Los Angeles Construction Accident Attorneys
Construction is such a dangerous occupation that even with strict safety regulations, fatal accidents still occur all the time. From scaling dangerously high places when constructing high-rise buildings to handling heavy equipment and potentially toxic chemicals, construction workers risk dangerous situations every working moment. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in 2019, the construction industry accounted for 20% of all work-related deaths in America. With more than 100,000 construction workers suffering injuries, and nearly 1,000 of them dying on the job each year, construction is probably the most dangerous occupation in America.
Whether the construction project is a high-rise building, a highway, or an industrial development, many things can go wrong on a construction site. However, employer’s negligence, including complacent supervision and poorly maintained equipment, greatly increases the likelihood of construction site accidents in California and across the United States.
In addition to the increased risk of death, construction site accidents often leave victims with permanent disabilities that require lengthy and expensive medical treatment. With these life-changing injuries, the victim may never be able to engage in productive labor. Even though California law entitles workers’ compensation benefits to victims of construction accidents, the benefits are usually not enough to compensate for the often catastrophic injuries or wrongful death of a loved one.
Additionally, other parties may also be liable for your construction site accident in addition to your employer. Accordingly, you can seek compensation from these third parties in a personal injury case. Besides the challenge of dealing with your employer regarding workers’ compensation, the legal element of multiple defendants can complicate a construction accident claim.
If you are in Los Angeles, CA, and you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a construction site accident due to another’s negligence, do not worry. Our skilled and experienced construction accident attorneys at Heidari Law Group are committed to guiding you through the often complex construction accident claim process while helping you get the compensation you and your family need and deserve.
California Workers Compensation Laws
California’s Labor Code Section 3700 requires all employers to have workers’ compensation benefits coverage for all their employees. With California’s no-fault workers’ compensation system, workers cannot sue their employer in a personal injury case. Similarly, employees do not have to prove their employer’s fault in a work-related accident. Essentially, the law entitles employees to workers’ compensation benefits for any work-related injury.
Accordingly, most injured construction workers qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, especially when their injuries occur at work or on the construction site. However, these benefits are often limited to medical expenses and lost wages. The benefits may be inadequate to compensate for the often catastrophic injuries and other various economic and non-economic damages of a construction site accident.
Some of the benefits that the law entitles to injured employees in California include:
- Medical treatment expenses. Workers’ compensation programs cover medical treatment costs and associated expenses, including the cost of medical evaluations, treatments, and surgery. The programs also cover prescription drugs, medical appointments-related transportation, and medical aid devices.
- Temporary disability payments. These are payments to an injured employee for time off work due to an injury sustained in a work-related accident.
- Permanent disability payments. These are payments to employees whose injuries make it impossible for them to return to work or participate in the labor market.
Other benefit entitlements for injured workers in California include life pension payments and vocational retraining costs. California law also entitles death benefits to dependents or spouses of workers who die in work-related accidents.
Despite these entitlements, your employers’ insurance provider may seek to reduce your settlement amount. Therefore, it is critical to consult a skilled and experienced Los Angeles construction attorney. The attorney will help you understand your legal rights and options and also defend these rights in court if necessary.
Types and Causes of Los Angeles Construction Accidents
Knowing the type and specific cause of a construction accident is critical, especially when identifying the liable party. Some of the most common types of construction accidents include:
Falls: Most construction work typically involve working from high places, including on ladders, cranes, scaffolds, and roofs. There is always the possibility of falling from these great heights and suffering catastrophic injuries. For instance, a hydraulic lift on a high-rise building can collapse and send you crashing many stories to the ground.
Falls are among the most common construction accidents and can leave you with serious injuries, including broken and fractured bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, or even death. In most cases, the victim may be unable to work again. Some of the leading causes of injurious falls in construction sites include crane operator error, inadequate safety equipment, and other forms of negligence.
Equipment accidents: Workers in construction sites regularly use heavy equipment, including cranes, forklifts, graders, pile drivers, bulldozers, among other equipment. It is common for these types of equipment to malfunction from time to time and injure workers. These heavy equipment accidents can leave a worker with catastrophic injuries. Equipment accidents are caused mainly by poor maintenance, poor operator training, and negligent equipment handling.
Electrical accidents: Construction work may involve working with electrical systems and equipment, hence the potential of electrical accidents. Workers may also unknowingly contact live electrical lines while working. These encounters usually lead to electrocutions, electrical burns, shocks, and other electrical-related injuries. Malfunctioning equipment, high voltage electricity, ungrounded electrical cords, and poorly maintained or unfinished electrical systems are the leading causes of these accidents.
Struck-by accidents: These accidents occur when a worker is struck and injured by falling tools, building materials, or other objects on the construction site. For instance, a worker working four stories up in a high-rise construction may unintentionally drop a tool and strike a colleague working below them. A crane malfunction may also lead to the equipment dropping building material on workers. These accidents are usually dangerous and can leave a victim with catastrophic injuries or even kill them.
Caught-between accidents: These accidents occur when a worker or a part of their body gets caught between objects or machinery in a construction site. For instance, a worker may get their hands caught in construction equipment leading to amputation. A truck or another heavy equipment may also pin a worker against a wall. These accidents often lead to catastrophic injuries or death.
Other types of construction site accidents include motor vehicle collisions, heat exposure, dangerous substances, tripping, and explosions.
Types of Injuries in Construction Site Accidents
Most construction site accidents leave their victims with severe or catastrophic injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain and head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Respiratory damage
- Loss of sight/hearing
In some cases, these accidents also lead to death. Besides death and severe injuries, construction site accidents can also leave victims with emotional injuries, including anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Recovering Damages in a Construction Site Accident
Typically, a construction site accident is a work-related accident and is covered by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. You cannot take your employer to court for construction accident-related injuries and other damages in most cases. However, third parties may also be at fault and legally liable for your injuries. Recovering damages in such cases involve establishing and proving third-party negligence in a personal injury lawsuit.
Besides your employer or the construction company, other parties that might be liable for your injuries include:
- Property owner: Where your injuries are due to defective or hazardous elements or equipment in a property, the property owner may be liable for damages. For instance, the property owner may be liable if your injuries are due to high voltage or an unfinished electrical system in an electrical accident.
- Product manufacturer: Some construction accidents, including crane collapses, can be due to defective equipment or product. In such cases, the product manufacturer may be liable for your injuries.
- Third-party contractors: Third-party contractors own and operate most heavy construction equipment and machinery in construction sites, including forklifts, cranes, and bulldozers. Consequently, they may be liable for injuries in construction accidents due to poor maintenance or equipment malfunction.
- Utility Companies: A utility company, including an electricity provider, may be liable for your injuries in an electrical accident. However, cases against utility companies are rare.
While workers’ compensation benefit is not adequate to cover the often wide-ranging damages in a construction accident, personal injury cases against third parties may provide the additional compensation you need. While workers’ compensation is mostly limited to medical expenses and lost wages, you can recover more in a negligence claim against a third party.
Besides medical bills and lost wages, some of the damages you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit against a third party include lost earning capacity, rehabilitation expenses, emotional trauma, pain and suffering, and loss of life enjoyment. You can also recover damages for the wrongful death of a loved one.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Construction Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a Los Angeles construction accident, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits under California law. However, each accident is different, and you may also qualify for additional compensation in a third-party negligence claim. It is in your best interest to consult an expert Los Angeles construction accident attorney in such a case.
While selecting a construction should not be complicated, construction accident claims are often complex hence the need to hire the best. Accordingly, there are some factors you should consider when choosing a construction accident lawyer, including:
- Your Situation
You should consider your unique situation before hiring a construction accident lawyer. Essentially, you want a lawyer who understands your situation. For instance, a lawyer may be an expert on denied worker’s compensation but not on cases that involve third-party defendants. Whether you search online or through referrals, the specifics of your construction accident should guide your search and the ultimate decision to hire a construction accident lawyer.
- The Attorney’s Experience
Having determined your situation, you need to consider the construction accident attorney’s years of hands-on experience handling cases like yours. Generally, the lawyer you choose should have the experience and expertise to address your specific personal injury lawsuit. Besides checking their specialty, you need to find how many years they have actively practiced as construction accident lawyers.
You also need to find out how many of the cases they have handled were recent. Typically, with many lawyers handling a mix of different cases, you may find a lawyer who has an overall experience of 10 years but has only handled around ten construction accident-related cases and probably years ago. You need an attorney who is updated on all the laws and procedures relevant to your case, including recent cases they might need to reference when representing you in court.
The lawyer should also have enough experience arguing cases in court and is not apprehensive about settling your construction accident claims in court. A lawyer who is nervous about going to court may rush to settle your case in out-of-court negotiations and potentially deny you fair compensation.
- The Attorney’s Case History
Besides the attorney’s experience, you also need to consider their case history, including how many cases they have won. The higher a lawyer’s success rate is, the higher the chances of winning your case or getting you the compensation you need.
- Schedule a Consultation Meeting
A one-on-one meeting with an attorney is an opportunity to seek clarity on any issues you may not have understood, including their services and how they will handle your case. Besides the chance to clear things up, a consultation meeting offers an extra opportunity to assess the attorney, including their communication and other critical skills. It is also a chance is to discuss your case in detail.
- Consider the Cost
A lawyer’s fee structure is an essential consideration in any case. You can ask the construction accident attorney about their fees structure during your consultation appointment, including their charges for similar cases. For personal injury cases, it is important to have an attorney who charges on a contingency fee basis. This means your lawyer will only take a specific percentage of the financial compensation the court will award you. In such an arrangement, you do not have to worry about legal fees. In fact, lawyers who work on a contingency fee basis might fight harder to maximize your claim.
After all the above considerations and once you’ve consulted at least three construction accident attorneys, review your notes and choose a lawyer who inspires your confidence.
Contact a Los Angeles Construction Accident Attorney
Construction work is dangerous, and despite federal and state safety regulations, construction accidents are a common occurrence. These accidents often lead to catastrophic injuries or death for victims. Even though California employers compensate injured employees under the state’s workers compensation system, the benefits are usually not enough to cover the wide-ranging damages in a construction accident.
While injured workers can seek additional compensation in third-party negligence claims, construction accident claims are often complex. However, a skilled construction accident attorney can help you. If you are in Los Angeles, and you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a construction accident due to another’s negligence, we are here for you. Our skilled Los Angeles construction accident attorneys at Heidari Law have broad experience handling cases like yours. We will help you obtain the compensation you need and deserve while you focus on recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation and to learn more about our services.
Get a Free Consultation
If you need a personal injury attorney with a history of success, good communication at all stages of your case, and who will help you manage and settle your case call Abogados Con Experiencia. We will handle your case so that you can heal and put your life back together.
Are we a good fit?
- Have you suffered injuries in an accident that was caused by someone else?
- Does the person who is responsible for these damages have insurance?
- Were there significant injuries that caused hospital visits or missed work?
- Did the accident happen within the last 24 months?
If you answered YES to ALL of the questions, Abogados Con Experiencia may be a good option. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. Our team will lay out your options and answer all of your questions regarding your potential case. It is our job to determine how to best protect your rights and minimize the impact of an injury caused by another’s carelessness thus giving you the ability to focus on recovery.