California Construction Site Accident Lawyer
Since the 2009 recession, construction has seen a surge in activity. Demand still outpaces the availability of construction crews, making the construction industry a hot commodity. Unfortunately, at the same time, safety standards have slipped, as millions of construction workers are put in dangerous situations due to limited time, budgets, or oversight.
A single construction site accident can potentially upend multiple lives forever. Serious injuries can lead to lifelong disability and an inability of an employee to return to former job duties. In extreme cases, a family is devastated by a fatal construction accident.
Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law is here to represent injured workers and their families in dire need. We assist with workers’ compensation claims, and we can also explore options for filing a lawsuit against a negligent, non-employer third party. Speak to a construction site accident lawyer near you for free during a no-risk, no-obligation consultation. Schedule your free case review today when you Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online .
A California Construction Site Accident Attorney Fights for Your Rights After Injury
The construction industry is ripe with abuses and worker safety lapses. Often, when an injury has occurred, an employer will seek to avoid reporting the incident that led to it, or else they may face fines and other repercussions. Workers are often intimidated into silence. They may also be misinformed of their rights to seek compensation.
Injured construction workers need a way to pay for the costs of their medical treatment and provide for their families while they heal. That is why it is so important to protect your rights to seek workers’ compensation — and any other forms of compensation available — with the help of a construction accident attorney in California.
A workers’ compensation claim can provide benefits to repay all associated treatment costs for a construction site injury. It can also pay partial replacement wages and provide extended benefits for individuals with long-term disabilities.
In many cases, a construction accident was caused in part or in full by a third-party’s negligence, or it could have occurred because of a defective power tool or other piece of construction equipment. Workers who have suffered in an accident stemming from these causes may be eligible to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.
The experienced California construction site accident lawyers at Singh Ahluwalia will help you explore every option available to help you repay the costs of your injury — past and future. Securing the representation of an attorney can greatly increase the size of your final benefits and any reward you receive from a third-party liability claim.
Our attorneys tirelessly fight for you during every step of your claim. We take the burden off your shoulders while still keeping you informed and in control during your claim. Whether your case can be resolved with a successful workers’ compensation claim or if it requires going to trial to prove another party’s liability, we are prepared to do whatever it takes to help you and your family fully heal after your accident.
Construction Causes Major Injuries — and Many Deaths — in California
The construction industry routinely ranks as one of the most dangerous on the planet for workers. In the U.S., the number of fatal injuries in construction rose 41% from 2011 – 2019. Most concerning, fatalities rose significantly higher among Hispanic workers in the construction industry, shooting up nearly 90% from 2011 – 2019, with those increases exceeding the growth of Hispanic workers during the period overall.
2021 fatal occupational injury data for California shows that construction is one of the top industries for fatal workplace accidents. It accounted for 81 out of the 462 total fatal occupational injuries. Thirty-three of these fatalities were related to falls, slips, or trips, and 24 were related to exposure to harmful substances or environments.
Comparing the 2021 rate of construction worker injury deaths per 100,000 full-time-equivalent workers, California ranked far lower than many other states. Its rate of 6.3 was only beaten by four other states, with Arizona ranking the lowest at 2.4. For comparison, Arkansas had the highest fatality rate at 18.4, with many other states topping double digits.
Top Causes of Death and Injury in Construction
Organizations like OSHA and NIOSH recognize that many fatal and serious accidents in construction can be traced back to just a handful of incident types.
A 2019 study by the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) found that the most-common source of accidental death by far was falling, accounting for 36% of fatal incidents that year. “Struck-by” incidents were the second-most common at 15% of incidents, while electrocution (7%) and “caught-in/between” incidents (5%) were other major contributing incident categories.
OSHA refers to these incident types as “the Fatal Four” because of their continual role in causing deaths in the construction industry. OSHA also cites a number of recurring standards violations in construction each year, with the top citations outlined below:
- Fall Protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501)
- Respiratory Protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134)
- Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053)
- Hazard Communication, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200)
- Scaffolding, construction (29 CFR 1926.451)
- Fall Protection Training, construction (29 CFR 1926.503)
- Control of Hazardous Energy (lockout/tagout), general industry (29 CFR 1910.147)
- Eye and Face Protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.102)
- Powered Industrial Trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178)
- Machinery and Machine Guarding, general industry (29 CFR 1910.212)
Any safety violations noted in connection with your construction site injury should be promptly reported to OSHA to prevent further injury.
Filing a Workers Compensation Claim After a Construction Site Injury
A workers’ compensation insurance policy is one of the most likely sources for injured workers to obtain money to repay their medical bills and other damages. Most operations are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their crew, even when the crew may be considered temporary or contract labor. Further, the main project supervisor and any contracting party are responsible for ensuring that any sub-contracting crews brought onto the job site have the legally mandated insurance needed to cover their workers.
A successful workers comp claim can provide benefits for the following:
- Full repayment of all reasonable and necessary medical treatment
- Coverage of future medical care
- Temporary disability benefits to cover partial wages while you recover
- Permanent disability payments to compensate you for income reduction
- Supplemental job displacement benefits to assist you in paying for training or other skill development if you can’t return to your old job
- Death benefits for surviving family members and dependents in the event of a fatal accident
How to File a Workers Comp Claim in California
The California Division of Workers Compensation (DWC) makes it easy to file a workers’ compensation claim by following a few simple steps.
Be sure to follow up with your employer if you do not receive a timely response after your claim has been filed, as some employers have been found to unnecessarily delay or wrongfully conceal claims rather than file them according to the appropriate procedures. If you are concerned that your employer is attempting to commit fraud or otherwise wrongfully prevent you from filing a legitimate claim, report your concerns to your local California DWC office.
The typical steps to follow for a California workers’ compensation claim are as follows:
- Receive prompt medical treatment, leaving work so that diagnosis and treatment are not delayed.
- Report the incident to a supervisor or other superior within 30 days, saving a copy of the report for yourself.
- Hire a California construction site accident attorney to assist you with the claims process and ensure your rights are protected throughout.
- Complete form DWC 1 as fully and accurately as you can. Your employer is responsible for completing the remainder of the claim.
- Continue receiving medical treatment and following doctor’s orders. You may be able to select your own doctor after attending at least one appointment with your employer’s selected doctor.
- Follow up with your claim if there are any delays. The insurer is supposed to provide you with a prompt response declaring whether your claim has been approved or denied.
- Appeal your decision with the help of your attorney if you weren’t offered all the benefits you needed or if your claim was denied.
- Ensure you receive long-term benefits if you cannot return to your former work duties for an extended period or permanently. Workers’ compensation can pay for the difference in your earnings and training needed to change careers.
You can rely on your California workers’ compensation attorney to help you through each step of the claims process, including evaluating your damages in full and taking other steps to seek the maximum benefits.
When Is Someone Not Eligible for a Workers Comp Claim?
Importantly, workers’ compensation insurance benefits are supposed to be available in nearly all scenarios, regardless of the reasons or causes of the accident. The employee may have contributed to their own injury unintentionally in some way, for example, or the employer could have followed all safety standards yet still failed to prevent the accident. Regardless of circumstances, an employee is supposed to be eligible to receive workers comp benefits unless they:
- Intentionally caused their own injury
- Were committing a criminal act or gross misconduct in connection with their accident
- Instigated a violent assault against another worker or person, resulting in injuries to themselves
- Were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident
- Misrepresented their injury or otherwise committed fraud in connection with their claim
- Were technically not an employee or otherwise technically not covered under the policy in question
Employers will often deny claims and use the above caveats as an excuse. Securing the representation of an attorney can prevent someone from drawing inaccurate conclusions in an attempt to deny you benefits. Never assume an employer or their insurance company is looking after anyone’s best interests other than their own!
Filing a Liability Claim After a Construction Site Accident
In many construction site injury cases, one or more parties will be considered at-fault for the incident because of their negligence. If your employer provides you with workers’ compensation insurance, you are not legally allowed to file a separate personal injury claim against them unless:
- The employer violently assaulted you
- The employer fraudulently concealed information in a way that allowed the injury to worsen before a claim was filed and processed
- The injury occurred because of a product manufactured by the employer
- The employer engaged in intentional misconduct or criminal activity in connection with the injury causing incident
While you are unable to file a lawsuit or injury claim against your employer in most scenarios, there are other parties who could be considered at fault for your injuries. Examples of common named parties in liability claims filed after a construction site accident include:
- Non-employee drivers who caused a road accident
- Third-party contractors whose conduct led to the accident
- Defective product manufacturers who sold power tools, scaffolding, or other products that had defective design or manufacturing standards, leading to an injury
- Job site owners and property owners responsible for the safety of the site
- Other third parties present at the time of the accident or otherwise connected with the conditions of the site whose negligence directly led to the injury
If successful, a third party injury claim can provide compensation for the following types of damages:
- Medical bills, past and future
- Lost wages, including any permanent reduction in earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses, such as travel expenses for medical appointments
- Personal property replacement
- Pain and suffering
- Death benefits: funeral & burial, loss of income, loss of companionship, etc.
A liability claim for personal injury can be filed at the same time as a workers’ compensation claim, but the available damages may be reduced by the proportion of workers’ comp benefits received in connection with the same injury. This reduction in available damages is not always the case, however, so be sure to review your legal strategies in light of the final settlement/benefits value available with the assistance of an experienced attorney.
Common Types of Construction Site Accidents
Some of the most common types of incidents leading to a construction accident are as follows:
- Falls to another level
- Slips and trips on the same level
- Struck by or against objects, including falling objects, moving equipment, materials in transit, etc.
- Electrocution, meaning fatal exposure to high voltage
- Caught in/between incidents, which include collapsing structures, crushing incidents, incidents involving moving equipment, and other scenarios where the victim is squeezed, pinched, or pulled into a compression.
- Motor vehicle accidents both on and off the jobsite.
- Power tool and heavy equipment accidents, often stemming from improper training or a lack of appropriate guarding.
- Fire and explosions stemming from combustible materials and dangerous equipment.
- Amputations, avulsions, and other such injuries resulting from contact with dangerous equipment or a related caught in/between incident.
- Violent assaults by persons or animals.
- Exposure to harmful chemicals, substances, or environments including both acute exposures as well as long-term exposure to substances like asbestos or airborne silica dust.
Many construction accidents tend to inflict devastating or fatal injuries. These include:
- Chemical burns
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Crushing injuries
- Deep puncture wounds or abrasions
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Occupational illness (silicosis, mesothelioma, welder’s lung, etc.)
Work With California Construction Site Injury Lawyers Who Care About Your Rights
Since its founding, Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law has always gone the extra mile to defend the rights of the less fortunate. Many construction accident victims are undocumented or day laborers, which makes construction firms feel as if they can take advantage of these individuals to suppress any injury claims they may file.
Rest assured that you have legal rights to due process, and we will do everything in our power to fight for those rights. Many employers will wrongfully deny workers comp claims or otherwise try to prevent an employee from accessing the benefits they were promised. Just as often, negligent third-parties will attempt to shift or deny blame. Having an attorney at your side means you are able to legally refute these tactics while asserting your own right to seek the maximum amount of compensation available.
We speak English, Spanish, Hindi, and Punjabi to best serve communities across California. Let us help you maximize your chances of obtaining the compensation you need after a construction site accident changes your life.
All of our services are provided at no up-front cost, and your first case review appointment is always free! Schedule your free, confidential, no-obligation case evaluation today when you Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online .