Not all jobs take place on the employer’s worksite. Some businesses require that employees go to another site to do their work, such as window washers, or a construction site of another employer. Some situations require that workers bring the company’s tools and any large machines and hardware with them to complete the job. There must be a maintenance record in place for each of the pieces, ensuring that all equipment is safe to use.
Other jobs may require workers to use the client’s equipment at the job location. In such situations, if the equipment malfunctions, then it is the client’s responsibility to get the equipment repaired to usable status. Unfortunately, if there is an injury to the hired employee from another company, then the hiring client may be responsible for those injuries, as well as a settlement from the injured worker or his or her dependents, in the case of a death.
While Arizona employers are automatically required to insure and pay out benefits to any injured employee (except in certain rare cases), both the employer and the injured employee can seek financial redress from the hiring client at whose workplace the injury occurred. It depends mainly on the circumstances of the injury and surrounding facts.
Let us take an example of a window washer that uses a platform that is suspended from the top of a tall building. While the window washer may bring his or her own equipment to suspend a platform from the top, the building may have the required support attachments from which powered scaffolding may be attached that allow the washers to raise and lower the platform as needed.
Should any of those building attachments deteriorate over time, causing one to break loose, the scaffolding may be left hanging by one cable instead of two. Hopefully, the window washer(s) was attached to the scaffold, but if not, and one washer fell to his or her death, then the firm that owns the building is liable for the accident. Alternatively, if the cables that held the scaffolding showed that they were weakened and were the cause of the accident, then the company that owned and maintained the scaffolding would be liable.
Section C of this statute shows that the employee or his/her dependents must notify the employer and/or the insurance company of the intention of action against the third party in the accident. The employer’s insurance company who has been paying benefits to the injured employee or to the surviving dependents also has a right to step in to protect the insurer’s and employer’s rights.
Section D states that the insurance company can recover the amount already spent on the injured employee or dependents, minus attorney and court fees spent in securing the recovery. A lien can be imposed although there is no collection fee attached to it.
This does give rise to the fact that injured employees and surviving dependents may think twice about bringing an action against a third party. The circumstances of any case can be different from one to the next case as to whether this action can be of benefit to the injured employee or surviving dependents and it is always best to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney.
If you have questions about your claim, please call us at once for a free consultation. We can help you with the information you need. 602-346-9009.
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