Seeking Civil Damages in Addition or as Opposed to Workers’ Compensation
When you’ve been hurt on a construction site, your first course of action is typically to notify your employer and initiate the process to collect workers’ compensation benefits. You may believe that this is your only recourse—that may or may not be true.
Though the benefits available through a workers’ compensation claim are often referred to as your “exclusive remedy” after a work-related accident, there are ways that you can pursue damages elsewhere, including in a court of law. Here’s how it works.
Under the workers’ compensation laws (which are essentially “no-fault” laws), there are only two criteria for eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits—you must have been hurt and it must have happened during the performance of your duties. The benefits available through the workers’ compensation system, though, are intended only to compensate you for injuries caused by your employer or a co-employee. If your injuries were caused by someone else (an unrelated third party), you are not limited by the provisions of the workers’ compensation laws. In fact, you can file a civil lawsuit for damages simultaneously with a workers’ compensation petition.
So why would you choose one or the other? With a workers’ compensation claim, if you are approved fairly quickly, you can expect to see payment of benefits start within a couple weeks. In the civil courts, you’ll have to go through the discovery period, then motions and other matters before you ever come to trial. It can be months or years before you get a verdict. It can be much longer, should the damage award be appealed. With a workers’ compensation claim, the amount of damages you can collect is limited, based on your prior income. With a personal injury lawsuit, there’s conceivably no limit to the amount of the damage award.
Contact the Proven Auto Accident Injury Lawyers at the Rafi Law Group
At our office, every new client is entitled to a free initial consultation. To arrange a meeting, contact us online or call the Rafi Law Group at 214-224-0064. Our phones are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Home and hospital visits can be set up by request.
We take all workplace injury claims on a contingent fee basis. You won’t incur legal fees unless we get compensation for your losses. We will also advance all expenses. Se habla Espanol.