How Does Workers’ Compensation Apply to Construction Accidents?

By Peter DePaolis

As a construction worker, there might come a time when you are injured on the construction site. Depending on the employment situation at the time of the accident, you might qualify for workers’ compensation. However, not all job site accidents come with workers’ compensation benefits. Instead, it will depend on how the accident occurred, your employment status, and a few other factors.

What is Workers’ Compensation and What Payments Does It Provide?

Workers’ compensation is a law where most states require that employers cover their employees for work-related injuries, illnesses, or other accidents. The benefits of workers’ compensation are not the same as a personal injury claim. Instead, they only cover your lost wages, medical costs, and potential disability.

Under most workers’ compensation programs, you could receive:

  • Temporary Disability Payments – If you must take time off work while you recover from your work-related injury, you could receive temporary disability benefits from the employer’s insurance company. These typically equate to two-thirds of your weekly take-home pay; therefore, you will not receive your full salary.
  • Temporary Total Disability – If you cannot work in any capacity, but the disability itself is not permanent, you can receive compensation for the time you must take off work to rehabilitate.
  • Permanent Total Disability Payments – If your physician decides that you cannot recover from your injury or that you will be unable to work again, you could receive compensation for your loss of earning capacity. This will be based on the career and income you have at the time.
  • Permanent Partial Disability – You are permanently disabled, but you can return to work. However, you cannot return to work in the same capacity or career field; therefore, you need compensation.
  • Disfigurement and Mutilation – Extra benefits are available under the Workers’ Compensation clauses. If you are disfigured or mutilated, you may receive compensation for the pain, suffering, and anguish of those injuries.

How Do You Claim Workers’ Compensation for Your Construction Site Accident?

First, you must report your injury to your employer. You have limited time to report this injury; therefore, you should report it (ideally) the same day it occurs. Next, it is important to hire an attorney. While you could file the claim and seek compensation yourself, the process of filing for and receiving workers’ compensation is complicated. Therefore, it is in your best interest to speak with an attorney that has experience with workers’ compensation claims and the construction industry.

Can You Also File a Personal Injury Claim Against Your Employer?

Under Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia workers’ compensation laws, in most circumstances an injured employee cannot sue his employer for on-the-job injuries or occupational diseases. Where the negligence of someone other than the employer causes worker injuries, however, the injured employee may be entitled to sue the non-employer for damages. A non-employer can be a third party, such as a manufacturer of equipment or outside contracted employees. An experienced Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C. work injury lawyer can provide worker’s’ compensation help to determine the appropriate claim to file and help those hurt on the job recover compensation as quickly as possible.

Contact an attorney from Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP today by calling one of our three locations, or by completing an online contact form.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.