Construction work is some of the most dangerous work available, and most positions are not all that well-paid. This makes it particularly important that you secure full compensation if you are injured on the job – both for your sake and for the sake of your family. There are two possible ways you might go about seeking compensation, depending on the facts of your case. In either case, it makes a big difference to have a skilled and compassionate Virginia construction accident attorney on your side.
Most construction accident claims are resolved through the workers’ compensation system. The workers’ compensation system is the result of a compromise in which victims of workplace accidents gave up the right to claim damages for “pain and suffering” in exchange for the right to receive compensation without regard to fault.
Not all construction accident claims are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Even if you are not eligible for workers’ compensation, however, you might still be able to pursue an ordinary personal injury claim. Filing a personal injury claim offers both advantages and disadvantages when compared to filing a workers’ compensation claim.
At Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP, we win well over 90 percent of our cases. Although we cannot guarantee victory in any particular instance, we can guarantee this much – if you don’t win, you will never owe us a dime. And if you do win, you won’t owe us anything until you receive your money.
“To Mr. Depaolis: I can’t express enough how much your hard work and the results meant to my Dad. If you remember, 3 weeks before his passing he stopped all treatments. After learning about the large settlement he knew that financially my Mom would be OK. He was tired and ready to go and that check made his leaving us so much easier for him. Eleven years last month, I still miss him every day. God Bless” – A Client in Virginia
An independent contractor enjoys far more autonomy over his work and his working hours than an employee, and he does not enjoy benefits such as paid vacation time. Think of the difference between a plumber you hire to fix your sink and a full-time cook at a restaurant you own. This classification can result in important legal consequences.
Contributory negligence denies any damages at all to an injured party if he was even one percent at fault for his own injury. Contributory negligence does not apply to Virginia workers’ compensation cases, because compensation is generally awarded regardless of fault.
If you are classified as an independent contractor, or if the defendant is someone other than your employer, you are ineligible for workers’ compensation. You can file a personal injury lawsuit, but keep the differences in mind.
You can claim workers’ compensation death benefits if you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If you are ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit under the Virginia wrongful death statute. Damages are substantial and may include amounts for:
Most construction accidents are caused by:
No, you don’t necessarily have to be a construction worker to file a construction accident claim – you might be a passer-by or a guest hit by a falling object, for example. You would probably be denied recovery, however, if you were injured on a construction site after neglecting to wear a hard hat. You cannot file a workers’ compensation claim, of course, unless you were injured on the job.
Possibly. Although you won’t be able to file a workers’ compensation claim against the owner (unless you work directly for the owner as your employer), you might be able to file a premises liability personal injury claim if your accident was caused by a dangerous condition on the property that the owner should have corrected.
You might be able to file a workers’ compensation claim against your employer and a product liability lawsuit against the backhoe manufacturer. Although both claims might be successful, you are only entitled to one recovery – so workers’ compensation might demand a refund of some of its compensation if you recover from the backhoe manufacturer as well.
We are Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP, and we have 35 years of experience demanding justice for personal injury victims. The numbers testify to our success – we have won over a billion dollars for our clients, including many multi-million dollar settlements.
Our thirteen personal injury attorneys are highly decorated by both our clients and our peers in the legal profession – four of our Virginia construction accident lawyers have been named Top Lawyers by the Washingtonian Magazine, five have been named Super Lawyers, and five have been named Best Lawyers in America. Our expertise is right here, waiting for you to take advantage of it.
The longer you wait to assert a construction accident claim, the harder it becomes to win. If you wait long enough, the statute of limitations deadline will kill your claim altogether. If you have suffered a construction accident in Northern Virginia, call us at (703) 498-2928, or simply contact us online so that we can schedule a free initial consultation with our Virginia construction accident attorneys.