Although workers nationwide, including here in Colorado, are entitled to workers' compensation benefits, some claims for compensation can only be resolved through litigation. A man in another state who was an employee of a recycling company was seriously injured on the job in 2011 when he was involved in a construction project at his employer's home. The business owner hired a contractor to oversee the construction of a gazebo, dock and pier on a lake along with the erection of a fence in the water as a boundary for livestock.
On the day of the accident, the 62-year-old worker was a bystander when a boom collapsed and fell on him. He was reportedly knocked unconscious and fell into the lake. He was rushed to a medical facility by helicopter with injuries including a crushed chest, collapsed lung, head trauma and severe upper body injuries that included fractures to multiple ribs, his spine and both collar bones.
The business owner claimed that the man was an employee of the independent contractor, but the jury determined that, although he was working on the building project, he remained an employee of the recycling company. After deliberating for about an hour, the jury found that the husband and wife, as employers of the injured man, must pay him just more than $1 million. Half of this amount is for past medical expenses and lost income, and the other half is for future medical needs and long-term care.
When Colorado workers who have been injured on the job have problems pursuing benefits claims with the state workers' compensation system, the services of an experienced workers' compensation attorney may help to resolve the issues. A lawyer can assess the circumstances of the workplace accident and pursue compensation through the insurance program. If this is not a viable option, he or she can guide the injured worker through the proceedings of a civil lawsuit.
Source: thetandd.com, "After week of trial, worker awarded $1M from accident at businessman's home", Martha Rose Brown, Jan. 24, 2016