A construction worksite can be a dangerous place. Sadly, many workers, customers, and passersby are injured or killed in preventable construction site accidents each year. Indeed, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that more than 20 percent of all workplace fatalities recorded in the United States occur within the construction industry.
If you were hurt on a construction site, you deserve justice and full and fair financial support. This raises an important question: How much is a construction injury case worth? The answer depends on several factors. In this article, our Las Vegas construction accident attorneys highlight four important questions that will determine how much your construction accident settlement is actually worth.
What is the Value of My Construction Accident Case?
Are Your Bringing a Workers’ Compensation Claim, a Personal Injury Claim, or Both?
As a starting point, you must clarify the type of construction accident that occurred. More specifically, are you bringing a Nevada workers’ compensation claim, a personal claim, or both?
If you were not working at the time that the construction accident occurred, this is a relatively straightforward question: Your construction accident claim is a personal injury claim. Nevada workers’ compensation rules and regulations will not be a factor in your case.
However, if you were injured while on the job, you need to determine whether or not your construction accident case is a workers’ compensation claim, a personal injury claim, or both. In Nevada, your exclusive remedy against your employer is through that state’s workers’ compensation system. Benefits are available to you even if the accident was your fault. You must complete and submit Form C-4 – Employee’s Compensation Report of Initial Treatment and pursue financial support through the workers’ comp insurance system.
That being said, if you were working at a construction site in Clark County, NV, and you suffered an injury caused by the negligence of a party other than your employer, you may also be able to recover additional compensation through a personal injury claim. As an example, if your injury was caused by a defective piece of machinery/equipment or by a negligent third party, you can also file a personal injury claim or lawsuit directly against these defendants.
What is the Total Value of Your Damages?
When determining the proper value of your construction accident claim, you need to calculate the value of your actual damages. In Nevada, personal injury damages are designed to be primarily compensatory in nature. Put another way, your compensation should be equivalent to your specific losses. Through a personal injury claim, construction accident victims may be eligible to recover financial compensation for:
- Medical bills and expenses;
- Rehabilitative care;
- Loss of current and future income;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental distress;
- Long-term impairments; and
- Wrongful death damages.
It is important to remember that workers’ compensation claims are different. Through a workers’ compensation claim, financial damages may be available for reasonable and necessary medical care, lost wages, and permanent disability. So it is in your best interest to always pursue a claim against an applicable third party when you can.
Can You Prove Liability?
Personal injury claims — including work injury claims that are filed against third party defendants — are based on fault. In Nevada, an injured Plaintiff must be able to prove that the defendant was negligent in order to recover financial compensation.
If you cannot establish liability, you will not be able to obtain a personal injury settlement. Notably, Nevada is a comparative negligence jurisdiction. This means that a defendant may try to push some of the blame for a construction accident back onto the victim. If they are successful in doing so, it will reduce the value of a construction accident settlement.
As a reminder, fault though is not a factor in a workers’ compensation claim. You do not need to prove liability to recover workers’ compensation benefits. If you are bringing a workers’ compensation claim for a construction accident in Nevada, you are not required to prove that your employer, or any other party, did anything wrong or was to blame for your injury. In other words, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault for the construction accident.
Are You Represented By an Experienced Attorney?
Finally, one of the biggest factors that will affect the value of your construction accident settlement is whether or not you are represented by an experienced construction accident attorney. Simply put, the large insurance companies that handle construction accident claims are not interested in making full and fair settlement offers to injured victims and injured workers. They want to protect their own bottom line.
As an example, imagine that your construction case should, in theory, be worth $500,000. Getting a full and fair $500,000 settlement offer from a defendant or its insurance company will not be easy. Among other things, you will be required to:
- Present evidence that proves liability;
- Provide documentation that establishes the value of your damages; and
- Convince the defendant/insurer that it is worth settling the case.
How do you convince a negligent construction company or insurance company to offer a full and fair settlement? You present a well-documented, professionally prepared claim that proves to them that they will eventually be held liable should your construction accident case go to court. It is only after they see that you can prove you have a winning case that they will be ready to offer a full and fair settlement. You need an experienced Las Vegas construction accident attorney who can properly represent your interests and hold the insurance company accountable.
Consult With Our Las Vegas, NV Construction Accident Lawyers Today
At Henness & Haight, our Nevada personal injury attorneys have extensive experience handling construction accident cases — including workers’ compensation claims. We have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for people injured on the job. If you or your loved one suffered a serious injury in a construction accident, we are ready to help.
To set up a free, no obligation initial consultation, please contact our law firm today. From our two law offices in Las Vegas, we handle construction accident claims throughout Southern Nevada, including including Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Mesquite and Pahrump.