Fresno Construction Site Accident Lawyer
Construction sites can be hazardous, and these dangers may harm workers and bystanders alike. Accidents can happen for various reasons, but a legal team can guide you through your journey to financial recovery after a construction site injury.
Our skilled legal team at Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law is passionate about helping California families recover from situations like construction site accidents, and we provide comprehensive services that can help you take on this legal process with confidence. We speak English, Punjabi, Hindi, and Spanish for the convenience of our clients.
How Can a Construction Site Accident Attorney Help You Recover Compensation as an Injured Bystander or Worker?
Personal injury claims filed in connection to a construction site injury can be complex, especially when you attempt to manage it on your own. Depending on your situation, you may be working with your employer, a third party, or some combination thereof as you seek compensation. Regardless of who the liable party is, a construction accident attorney in Fresno can walk you through each step.
You may hear conflicting information from insurers, government resource sites, and other articles you’ll find on the internet. The truth is that any of the three can apply, but insurers are most likely to interpret the laws and their policy language in their own favor. An attorney is a reliable ally who can help you understand what laws, regulations, and standard processes apply to you, along with your rights as an injured claimant.
A legal team may grant peace of mind by providing invaluable advocacy, but other services include:
- Comprehensive management of your case from start to end: A legal team can oversee every step of your litigation process, offering you guidance along the way. Our representation can save you time and energy by taking on the responsibility of organizing all documentation and other important tasks.
- Thorough investigation of your accident, including claims of negligence: In order to fight for a settlement, we’ll first have to prove fault. An attorney can investigate all gathered evidence and extract key information that can be used in later steps, like negotiations.
- Precise valuation of your damages — in the past, present, and future: An attorney can help you understand the value of your damages, including those that you may be subject to in the future.
- Protection from common insurance claim traps: It is always advised to speak with an attorney before speaking with the negligent party’s insurer. Otherwise, you may fall victim to leading questions or offer up information that is irrelevant, like your entire medical history. An attorney can prepare you for these conversations and even speak on your behalf in most instances.
- Compassionate representation: Working through a construction site accident alone can feel isolating, but an attorney can be the support system you have been looking for to help you walk through the journey of litigation while fighting aggressively for your rights.
Liability in Construction Site Accidents
Injuries on a construction site can be different from other personal injury accidents because you may be dealing with a wide variety of source of liability. Furthermore, if you are an employee working on the construction site, you may be filing a workers’ compensation claim through a completely different process than a typical injury claim.
Regardless of what your situation is, an attorney can map out the most beneficial course of action to approach litigation with.
Typically, liability for an injury, and responsibility for its damages, is proven by negligence. In personal injury cases, the victim must be prepared to prove that the at-fault party demonstrated all four main showings of negligence in order to bring a valid case up against them.
The four primary elements of negligence are:
- Duty of care: The party in question has a responsibility to those who may come into contact with the construction site.
- Breach of duty: This party neglected their duty of care.
- Causation: After establishing a breach of duty, it must be proven that the breach of duty caused the accident.
- Injury: Finally, the accident in question led to quantifiable damages.
All California employers are required to have worker’s compensation insurance, even if they only have one employee. It is also explicitly stated in California law that employers are responsible for expenses incurred due to employee injuries on the job. The benefits of a workers’ compensation claim can provide payment for your medical treatments, lost wages, continued rehabilitation, disability payments, and more. But these payouts may be difficult to fight for, as insurers and employers routinely seek to deny benefits.
An attorney can help you file a claim and appeal a decision that is not in your favor. In terms of valuing the benefits to which you may be entitled, your attorney can determine what costs are affecting you now, and which may come up later. Then, they set to work on your behalf to seek a settlement that compensates your needs from the benefits available. An attorney can also keep you on-track with any and all deadlines attached to your claim.
You have 30 days from the time of the accident to report it to your employer, and they must respond with a worker’s compensation claim form within one day of your report. An attorney can help you fill out this paperwork, but if you wait too long to report the accident, you may lose your right to pursue compensation.
Technically, you have one year to file your claim after notifying your employer, but it is never advised to wait any longer than you have to.
Many Parties May Be Liable
Liability can be tricky because more than one party could bear some responsibility for your accident. It isn’t as simple as figuring out who owns the property and going after them, because many other parties have a duty of care on construction sites.
With any claim, parties can split liability for damages based on the calculated percentage of fault they contributed. In situations where you have already received workers’ comp insurance benefits for some of your damages, your settlement or award may be reduced by the amount. Two injury claims cannot pay for the same damages, in other words, but a third-party claim can help pay for any excess costs not covered under workers’ comp.
Liable parties that may be named in a third-party claim can include:
- Site Owners: Even if the owner is not on-site at the time of the accident, they have a responsibility to disclose hazards and promote a safe environment through appropriate precautions. If they fail to uphold these standards, they could be partially liable for an accident they had nothing to do with.
- Contractors: General or subcontractors have a standard of care to uphold by OSHA, stating that they must provide sufficient warning of any hazard on their work sites, and provide a safe working environment for employees.
- Equipment Manufacturers: If the accident was caused by defective or damaged equipment, a claim against an equipment manufacturer may be filed.
California’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date the injury occurred. There are a couple of exceptions to the California statute of limitations on filing a personal injury claim, but you must fit specific circumstances to qualify. There is an exception called “the discovery rule,” which allows victims to file a claim even after the deadline if they can prove that they did not discover their injuries until an extensive amount of time had passed after the accident.
Frequent Causes of Construction Site Accidents
While we cannot predict a construction site accident, there are some recurring patterns that seem to cause many of the accidents that are reported on these sites.
Some of the most common causes of construction site accidents include:
- Failure to follow safety protocols
- Failure to provide workers with safe conditions and proper working equipment
- Over-extended work hours causing extreme fatigue
- Lack of training
- Lack of proper planning
Injuries in a Construction Site Accident
Every accident is different, but there are some injuries that are more commonly treated than others. Construction site accidents can lead to severe injuries due to the natural hazards and dangerous equipment found in these locations. Workers are also subject to what is called repetitive trauma injuries, which are physical damages caused by continued strains or other injuries on the job (minor and major), or the cumulative stress of repeated motions throughout the day.
Some of the most commonly treated injuries from construction sites includes:
- Neck and spine injuries
- Broken bones
- Hearing loss
- Traumatic brain injury
- Vision problems
What Should I Do After a Construction Site Accident?
Even though every accident will look different and have its own unique details, there is a universal set of steps that you can take as an accident victim to protect the validity of your claim. By following this set of steps, you are effectively creating a paper trail that documents your journey as the accident unfolded.
The following process may seem simple, but it is important to move forward with each of these steps in a timely manner instead of waiting any longer than is necessary. Accordingly, make sure you do all of the following once you have been injured,
Immediately Seek Medical Attention
It is crucial that you follow up with a medical care professional after enduring an accident on a construction site. For workers, it may seem natural to experience a bump, scratch, or odd pain every once in a while, but your injuries could be more severe than you realize. Putting off medical attention could be detrimental, both to your health and to a potential personal injury case.
By neglecting your injuries, they could worsen, giving the liable party a way to argue that they cannot be held responsible for the full extent of your injuries. A medical professional will assess your condition and begin treatment while creating documentation that proves the extent of injuries you sustained.
Thoroughly Document the Accident
A construction site may have security cameras that documented the entire incident for you, but taking a proactive step and documenting the scene yourself may be beneficial in the long run. Take photos or videos of any faulty equipment and malfunctions for future use.
Also, be sure to take photos of your injuries and how they progress. Be sure to take photos of all stages of your injuries, to show a visual progression of how you were affected over time.
Promptly File a Report With Your Supervisor
While you have 30 days to report your accident to your employer, it is beneficial to begin the claim process sooner rather than later. Report the accident as soon as you find out. If you are not an employee, an on-site worker may notify their superiors, but you should contact the police to file a report of the accident.
Waiting to report could result in many issues, such as an expiration of firm time limits. 30 days is not a lot of time, and it typically goes by faster than many people realize. Getting your report done early can help you prevent stressing about it later. If you retain representation, your attorney can manage this process, so you can focus on healing instead of paperwork.
Before you make an official statement to anyone involved or file a report, speak to a construction site accident lawyer. A legal team keeps the ship sailing, ensuring that you feel in control of your situation thanks to a reliable team of advocates who can guide you through the storm when things get foggy. An attorney knows what you have to say, should say, and should avoid saying during conversations in a personal injury claim, for example, and they can prepare you with many tips that might just protect your claim in the long run.
Call an Experienced Fresno Construction Site Accident Lawyer Like the Legal Team At Singh Ahluwalia
If you or a loved one has been injured by the negligent actions of a liable party on a construction site, the experienced legal team at Singh Ahluwalia may be able to help you get your life back to normalcy. We are passionate about helping California families, and we’re here to help you, too!