Injuries happen in many ways, if you get injured at a construction site this is no different than any other workplace. In fact, an occupation in construction is one of the most hazardous in the state of California. Construction accidents are very common in California. These accidents can be very dangerous for construction workers who are working on site. Construction accidents are just as dangerous for people who are just visiting or walking by the site. If you get injured while working at a construction site, it is important to seek medical care and compensation as a result of your injuries. If you or someone you know is injured in a construction accident, we strongly suggest you consult with an attorney.
How Do Workplace Injuries Happen?
Workplace injuries can happen by: A single event taking place such as a fall, stricken by an object, equipment failure, etc. It can also happen by repeated exposure at work such as long term chemical exposure, injuries caused by repeated motions that can strain muscles and joints over time.
What Are The Types of Construction Accidents?
Construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. It is the top occupation on the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists for the most fatalities and injuries.
The types of accidents that can occur are:
- Equipment malfunctions
- Nail gun accidents
- Falling objects
- Highway construction accidents
- Toxic chemical exposure
- Bystander accidents
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Forklift accidents
- Electrocution and electrical accidents
- Stair accidents
- Structural collapses
- Struck by an object/equipment
- Overexertion (Repetitive motion injuries, heat stress, hypothermia, overuse of muscle and joint)
- Backovers and Crushed-Betweens
- Trench or Building Collapses
- High Lead Levels
- Respiratory Diseases
And many, many more accidents that could possibly occur.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), better known as Cal/OSHA, protect and improve the health and safety of working men and women. OSHA has adapted workplace safety and health programs for both employers and employees in the construction industry.
What Are The Types of Injuries?
Construction accidents can cause a mixture of severe and sometimes permanent damages such as:
- Loss of limbs
- Partial or complete blindness
- Nerve damage and paralysis
- Head injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Wrongful death
What to Do If You Have Been Injured in A Construction Accident?
Here are some helpful tips on what to do if you are involved in a construction accident in California:
Seek Medical Attention
Your health comes first. Check for any injuries and seek medical attention right away. If you do not visibly see injuries seek medical attention anyway in case you have injuries that may not be visible.
If your health permits begin gathering information.
- Write down the details of what occurred and led to the accident,
- Take photographs of your injuries
- Take photographs of everything especially the scene of the accident
- Get contact information of all witnesses. Take photographs of the witnesses’ identification card or driver’s license.
- Document and keep copies of all medical expenses.
File a report
File a report with your employer as soon as possible no later than 30 days after the incident. Failing to file a report within a reasonable timeframe may forfeit your rights to Worker’s Compensation under California law. Injuries may not show up right away so as soon as you develop any type of injury go to the emergency room, urgent care, hospital, or your general physician immediately! Report all injuries to your employer right away. When filing a report be as detailed as possible for this will help when the incident is reported to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Contact a Construction Accident Attorney
You can file a workers’ compensation claim all on your own. These claims can be very difficult and complex. Here at The Sterling Firm, we have qualified construction accident attorneys readily available to help you with your claim. Our attorneys can guide you through this complicated legal process and make sure you file a successful claim.
California’s Workers’ Compensation Act
Most workers are aware that they can file for worker’s compensation benefits if they are injured on the job. California is a no-fault workers’ compensation state. An employee is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits whether that employee was partially or completely at fault for their injuries. Employees may be entitled to receive medical care and paid time off work when they are injured at work. Under Labor Code Section 5400 employees must report injuries in writing to their employer no later than 30 days after injury. California workers’ compensation law protects workers. Many workers are not aware of their rights under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Here at The Sterling Firm, we can help you with the complex process of workers’ compensation so that you can file a successful claim.
What Do You Need To Know About Workers’ Compensation?
- Employers must pay for medical care if their employee is hurt on the job
- Temporary or part-time workers may also be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
- Independent contractors may also be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
- Undocumented workers are eligible to receive most workers’ compensation benefits.
- Employees are eligible to receive benefits no matter who was at fault for construction site injuries
- It is illegal for your employer to punish or fire you for requesting workers’ compensation benefits or for injuring themselves on the job.
An employee cannot sue their employer for negligence. This only happens under very specific circumstances.
Medical treatment can be very expensive. Workers’ compensation may not cover the damages sustained by the worker.
An injured construction worker should consider pursuing a case for damages against any liable third party. A liable third party could involve companies, people, products, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, contractors, property owners, engineers etc. A third party suit can help a worker recover damages such as:
- loss of wages
- impairment of earning capacity
- medical costs
- potential future medical costs
- pain and suffering, and
- loss of consortium
Third party claims may result in greater compensation than what would be received through workers’ compensation.
Who Is Liable?
An investigation should be initiated as soon as possible after notifying your employer. The site should be investigated for possible evidence before anything is moved, changed by other workers, or weather.
If you are injured at a construction site and you are outside the course of your employment, you may have to file a civil lawsuit in order to receive compensation.
Large projects may often have more than one legal entity that can be responsible for on-site accidents. Victims may file a lawsuit against multiple parties or file a lawsuit against another party while filing a workers’ compensation claim with their employer.
A California construction accident lawyer can advise you on the best way to secure a successful claim.