South Carolina Construction Accidents
Statistically speaking, construction workers have a much greater than average chance of being hurt at work. Power tools, heavy equipment, and hard, physical labor can take their toll. There also tend to be a lot of people coming onto and going off a construction site at any given time, given the “controlled chaos” of the industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 2,000 non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses that arise at construction sites in South Carolina each year. Over half of these cases result in days away from work, job transfer, or restrictions. While most people who are hurt at work are able to file a workers’ compensation claim, construction accident cases can involve multiple claims and many parties. At Grimes Teich Anderson, our South Carolina construction accident lawyers handle both workers’ compensation claims and third-party claims, working hard to make sure that our clients receive 100% of the compensation to which they are entitled.
In an average work-related injury case, the “exclusive remedy” doctrine means that a worker is limited to workers’ compensation benefits. For example, an employee who suffers a lifting injury at a construction site can file a claim against his or her employer (or its workers’ compensation insurance company) seeking medical benefits, temporary total disability payments, and other assistance, but he or she is not allowed to file a negligence claim against the employer. A negligence claim is the type of claim filed by a person who is involved in a car accident or a fall at the grocery store. To hold the defendant liable, the injured individual must prove that the other party owed him or her a legal duty, that the duty was breached, and that the victim’s injuries were proximately caused by the defendant’s breach of duty. In workers’ compensation cases, by contrast, the plaintiff need only prove that he or she was injured during the course and scope of his or her employment. A showing of fault against the employer is not required.How Construction Accident Cases Differ From Routine Workers’ Compensation Cases
When someone is hurt on the job at a construction site in South Carolina, a skilled construction accident attorney will consider the possibility of both a workers’ compensation claim and a negligence action if a third party – someone other than the plaintiff’s employer or a co-worker – breaches a duty of care, proximately causing injuries to the worker. For example, a construction worker could be hurt at work due to the failure of a piece of equipment that is defective or unreasonably dangerous. In such a situation, the worker might be able to both receive workers’ compensation benefits and pursue a third-party product liability claim against the manufacturer of the equipment that caused the injury. (If the product liability case is successful, the worker may need to repay the workers’ compensation benefits that he or she received; this is known as “subrogation.”) The actions of an independent contractor on a construction site, such as a supplier making a delivery, can also lead to a third-party negligence action.
Because of the potential complications of a construction accident case, it is very important that an injured worker speak with a South Carolina construction accident attorney promptly. An investigation must be undertaken, the responsible parties must be identified, notice must be given, and claims must be filed within the statute of limitations. This takes time, and waiting weeks or months to talk to an attorney can cause problematic delays and jeopardize the claimant’s legal rights, including the right to receive temporary or permanent disability benefits through workers’ compensation or sue a third party for negligence.Speak to a Seasoned Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have been hurt in an on-the-job accident at a South Carolina construction site, you should speak to an established construction accident attorney. At Grimes Teich Anderson, we handle many different types of work-related injury cases, including not only physical injuries but also depression and mental health injuries. To schedule an appointment to come in and discuss your case with a construction accident lawyer in South Carolina, call us at 800.533.6845 or complete our online form. We handle workers’ compensation cases on behalf of people in Greenville, Spartanburg, and Gaffney, as well as the surrounding areas. There is no charge for the consultation, and most cases are handled on a contingency fee basis – we get paid when your case is resolved.