Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

Call for a free consultation (206) 340-2008

Can I Get More Than Workers’ Compensation if I am Injured in a Construction Accident

Posted Friday, January 14, 2022 by Chris Thayer

Construction is one of the most dangerous industries that a person can work in. Approximately 20% of all private worker fatalities each year occur in the construction industry. If you have been injured in a construction site injury, you may be struggling to get the workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to, realizing you do not qualify for coverage, or feeling frustrated at the minimal benefits you are receiving. Luckily, you may have legal avenues available to you. The best way to ensure that you are getting information that pertains to your specific information is to talk to a Seattle personal injury attorney, however, we will provide some general guidance here.

*Workers’ Compensation for Washington Construction Accidents * Whether you qualify for workers’ compensation insurance coverage through your employer depends on whether you are classified as an employee or an independent contractor. If you are classified as an employee, you can file a claim for the accident, and should receive medical care and full or partial wage replacement as you recover. You can receive this in weekly payments or as a bulk settlement, which can be negotiated. Sometimes employers intentionally misclassify employees as independent contractors in order to limit their own liability. If you believe this may be the case for you, a lawyer can help you determine whether you have been misclassified, and help you get the benefits to which you are entitled. If you do qualify for workers’ compensation coverage, it generally is a complete bar to suing your employer to recover damages, even if your employer was negligent in causing your injury. This is not the case, however, for independent contractors. They can bring a personal injury lawsuit against their employer as long as their employer was negligent.

*When Can I Get Workers’ Compensation and a Lawsuit Settlement? * In certain situations it is possible to receive workers’ compensation benefits from your employer while also bringing a lawsuit. The critical key here though, is that the lawsuit cannot be against your employer. The lawsuit must be brought against a non-employer third-party. This can happen if a contractor or other party contributed to causing your workplace injury. For instance, if your employer hired a contractor to provide and operate forklifts, and you were impaled by one that was being negligently operated, you could receive workers’ compensation from your employer as well as pursuing a lawsuit against the negligent contractor. It’s important to note that in that situation you would never want to settle the lawsuit before settling your workers’ compensation amount, otherwise the lawsuit settlement will be counted as income and will likely negate any eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.

*Contact the Pivotal Law Group* If you have been injured in a Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or greater Washington State area construction accident, the experienced personal injury lawyers at the Pivotal Law Group are ready to help identify all potentially liable parties as well as all possible avenues to compensation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.