Construction is everywhere. Unfortunately, this also means a lot of construction accidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that 4,821 workers were killed on the job in 2014. That is 92 construction-related deaths per week, or 13 per day. This page examines the law regarding construction accidents and when you should contact a construction accident lawyer.
OSHA further stated that the top four causes of fatalities on the work site were falls making up 39.9%, electrocutions at 8.2%, being struck by an object at 8.1%, and being caught-in or between something at 1.3%. The deaths of these contractors were 17 percent of all fatal work accidents in 2014. If you or a loved one was injured in a construction accident, you should contact a construction accident lawyer so that you may receive the compensation you deserve.
Which Law Applies to Construction Accidents? Personal Injury? Workers Compensation?
Though all accidents are complicated in their own right, construction accidents can be especially complicated due to varying applicable laws. If you are involved in a construction accident as a mere bystander, then regular personal injury tort law applies. However, if you are an employee who is injured by a construction accident your claim may totally covered by the workers compensation system.
But there are many claims that are split liability due to varying complicated factors. At the end of the day, an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer will be able to identify which laws apply to you and what avenue you should pursue. Contact a lawyer for more information.
What Should I do if I’m Involved in a Construction Accident?
If you or a loved one is involved in a construction accident the first thing you should do is seek immediate medical attention. By virtue of the heavy machinery, tools, and surrounding circumstances, many construction accidents involve more than a bruise or small cut. Be sure to give the physician as much detailed information as possible regarding your injuries as this will help your construction accident lawyer with your case.
Due to the accident occurring on the work site, odds are your supervisors will learn of it quickly. Sometimes you will have already approached your supervisor to fill out an incident report so that you may see the company physician. All of this is fine, but as soon as you are able you should contact a construction accident lawyer. An experienced construction accident lawyer will be able to advise you on how best to proceed as well as possibly connect you with a workers’ compensation lawyer, if necessary.
If possible, take pictures of the work site, where the accident took place, and any tools or equipment that caused the accident. Because this is construction, in all likelihood the work will continue on and any evidence will be built over, rebuilt, or discarded with other materials. By taking pictures you will have preserved such evidence for your construction accident lawyer to use in court.
Workers’ Compensation Law and How it May Affect Your Claim
Simply put, workers’ compensation is an insurance program that compensates employees who suffer from work-related injuries and illnesses. In California, the benefits can include medical care, temporary disability relief, permanent disability relief, supplemental job displacement, and/or death benefits. And unless your employer recklessly or intentionally caused your accident, you will most likely not be able to bypass the workers’ compensation system to sue your employer.
However, if your injury or disease is caused by the actions of a third party, you may be able to bring a third-party negligence claim. A third-party negligence claim can be derived from the following:
- Defective products distributed by the manufacturer
- A toxic substance created by a manufacturer
- A third party intentionally or negligently causing the harm
If your construction accident lawyer can show that this third-party was negligent, that you were harmed, and that their negligence was a substantial factor in that harm, your compensation can increase immensely.
Construction Accident Lawyer Consultation
If you’ve suffered from a serious injury on a construction site, and believe that the injury is the fault of another person or company, contact a construction accident lawyer for a free consultation. If you don’t have a tort claim, he may refer you to a workers compensation attorney who is better suited for your legal matter.
If you do have a tort claim, your lawyer will represent you via a contingency fee. That means he or she does not get paid unless he recovers money on your behalf.
What Type of Injuries Occur on Construction Sites?
Construction sites vary significantly and usually have a large variety of dangerous equipment laying around. Everything from heavy machinery to the simple hammer. The site may need cranes to reach the top of the high rise or scaffolding for a house. The point is that any injury you can think has the possibility of occurring on a construction site: bruises, lacerations, torn ligaments, crushing injuries, falling, broken bones, head injuries, eye injuries, spinal cord injuries, and, of course, death.