Third-Party Construction Site Claims in Arizona
Hurt while working on a construction site in Arizona? If so, you are most likely entitled to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation covers your medical expenses, replaces a portion of your lost wages, and provides disability benefits while you heal from a job injury.
One perk about workers’ compensation is that benefits are paid to qualifying employees regardless of fault. There’s no need to prove that someone acted recklessly to get paid. But there’s a trade-off. In exchange for these no-fault benefits, Arizona workers give up the right to file a negligence lawsuit against their employers.
However, there are times when construction site accidents result from an outside party’s recklessness. If someone other than your employer is responsible for your construction site injury, you could be entitled to file a third-party injury claim against them. A third-party claim can be beneficial because a successful claim could give you access to compensation not possible through a workers’ compensation alone, such as pain and suffering.
Not sure if you have a third-party construction accident claim? Contact Matt Fendon Law Group today for a free case review. Our skilled Arizona workers’ compensation lawyers will listen to your story and determine your legal options. If we believe a third-party construction site claim is possible for you, we’ll connect you with highly experienced injury lawyers who can assist with that aspect of your case while we pursue the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
What Is a Third-Party Construction Site Claim?
A third-party construction site claim is a personal injury claim that a construction worker could bring if injured in a workplace accident caused by the negligence, recklessness, or other legal fault of an outside party.
A third party may be a contractor, an equipment manufacturer, or another party (except your employer) whose actions or inaction contributed to your injury. An employer is generally protected from third-party claims in exchange for offering workers’ compensation.
A third-party construction site claim can arise from various circumstances, such as:
- Dangerous conditions of the construction site due to the negligence of the property owner or a general contractor
- A reckless driver who causes a motor vehicle accident
- Another worker from a different construction company who causes a forklift accident or scaffolding accident
- A negligent company that designed or manufactured defective equipment or machinery
- A building materials supplier that created unreasonably hazardous materials, leading to accidents such as fires, explosions, or toxic exposure
Examples of Third-Party Construction Site Accident Injuries
Construction is one of the most dangerous professions. Common examples of construction site accident injuries include:
- Ligament sprains, tendon strains, and soft tissue tears
- Herniated discs and other back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries/paralysis
- Broken bones
- Burns and smoke inhalation injuries
- Electrocution injuries
- Head and facial injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Crush injuries
- Internal organ trauma
- Internal bleeding
- Toxic exposure
Determining Liability for a Third-Party Claim
While workers’ compensation does not require an injured worker to prove their employer’s liability to secure payment, a third-party construction site claim operates under traditional personal injury law standards.
In most third-party construction site accident claims, you must prove that a third party was negligent or engaged in intentional and willful conduct that led to the construction site accident and your injury. Negligence can be established by proving that a third party had a duty to keep you reasonably safe from harm and failed to fulfill their obligations. You must also provide evidence showing how that breach of duty directly led to the construction accident and your injuries.
Alternatively, you might argue that the accident and your injuries resulted from a third party’s recklessness. Recklessness occurs when someone willfully ignores a substantial risk that could cause someone else to suffer a severe injury.
Can I File a Third-Party Claim and Receive Workers’ Comp at the Same Time?
Arizona law allows you to file both a workers’ compensation claim and a third-party personal injury claim after a construction site accident. Because a personal injury claim allows you to recover compensation unavailable through workers’ compensation, injured workers can recover money through both types of claims.
However, if an injured construction worker receives workers’ compensation benefits and then wins compensation in a third-party construction site claim, they may be expected to reimburse their employer or insurer for certain benefits paid while the injury claim was pending. That’s because the law does not usually permit an injured worker to obtain a “double recovery.”
In other words, an employee who has been reimbursed for their medical expenses and provided with partial wage replacement from workers’ compensation cannot recover those same amounts in a third-party injury claim. Part of that money must be used to pay back their employer or the employer’s workers’ compensation insurer.
Why Are Third-Party Construction Claims Important?
Although an employee injured in a construction site accident can obtain workers’ compensation benefits under Arizona law regardless of who may have been at fault for the accident, those benefits are subject to certain limits.
For example, while workers’ comp will pay for all reasonable and necessary treatment for injuries suffered in a work accident, an injured employee can only receive partial wage replacement if they miss time from work while recovering. Disability benefits under workers’ compensation only partially cover a worker’s future expected earnings.
By contrast, a worker can recover money for additional losses beyond those allowed under workers’ compensation in a third-party construction site accident claim. This can include full reimbursement of lost past and current wages, lost earning potential, pain and suffering, and loss of quality or enjoyment of life due to the injuries suffered in a workplace accident.
In other words, a third-party construction claim can allow an injured worker to be made whole for the full extent of their financial and personal losses. But keep in mind that there are no guarantees that you’ll win your third-party claim. Workers’ compensation benefits, while limited, do allow you to walk away from your accident with some money guaranteed.
Finding the Right Lawyer For Your Third-Party Claim
It’s always wise to seek legal advice after a workplace injury. Many people do not realize a third-party claim is even possible until their initial application for workers’ comp benefits is denied. A knowledgeable attorney can outline all of your options upfront to maximize your recovery, expedite the workers’ compensation process, and guide you as you consider filing a third-party construction accident claim.
At Matt Fendon Law Group, we exclusively represent injured and disabled Arizona workers. Part of that job means putting you in contact with top personal injury lawyers to handle your third-party claim while we fight for full and fair workers’ compensation benefits for you. You don’t need to spend time looking for two lawyers. Come to us, and we’ll hook you up.