Have You Been Injured While Working on a Construction Site? We Can Help
There’s no question that the construction business is risky, with heavy machinery, dangerous tools, poisonous chemicals, and dizzying heights. Fortunately, the California workers’ compensation system protects the majority of construction employees who are injured on the job. When workers’ compensation rules do not apply, injured construction workers may be able to collect damages through a third-party personal injury lawsuit.
If you are in need of a workers’ compensation attorney we invite you to reach out to DLC Law at (626) 285-8815 to speak to a Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist by the State Bar of California.
More than 20% of all fatal work accidents are in the construction industry
The construction sector accounts for more than one-fifth of all worker deaths in the United States. More than half of construction worker deaths are caused by four risks, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The “fatal four dangers,” as they’re known, include:
- Being struck by something
- Getting tangled up in or between pieces of equipment
According to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, during the course of a 45-year career, a construction worker has a 75% risk of suffering a debilitating injury and a 1 in 200 chance of dying on the job.
The following are examples of non-fatal construction-related injuries:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fractured bones
- Eye injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Lung disease
- Spinal cord injuries
Of course, this is just a partial list of the injuries a construction worker could experience.
Construction workers in California who have been harmed have legal recourse
If you are hurt in a construction accident, you may face a long recuperation time and a mountain of medical costs. Fortunately, by submitting a workers’ compensation claim or a third-party lawsuit, injured construction workers may get compensation for their injuries.
Making a claim for workers’ compensation
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that makes payments to employees who are injured while doing their job. Workers’ compensation insurance is required in California for all companies with at least one employee.
The following benefits may be offered to injured workers under California’s workers’ compensation laws:
- Medical expenses. Doctor visits, testing, medications, and physical therapy are all covered medical expenses.
- Temporary disability. If your accident prohibits you from working while you recuperate, you may be entitled to cash compensation.
- Permanent disability. You may be entitled to financial compensation if you do not recover entirely, regardless of how much therapy you receive.
- Benefits for job displacement that aren’t covered by the regular unemployment insurance. If you’re qualified for permanent disability payments, your employer doesn’t offer you a job, and you don’t return to work for your employer, you may be eligible for a voucher to assist in paying for retraining or skill improvement.
- Death benefits. Dependents of a construction worker who died as a consequence of an on-the-job accident may be eligible for death benefits, which include weekly monetary compensation and money for burial costs.
One of the most significant advantages of making a workers’ compensation claim is that you don’t have to establish that your employer (or anybody else) is at fault in order to obtain benefits. All you have to do is show that:
- The injury happened while performing a duty for the benefit of your employer.
Bringing a lawsuit on behalf of a third party
If you’re hurt by a third party (not your employer or coworker), you can usually file a workers’ compensation claim as well as a separate third-party personal injury lawsuit against the person or entity who caused your injury.
Filing a third-party lawsuit and winning it are two distinct things. California is a “no-fault” state when it comes to workers’ compensation. This means that you can make a workers’ compensation claim and obtain benefits without having to show that your employer was negligent. When it comes to bringing a third-party lawsuit, however, there are additional rules.
In order to win a third-party case, you must show that the third party was negligent. This entails demonstrating that:
- A duty of care was owed to you by a third party
- That third party did not follow through on that duty of care
- Their breach led to an injury
- The injury caused damages
What to do if you’ve been hurt in a construction accident in California
In California, you must notify your employer of your injury as soon as possible. You must also submit a completed Workers’ Compensation Claim Form to your employer within one year of the date of the injury.
If you’re suing a third party for carelessness, you usually have two years from the date of the harm to file a lawsuit.
Workers’ compensation applications are frequently denied, and construction workers are frequently paid less than they believe they deserve. Consult a California workers’ compensation attorney if you don’t believe you’re being fairly paid for your injuries. An expert attorney can assist you in getting your claim on track so you may concentrate on your recovery. Reach out to DLC Law at (626) 285-8815 to get started.