California Construction Accident Attorney
California Construction Accident Lawyer Serving Clients in and Around Los Angeles
Nobody goes to work at a construction site or walks by a construction area with the expectation of suffering a life-threatening injury.
However, accidents happen much more frequently than they should in construction areas, often as a result of another party’s carelessness with regard to safety.
Indeed, many construction accidents in California area avoidable, yet they continue to happen because construction companies take shortcuts and fail to provide the necessary safety equipment on construction sites.
When a construction accident causes serious or fatal injuries, it is important to file a claim for compensation. An experienced Los Angeles construction accident attorney can get started on your case today. The advocates at Starpoint LC, Attorneys at Law have years of experience handling personal injury cases and are committed to providing aggressive yet compassionate representation to every client.
Common Causes of California Construction Accidents
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides statistics about construction accidents. The following are some facts and figures about construction accidents and injuries:
- 5,147 workers sustained fatal workplace injuries in 2017, and more than 20 percent of those deadly injuries occurred in the construction industry;
- Approximately 150,000 construction site accidents occur annually, and many of those accidents result in injuries to workers and others near the site;
- About 15 percent of all workers’ compensation payouts are to construction workers injured on the job;
- An average of 99 workers sustained fatal injuries on the job every week or an average of more than 14 deaths per day; and
- Fall protection violations are the leading cause of injuries on construction sites, followed by problems with hazard communication standards, safety training requirements, and safety gear.
Most construction accident injuries fall into the category of the “fatal four,” which are the most common types of construction site injuries. The fatal four include:
- Falls (accounting for 39.2 percent of all construction fatalities);
- Struck by object injuries (accounting for 8.2 percent of construction site deaths);
- Electrocutions (7.3 percent of construction accident fatalities); and
- Caught-in/between injuries (accounting for 5.1 percent of total construction site deaths).
Types of Injuries in a California Construction Accident
Workers and other people injured at construction sites can sustain many different types of serious injuries, including but not limited to the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs);
- Neck and back injuries;
- Broken bones or fractures;
- Sprains and strains; and
- Cuts and lacerations.
Workers’ Compensation Claims for a California Construction Accident Injury
If you got hurt at work on a construction site, you will likely need to seek compensation by filing a workers’ compensation claim. Under California workers’ compensation law, injured workers can be eligible to obtain medical benefits and lost wages regardless of fault.
But the workers’ compensation system also limits the injured worker’s ability to file a lawsuit. Generally speaking, unless an employer’s wrongful act caused the worker’s injury, the worker will not be able to file a lawsuit against the employer. Instead, workers’ compensation is the required route for seeking compensation.
However, the injured worker may be able to file a construction accident lawsuit against a third party. For example, if a worker sustained injuries on a roadside construction site because a motorist crashed into the work area, the injured worker may be able to file a third-party claim against that motorist even if the worker obtains workers’ compensation benefits.
Similarly, if the worker’s injury resulted from a defective machine part, the worker may be able to file a third-party product liability lawsuit against the designer or manufacturer of that machine part.
Statute of Limitations in a Construction Accident Lawsuit
Under California law, most personal injury cases have a two-year statute of limitations. This means that a plaintiff must file a lawsuit within two years from the date of sustaining a construction accident injury or else the claim will become time-barred.
It is important to speak with a construction accident lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as possible, however, because there are some situations in which the statute of limitations is much shorter. For example, if the prospective defendant is a government employee, the statute of limitations may be as short as six months to one year.
Comparative Fault in a California Construction Accident
What happens if you are partially to blame for injuries you sustained in a construction accident? The answer to this question depends in part on whether you are seeking compensation through workers’ comp or are filing a separate construction accident lawsuit.
With a workers’ compensation claim, fault is not an issue. Neither the employer’s fault nor the employee’s fault is taken into account in determining whether the injured employee is eligible for compensation.
Yet if you are filing a construction accident lawsuit and believe you may be partially responsible for the accident, then it is important to learn more about how California’s comparative fault law could impact your recovery. California is what is known as a “pure comparative fault” state.
This means that a plaintiff can still recover damages regardless of her percentage of fault. At the same time, however, the plaintiff’s damages award will be reduced by her proportion of negligence. This remains true whether the plaintiff is only 5 percent or 95 percent at fault. While some states bar a plaintiff’s recovery once the plaintiff is 50 percent or 51 percent responsible, California is not one of those states.
For example, if a plaintiff obtained $1,000,000 in a construction accident settlement but was determined to be 20 percent at fault, that recovery would be reduced by 20 percent (or $200,000). The plaintiff would recover the remaining amount, or $800,000.
To be clear, comparative fault is a defense that the defendant would raise in order to avoid paying out full compensation. The plaintiff should never bring up comparative fault in a construction accident injury case.
Contact a Construction Accident Attorney Los Angeles
If you or someone you love sustained injuries in a construction accident, you may be eligible to obtain financial compensation. Depending upon the specific facts of your case, you may need to file a workers’ compensation claim, or you may be able to file a construction site accident lawsuit in order to get the compensation you deserve.
An experienced construction site accidents lawyer in Los Angeles, California can speak with you today about moving forward with your case. Contact Starpoint LC, Attorneys at Law to learn more about the services we provide to plaintiffs in Southern California.