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Los Angeles Construction Accident Lawyer

Construction work is inherently hazardous. Construction workers must constantly work with things like heavy machinery, chemicals, heights, moving objects, scaffolds, and electricity. While the government heavily regulates construction work in an attempt to increase worker safety, accidents can happen at a construction site regardless. And whether they occur due to negligence, malice, or simply due to a freak accident, construction accidents can have severe consequences. The dangerous conditions present at a construction site mean that construction accidents can easily lead to catastrophic injuries or death.

When a construction worker is injured on the job, workers compensation will typically cover the cost of their injuries and lost wages. However, in some cases, construction workers may also be able to take advantage of another option that can help them recover compensation for their injuries: a third-party personal injury lawsuit. Receiving workers compensation generally means that a worker cannot sue their employer. But a worker is still legally entitled to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against any third parties that contributed to their accident.

If a person who is not employed by a construction company, such a pedestrian, is injured in a construction accident, they may also be entitled to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. In this case, the accident victim would be able to pursue damages from any potentially responsible party, including the construction company and any relevant third parties.

If you or a loved one was injured in a construction site accident, contact LA Lawyers Group to receive a free case evaluation. Our Los Angeles construction accident attorneys have extensive experience representing construction site accident victims, including both construction workers and bystanders. The team at our law firm has an expert understanding of how the unique circumstances that factor into a construction accident can affect an individual’s case. Our lawyers are dedicated to investigating every element of a construction accident in order to maximize the damages we recover for our clients.

Note that our personal injury attorney services, including our construction accident attorney services, are always offered on a contingency fee basis. You will never have to pay a fee until we win or settle your case.

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Los Angeles Construction Accident Lawyer

Workers Compensation or Personal Injury Compensation?

California has a no-fault workers compensation system that’s designed to benefit both employers and workers. When a worker is injured on the job, California’s workers compensation insurance allows them to quickly and easily receive compensation for their injuries without having to prove negligence. But when a worker accepts workers compensation benefits, they also give up the right to sue their employer or any co-employees. The fact that a worker gets compensation for their injuries quickly and easily is a benefit for them, while the fact that a worker cannot sue their employer for their injuries is a benefit for the employer. 

So, in California, accepting workers compensation generally means you cannot file a lawsuit against your employer or any coworkers. However, this doesn’t necessarily take a personal injury claim or lawsuit completely off the table. If your injury was caused by a third party (meaning, by anyone other than your employer or co-employees), you may be able file a separate lawsuit against that third party. 

Some common examples of situations in which a third party personal injury lawsuit could be appropriate include: 

  • When an employee is injured at work due to a defective product, such as a defective piece of construction equipment. 
  • When an employee is injured at work due to dangerous conditions at their workplace property. 
  • When an outside motor vehicle is involved in an accident that injures an employee while they are at work. 

If a third party’s negligence or harmful actions contributed to a construction accident victim’s injuries, pursuing a personal injury case can allow the victim to obtain substantially more compensation they could through workers compensation. Whether or not a third-party personal injury case would be advantageous in your situation depends on the unique circumstances involved in your case. If you’ve been injured in a construction accident and you think a third party could possibly be responsible for your injuries, contact LA Lawyers Group. Our expert construction accident attorneys can help you better understand your situation and work to protect your best interests.

How to get damages for construction accidents

Examples of Defendants in Third-Party Construction Accident Cases

Modern day construction sites are complex operations that often involve numerous companies outside the construction company itself. As such, many people could potentially be held legally liable for a construction industry accident. Some example of potential defendants in a third-party construction accident case include: 

  • Equipment Manufacturers
  • Equipment Suppliers
  • Property Owners
  • Contractors or Subcontractors
  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • City or Government Agencies

When discussing defendants in a personal injury case, it's important to point out that California is a pure comparative negligence state. In essence, this means that more than one party can be found legally liable for an accident in California. When multiple parties are found to be responsible for an accident, liability will be assigned in percentages based on how much each party’s actions contributed to the accident. So, this means that the defendants in a third-party construction accident lawsuit could be a variety of parties, not just one sole person or entity. It also means that accident victims who are partially, but not entirely at fault for their injuries could still pursue damages through a personal injury claim or lawsuit. This damages would just be reduced proportionate to the victim’s percentage of fault.

Los Angeles Construction Accident Lawsuit

Non-Worker Construction Accident Injuries

While the majority of construction accidents involve employees, other people can also be harmed in construction accidents. For example, a pedestrian walking on a city sidewalk could be struck by a heavy object that falls from a construction scaffold. Another example would be if a motor vehicle driver got into a car accident because a construction crew placed barriers improperly. 

When someone who is not a construction company employee is injured due to unsafe conditions at a construction site, that individual is not subject to the same restrictions an employee that accepted workers compensation would be. A non-worker construction accident victim is free to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against any potentially liable party, including a construction company, in order to pursue damages for the losses they’ve incurred due to their injury.

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Damages Available in a Construction Accident Personal Injury Case

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Construction accident injury victims may be able to pursue a wide range of damages from the party that is liable for their injury. In California, two categories of compensatory damages may be available in a personal injury case: economic compensatory damages and non-economic compensatory damages.

Some examples of economic compensatory damages include:

  • Past and Future Medical Care
  • Physical Therapy
  • Lost Wages
  • Lost Future Income
  • Property Damage

Some examples of non-economic compensatory damages include:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Notably, some of the damages listed above are not available through workers compensation. Workers compensation benefits can cover medical bills, lost wages, and/or permanent impairment. California workers compensation does not include compensation for non economic damages such as pain and suffering or disfigurement. A third-party personal injury claim or lawsuit can allow injured workers to be fairly compensated for these devastating types of losses.

Common Causes of Construction Accidents

Common Causes of Construction Accidents

Around one in every five worker deaths happen in construction. The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified the four types of construction accidents that are responsible for more than half of the construction deaths in the United States. These types of accidents, dubbed the Fatal Four by OSHA, are:

  • Caught-In/Between 
  • Electrocutions
  • Falls
  • Struck by Object

The category “caught-in/between” includes accidents in which a construction worker is killed when they are caught in or between equipment. 

The Fatal Four are the top causes of fatal worker accidents on construction sites. Other common types of construction accidents (fatal and non-fatal) include: 

  • Burn Accidents
  • Car Accidents
  • Chemical Spills
  • Crane Accidents
  • Explosions
  • Falling Objects 
  • Forklift Accidents 
  • Ladder Accidents 
  • Lead Poisoning
  • Scaffolding Accidents
  • Slips, Trips, and Falls 
  • Toxin Exposure
  • Trench Collapses
  • Truck Accidents

Note that some types of construction hazards, such as explosions, instantly injure a person. Other types of construction hazards, however, may slowly cause damage over time. For example, a construction worker may get a respiratory disease after years of exposure to airborne irritants or toxins.

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Common Non-Fatal Construction Accident Injuries

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According to research conducted by the Center for Construction Research and Training, a construction worker with a 45 year career has a 1 in 200 chance of being fatally injured at work. Over this same career length, a construction worker has a 75% chance of sustaining a disabling injury at work. The high risk of death, serious injury, and permanent disability faced by construction workers on the job makes it one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. 

Serious at-work injuries are much more common among construction workers than they are at most workplaces. Some examples of the most common types of construction site injuries include:

  • Amputations
  • Back Injuries
  • Broken Bones
  • Eye Injuries 
  • Hearing Loss
  • Heat Stroke or Overexertion
  • Knee or Ankle Injury
  • Lead Poisoning
  • Neck Injuries
  • Repetitive Motion Injuries
  • Respiratory Diseases, Such As:
    • Asthma
    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
    • Lung Cancer
    • Silicosis 
  • Shoulder Injuries
  • Spinal Cord Injuries 
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
How long do you have to file a contruction accident lawsuit?

How Long Do You Have to File a Construction Accident Lawsuit?

Generally, a person has two years from the date of their accident to file a personal injury lawsuit in the State of California. However, there can be exceptions to this rule, such as in the case of a government entity’s involvement. If a government entity is involved in an accident, a plaintiff only has six months to file a personal injury lawsuit.

While an accident victim may have months or years to file an injury claim or sue, we generally advise against waiting for a long period of time to take legal action after a construction accident. When you seek legal counsel quickly, your attorney may be able to help you investigate the accident much more thoroughly and preserve valuable evidence that could greatly help your case in the long run.

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Get Help From a Los Angeles Construction Accident Law Firm

If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident in Southern California, contact LA Lawyers Group to receive a free case evaluation from one of our expert construction accident attorneys. The attorneys at our law firm have extensive experience handling construction accident cases and fight diligently for the rights of our clients. The personal injury attorneys at our Los Angeles office have successfully settled and won cases for accident victims from across Southern California, including those from Glendale, Burbank, Beverly Hills, East LA, Pasadena, Riverside, and Ontario.

Call our personal injury law firm today at (213)LAWYERS (529-9377) to receive your free consultation with one of our Los Angeles construction accident lawyers.

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Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
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