Construction sites and oilfields are dangerous places. The first recourse for injured workers is the workers’ compensation system. However, damages from a serious injury or death may far exceed the benefits available from workers’ compensation.
At the Cederberg Law Firm, Boulder personal injury attorneys Jim and Luke Cederberg handle third-party construction site or oilfield injury claims for people in Colorado. To learn more about your case, contact their office in Boulder for a free consultation about your oilfield or construction site accident.
Getting Beyond the Workers’ Compensation System for Colorado Residents
Workers’ compensation laws prevent lawsuits against co-employees, the employer, or any contractor or owner up the chain of command from the injured employee. However, many parties on job sites are vulnerable to suit if they were at fault and caused the injury. These include subcontractors down the chain from the employer; subcontractors who are parallel to the employer or outside the employer’s chain of command; engineers; and vendors and manufacturers of equipment.
Workers’ compensation benefits are payable to the workers injured on oilfield or construction sites without regard to fault. Workers’ compensation claims are best handled by lawyers who specialize in workers’ compensation law because very specific rules, procedures and recovery rights apply. Jim Cederberg will work with your workers’ compensation lawyer to determine if you are entitled to recovery above the workers’ compensation schedule.
Third-Party Oilfield & Construction Site Accident Claims
Fault-based claims against others are best handled by lawyers experienced with such claims. Colorado law provides that any percentage of fault attributed to someone other than the parties who are sued gets subtracted from the injured person’s recovery. This means that blaming the employer is a common strategy used by other defendants to avoid liability.
Therefore, contrary to intuitive reactions to a serious on-the-job injury, blaming the employer or co-employees is against the interest of the injured worker and should be avoided. Similarly, except in cases of gross employee misconduct, blaming the employee is contrary to the interests of the employer.
One aspect of on-the-job injuries that is often overlooked is that the injured worker’s lawyer must establish communications with the employer immediately and create a working relationship in which the employer understands that, even though there may be a dispute over the amount of workers’ comp benefits owed, the employer and employee have common interests in claims against third parties. It may take considerable effort to get this to sink in with the employer.
A decent working relationship is also critical because the employer has access to information that can be extremely helpful in proving the case against the third party. For this reason alone, it may be helpful to have a lawyer working on the third-party case who is not handling the workers’ comp claim related to an oilfield, construction site or other on-the-job accident.
Speak to the Boulder Construction and Oilfield Accident Lawyers at the Cederberg Law Firm
Jim and Luke Cederberg have handled complex third-party claims arising from on-the-job injuries in oilfield, construction, foundry, mining and other settings. Contact our law office or call 303-499-0449 to sit down to discuss your rights after an oilfield or construction site accident.