Many types of Los Angeles work sites include trenches, which are narrow tunnels that workers dig out of the ground with heavy equipment. Workers often use them when they need access, for instance, to lay or repair underground utility lines or when building or repairing a road. While these trenches are reinforced, accidents can still happen and the results can be devastating. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trenching accident, contact Greenberg & Ruby, LLP for immediate legal assistance. You may have the right to seek compensation for your injuries, and we offer free case evaluations.
WHY CHOOSE Greenberg & Ruby, LLP?
- Greenberg & Ruby, LLP has over 50 years of experience advocating for injured workers.
- They have collected more than $250 million in compensation for their clients.
- Even if it means fighting for your case in court, Greenberg & Ruby, LLP will do whatever it takes to obtain the fair settlement that you deserve.
COMMON CAUSES OF TRENCHING ACCIDENTS
The leading causes of trench accidents, include:
- Lack of or failure of a protective system.
- Failure to regularly inspect the trench.
- Lack of, defective, or damaged equipment.
- Unstable or weak soil.
- Stress loading on the soil.
- Depth of the trench.
- Vibrations from equipment, machines, or motor vehicles.
- Heavy equipment or machinery located too close to trench edges.
- Working in close proximity to previous backfilled excavations.
- Water content of soil.
- Environmental factors, such as weather conditions or climate.
Every year, more than two dozen construction workers are killed in excavation and trench collapse accidents. Hundreds more suffer severe and debilitating injuries.
OSHA TRENCH REQUIREMENTS
OSHA provides regulations on the safety measures that must be taken to reduce the risk of accidents or injuries from trenching and excavating. Those generally include having a protective system for trenches that are five feet or deeper, unless it is made up completely of stable rock, and safe access to and from all excavations, such as ladders or ramps.
A protective system is intended to support the sides of a trench and act as a shield between it and the work area. It can then safeguard workers from potential cave-ins. Additionally, employers are required by OSHA to ensure a competent person inspects trenches daily, before the start of a shift, and as weather conditions change.
LIABILITY FOR A TRENCHING INJURY
Establishing liability for a trenching injury requires a thorough review of all the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident. Evidence may come from witnesses, photographs, or documentary evidence such as citations for safety violations or incident reports. If the required safety precautions were not followed, this may lead to liability for negligence. There may be several parties that share responsibility for a trench injury, including subcontractors or general contractors. As in most claims involving negligence, California law places the burden on the plaintiff (victim) to establish that a defendant is at fault for their injury.
For this reason, it is critical to have a qualified Los Angeles construction site accident attorney. They will have the ability to properly investigate the claim, identify all potential responsible parties, and collect crucial evidence. It is important to preserve evidence quickly, since it can begin to disappear as the construction project continues on. For example, a trench that was present on the day of the accident may be filled in, witnesses may move on to new projects, or equipment discarded. An attorney will seek out and preserve the vital evidence needed to prove liability later in the case.
SPEAK TO A Trenching ATTORNEY TODAY
Individuals who are victims of trench accidents may be eligible to receive compensation in addition to workers' comp benefits. Contact Greenberg & Ruby, LLP online or by calling (323) 782-0535, to discuss your case and legal options in a free consultation.