Most of the time, when someone gets hurt at work, they turn to workers’ compensation benefits. However, those aren’t always an option. Additionally, workers’ compensation only covers some of your losses, which might leave you with big gaps in your budget — especially when your injuries are serious.
Construction workers are at particularly high risk when compared with people in other industries for severe injuries on the job. When might you be able to file a civil lawsuit if you got hurt while working on a construction project?
When your employer broke the law or was willfully negligent
The Tennessee workers’ compensation program typically absolves employers from liability related to workplace injuries and illnesses. However, the law does not protect your employer from misconduct. If they have illegal practices on the job site, fail to provide necessary safety gear or otherwise demonstrate gross negligence about the safety of their workers, you may have a claim against the business.
Additionally, regardless of how many employees there are, every construction company in Tennessee has an obligation to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer did not carry the right insurance, that could give you grounds to file a civil lawsuit against them.
When a third party is responsible for your injuries
Your employer might not actually be the one who is at fault for your injuries. Perhaps you had a tool or piece of safety equipment that had a dangerous defect and malfunctioned on the job. Maybe a drunk driver went off the road and hit the scaffolding where you were working. When someone other than your employer is directly responsible for your workplace injuries, you may be in a position to file a lawsuit against that other individual or business.
Understanding your rights as someone injured at a construction site can help you recover the financial losses you have suffered.