Workplace injuries can happen anywhere, but construction sites are often full of numerous hazards. If a worker suffers a catastrophic personal injury on a construction site, the worker or the worker’s family may have grounds for a third-party liability claim against the property owner or other subcontractors on site.
We mention this because usually when an injury is work-related, the injured worker is limited by the exclusive remedy provision of workers’ compensation law to only get workers’ compensation from an employer – even if that employer was negligent. However, there are cases in which non-employers are liable too for work injuries, and this is where a third-party liability claim may arise. We see this a lot in construction accident cases because there are often so many different parties – owners, general contractors, subcontractors, and employees of all those. Whether a third-party claim for a construction site injury is viable is going to depend on the contracts among those various entities and which company was paying for workers’ compensation insurance.
Similar provisions pertaining to workers’ compensation exist in states across the country. In a recent case before the Rhode Island Supreme Court, two companies – neither a direct employer of the injured worker – were battling over which may be liable for the incident.