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Third Party Claims
Under Massachusetts law general contractors have a duty to provide a safe work environment for all of the trades working at the job site. While the workers' compensation laws provide benefits for lost wages and medical bills, they do not compensate victims for pain and suffering. An employee cannot sue his employer. However, if a general contractor or an employee of another company is responsible for an accident, a lawsuit can be filed against them seeking damages that include lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, etc.
Some work relationships exist in which the injured worker is not a direct employee. For example, a construction worker may be considered an independent contractor. He may report directly to the general contractor or he may not. Additionally, several subcontractors often work together without having an official relationship between them. If such a contractor or subcontractor contributed to the cause of your injury, you may be able to file a third party claim against this individual.
Other circumstances may exist that give rise to a third party claim. For example, you may be injured on a construction accident because the roof was not properly supported due to a faulty design of the building. In this situation, you may be able to sue the building's architect or engineer. Another common cause for a third party claim is when a defective product is involved. Construction workers rely on scaffolding, ladders, fall protection equipment and other safety devices. If you fall or if you are otherwise injured by one of these products that did not work properly, you may also be able to sue the product's manufacturer or designer.
If you would like more information about how you can file a third party claim, contact the attorneys at Kantrovitz and Kantrovitz LLC.