Undoubtedly, the construction industry in Southern California is widespread and growing on a daily basis. Driving through the streets of Irvine, you are likely to see numerous projects underway on a daily basis. While this amount of development is necessary and desired in our city, it opens up the possibility for injury to both construction workers as well as bystanders and passersby. The construction industry logs one of the highest rates of injury and death in the country.
In 2013 alone, over 4,400 workers in the United States were killed in accidents on the job, 856 of those were killed in construction accidents. Nearly 4 percent of all construction workers suffered injuries requiring them to lose time from work or have job restrictions or transfers. Figures from OSHA revealed that in 2012, a staggering one out of every five fatal worker fatalities was in construction. OSHA labeled the “fatal four” leading causes of deaths on construction sites as falls, being struck by an object, electrocution or being caught or stuck in between two objects.
If you or a loved one has been injured at work on a construction site, any resulting legal claim you may be entitled to will be affected by California Worker’s Compensation Laws. Depending on your employment situation and the extent to which your employer is responsible for your injuries, your case could be limited to a small percentage of your regular wages, which is generally all workers’ compensation insurance will pay. This typically is not sufficient to compensate a construction injury victim for a possible lifetime of disability and loss of work.
If your injuries are serious enough that your life will be temporarily or permanently altered, either because of permanent bodily impairment or a change in ability to work, an experienced construction accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Brent. A. Duque will be able to advocate on your behalf to ensure that you receive the medical care and monetary benefits you are entitled to. In addition, if your injury may keep you from working permanently, your lawyer can advise you about filing for Social Security disability benefits as well.
Depending on the specific factors surrounding the accident, a construction worker who was hurt on the job might be eligible to recover further compensation beyond the scope of the Workers’ Compensation Act. Let’s say an electrician working for ABC Electrical Contractors was on a ladder working. Signs and warnings were posted in the electrician’s work area, but the ladder was hit by a van driven by XYZ Plumbing Contractors when the driver was distracted by his phone. He never saw the warnings, the ladder or the electrician. As a result of the fall, the electrician suffers a permanent injury.
Because XYZ is a separate and distinct business entity, California law permits the electrician to bring a personal injury lawsuit against XYZ and its driver at the same time he pursues his workers’ compensation claim. That’s called third party liability. Damages in the third party liability personal injury lawsuit aren’t limited like those in a workers’ compensation claim. While seeking damages in the lawsuit, the injured worker can also collect workers’ compensation benefits for purposes of paying medical bills and keeping their household and family going.
Construction workers are not the only ones that might get injured or killed on or around a construction site. Others who might be injured include motorists, pedestrians or others just going about their daily activities. A pedestrian or bystander could be injured by a falling tool or piece of construction material. A motorist using all necessary due care and caution around the site could be injured by a truck or by a heavy equipment operator. Even though these people are independent of anybody working on the construction project, they are still permitted to file a personal injury lawsuit against any companies and employees on the site that they believe were responsible for their injuries. If you have been wrongly involved and injured, we invite you to contact us as soon as you can about this.
At the Irvine Law Offices of Brent A. Duque, we maintain a staff of a highly professional, knowledgeable, aggressive and successful construction site accident attorneys who represent injured people through our offices that stretch across Southern California. Time limitations apply to any injury claim you might have, so for purposes of investigating a possible case and possibly preserving evidence, it’s best for you to contact us immediately after an accident.
Contact our Orange County Personal Injury Attorneys at 1-877-241-9554 to learn more about your legal options. A free consultation is just a phone call away. You can even use our online contact form, and we’ll reply to you quickly.
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