Trench collapses and accidents involving site excavations can result in major injuries or deaths for workers. When proper safety measures are not followed to prevent these tragic accidents, workers can be buried and suffocated under falling debris or dirt. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set forth specific safety regulations for trenching and excavation work.
Trench collapses can result in catastrophic injuries or deaths of workers. When safeguards are not followed or used to prevent trench collapse accidents, workers can actually be buried alive by falling debris or dirt. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requires very specific regulations regarding safe trenching and excavation work.
When these guidelines are violated or not properly followed, there is the potential for workers to suffer catastrophic or even fatal injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to a trench collapse or if you have lost a loved one in a trench collapse accident, please contact an experienced Los Angeles trenching accident lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and evaluate your options.
Why Should You File a Trenching Accident Lawsuit?
If you have suffered a serious injury due to a trench collapse, workers' compensation benefits alone will not be sufficient to protect you and your family from financial hardship. If your trenching accident injuries were not serious and if you returned to work right away, workers' compensation benefits may provide the help you need to get back on your feet.
However, for others who have been seriously injured, workers' compensation may simply not be enough. You may need to explore other options such as filing a trenching accident lawsuit if you have suffered major injuries due to someone else's negligence or wrongdoing. You may also want to consider filing a lawsuit if you have suffered an injury that requires medical care and your employer does not provide workers' compensation insurance.
Most importantly, you may want to consider filing a trench collapse lawsuit if you've suffered injuries that require extensive medical care, have kept you from work for an extended period of time and may prevent you from returning to your old construction job. If this is the case, filing a third-party personal injury lawsuit will provide compensation for damages such as loss of earning capacity, lost future income, pain and suffering and economic distress – damages workers cannot seek under workers' comp benefits.
Our Los Angeles work injury lawyers will evaluate your accident case and then seek compensation from all parties who may be liable. In a vast majority of cases, these types of lawsuits are resolved out of court through negotiations with the defendant's insurance company. If the insurance company does not make a reasonable offer, the case will likely proceed to a trial.
Injuries and Liability in Trenching Accidents
Trenching accidents often result in serious or life threatening injuries. In many cases, workers end up suffering fatal injuries in trench collapses. Some of the common injuries sustained in trenching accidents include traumatic brain injuries, oxygen deprivation caused by suffocation, injuries related to electrocution, broken bones, amputations, nerve damage, spinal cord injuries that could lead to paralysis, internal organ damage and lacerations. Many of these injuries could potentially lead to lifelong disabilities that might prevent workers from returning to work or even retaining the ability to earn a livelihood as a construction worker.
There are number of entities or third parties who can be held liable for trenching accidents. In such cases where parties other than employers cause a trenching accident, a worker would have the legal right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the individual or entity who caused the accident and resulting injuries. Some third parties that may be held liable for a trenching accident include:
- General contractors and subcontractors
- Construction companies
- Independent contractors
- Property owners
- Utility companies
- Architects and designers on the project
- Manufacturers of defective parts or components that cause a trenching accident
Filing a third party trench collapse lawsuit can help injured workers and families that have lost loved ones pursue additional compensation for pain and suffering and lost earning capacity, especially in cases where the trenching accident has resulted in catastrophic injuries or fatalities.
Determining Fault in a Trench Collapse Lawsuit
If you are injured in a trenching accident, you are entitled to workers' compensation regardless of who was at fault. Determining fault is an important part of your trenching accident case. Your trench accident lawyer will help investigate the trenching accident to determine whose fault the accident and whose negligence caused your accident. For example, if the general contractor continued on with the trenching despite adverse weather conditions leading to your trenching accident, the contractor who made that poor decision would be at fault.
It is important to remember that even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you may still have the right to file a trenching accident lawsuit if another party was also negligent. For example, if the company that built the supports for the trench did not do a good job and the trench collapsed as a result, that company or contractor can be held accountable for the accident and your injuries. Our trenching accident lawyers will work with experts to build the strongest possible case against the parties responsible for your injuries. If, for example, the trenching accident was caused by a defective or malfunctioning product, the manufacturer of that product can be held accountable as well.
Do not settle your trenching accident lawsuit without first consulting your lawyer. Rushing into a settlement could prevent you from getting the best possible settlement. Also when you sign a settlement agreement, you will not be able to seek compensation for expenses you may incur at a later date, even if they were related to your trenching accident.
How a Trench Accident Lawyer Can Help
The experienced work injury attorneys at Greenberg & Ruby LLP have a long and successful track record of helping injured clients and their families secure fair and full compensation for their injuries and losses. We understand the physical, emotional and financial stress our injured clients endure in the aftermath of a trenching accident or any workplace accident. Call us today at (323) 782-0535 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.