As a young architect hired by a prestigious firm, you were anxious to visit the site of your first job, the remodeling of a historic inn.
Even though you went onsite wearing a hard hat, you sustained an eye injury caused by a ricochet effect from falling debris. In addition to filing for workers’ compensation benefits, can you file a third-party claim?
How eye injuries occur
According to information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, job-related eye injuries requiring medical care happen to some 2,000 workers every day. Many such injuries are treated in hospital emergency rooms, and some, like yours, are serious enough to require time off from work. Eye injuries are common occurrences in both the manufacturing and construction industries. They occur when tiny particles like wood chips, metal slivers or even dust become lodged in the eyeball or eye socket. Cleaning products and industrial chemicals can cause thermal burns to the eyes of a worker, especially a welder.
About workers’ compensation
The objective of the workers’ compensation program is to cover the cost of your medical expenses and a portion of your wages if you sustain a work-related injury. Your injury, for example, occurred when falling debris from the second story of the building caused wood splinters to fly up from the ground and strike your eye. The injury was serious. You may be off work for several days. Depending on the outcome of surgery, you may have a permanent disability. If this is the result, you have a right to receive compensation for your disability.
A third-party claim
Once your claim with workers’ compensation settles, you may want to seek legal guidance relative to filing a third-party claim. Your attorney may pursue compensation on your behalf from the owner of the inn or the company that employs the worker who threw the debris from the second story, perhaps both. You sustained a serious injury and have a right to explore the paths to all the financial compensation you deserve.