Updated: May 18, 2022
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
The right of independent contractors to manage the job site. Independent contractors are often hired by industrial site owners and developers to manage various aspects of a project. Liability issues can occur when these parties are injured or negligently cause injury. These disputes often center on the worker's status as an independent contractor and the extent to which the contractor had influence over the worksite.
At the job site, there are defective items (scaffolding, ladders, and machinery). On manufacturing and construction sites, workers use a variety of tools and machinery to complete their tasks. Although malfunctions may be caused by poor maintenance, they may also be caused by flaws in the product's design or manufacture. In these cases, a third-party manufacturer or distributor can be held liable for any accidents that occur.
On-the-job contractual commitments between the general contractor and subcontractors. Subcontractors who work on specific tasks or projects are often found on industrial and construction sites. When these parties fail to meet fair treatment obligations, they can be held responsible for any accidents that occur. However, the extent of liability can be determined by the terms of the subcontractor's agreement with the general contractor.
Liability of the developer or landowner. The developer of the worksite or the landowner is responsible for keeping the area relatively clean. Regular checks, the repair of defective equipment, and proper worker monitoring are all examples of this.
That said, the best way to go would be to contact a prescreened construction accident law firm in Los Angeles to help you. The best accident lawyers in Los Angeles have enough experience dealing with liable parties, insurance adjusters, and court proceedings. They can help you file paperwork, gather evidence, and negotiate the claim you deserve.
Workers' Compensation Claims for Injuries Sustained in a California Construction Accident
If you were injured while working on a construction site, you would most likely need to file a workers' compensation lawsuit for compensation. Injured employees can be liable for medical care and missed wages under California workers' compensation law, regardless of fault.
The workers' compensation scheme restricts the injured worker's right to sue. Generally speaking, because an employer's wrongful act caused the employee's injury, the employee would be unable to sue the employer. Workers' compensation is the only option for obtaining compensation.
The injured worker may be able to sue a third party in a building accident case. For example, if a worker is injured on a roadside construction site as a result of a motorist's accident in the work area, the injured worker will be able to make a third-party lawsuit against the motorist even if workers' compensation benefits are received.
Similarly, if a worker's accident was caused by a faulty machine component, the worker would be entitled to file a third-party product liability claim against the machine part's designer or manufacturer.
Employer Obligations under OSHA
Employers must comply with the following OSHA rules and regulations to ensure a healthy working atmosphere for employees:
Assuring that the worksite is free of potential hazards.
Employees are being trained on OSHA protection and the applicable requirements.
Displaying the official OSHA Act poster, which explains the act's rights and obligations.
When workers are first hired, they are informed of the availability, presence, and location of medical and exposure records, with an annual obligation to remind them of these reports. Upon the employee's submission, the employer must supply the records.
Ensure that specific tools and equipment are in good working order and are safe to use.
A robust danger communication program should be included in the written report. Employee training programs, material safety details, and container labeling are also covered.
Assuring that workers are aware of the terminology and that safety training is provided.
Employee Rights under OSHA
Employees have some privileges under the 1970 OSHA Act that shield them from unsafe workplaces or security risks.
These worker rights include the following:
Laws and Regulations: The employer should have appropriate copies of the standards, rules, and regulations, as well as the employee's responsibilities, for the employee to study.
Employees, for example, have the right under the act to apply to an OSHA area director for inspections. They then audit the workplace if the employee feels those conditions are in violation of the rules and regulations. The same can be said for dangerous situations. The employee may have an approved employee accompany the OSHA enforcement officer during the inspection.
If an employee signs and files a formal complaint, they have the right to have their name hidden from the employer when making requests to OSHA.
Retaliation: Any retaliatory or discriminatory acts taken by the employer as a result of an OSHA complaint are prohibited.
Employee Exposure and Medical Records: The employee should have access to the appropriate employee exposure and medical records.
Employers should include copies of any tests performed for potential risks in the workplace to workers.
Employees have the right to access medical and injury reports related to their employment.
Construction Accident Lawsuits and the Statute of Limitations
Most personal injury lawsuits in California have a two-year statute of limitations. This means that a plaintiff must bring a complaint within two years of being injured in a construction accident, or else the allegation would be blocked.
However, it is important to consult with the best accident lawyers in Los Angeles as soon as possible since the statute of limitations in some cases is much shorter. If the defendant is a government employee, for example, the statute of limitations may be as limited as six months or one year.
Claim for Personal Injury
Personal injury cases may arise from a variety of circumstances. In situations where a person is injured in an accident, and someone else is held legally responsible for the accident and the injury, the most generalized definition will be. Car crashes, faulty goods, hazardous property conditions, negligent procedures, and so on are examples. When you make a personal injury claim, you have the option of filing a formal lawsuit or, more generally, reaching an informal settlement (before a lawsuit is ever filed).
Formal legal action. If the injured party prefers a more formal approach, he will file a lawsuit. This means that the injured party would file a civil "complaint" against the other party, which may be an individual, a company, or something else. The lawsuit will most certainly allege that the other party was negligent and irresponsible in the accident that resulted in the injury. In such cases, the injured party must bear the burden of proving the essential elements of his claim (negligence, liability, and so on) in order to win a lawsuit.
Informal Settlements. Personal injury cases are often resolved before a lawsuit is filed. Both parties must be covered by attorneys and, if necessary, insurance firms in such cases (for example: in the case of a car accident). The parties would discuss a monetary value that was acceptable to all parties and then sign an agreement waiving all parties' rights to pursue further action, such as filing a lawsuit.
To determine if you have a legitimate personal injury claim, you must have a thorough understanding of the facts, the procedure, and the law. If you've been in an accident and believe you have a claim, you should speak with an experienced Construction Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles to assess your case and determine if you should file a complaint.
Personal Injury Claims Checklist
If you are injured as a result of someone else's negligence, you will be able to make a personal injury lawsuit against them. Accidents can result in a personal injury lawsuit, including but not limited to vehicle accidents, construction accidents, workplace accidents, injuries caused by faulty goods, injuries caused by dangerous conditions, and so on. However, the period immediately after an accident can be very confusing, and if the correct steps are not taken, it can result in a weaker argument. If you believe you will be filing a personal injury lawsuit, consider the following factors.
You have Evidence. If you're considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, one of the first things you can do is gather and protect all relevant facts. Police reports, photos of the accident or cause of injury, medical reports of the injury, and so on are examples of what counts as evidence.
Records are Available. Good records result in a more solid and well-organized event. Keeping track of anything that has occurred since the accident is important. This will include medical costs, hospital stays, missed earnings or time at work as a result of the accident, and so on. If you speak with other individuals at the scene of the accident, such as potential witnesses, make a note of what you said.
There are eyewitnesses. Make a list of all who might have witnessed the accident that caused your injury, as well as their names and contact details.
You took note. You may not have to notify the other party that you plan to file a personal injury case against them by a certain deadline. However, the quicker you notify the other party, the more likely you are to resolve the personal injury claim easily and without tomalley delays. Keep in mind that notifying others of your intention to file a complaint does not obligate you to do so – you are under no obligation to do so if you chose not to – but it does open the way for mediation or negotiation discussions.
You found a Construction Accident Lawyer. It is entirely possible to resolve a minor personal injury lawsuit without the assistance of a California Attorney for Personal Injury. However, in most cases, the other party has a Construction Accident Lawyer, especially if the defendant is a business (for example, if you slipped and fell in a store). To better safeguard your interests, it is recommended that you contact a California Attorney for Personal Injury.
What NOT To Do While Filing An Insurance Claim
Some injuries, such as minor fender benders, may be handled by the parties involved and resolved within a few months if no problems arise. Complications, on the other hand, are a fact of life and can arise as a result of a number of common errors made while coping with car accidents, which can lead to delays or denials. The following are examples of common errors:
Not going to the cops. Many people actually may not consider calling the cops. Where there are no officers, however, there is no formal investigation. After the fact, the negligent party can deny responsibility, making it difficult for you to prove your case. A formal inquiry, on the other hand, would document who was at fault, collect all relevant data, and interview all parties involved.
You're unable to obtain witness details. At the scene of an accident, victims sometimes forget to obtain contact details for witnesses. This is not a problem if there is a police presence and the witness is interviewed; however, most witnesses just stop by to make sure everything is okay before leaving. Taking down the contact details ensures that others can be reached to assist with the claim and that the insurance adjuster will not be able to refuse responsibility if necessary.
Making claims without the assistance of a Construction Accident Lawyer. It is the responsibility of the insurance adjuster to save as much money as possible for the insurance provider. This means they would go to any length to avoid paying out on your argument. Making an official statement to an adjuster without the advice and defense of Top Rated Personal Injury Attorneys in Los Angeles can cause you to say something that the adjuster interprets as implying that you were not really hurt or that you were the responsible party.
Releases signed. Injured parties can sign a release believing it to be a specific release, only to discover later that it is a general release that covers all claims. A personal injury argument will be futile under such circumstances. Do not sign anything until you have spoken with a the best accident lawyers in Los Angeles.
Putting off medical attention. There are a variety of reasons why someone would put off receiving medical attention. If you don't seek care, an insurance adjuster can argue that you weren't really hurt in the first place or that your injuries were far less serious than you said, and refuse your coverage or reduce the amount you owe. Do not put off seeking medical help.
The Benefits of Hiring Top Rated Personal Injury Attorneys in Los Angeles
There is never an easy case when it comes to an accident or a loss. When someone is injured, or causes some form of loss, or loses a loved one as a result of someone else's negligence, whether it is an individual or a company, the days and weeks that follow can be time-consuming, exhausting, and confusing. Here are four reasons why you should at the very least meet with Top Rated Personal Injury Attorneys in Los Angeles at the start of the process:
The Rule of Law. The law governing personal injuries can be difficult to understand and observe at times. Even a single aspect of it, such as procedural protections (such as statutes of limitation) or the rules of determining a required element of the claim (for example, the other party's negligence or wrongful death), may result in a poor and ineffective claim. Hiring the best work injury lawyers in Los Angeles early on will help you understand the law around a personal injury and avoid legal pitfalls.
Connections. If the case goes to trial or is resolved, a convincing case must be presented and supported by proof for a favorable outcome. Construction Accident Lawyers have a ready-made network of experts they can call on to assist you in your case. The best accident lawyers in Los Angeles, for example, collaborate with private investigators to ensure that the relevant information is gathered and stored (in cases of car accidents, this would include witness statements, pictures, reports, etc.).
Precognition. When it comes to personal injury cases, a good Personal Injury Attorney is very knowledgeable about the law in question and can help you prevent any possible legal issues down the road. Isn't it smarter to take the road with someone by your side who can smooth the way instead of calling for help after you fall into a possible hole in the road?
Equal Footing. Personal injury lawsuits can be expensive, and the other party is unlikely to relinquish them without a fight. As a result, whether you're dealing with an individual, a corporation, or even an insurance company, the other party will almost certainly have legal representation. While self-representation in personal injury cases is a reasonable choice, you will almost certainly find yourself at a disadvantage because the lawyers representing the opposing party will do all they can to mitigate your liability and reduce your rehabilitation. The best work injury lawyers in Los Angeles will assist you in properly representing your interests.
1000Attorneys.com is a California Bar Association Certified Lawyer Referral Service that can refer you to a prescreened Construction Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles. You can contact us through our 24/7 live chat (or complete our case details submission form) for a free initial consultation.