If you are in construction, you probably know exactly how dangerous the industry can be for workers. Over 200,000 people are injured, and more than 1,000 workers are killed in construction accidents each year in the United States. Many of those accidents happen in California, here in the Greater Los Angeles area.
A serious injury can affect your job and career prospects, now and in the future. After an on-the-job accident, you could find yourself with serious injuries, unable to work, and burdened with ongoing medical expenses. However, if another person or company's negligence caused the accident, you and your family shouldn't be the ones left shouldering the financial burden.
At the Law Offices of Joshua Cohen Slatkin, our skilled legal team can help you explore your options for compensation. Here's what you should know.
Legal Options After a Construction Accident
Worker’s compensation claims are not your only recourse. Worker’s compensation is no fault and provides insurance coverage irrespective of whether the employer or employee is responsible for the employee’s injuries. However, there may be situations where a third party—apart from the employer and employee—is responsible for damages. California Labor code §3852 creates the right for any claimant to bring a personal injury claim in addition to their workers’ compensation case if there was a third-party responsible for the incident (i.e., someone other than the employer or employee who also caused the incident).
Frequently, there are dangerous conditions located in or around construction worksites that cause injuries to workers. For example, on a construction site, an onsite contractor who does not work for the employer can directly cause a worker’s injury. A defectively designed or manufactured product or machine can also cause injury to the worker. Compensation for a third-party personal injury claim does not follow the same medical cost/reimbursement and lost wage and/or disability impairment schedules required in the workers’ compensation system.
The third-party personal injury claim follows California civil law; therefore, you can recover economic damages (past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages and loss of earning capacity), non-economic damages (pain and suffering and emotional distress), and in some cases, punitive damages. Many of these damages in the civil third-party personal injury claim are not recoverable in the workers’ compensation claim. Therefore, after a construction accident, pursuing a personal injury claim against an entity other than your employer may be your best option to maximize your financial recovery.
After a construction accident, you or your family may be able to pursue a financial recovery through one of the following types of claims:
- Personal injury lawsuit: This is valid if a third party caused the accident and the resulting injuries.
- Product liability lawsuit: When your injury is caused by a dangerous or defective product.
- Wrongful death lawsuit: If your loved one died as a result of a construction injury, you can file a wrongful death claim. Potential damages include loss of financial support, loss of gifts or benefits, funeral and burial expenses, as well as the emotional losses of love, guidance, companionship, and protection.
Our skilled legal professionals will build a strong case to support your injury claim. Depending on the facts and evidence in your case, we could help you recover compensation for a wide range of damages, including:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses related to the construction accident
- Past and future lost wages and benefits
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Physical pain and mental suffering
- Emotional distress
- All other available remedies under the civil justice system
Construction Accidents Happen
Even when you take care, do everything right, and follow safety protocols, construction accidents can and do still happen. That's because your safety depends not only on your actions but also on the actions of those around you. This is especially true on a construction site. Here are a few examples of common construction accident causes.
- Inadequate training. Whether it's job or safety training, everyone on the project should receive sufficient instruction on how to do their job and do it safely.
- Negligence. When those onsite behave recklessly, serious accidents, injuries, and even deaths can occur.
- Safety violations. State and federal safety regulations are in place to protect construction workers; when they're ignored, catastrophic accidents and injuries can follow.
- Construction equipment. Heavy equipment can pose a serious risk if used incorrectly.
- Dangerous or defective equipment or materials. Dangerously designed or defective equipment, products, and materials can cause injury or death.
Common Types of Construction Accidents
The team at the Law Offices of Joshua Cohen Slatkin may be able to help if you've been injured in any of the following types of construction accidents:
- Vehicle accidents
- Caught or crushed between objects or materials
- Trench collapses
- Slips and falls (and trips and falls)
- Falls from heights, including falls from scaffolding
- Falling debris, objects, or materials
- Fires and explosions
- Machinery accidents
- Toxic chemical exposure
Schedule a Consultation to Discuss Your Rights and Options for Recovery
Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free, no-obligation consultation. We will review your California construction accident case, identify its strengths and weaknesses, and discuss your rights and legal options.