Legal Help for People Injured on Construction Sites
Working construction is one of the more dangerous jobs in the United States. This is definitely true for California‚ and every year‚ countless accidents‚ many of them severe‚ occur on construction sites throughout the state. Unlike colder regions‚ Southern California’s construction is a year-round activity.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one out of every five workplace fatalities in 2015 took place on a construction site‚ for a total of 937 victims. Fatal injuries in the private construction industry rose 4%‚ and the numbers have been steadily ticking up for years. Overall‚ there are around 150‚000 construction-related injuries annually‚ and one in ten construction workers will be hurt every year.
On a national basis, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that 971 of the 4,674 worker fatalities in private industry in 2017, or 20.7 percent, were in the construction industry. This translates to more than one in five worker deaths.
OSHA also stated that three of the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards in the fiscal year 2018 were in construction. OSHA refers to the leading causes of private sector worker deaths in the construction industry (falls, struck by an object, electrocution, and caught-in/between incidents) as the “Fatal Four.” Such deaths accounted for 59.9 percent of the construction worker fatalities in 2017.
If you are an employee of a construction firm, you should be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits as your primary remedy. If you are a non-employee construction worker, such as an independent contractor, you can instead pursue a personal injury claim against the responsible party or parties. This may include those who were in charge of the job site, present at the job site, and/or manufacturers of defective equipment in use at the site.
Even if you collect workers’ comp, you may be entitled to additional compensation if a non-employer third party is responsible for what happened.
If you suffered severe injuries or your loved one was hurt killed in a construction accident in the greater Carlsbad area, seeking legal representation is important to determine which legal avenue provides compensation.
The experienced Carlsbad construction accident attorneys at Jurewitz Law Group | Injury & Accident Lawyers can aggressively seek a full range of compensation on your behalf. Call (619) 233-5020 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
Do I Need A Construction Accident Lawyer?
Construction accidents primarily pose risks to those who work in the trade every day. Non-employees, including visitors, can also suffer harm at a construction site. Workers hurt on the job are entitled to state-regulated workers’ compensation on a no-fault basis and as an exclusive or sole remedy.
The drawback to the Workers’ Compensation Act is that it prevents employees from suing their employers for an on-the-job injury‚ except in specific circumstances. This is true even if the company or a supervisor was the cause of the accident. In addition‚ if the injury is serious‚ the benefits provided by workers’ compensation may not be enough.
Fortunately‚ it is possible for injured workers to file claims against third parties who were at fault for a workplace accident. This is especially applicable to construction sites‚ where many different contractors, subcontractors‚ vendors‚ and different kinds of machinery are actively involved. If it can be proven that a third party was partially or entirely at fault for an accident‚ the victim could receive far greater compensation.
Retaining an attorney as soon as possible allows them to act quickly to conduct an investigation, preserve vital evidence, and begin the process of determining who is liable. You can assist by taking pictures or videos of the scene and making a note of any eyewitnesses.
Injured workers or other construction accident victims may have to deal with insurance companies. Unlike a stingy insurance company, however, a construction accident lawyer is committed only to pursuing your best interests. They can negotiate a far more just settlement than whatever an insurance company may offer you initially to make your claim go away.
A dedicated and knowledgeable Carlsbad construction accident lawyer can effectively navigate your claim through the workers’ compensation system, and also take your claim to court when necessary.
Why Choose Jurewitz Law Group | Injury & Accident Lawyers To Handle My Construction Accident Case?
If you or a loved one has been injured on a construction site in the Carlsbad area‚ it doesn’t matter if you were an employee of the company, a contractor, or just an innocent bystander. You need a Carlsbad personal injury attorney who can fight for your rights.
The experienced attorneys at Jurewitz Law Group | Injury & Accident Lawyers have the skill and resources to secure you the best possible outcome. We are active members of our community and work closely with all of our clients so they are always kept completely up to date on everything happening with their cases.
Firm co-founder and managing partner Ross Jurewitz was named a Super Lawyer by Southern California Super Lawyers in 2016, 2017, and 2018. The San Diego Business Journal named him Best of the Bar in 2015, and he was named one of the Top 3 Personal Injury Lawyers in San Diego by Threebestrated.com. Jurewitz Law Group | Injury & Accident Lawyers is a proud member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum comprised of firms that have won million and multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements.
Our firm handles all cases on a contingency fee basis. You only pay us after you obtain a monetary award.
Types of Construction Accident Cases We Handle
Because of the nature of their employment‚ construction workers are especially vulnerable to injuries on the job. Construction sites have a great deal of people on location‚ with heavy equipment‚ tools‚ and materials stacked all around. Dangers are lurking around every corner‚ so it’s of the utmost importance for a construction company to have a clear set of guidelines for all dangerous activities‚ comprehensive training procedures‚ and well-marked signage for any potential hazards.
In addition to the Fatal Four accidents, other common kinds of construction accidents include:
- Violence by co-workers
- Burn injuries
- Welding accidents
- Chemical spills
- Trench collapses
- Collapsing floors
- Structure collapses
- Crane accidents
- Slip and falls
- Defective machinery or equipment
- Scaffolding failures
- Demolition accidents
- Saw accidents and nail gun injuries
- Respiratory diseases
- Elevator accidents
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Operator negligence
- Exposure to harmful substances
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Falling objects
- Lead poisoning
- Falls from unguarded heights
- Ladder accidents
- Heavy machinery accidents
- Forklift accidents
Common injuries in construction accidents include:
- Burn injuries
- Muscle strains
- Neck injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
Fatalities may occur in certain construction accidents. Families of the deceased are often able to seek wrongful death workers’ comp benefits or file a wrongful death lawsuit in such cases.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Construction Accidents
Here are some frequently asked questions about construction accidents and how to proceed if you are involved in one. To discuss the specific details of your Carlsbad construction accident claim, call us today at (619) 233-5020 or reach out to us online.
The insurance company is offering me a lump sum settlement that will keep me out of court. Should I accept it?
An insurance company can often be quick to extend a workers’ comp stipulation or a lump sum settlement offer as a way to take advantage of an accident victim’s stress about finances. These offers also emerge before many victims have even had the chance to hire a lawyer, and insurers may present as opportunities for construction workers to keep more money for themselves.
An initial settlement offer is typically a lowball amount nowhere near to what you are entitled. When you accept one of these settlement offers without the benefit of legal advice, you have no legal recourse later on when the settlement has been exhausted, but you still have bills to pay.
What damages can be recovered for a construction accident?
Under the workers’ comp system, injured workers in California can receive medical coverage, lost wages, and temporary or permanent disability benefits. They are eligible to collect two-thirds of their pretax gross wages. The maximum temporary total disability (TTD) rate in 2019 is $1,251.38 per week; the minimum is $187.71.
Third-party, personal-injury claims outside of the workers’ comp system are often resolved by a settlement because insurance companies want to minimize legal fees. Some cases go to trial, and victims who prove their cases by a preponderance of the evidence can receive economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages refer to actual losses that can be calculated and proven, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Property damage
Noneconomic damages are awarded for such emotional or psychological harm as:
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
Punitive damages are also possible in a limited number of cases. A defendant must have acted with malice, oppression or fraud to trigger a claim for punitive damages.
What happens if I was partially at fault for my construction accident?
California is one of just a few U.S. states that uses a pure comparative fault system of apportioning damages in a personal injury lawsuit. This means that an injury victim is able to file a lawsuit regardless of their own degree of negligence. A plaintiff’s award is subject to reduction, however, in proportion to their percentage of negligence in a personal injury case. For example, a plaintiff who is awarded $100,000 in a construction accident case but is found to have been 55 percent at fault will have their award reduced by $55,000 and ultimately receive $45,000.
Construction Accident Statistics
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 69 of the 71 fatal injuries among construction and extraction occupations in California in 2017 were specifically in construction. The construction injuries included 32 falls, slips, or trips, 15 transportation accidents, nine exposures to harmful substances, and eight contacts with objects or equipment injuries.
According to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health or Cal/OSHA) of the California Department of Industrial Relations , which compiles statistics on work-related deaths through the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Program, the construction industry had the second-highest number of fatalities for the five-year period between 2013 and 2017 with 309 fatalities. The total was 16 percent of all workplace fatalities.
Construction had an average fatality rate of 5.8 per 100,000 workers, which was only lower than the 11.0 for agriculture and 7.0 for transportation and utilities. The 71 fatalities in 2017 were the most of any year during the five-year period, with 69 in 2015, 64 in 2013, 54 in 2016, and 49 in 2014.
The average fatality rate of 5.8 per 100,000 workers in construction was only lower than agriculture (11.0) and transportation and utilities (7.0). Cal/OSHA reported that 43 percent of construction workers injured on the job were in their first year of work.
You Need an Advocate Who Understands California Workers’ Comp Laws
If you or a loved one has been injured on a construction site in the Carlsbad area‚ it doesn’t matter if you were an employee of the company or just an innocent bystander. You need a Carlsbad personal injury attorney who can fight for your rights. The experienced attorneys at Jurewitz Law Group | Injury & Accident Lawyers have the expertise and resources to secure you the best possible outcome. Call us today at (888) 233-5020 to schedule a free consultation.