Every month, a reader asks one of our sponsor legal experts about a work-related issue. These building trades law professionals respond in an Organized Labor exclusive. This month’s expert is Katherine Higgins of The Veen Firm.

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I was working on a job and our company was one of the subcontractors. Another sub’s employee dropped a box of rebar on my shoulder. I reported it to my company and saw their doctors. I’m being paid workers’ compensation but I know it won’t be enough to cover surgery and time off. I was told that workers’ comp is the only benefit I’m entitled to. Is that right?

You receive workers’ compensation from your employer when you are injured on the job. If you are receiving workers’ compensation, there are some situations where you may be entitled to bring a claim against your employer. In addition, you may have a claim against another company who contributed to your injuries. In your situation, the other subcontractor injured you and may be responsible for your injuries. You can pursue a claim or lawsuit against that company. Further, the general contractor is often responsible for oversight and safety on the job and you may have a claim against the GC if the GC failed to perform its duties. Last, the owner of the property may have responsibility depending on the owner’s role regarding the unsafe job site. You should contact an attorney who specializes in construction site injuries, so that your rights and remedies can be explained to you.

-Katherine Higgins, The Veen Firm, PC, San Francisco, CA

“Interaction via “Ask the Expert” does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Any advice given is neither legal advice nor does it serve as a replacement for hiring an attorney. In addition, any case results mentioned or discussed are not guarantees of similar results.”

Katherine Higgins

This Month's Expert: Katherine Higgins

Katherine Higgins is a trial attorney at The Veen Firm, PC. She works on the Peters Trial Team, which focuses on cases involving catastrophic injury and wrongful death. The team handles matters arising from accidents, dangerous property, and defective products primarily. Ms. Higgins represents family members and individuals who have suffered from brain and spinal cord injuries, neurological damage, psychological injuries, and the loss of family members.

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