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Understanding claims and lawsuits when injured at work

If you are injured during a car accident or other such activity and the injury was caused by the actions or negligence of another person, you probably know you can seek compensation from that party through a legal claim. But what happens if you are a construction worker and you are injured in an accident on the job -- whether or not that accident involves a vehicle? On-the-job construction injuries can be a bit more complex.

First, you have to understand whether your injury is covered by a workers' compensation plan through your employer. You first have to be an employee, so if you are a freelance contractor, you might not be covered under someone else's plan. In such a case, you should have your own plan.

If you are covered under a workers' compensation plan, then your first action will likely be to make a claim for coverage of medical bills and other expenses under that policy. While you can't sue your employer simply because you were injured on the job if you are covered by workers' compensation, you might be able to seek additional legal remedies in certain other situations.

In some cases, the injury or accident in question was caused in part by a third party's negligence. A third party is someone who is not your employer or any employee of your employer. Third parties might include a training organization or equipment supplier. For example, if you are injured by heavy machinery that was defective, the third party involved might be the machinery manufacturer. In such cases, it's sometimes possible to file a compensation lawsuit against the third party.

Understanding when and on whom you can file a lawsuit can be difficult. Working with a construction law professional can help you understand your options following a construction-related accident.

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