You’ve been involved in a construction accident, but you know that there are many elements prevalent in these sometimes-complicated claims. When you have been injured in a construction work zone, you may not be sure where to turn. Luckily, we will help you understand how you can hold a party liable for damages and discerning whether you are an independent contractor or an employee.
Independent Contractor or Employee?
One of the biggest concerns to a construction worker after they have been injured is: Am I an independent contractor or an employee? This is important because only when you are an employee are you permitted to receive workers’ compensation benefits. But how do you know what you are?
Typically, whether or not you are a contractor or an employee is determined by the amount of control that an employer has over you, the way that costs are controlled, and the hours and nature of the job. You may find that independent contractors are extremely prevalent in the construction industry due to the work involved. Developers tend to hire companies that outsource contractors, which may make it more difficult for you to be compensated if you have been injured. This is why it is such an important distinction to make.
Determining Who is Responsible
When you have discerned if you are an employee or not, you want to determine who may be responsible for your injuries. Here are some questions you may want to ask:
- Where did the accident occur?
- What conditions were present at the accident site and were these conditions legal?
- What equipment was involved at the time of the accident?
- How was the worker using the equipment?
- Who had control over the site at the time?
When you are making a claim for workers’ compensation, the most detailed the questions and answers, the better your chance of receiving the benefits you deserve in a time of injury. Identifying the parties responsible for your claim is one of the only ways that you will be able to receive the compensation you deserve, which is why it is important to speak to an experienced attorney who understands the many elements of construction claims.
Common Liable Parties
Of course, when you have been injured and you work for a specific construction company, you will usually assume that your employer is the one responsible for your injuries. However, depending on the circumstances of your case, this is not always true. Some other common parties involved could be the general contractor on the case, coworkers handling any tools or equipment related to the injury, the owner of the property, and manufacturers who made or sold defective tools. In fact, some accident cases can involve many liable parties. For example, perhaps your employer sent you to a job site but equipped you with defective equipment and knew that it might not work. You are injured. Both the employer and manufacturer could technically be held liable for your injuries in this case.
No matter what, you are owed a safe workplace when you work in the construction industry. This is why it is important to know your rights as a worker and work toward the compensation you deserve when you have been injured seriously. Contact us to get started on your case if you have questions, at 952-345-1025. At the JD Haas & Associates, we care about your case and want to help you get the best results possible.