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Many construction workers find themselves climbing up high scaffolding, utilizing lift machines, or working in the girders of tall buildings. This means that a single lapse in concentration or faulty piece of equipment can cause a catastrophic fall. Falls from heights are always threats to the well-being of employees, as any fall could lead to serious injuries.

Workers who suffer injuries because of falls from heights at construction sites in Tacoma have the right to seek out compensation for their losses. For most people, this will include pursuing damages through a workers’ compensation claim. Meanwhile, other people might benefit from filing a claim against a negligent third party. A dedicated construction injury attorney can help you find the right option for your circumstances.

Seeking Benefits Through Workers’ Compensation

Tacoma laws retain a State Fund for benefits after construction injuries. Employers pay into this fund in exchange for immunity for direct liability from most workplace incidents. If an employer chooses to opt out of this program, they must obtain insurance from a private company at their own expense.

Regardless of whether an employer decides to pay into the fund, a fall from a Tacoma construction site may certainly entitle a worker to benefits. These benefits can include payment for all needed medical care as well as partial wage reimbursement for time missed on the job. Sadly, obtaining these benefits is never guaranteed.

For instance, there are some situations where a fall victim has their claim denied. If this happens, a skilled Tacoma attorney could help appeal a denial and keep a construction fall claim on track. Our legal team could help file a formal appeal with the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals and then appear in person on a worker’s behalf to explain why the issuance of full benefits is appropriate.

Situations Where a Third-Party may Share Liability

The purpose of employers purchasing workers’ compensation insurance is to protect against direct liability for on-the-job injuries or occupational diseases. The program can be beneficial to injured employees, but worker’s comp benefits are not as comprehensive as one might expect. For instance, after a construction fall, an employee might be able to collect more compensation by filing a claim against a negligent third party. Examples of third-party negligence could include:

  • A reckless co-worker causing a fall through roughhousing or drunken behavior
  • A commercial manufacturer releasing flawed and dangerous safety equipment

Proving that a third party should assume liability for a construction fall can be a challenge for unrepresented plaintiffs, but it becomes much easier when working with a Tacoma lawyer.

Are Construction Fall Claims subject to Time Limits?

Anyone hoping to collect financial compensation after falling on a construction site should be aware that there is a time limit on filing a claim. According to the Revised Code of Washington § 4.16.080, people must act within three years of their injury. Although employees may still be waiting for workers’ compensation benefits, this does not alter the strict civil time limit. Contacting a lawyer as soon as possible after falling on a construction site could help avoid any complications with this statute of limitations.

Call Our Team about Falls from Heights at Tacoma Construction Sites

Working in the construction industry exposes employees to a variety of dangers, including the risk of falling. An unexpected fall could result in broken bones, spinal cord trauma, or wrongful death. The plain fact is that employers must obtain workers’ compensation insurance policies that provide benefits in the event of these tragedies.

However, this compensation may not be enough to make things right. In scenarios where a third party was liable in allowing a fall to occur, those parties may be responsible for your lost income and your emotional traumas. Contact an attorney now to discuss the nuances of falls from heights at Tacoma construction sites.