Construction sites are notoriously dangerous places to work or even pass by as a pedestrian. You have rights if you suffered injuries due to a dangerous construction site. The California injury attorney at Henderson Law knows what a stressful time this is for you and your family. We also understand how the legal system works and the best ways to strengthen your construction injury claim.
There are numerous hazards at a construction site, all of which can cause various injuries. In some situations, an injured person may be limited in their avenues of recovery. For example, a worker injured on the job may have recourse only through workers’ compensation. However, they might have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit if there is another liable third party.
One of the best ways to strengthen your construction injury claim is to hire an experienced California injury lawyer. Having a skilled legal advocate on your side is directly linked to how much potential compensation you could receive. Your attorney can advise you whether any additional third parties could be liable for your injuries.
Other Ways to Strengthen Your Construction Injury Claim
Other ways to strengthen your claim start right after the accident occurs. First, you need to report the accident as soon as possible. In cases with severe injuries, an ambulance may take you to the hospital from the scene so others may be aware of your injuries. However, it’s still your responsibility to ensure you file the right report to preserve your right to bring a workers’ compensation claim. If you were an injured passerby, find out who is in charge of the construction site so you can file a claim.
If your injuries are not too severe, take photos at the scene if you can do so safely. You’ll want to get photos of your injuries as well as the surrounding scene. What caused the accident? Was there a hazardous condition that contributed to your injuries? You’ll want these photos as they can support your injuries and the facts of the accident.
If you didn’t require emergency treatment at the scene, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Waiting to see a doctor can impact your right to workers’ compensation and a third-party liability claim. There are rules for workers’ compensation claims, including hard deadlines. If you don’t report the claim in time or follow up with medical treatment, your employer may deny benefits. If you’re presenting a third-party claim, waiting weeks to see a doctor will often lead the insurance company to allege that you weren’t seriously injured or that another event caused your injuries.
Construction Accident Statistics
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 1,102 reported fatal construction-related injuries in 2019. For non-fatal injuries that required time off work, 32% involved falls, slips, and trips. The average time missed from work was 28 days.
Keeping the construction site safe can reduce the number of injury accidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducts annual inspections to help keep workplaces and workers safe. OSHA also compiles statistics on workplace safety violations. Of the top ten violations in the fiscal year 2020, the number one violation involves fall protection in the construction industry.
Who Is Liable for a Construction Accident?
Liability in a construction accident varies. Employers in California are obligated to provide workers’ compensation coverage. This policy covers costs a worker incurs when they suffer an on-the-job injury. Benefits are not dependent on whether someone else was at fault for your damages. Suppose your worker’s compensation claim is approved. In that case, you will be eligible to receive a set amount of benefits that go toward your medical expenses, lost wages, and other accident-related losses.
You typically have only 30 days from your accident, or the date you discover your injury, to report it to your employer. Failure to report your claim within the allotted window means you will likely be prohibited from receiving any workers’ compensation benefits.
In some construction accidents, a third party may be liable. A third party is someone other than your employer. If a third party is responsible, you could recover compensation from them. You need to file a personal injury claim and a possible lawsuit to recover the compensation you could be entitled to receive. In a third-party case, you would allege that the other party owed you some type of duty, which they breached. Due to the breach, you suffered harm.
Is there a government entity that shares some responsibility for your injuries? If so, you will need to file a special administrative claim within the allotted time. Typically, you have only six months from the accident date to file.
What happens if multiple parties are negligent? There’s also a chance that both an employer and negligent third-party share responsibility. In California, you could still collect workers’ compensation benefits and compensation from the negligent third party.
Common Types of Construction Accidents
Numerous types of accidents can occur at a construction site. Construction accident causes include a worker’s mistake, the employer’s negligence, a third-party’s negligence, and environmental factors. Here’s a look at some most common types of construction accidents we see in California:
- Falls from a higher level;
- Malfunctioning machinery;
- Other machinery accidents, such as ignoring safety protocols;
- Forklift accidents;
- Electrocution or burn injuries;
- Being caught between objects;
- Crushed by an object;
- Scaffolding collapse;
- Work-related car accidents;
- Other trips, slips, and falls; and
- Trench collapses.
In addition to proper safety protocols and training, employers must ensure workers have adequate breaks as the risk for injury increases when someone is tired.
Contact a California Injury Attorney
It’s crucial to take the proper steps to preserve your right to workers’ compensation benefits and any potential third-party claims. Pursuing a personal injury claim for a construction-related accident is complicated. You need a skilled lawyer who can help maximize your potential compensation. At Henderson Law, we have over two decades of experience with personal injury claims, including construction injuries. We can help you build the strongest case possible and pursue damages from all responsible parties.
Please contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. Let our lawyer help you protect your rights and fight for the maximum compensation possible.