On most construction sites there is a multitude of things going on at the same time. With so much activity combined with inherently dangerous equipment and hazardous materials, it’s no surprise that safety is often an issue. If all individuals on a construction site – both construction workers and non-construction workers – don’t adhere to the proper safety precautions, serious injuries or even death can occur in a construction accident.
On average, injury rates in construction are 71% higher than injury rates across all other industries. This is even more alarming considering that The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) found that more than 25% of construction workers have indicated that they failed to report a work-related injury. And according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), one in five U.S. worker deaths a year take place in the construction industry.
Unfortunately, things don’t seem to be getting any better. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that in 2019 fatalities in the private construction industry increased by 5% to 1,061 – the largest total since 2007.
The Most Common Types of Construction Accidents
While there are a variety of accidents that occur on construction sites, some of the most common ones include:
- Falls (account for 33% of all construction deaths);
- Scaffolding accidents;
- Individuals being struck by falling objects;
- Crane accidents;
- Slip, trip, and fall accidents;
- Defective/dangerous machinery;
- Chemical exposure;
- Trenching and excavation accidents;
- Welding accidents;
- Transportation accidents (individuals getting hit or pinned by auto vehicles); and
- Nail gun accidents.
It’s no surprise that these accidents commonly result in serious injury or death. Since there are so many different types of construction accidents, there are also many different types of construction accident injuries – and severity. Common construction accident injuries include:
- Broken bones;
- Crush injuries;
- Back and neck injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI);
- Chemical burns; and
As mentioned, death can also occur as a result of a construction accident. Many of the aforementioned types of accidents can sadly prove fatal. If a construction worker dies, his or her close family members may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim or may be able to receive death benefits through the state’s workers’ compensation program.
Liability in California Construction Accidents
There are a number of different parties that may be held liable when a construction accident occurs. This is because there are almost always multiple companies involved in the construction. This includes contractors and manufacturers of different companies, or possibly joint liability.
Under California law, if a construction worker has been injured on the job, his or her only claim against their employer is through workers’ compensation. As such, construction companies that conduct work in California are required to purchase no-fault workers’ compensation insurance coverage. As with any workers’ compensation claim, the worker (employee) doesn’t have to prove that their employer was at fault for anything in order to receive benefits.
When filing a workers’ compensation claim the only thing that the victim must prove is the extent of their injuries and damages. Using things such as receipts and medical bills as well as your medical file from your treating physician can help to prove your precise injuries. Although workers’ compensation can help to provide compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and disability, it doesn’t always cover the full value of the victim’s damages – nor does it usually cover any non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Personal Injury Lawsuits and Third-Party Liability
But luckily, there may be other sources of compensation. Construction workers who are injured on site may also bring a personal injury lawsuit against another party (other than their employer), if that party is at least partially liable for the accident. When this occurs it is known as a third-party liability lawsuit. However, unlike a workers’ compensation claim, the plaintiff bringing the suit must prove that the defendant was at fault in order to receive monetary compensation.
While not as common, there are also instances in which non-workers are injured in a construction accident. This commonly occurs when an individual who is walking by the site is hit by a falling object or injured by an explosion. Since the victim in this instance is not an employee, he or she cannot file a workers’ compensation claim. However, they can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault construction company but again, must be able to prove that the defendant acted negligently, causing the accident in question.
In a personal injury lawsuit, you may be able to recover for the following:
- Medical bills
- Medical equipment
- Physical rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Long-term disability
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Mental distress
- Pain and suffering
We Fight for Those Injured in a Construction Accident
While we know that no amount of money can change the fact that you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a construction accident, it’s important that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled to help you best move forward with your life.
At the Law Offices of David P. Kashani, APLC, our legal team will work to help get you or your loved one the compensation that is deserved.
Construction accidents require experience in workers’ compensation, personal injury law, and insurance law, which are specialties of our highly qualified team. Our team can help work through this delicate situation for your benefit.The most important thing when you have been injured in a construction accident is to seek medical attention and then call a qualified personal injury attorney who specializes in construction accidents. Contact the Law Offices of David P. Kashani, APLC right away to schedule a free consultation in which we can discuss your options.