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Do You Work At Construction? What to Do When You Get Hurt.

Updated: May 18

Filing Personal Injury And Workers' Comp Claims In California

Of all sectors, construction has one of the highest rates of worker injuries. Work environments that are constantly evolving, including the use of heavy equipment, machinery, and power tools, and challenging site conditions, can be the cause of these injuries. In the case of a workplace injury, construction workers are entitled to workers' compensation, which covers medical care and missed wages.

However, in some circumstances, the construction accident may have been caused by the negligence of a third party, in which case the injured person may pursue a third-party damage lawsuit. In these cases, the best course of action would be to contact a prescreened Construction Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles.

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Scaffolding, equipment, demolition, drilling, and other forms of construction can all be involved in construction site incidents. The process of evaluating and investigating the accident, determining the appropriate amount of compensation for the injured construction worker, and establishing liability are not simple. Construction site managers, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers of construction materials and equipment, and engineers are among the parties who may be held responsible. Many of these parties would almost certainly have different insurance carriers and coverages, as well as different defense lawyers representing them. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a construction accident in California, you can contact a California Construction Accident Lawyer as soon as possible.

Construction Accidents with a High Risk

The building industry is particularly hazardous, and construction workers have a greater risk of occupational accidents than workers in virtually any other industry.

According to new figures from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ('OSHA'), the building industry accounts for one out of every five workplace fatalities. It is important to find an experienced solicitor to handle your lawsuit if you have been injured in a construction accident.

Construction incidents often result in serious injury, and you need someone to fight for the full financial recovery on your behalf, particularly if your ability to work (and earn a paycheck) is limited, and you face a lengthy recovery period.

Construction Work Sometimes Causes Serious Injuries

Serious and permanently disabling injuries are common in construction accidents and injuries. When injuries are serious, doctors' appointments, new drugs, and physical therapy are normally needed, and the path to recovery is likely to be a marathon of doctor's appointments, new medications, and physical therapy.

In certain cases, accidents result in permanently crippling injuries, limiting the injured employee's earning opportunities in the future.

Statistics for California

Construction injury reports are available from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The following are some statistics and information concerning construction injuries and accidents:

  • In 2017, 5,147 employees died as a result of occupational accidents, with the construction industry accounting for more than 20% of all fatalities.

  • Every year, approximately 150,000 construction site incidents occur, with many of these accidents resulting in injuries to staff and others nearby.

  • Construction employees account for about 15% of all workers' compensation payouts.

  • Every week, an average of 99 people die as a result of work-related accidents, equating to more than 14 deaths every day.

On construction sites, fall security violations are the most common cause of accidents, accompanied by issues with hazard communication protocols, safety training requirements, and safety gear.

Construction Accidents in California: Common Causes

Construction-related injuries can be caused by a number of factors, including falling objects, fires, safety breaches, electrical accidents, car accidents, and falls from great heights. You may be entitled to more than just compensation for medical costs, including compensation for pain and suffering, lost income, lost earning power, and potential recovery, depending on the cause of the injury and whether any rules were broken or negligence occurred.

Residential construction sites, road work, bridge erections, demolitions, building renovations, and other types of construction sites are all potentially dangerous. Structures in different stages of completion, unstable terrain, and heavy machinery and materials can all be found on construction sites. Although there are several different types of construction accidents that can occur and result in injuries, the following are the most common:

  • Falls – Working from a height, such as scaffolding, cranes, ladders, or roofs, is common in buildings. The number one cited safety violation in the construction industry, according to OSHA, is failure to provide adequate fall cover for employees. Broken or fractured bones, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injuries may all result from falls from any height.

  • Accidents in trenches – Many building projects need large holes or trenches to be dug for foundations or excavation. The ground around these trenches is often unstable, and even a minor mishap can cause the trench to cave in. If a construction worker is inside the trench when it collapses, they can suffer not only traumatic injuries but also oxygen deprivation or even suffocation death.

  • Being struck by objects – Construction sites have a lot of moving pieces, and materials and equipment are constantly being used and transferred. Workers may sustain severe injuries if moving vehicles or construction materials collide with them, and they can become stuck or crushed between the objects. Furthermore, tools and other items may fall from scaffolding or higher working positions and land on top of a worker below. Severe head injuries and brain injuries are often the product of this. Electrocutions – Electrical structures are often in different stages of completion in a building. The risk of electrocution is greatly increased by unfinished or ungrounded electrical systems. The symptoms of electrocution can vary from uncomfortable shock stimuli to severe burns and bodily function damage in the entire body. Electrocutions are often fatal.

  • Defective equipment – As every other form of product, power tools, non-powered tools, heavy machinery, and safety equipment all have the ability to be defectively made. Construction staff is at risk of serious injury when equipment malfunctions.

Finding Who's Liable

Construction injuries can result in high medical costs, as well as the inability to work for a prolonged period of time while recovering, resulting in missed wages. It is important for accident victims to consider all available financial recovery options for these and other losses.

To begin with, many building accidents would be protected by a company's workers' compensation policy. In the case of severe injury, these cases can be difficult, so it's crucial to have the help of a Construction Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles who knows how to get you the full amount of compensation you deserve for medical bills, missed wages, and any long-term disability.

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In certain circumstances, a third party, such as equipment suppliers or on-site independent contractors, can be responsible for the injuries. In such cases, your California Construction Accident Lawyer will locate the responsible parties and assist you in obtaining the benefits you receive through the insurance process or by filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Comparative Fault

What if you were partly to blame for the injuries you received in a building accident? The response to this question varies depending on whether you are pursuing coverage by workers' compensation or a separate construction accident case.

Fault isn't a problem with a workers' compensation lawsuit. In deciding whether an injured person is liable for compensation, neither the employer's nor the employee's fault is considered.

However, if you are filing a construction accident lawsuit and believe you may be partially to blame, you should learn more about how California's comparative fault law may affect your recovery. California is classified as a state with "pure comparative faults."

This means that even if a plaintiff is partially at fault, she will still recover damages. At the same time, the plaintiff's damages payout would be diminished due to her percentage of fault. This is so if the complainant is just 5% at fault or 95% at fault. Although certain states prohibit a plaintiff from recovering whether he or she is 50 percent or 51 percent at fault, California is not one of them.

To be specific, comparative blame is a defense used by the defendant to prevent having to pay full compensation. In a building accident injury scenario, the complainant can never bring up comparative blame. Consider one of our prescreened California Lawyers in your California Attorney Search.

Third-party liability

If someone other than your employer is to blame for the injuries you sustained in a construction accident, you have the right to claim the compensation you deserve and need to recover completely. This type of third-party liability will extend to a wide range of negligent parties, including the following:

  • Another contractor working on the job

  • A subcontractor

  • The designer

  • The maker of the equipment that caused you damage

  • The owner of the land on which the site is located

Establishing third-party liability is a difficult legal procedure that requires close collaboration with a committed and skilled California Construction Accident Lawyer.

Liability of the manufacturer

If any of the equipment was faulty in some way and caused you damage, you might be able to file a third-party lawsuit against the manufacturer. Such instances are as follows:

  • The manufacturer is in charge of designing secure forklifts and manufacturing them in compliance with that design. If something goes wrong during the manufacturing process, making the forklift less safe—or unsafe—the forklift manufacturer can be held responsible for any accidents that occur.

  • If the forklift has a design defect that makes it unsafe despite being properly made, the manufacturer will be held liable.

  • The manufacturer could be held liable if it failed to properly alert the customer to any risks associated with the forklift, such as by removing alerts from the machine itself.

  • The manufacturer must also ensure that its forklifts are not marketed to people who are not qualified to operate such machinery. While the manufacturer cannot monitor who buys each of its forklifts, it can ensure that any distributors are well informed about the product's specifications. Forklifts are clearly designed for buyers who have the expertise and capability to operate them safely in controlled environments. A forklift without side safety guards, for example, is not suitable for high lifts and should not be sold or purchased for that purpose.

From here, things get a lot more complicated. Companies that transport large forklifts, as well as dealerships that sell them, have obligations that, if not met, will result in negligence lawsuits in forklift incidents. Our pre-screened California Construction Accident Lawyers are ready to assist you if you have been injured on the job in a construction site accident.

Incompetent Hiring

The contractor can be held liable for serious negligence in a building accident in very particular circumstances. However, such cases are extremely complex and necessitate the professional expertise of a California Construction Accident Lawyer. Take, for example, a case of careless recruiting. If any of the above apply to you and you were hired to run a forklift on a construction site (or somewhere else), you might have a legitimate personal injury claim against your employer:

  • Because of a lack of experience, preparation, qualification, or some other excuse, you were not trained to safely perform your job

  • Your boss was not aware of or should have been aware of your unfitness for the job.

  • You were involved in a construction accident due to your lack of work fitness.

  • The fact that your employer employed kept and supervised you played a direct role in the accident in which you were injured.

There are high expectations, and though each construction accident case—or construction accident in general—has its own set of circumstances, it's critical to make sure you get to the root of the allegation and keep the negligent party completely accountable for the losses you've suffered.

Other Sources of Liability

Determining blame for an industrial or construction site accident is difficult, but a Construction Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles is going to be familiar with the complexities of these cases and vigorously litigate the following problems that often occur in these cases:

  • Occupational Health and Safety Administration breaches. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) establishes unique regulations to facilitate workplace safety. Employers who refuse to meet these federal requirements put employees at risk of serious injury.