Working on a construction site is one of the most hazardous occupations in California. Severe construction site accidents often result in serious bodily harm, long-term disability and in some cases death. If you have been injured on a construction site, a construction accident lawyer at Greenberg & Ruby, LLP can help.
WHAT ARE CONSTRUCTION SITE INJURIES & HOW DO THEY OCCUR?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) predicts that more than 1,000 construction workers will die each year from a work-related accident and that thousands more will be seriously injured. Most construction accident injuries and deaths could have been prevented if proper safety standards were upheld consistently in the chaotic environment of a construction site.
Employers, general contractors and subcontractors are legally responsible for implementing safety measures, for warning those present of hazards on the site, and for hiring properly trained workers who are capable of using all equipment safely.
Claims can be difficult due to labor laws limiting the claims against employers. In the state of California most cases must be filed through the California Workers' Compensation Act, however if a third party such as an architect, contractor, property owner or equipment manufacturer can be proven at fault then the injured party may be able to file a third party liability lawsuit.
If you think your injury is due to a third-party at fault, contact our Los Angeles construction accident attorneys to have your situation evaluated and your questions answered.
CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT INJURIES
Minor or normal injuries such as scrapes and minor scratches, bruises, sprains, low back pain and tendinitis may all be considered a natural part of the construction occupation but more severe traumas also occur.
The most common injuries seen by construction accident attorneys are caused by motor vehicle or equipment accidents, falling objects, over-exertion, interactions with dangerous chemicals, fires or explosions and falls.
Explosions at construction sites can be caused by an accidental impact to a gas tank used when welding, by hitting a gas line or natural gas pocket when using a jackhammer and in countless other situations and will easily cause death or severe burns to any employee nearby. Serious construction site injuries may include:
- brain trauma
- deep wounds
- spinal cord injuries
- broken bones
- hearing loss
- blinding injuries
- scaffolding accidents
- falls from great heights
- collapsed ceiling injury
- welding accidents
Severe, catastrophic injuries caused by construction site accidents can devastate injured workers and their families and have long-term consequences.
Wounds may result in infections, severed or damaged nerves, partial or full paralysis, amputation and coma.
The mandatory hardhats are not a true preventative measure against injuries caused by scaffolding accidents, accidental falls into trenches, MIG, TIG and oxy-acetylene welding tanks, or defective equipment or machinery.
OTHER COMMON INJURIES
White finger syndrome, a serious condition that can develop in construction workers who regularly use vibrating power tools, is a muscular disorder that leads to numbness, tingling, lack of sensitivity and discomfort in the fingers due to reduced blood flow and circulation. This gradually leads to loss of strength in one's hands, loss of sleep due to pain and a limited ability to continue working in the construction industry.
Raynaud's syndrome, similar to white finger syndrome, is also a semi-frequent result of using power tools. More damaging than White Finger Syndrome, it limits the flow of blood to all extremities including the finger, ears and nose. These circulatory difficulties can lead to long-term health problems, gangrene and possibly amputation in some cases.
Exposure to asbestos or benzene can leave workers with brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal organ damage and devastating illnesses such as cancer. Serious injuries to the brain and the spine, from partial paralysis and slight memory loss to quadriplegia and extreme brain damage, can impair the construction worker's physical and cognitive abilities.
HOW CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT INJURIES OCCUR
- Falls: the leading cause of construction site injuries. Any area that rises 6 feet or more above the lowest level of a construction site is legally required to have fall protection; whether it is a roof, a ramp, walkways, a trench wall or other elevated situations. Fall protection includes guardrails, safety nets, individual harnesses and warning light systems.
- Vehicular Crashes: the second leading cause of construction site injuries are crashes between one or more motor vehicles present on a construction site. To prevent such injuries and accidents, all motor vehicles present on a construction site must have fully operational brake systems and emergency brakes as well as windows and doors, power windshield wipers and audible warning systems. All vehicles and equipment intended for night use must also have reflectors and lights for visibility.
- Other Common Injuries: other construction site injuries can be caused by excavation accidents, electrocution, and impact from falling objects, gas explosions, logging incidents and long-term health problems from exposure to toxic substances or noise levels. Excavation accidents can involve falls, explosions, slippery surfaces or interaction with faulty or mismanaged equipment. Electrical burns or electrocution are ever-present dangers at any construction site. Unmarked or exposed wiring, electrical systems in older buildings and wet areas all contribute to this deadly danger.
HOW CAN A CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT LAWYER HELP YOU?
Injuries from construction sites require costly medical treatment that often exceeds the amount allowed for a construction accident settlement on a worker's compensation claim. Long-term disability caused by an injury sustained on the job permanently diminishes an injured construction worker's ability to earn money and enjoy a high standard of life quality. A construction site accidents lawyer in Los Angeles can help you receive the just compensation you deserve to improve your quality of life.
If the injury was truly caused by an unavoidable accident, there are limits as to how much financial compensation can be recovered. However, most construction site accidents occur from someone not upholding reasonable standards of safety and care. In these situations, those who were negligent can be held liable for the damages that result. Hiring a construction accident lawyer in Los Angeles is the best way for workers to seek justice, find out how to claim work injury compensation, and ensure the process is carried out properly.
Third-Party Construction Site Injury Compensation
Worker's compensation laws limit the extent to which an injured construction site employee's employer can be held liable for the injury. Many construction workers think sustaining an injury is just “part of the job” and will not file injury claims. But this is the worst case scenario.
If sub-standard safety precautions are in place, a construction accident lawsuit can lead to the construction of a safer building or structure for all those who will use it in the future.
There are other options for injured workers besides worker's compensation claims: a construction site accidents lawyer.
The attorneys at Greenberg & Ruby, LLP are specialized professionals who know what evidence to look for to form the basis of a third-party lawsuit against others, apart from the employer, who were directly or indirectly responsible for the accident. They will not only investigate your workers' comp benefit options, but they will also let you know whether or not you can sue your employer, or sue a third party.
Injured workers should always file an accident report, a worker's compensation claim and speak to a construction accident lawyer in Los Angeles after any injury. Then they will find out more about their options and enable everyone to work quickly before evidence of wrongdoing disappears or is eradicated.
Although hiring legal counsel might seem like an additional expense, a construction site injury attorney can be an immeasurable help, both financially and emotionally.
These kinds of injuries may be covered under workers compensation insurance, personal injury laws, premises liability law or third-party claims or a combination of two or more. When two or more must be dealt with simultaneously you must find a knowledgeable attorney.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A CONSTRUCTION SITE ACCIDENT
If you are a construction worker who was injured on the job in Los Angeles, you should immediately report the injury to your employer and seek medical attention right away. In addition to safeguarding your health, doing so will protect your right to pursue compensation. You should also:
- Write down the names and contact information of co-workers or others who may have witnessed the accident.
- Keep all paperwork and reports, including medical bills and receipts from other expenses related to the accident.
- Keep track of your medical treatments, appointments and providers.
- Follow medical advice carefully and continue ongoing treatment.
- Contact an attorney as soon as possible, so they may begin investigating your accident and collecting vital evidence.
Although you may qualify for benefits after being injured while on the job, it doesn't mean it will be a seamless work injury claim process. Having a construction injury lawyer by your side from start to finish will ensure you are protected and treated fairly.
CONSTRUCTION SITE INJURY STATISTICS
- In the US, approx. 1500 construction workers are involved in fatal construction site injuries annually.
- California has the third highest incidence of construction site injuries.
- Vehicular collisions account for nearly 25% of all construction site injuries.
- Construction site injuries account for 1 out of every 5 job-related fatalities and 1 of every 10 non-fatal injuries in the US.
- Over 30,000 construction workers suffer some form of musculoskeletal disorder annually from their profession.
- 18% of construction site fatalities were due to falling objects.
- 10% of construction site fatalities are due to electrocution.
- Construction laborers have the highest death rate of workers followed by carpenters and roofers.
- Non-fatal personal injuries are 37% over-exertion injuries, 14% contusions and 21% back injuries.
- 33% of all fatal construction site injuries result from falls.
- Males account for the large majority of construction site injuries.
CONSTRUCTION Injury Compensation Time Restraints
Construction site accident victims have a limited amount of time to bring a third-party lawsuit to hold an individual or business responsible for their injury. In particular, you have only two years from the date the incident occurred to pursue legal action. Otherwise, you are outside California's “statute of limitations” period. If you wait too long, a Los Angeles judge will dismiss your case, and you will end up without compensation for your losses even if you are completely blameless for your injury. Contact an experienced construction accident lawyer today to protect your legal rights after a work injury.
A simple call to Greenberg & Ruby, LLP will let you speak to an experienced construction accident lawyer in Los Angeles about all aspects of construction site injury law. Call today for immediate assistance.