensation premiums, not paying for overtime hours worked, forcing employees to work off the clock without pay, or misclassifying employees as independent contractors to avoid giving them benefits are all examples of wage and hour violations. Such laws exist in order to make sure that every employee is treated fairly at their place of work and it's important for workers to know their rights in this regard. If your employer is making you work overtime illegally, and you get injured as a direct consequence of that, then you have the right to file a wage and hour claim.

In conclusion, construction workers must be aware of all the legal injuries they could potentially suffer from in order to know their rights and take the necessary steps when necessary. In some cases, employers might neglect certain safety precautions in an effort to save money but this could lead to a larger problem regarding your personal health and well-being. As long as you're familiar with the legal injury facts surrounding your industry, you'll be able to take the best course of action.

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