Falling debris, crushing materials, collapsed trenches and scaffolding, falls from above, electric shocks, burns, blasts, lack of protective gear, and repetitive motion injuries. These are just a sampling of the dangers and risks that construction industry workers face on a daily basis.
Construction jobs involve some of the most dangerous work in the country. Despite best efforts taken under safety regulations, construction site accidents still happen regularly. According to the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), one out of five worker deaths in the United States happens in construction.
In private construction, workers are most often injured by falls, falling objects, electrocution, and “caught-in/between” incidents. These numbers don’t even include highway collisions, which add yet another level of danger for road construction workers.
Other types of construction site injuries include:
- Burns from fire, chemicals, hazardous materials, or explosions
- Heatstroke exhaustion that requires hospitalization
- Respiratory disease from breathing in dust from materials, such as kitchen countertops
- Permanent hearing damage or loss from loud machinery and tools
- Blindness from working with debris or hazardous materials without proper safety goggles
- Other conditions or long-term illnesses as a result of toxic chemical exposure
- Neck or spinal cord injuries that cause permanent paralysis
You can get reimbursed for injuries on the job through workers’ compensation. But workers’ compensation might not cover the pain and suffering you’ve experienced because of your injury. Depending on the facts of your case, you could have additional legal claims against third parties who may be responsible for the harm you’ve suffered.
In the most tragic instances, construction workers who get injured on the job may pass away as a result of their workplace injuries. Their family members can pursue a claim in their place.
Harlan Law is dedicated to getting injured construction workers and their families the compensation they deserve to take care of their health. A workplace injury could leave you unable to continue your job or find similar employment. You may need surgery, physical therapy, or treatments that last for years. If you got injured because of someone’s carelessness or negligence, they should be responsible for compensating you for your pain and suffering.
Call the San Diego personal injury lawyers at Harlan Law now at (619) 870-0802 for a free consultation of your case. We take our cases on a contingency fee basis so you don’t have to worry about affording a lawyer when you’re already dealing with so much.
Third-Party Lawsuits for Construction Injuries
In California, you usually can’t sue your employer for injuries on the job, even if your employer is at fault. Instead, you’re required to file a workers’ compensation claim.
After a construction injury, a workers’ compensation claim will pay for your medical costs, lost wages, and either temporary or permanent disability benefits. By law, all construction companies must carry workers’ compensation insurance for this purpose.
Although workers’ compensation usually stops you from suing your own employer, you could have a lawsuit against your employer if:
- You get injured as a result of your employer’s intentional misconduct or gross negligence that’s an extreme departure from the usual standards of conduct
- Your employer denies your workers’ compensation benefits in bad faith
- Your employer failed to secure workers’ compensation insurance
But what if you get injured on the job and it’s not your employer’s fault?
Construction job sites often involve many different contractors working on the same project. A construction project could involve architects, engineers, inspectors, manufacturers, suppliers, electricians, plumbers, roofers, and other professionals. All of these parties try to work in harmony with each other for success. With so many dynamic, moving parts in the construction process, no wonder the ball gets dropped from time to time.
You could have a claim to sue if you or a family member suffered an injury because of someone else’s negligence (a third party). That could look like:
- Defective tools, machinery, or personal protective equipment (PPE), where the injury is a result of the original manufacturer’s negligence
- An architect who fails to properly oversee and manage the project, resulting in miscommunications or rushed deadlines
- Faulty electrical work by a subcontractor
- A hidden defect on the property that wasn’t disclosed, where the property owner had a duty to warn the construction crew of any potential dangers
- Another contractor crew’s negligence with vehicles or machinery on the same job site
- A negligent or reckless driver who strikes a construction worker
With a third-party lawsuit, you can sue for the pain and suffering you’ve experienced in the aftermath of your injury. If you’re the family member of a construction worker who died as a result of their injuries, you can sue the negligent third party for wrongful death.
If your case is based on a defective product, you can pursue a product liability lawsuit.
In order to win a lawsuit against a third party, you must show that their negligence had some part in actually causing your injury. If you prove negligence, the third party will be held responsible for the harm you’ve suffered – even if your accident was partly your fault too.
Hiring a San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer to Help
At this point, it’s important that you contact a personal injury lawyer about your case. Many personal injury lawyers take cases on a contingency fee basis. Our law firm advances the costs of your case, which means you don’t pay us until we recover damages for you.
A local personal injury attorney can help by:
- Explaining the options available to you based on the facts of your case
- Advising you on whether you should file a workers’ compensation claim, a third-party lawsuit, or both
- Filing a civil lawsuit in court against the negligent third party
- Gathering evidence to prove your claims
- Pushing back against your workers’ compensation insurance company if they’re failing to pay your bills, disputing your coverage, or forcing you back to work too early
- Negotiating a settlement between you and the responsible party
A personal injury claim works to “make you whole” after an injury. Although money can’t undo your injury from happening, it’s the law’s way of compensating you for what you’ve lost.
If your personal injury claim is successful, you can get reimbursed for damages like:
- Lost wages and out-of-pocket expenses caused by your injury
- Medical expenses not covered by workers’ compensation
- Pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life
Punitive damages function to punish and deter especially bad conduct. A court will consider punitive damages only if the offending party’s actions are truly egregious. One example would be a company that discovers a hazardous chemical leak on a construction site but continues the project without warning anyone or making any effort to stop the leak.
If you’ve been injured in a San Diego construction accident, call our experienced local law firm now at (619) 870-0802 to discuss your legal options with a personal injury lawyer.