Defective products can also lead to injuries on construction sites.
Liability on a construction site is important to understand as these construction sites often present hazards that can cause damage if one party is negligent. For ordinary people just passing through who suffer damage on or near a construction site, the construction company can be held liable for its negligence through a personal injury lawsuit.
Suppose the injured person is an employee of the construction company. In this case, unless the party responsible for causing the harmful accident was a third party who was not the victim’s employer, the only remedy is workers’ compensation. There are several additional benefits that lawsuits offer over workers’ compensation. However, these benefits can only be realized if the injury victim files their claim in an Indiana court within the two-year window permitted by law statute of limitations.
How to Get Injury Compensation in an Indiana Construction Accident
If you’ve recently been injured at a construction site, there may be more than one way to recover from your injuries. This depends on why you were on site and who was responsible for the accident.
If you were just a passer-by or bystander and were lawfully on or near the job site when the accident occurred, you can sue the tortfeasor in the same way you can sue a property owner for negligent failure to deal with a hazard on his property.
However, this issue becomes a bit more complicated when the injured person is a construction worker. Indiana law generally does not allow employees to sue their employer for negligently causing an accident in which they were injured. Rather, workers’ compensation insurance is the only remedy in these situations. Employers on construction sites are typically required by Indiana law to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees.
However, you should know that not every accident that occurs on a construction site is the fault of the construction site manager. Suppose a third party who did not employ the victim is responsible for causing the damage through negligence. In this case, the victim can file a lawsuit against that third party instead of claiming workers compensation benefits.
Determining who is liable for a construction accident in Indiana
To determine where a lawsuit is available as an option for your recovery, you must consider what caused the accident that injured you. There are several types of circumstances that could indicate liability lies with a third party.
Site management companies often contract with other companies to provide inspection, installation, or equipment leasing services. The terms of this sub-contract must identify which party has certain responsibilities.
For example, if a construction company hires a scaffolding contractor to install structures on site for use by their workers, the scaffolding contractor is responsible for ensuring that the scaffolding is installed correctly and is safe for use. If the construction company rents heavy machinery from another company, that company is responsible for ensuring that the products they supply are well maintained and working properly.
Defective products can also lead to injuries on construction sites. Using the same examples from above, scaffolding constructed from inferior materials can collapse, causing injury and subjecting the manufacturing company to liability. Broken heavy machinery can break down and seriously endanger the workers who use it.
In each of these situations, the aggrieved worker can likely step out of Indiana’s exclusive remedy rule and file a lawsuit rather than having to seek worker’s compensation. However, it can be difficult to determine where there is a valid third-party claim for an accident at work without the help of one Indianapolis construction accident attorney.
Benefits of a Workers’ Compensation Lawsuit in Indiana
After reading about the various situations that can allow for a lawsuit in lieu of a worker’s compensation claim, you may be wondering why this is so important. The reality is that court cases offer injury victims compensation on a scale that workers’ compensation benefits simply do not provide.
Employee compensation benefits are subject to policy limits. Construction companies are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage that meets state minimum requirements, but they are not required to go beyond that. So if you are injured and rely on Workers’ Compensation, the policy that applies to you may not cover all of your economic losses and may not last as long as your injury.
On the other hand, court cases yield damages determined by a judge, not insurance policies. In addition, courts will not award economic damages in a workplace injury claim. This compensation is intended to compensate the injured party for pain and suffering in addition to financial losses such as medical expenses and loss of wages.
Statute of limitations for a construction accident lawsuit in Indiana
If you have an opportunity to file a lawsuit, you must identify it as soon as possible. This is because the state of Indiana has a time limit on your ability to submit. This period, also known as the statute of limitations, is two years and usually begins on the day you suffered your injury. achievement of a South Bend Personal Injury Attorney early can help avoid a situation where you miss your opportunity to submit.