Construction-related accidents are on the rise in California. If you have been injured while working on a Los Angeles-area construction site you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the accident lawyers at Citywide Law Group to learn about how we can help you maximize the compensation you receive. We have more than 17 years of legal experience and, during this time, have successfully handled thousands of complex personal injury matters for clients like you. We know that construction accidents can be life-changing and will fight to make sure you are fairly compensated for the harms you have suffered. It is important to act quickly, so do not hesitate to call our office today to schedule a free consultation.
Construction Accident Statistics
Construction sites can be extremely dangerous places. They are often filled with large, heavy pieces of machinery, require contractors to work at great heights, and push workers to get as much done as possible in a short amount of time. This work environment puts workers at risk of suffering serious bodily injuries and/or death. In fact, construction workers are at a greater risk of suffering a fatal accident injury than workers employed in any other industry.
Over the past few years, the number of fatal accidents on construction sites has risen steadily. In 2015, 6.8 percent of all construction accidents resulted in the death of a construction worker. This was a 34 percent increase from 2014, when only 4.5 percent of construction accidents were fatal.
Causes of Construction Accidents
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, falls are the most common cause of worker injuries on construction sites. Other frequently cited causes of construction accidents include:
- Scaffold collapse,
- Trench collapse,
- Electric shocks,
- Failure to use safety equipment,
- Lack of safety guards on power equipment,
- Unsafe equipment, and
- Unsafe property.
Construction Accident Injuries
Given the dangers of their workplace, construction workers are at an increased risk of suffering life-changing catastrophic injuries. Our Los Angeles construction accident attorneys have helped clients recover compensation for construction accident injuries including:
- Fractures and broken bones,
- Traumatic brain injury,
- Spinal cord injury,
- Amputation, and
- Wrongful death.
Who is Responsible for a Construction Accident Injury?
Construction accidents are a type of workplace injury and, as a result, injured workers may qualify for workers compensation benefits. In other situations, injured construction workers may (also) be entitled to recover compensation from a negligent third party.
Employers in California must carry workers compensation insurance. This insurance policy is maintained to cover the costs a worker incurs in the event that they suffer an on-the-job injury. In order to recover workers compensation benefits, an injured worker must file a claim with his or her employer. If the request for workers compensation benefits is approved, the injured worker will be entitled to collect a set amount of benefits to pay for medical bills, make up for lost wages, and compensate for other accident-related harms. If your injury causes a temporary and/or permanent disability, workers compensation benefits can help to bridge the gap in your income. In exchange for collecting these workers compensation benefits, injured workers must agree to not file a civil personal injury lawsuit against their employer.
Third Party Negligence
There may be situations when the negligence of a third party (someone other than your employer) causes your construction accident injury. In these cases, you may be able to recover compensation from that third party by filing a personal injury lawsuit. In this lawsuit, you would generally argue that the third party owed you a duty of care, breached this responsibility, and, as a result, you were harmed.
What happens if your employer and a negligent third party are both partially responsible for your construction accident? In California, you may be able to recover workers compensation benefits from your employer and compensation from that negligent third party. If more than one person contributes to an accident, each can be held financially responsible for your resulting injuries.
For example, imagine that you were injured on a construction site while operating a piece of heavy machinery. You used the equipment as intended, but a product defect caused it to malfunction and caused you to suffer an injury. You could potentially recover workers compensation benefits from your employer and damages from the company that designed/manufactured, or sold the defective product.
When Should Construction Accident Claims be Filed?
If you have been injured on a construction site in Los Angeles you have a limited amount of time to recover compensation. The specific time constraints will depend on what type of compensation you are entitled to receive.
Workers Compensation: You will have 30 days from the date of your accident, or the date you discover your workplace injury, to notify your employer. If you do not tell your employer about your accident within this one month period you will be prohibited from recovering workers compensation benefits.
Third Party Claim: If a negligent third party is responsible for your construction accident injury you have two years to file a personal injury claim.
Government Claim: In some cases, the government may be responsible for your construction accident injury. If you want to recover compensation from that negligent government entity you must file a special administrative claim within six months of your accident.
Steps to Take Following a Construction Accident
The decisions you make following a Los Angeles construction accident will significantly affect any future legal claims you decide to follow. The following tips will help to ensure that you are safe and that you are fairly compensated for your construction accident injuries.
See a Doctor. Getting your injuries checked out immediately is essential to your health and safety. A doctor will make sure that all of your external and internal injuries are diagnosed and treated. The report reflecting your visit will help to prove that your injuries were caused by your construction accident.
Report the Accident. Remember, you only have one month to report your injury to your employer. The sooner you report the accident, the better your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve. The incident report that is generated as a result of your accident will be an important piece of evidence for your attorney.
Document Your Injuries. Details about your injuries and accident will be important as your attorney builds your case. Take photographs, speak with individuals who witnessed the accident, and write down your memory of the event.
Refuse Early Offers. Third parties who are responsible for your injury may be quick to offer a settlement. While this money may be attractive, the amount they are offering will not be enough to cover the full extent of your injuries. Hold off on negotiations until you have consulted with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Call a Lawyer. Your chances of maximizing the compensation you recover increase significantly when you hire an experienced personal injury attorney to handle your case. At the Citywide Law Group, our attorneys have more than 17 years of legal experience and know how to get the most out of your personal injury claim. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more.
Experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers
Have you been injured in a Los Angeles construction accident? If so, you may be entitled to recover workers compensation benefits and/or damages from a negligent third party. Call the Citywide Law Group today to learn about how we can help you recover the money you need and deserve after an accident. During your free consultation, we will review your case, determine liability, and answer the questions you have.