Those who work in the construction industry are generally represented by legal counsel for the provincial Workers’ Compensation Board where the accident took place. In some limited circumstances injured construction workers can seek their own counsel to pursue specific cases. These cases are limited to workers where their employer does not make contributions to the provincial Workers’ Compensation Program.
Construction Site Accident Claims
These circumstances could still give rise to accident claims involving:
- Falls from scaffolding
- Falls from ladders and other elevated work equipment
- Burns from chemical spills
- Injuries from improperly marked hazards
- Injuries from defective work equipment
- Injuries from lack of safety equipment
What happens if a workplace accident is caused by a third party?
At Wagners, we’ve represented many clients who have sustained injuries after getting involved in an accident at work. Sometimes these workplace accidents are caused by a third party. This third party could be anyone other than your employer. A good example is a motor vehicle driver whose negligent actions resulted in your injuries. While you are entitled to compensation under the WCB system, you also have the option to file a personal injury claim against the negligent driver provided that driver does not work for the same employer as you. You may file the personal suit against the third party and must notify WCB that you are opting out of the WCB system within 180 days of the accident.
Should you decide to continue receiving compensation from your WCB, you cannot also file a civil lawsuit. However, if you decide to file a personal injury claim, the WCB staff will forward you a ‘Right of Action against a Third-Party Election’ form. You will need to fill in this form and return it to the WCB office within 180 days from the date the accident took place.
WCB can sue the negligent party on your behalf
There are cases where the victims choose to remain in the WCB system and not sue the negligent person. In this case, the WCB will go ahead and sue the negligent party on their own. Their aim is to recover the costs of your workplace injury. WCB will continue to pay the victim benefits. However, if you indicate that you are going to pursue a civil lawsuit against the third party that was responsible for your accident, the WCB will stop paying you benefits. The law prohibits you from receiving WCB benefits while pursuing a claim against a third party.
To decide which route to take, it’s important to weigh the merits of receiving the WCB benefits against those of suing the negligent third party who caused your injuries. For instance, if you were involved in an automobile accident, the compensation you may receive is likely to be more than what you would receive as WCB benefits. The best step to take is to consult your lawyer and discuss your claim in detail. An experienced lawyer will evaluate the merits of both options and provide advice on what path to take based on what would work best for you.
Contact Construction Site Accidents Lawyer in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Navigating the entire claims filing process on your own can be time-consuming and confusing. First, there are several documents that you will be required to fill and submit before the window period lapses and a lawyer can help you to gather those documents. Additionally, your lawyer will analyze your situation and recommend whether you should pursue a civil lawsuit or continue receiving the WCB benefits. This will depend on your unique situation and the factors surrounding your case.
If you have been injured at work by a third party, you have an option to seek your own counsel to pursue the case. Please contact our lawyers at Wagners Law Firm to discuss your case and we will offer you sound legal advice free of charge. You can reach our team by calling 902-425-7330 or 1-800-465-8794, or by completing a short online contact form.