Like any large metropolis in the United States, construction is an ongoing activity in Los Angeles. According to Statista.com, revenue in construction is projected to add up to $167 billion in California in 2023 and an annual growth rate of 3.2% is expected in the state. However, working in the construction industry comes with its own set of risks. Construction sites present inherent dangers, but these hazards are often made worse by safety violations at worksites.
Construction workers who are injured on the job may be able to seek workers' compensation benefits. In addition, our experienced LA construction accident lawyers can help victims and their families identify additional avenues of compensation such as through third-party claims.
Understanding the Numbers
According to the Center for Construction Research and Training, in 2019, construction employment climbed to 11.4 million workers, an increase of more than 25% since 2011. Employment growth was even more pronounced among Hispanic construction workers, increasing by more than half (55%) during this period. In 2019, the number of fatal injuries in construction rose to 1,102, a 41.1% increase since 2011. The increase was higher among Hispanic construction workers, surging 89.8% from 2011 to 2019.
This report also showed that the "Fatal Four" or the four main causes of fatal construction accidents - falls, struck-by accidents, electrocution and caught in/between - caused 709 deaths in 2019 or 64.3% of all construction fatalities that year. Fatal falls to a lower level surged to 401 in 2019, accounting for more than one in three (36.4%) construction deaths year - a 25% increase compared to 2018. Struck-by incidents accounted for 15.4% of construction accident fatalities in 2019, electrocutions 7.2% and caught in/between incidents 5.4%.
How to Prevent Accidents in Construction
Construction accident statistics, while telling us what happened, also inform about why these tragedies occurred and how they can be prevented. There are many ways in which construction companies, contractors and other parties can help prevent falls and accidents created by falling or moving objects and equipment at construction sites.
- Providing workers with personal protective equipment, particularly fall safety equipment, can help reduce construction accident fatalities. Falls from heights are the leading cause of construction accident deaths in the United States. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that workers in construction be provided with fall safety equipment if they are working 6 feet above the ground. Examples of fall safety devices include harnesses, safety nets and guardrails.
- Education and training can also be crucial when it comes to preventing construction accidents. Training workers on properly using ladders and safety gear and providing them with training in a language with which they are familiar is critical.
- Identifying potential hazards in the worksite can help contractors and construction companies create an environment that can prevent injury-causing hazards such as falling tools, flying debris, slip-and-fall hazards and electrical hazards that could be caused by live wires.
- Performing regular safety inspections can help site managers identify safety violations or gaps in safety measures. Such routine inspections can help prevent fatal accidents or mishaps that cause catastrophic injuries.
Employers in California are required to carry workers' compensation insurance to help compensate workers who are injured on the job. If you have been injured in a construction accident, you can file a workers' comp claim. If approve, you can receive compensation for medical bills, a portion of lost wages and disabilities. In exchange for collecting workers' comp benefits, injured workers agree not to file a file a construction accident lawsuit against their employer. However, it is important to remember that workers' comp does not cover all losses.
In many construction accident cases, the negligence of a third party (a person or entity other than your employer) causes or contributes to the incident. In such cases, you may be able to recover compensation from that party as well in addition to receiving workers' compensation benefits from your employer.
For example, if a sub-contractor tasked with building a scaffold did a poor job of constructing it, and if that caused the scaffold to collapse leading to your injuries, then that sub-contractor could be held financially responsible for your injuries, damages and losses. Examples of third party in a construction accident case include general contractors, sub-contractors, property owners, maintenance firms, manufacturers of defective products etc.
When Should You File a Construction Accident Claim?
If you have been injured in a Los Angeles construction accident, you may have a limited amount of time to file your construction accident claim. California law requires that workers notify their employers within 30 days of their accident. If you don't report your accident to your employer within 30 days, you may lose your benefits.
If a negligent third party is responsible for your construction accident, you have two years to file a personal injury claim. If your accident was caused by a governmental entity, then, you must file a claim within six months of your accident under California law. An experienced California construction accident lawyer will be able to advise you regarding how, when and where to file your claim and help maximize your ability to secure just compensation for your losses.
Experienced California Work Injury Lawyers
If you have been injured in a construction accident, you may be entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits as well as damages from a negligent third party. The experienced Los Angeles work injury attorneys at Greenberg and Ruby Injury Attorneys, APC can help you recover maximum compensation after a work-related accident. Call us to schedule your no-cost consultation and case evaluation.