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San Diego Construction Accident Lawyer
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YOUR OPTIONS WHEN INJURED ON A CONSTRUCTION SITE
Every year thousands of construction workers are badly injured in construction related accidents. Whether it’s a falling girder, a broken or defective piece of equipment, or a product or machine without clear, visible warnings, construction workers are constantly exposed to dangerous work environments and can suffer serious injuries.
A construction job site is almost always a dangerous place, even under the best of conditions. When employers neglect safety training and use inferior safety equipment, they place construction workers at an even greater risk for falls, head injuries, and possibly death.
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ARE CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT LAWSUITS COMPLEX?
Yes, as you will see as you continue reading. That’s why you will need experienced representation to best handle your claim. These cases usually require the injured worker to bring claims against contractors, subcontractors, developers, owners, material suppliers, architects, engineers, and insurance companies. And, not surprisingly, each of those parties usually try to avoid responsibility for their wrongful conduct and pass it on to others. These lawsuits also frequently require expert witnesses—both medical and construction industry experts—to show the cause of the accident and the nature and extent of the employee’s injuries. Without experienced and aggressive representation, an injured worker may suffer for years without any compensation before their lawsuit is decided.
COMMON TYPES OF CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT INJURIES
A construction site is a busy place with moving equipment, dangerous tools, and multiple workers doing a variety of tasks. With so many moving parts, there is inherently chaos that company leadership must manage. The failure to properly manage and monitor construction sites can result in a serious accident and a personal injury claim.
Furthermore, the construction industry in California is currently dealing with a workforce shortage. Expansion and an optimistic outlook are driving efforts to recruit and retain workers, but at bottom, the employee shortage represents a potential challenge for worker safety. Extra demands placed on workers, including long hours and additional tasks can lead to accidents.
According to the U.S. Occupational and Safety Administration (OSHA), fatalities and injuries on construction sites are most commonly caused by:
- Falls – Construction accidents are commonly falls due to working on unstable or high-off-the-ground surfaces. A serious fall from a roof can cause broken bones, a traumatic brain injury, or both. A lack of safety gear or defective gear may impose liability on the gear manufacturer and/or the construction company.
- Struck by object – Materials and tools are in constant movement on a construction site. Cranes swing objects suspended in the air and materials sometimes fall from high platforms. When an object strikes a worker, they may suffer severe injuries. Injuries may include traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries.
- Electrocutions – Contact with power lines, faulty extension cords, and improper grounding of equipment can cause electrocution. Electrocution is a shock-related injury. Shock occurs when the current enters the body at one point and leaves at another. An arc flash is a sudden release of electrical energy through the air, giving off heat and intense light that causes burns. Electrocution disrupts brain functioning preventing the brain from receiving adequate oxygen. Electrocutions are almost always fatal.
- Caught-in or -between – OSHA lists a “caught-in or -between” hazard as one of its “fatal four” types of injuries. These types of accidents typically cause catastrophic injuries. A “caught-in or -between” accident occurs when two objects trap a worker, resulting in crushing injuries. Being pulled into machinery or crushed between rolling, sliding, or shifting objects are examples of such an accident.
- Scaffolding collapses
- Burn injuries
- Premises liability
- Machine failures
- Inadequate supervision
- Collapses of walls, columns, or roofs
- Crane accidents
- Open holes without fencing, signage, or other warnings
The resulting injuries are often severe due to the traumatic nature of the event. Examples of possible injuries from a caught-in or -between accident include:
- Internal injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal bleeding
- Broken bones
- Crushed or amputated limbs
- Paralysis or spinal cord injury
- Vision loss
- Hearing damages
- Back and neck injuries
- Loss of mobility; and
- Other permanent disability.
Any of the accidents and incidents above can cause severe, even fatal, injuries to construction workers. When the worst happens, these workers and their families deserve experienced legal representation to help make sure they receive every penny of compensation they need and deserve to help them pay for expenses and get back on their feet.
WHO PAYS THE COSTS OF CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT INJURIES?
Victims of construction accidents in San Diego frequently find themselves thrown into a potentially disastrous life situation. Suddenly, they must contend with painful, debilitating injuries. Many cannot return to work because of those injuries, but need the income their jobs provide to stay afloat. Without help, the construction worker can face financial ruin. Who pays a worker’s expenses resulting from a construction accident injury?
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE
In California, all employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance, even if they have just one employee. Employers, not employees, pay for this insurance. Its purpose is to cover the expenses a worker faces when he or she gets hurt on the job. If a construction accident injures a construction worker, no matter who was at fault, in virtually all cases workers’ compensation insurance should provide coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and (in appropriate cases) temporary and permanent disability.
Note that we said should provide coverage, not will provide coverage. In most of the ways that affect injured construction workers, workers’ comp insurance companies operate like any other insurance; which is to say, they try to nickel-and-dime people out of benefits whenever possible. Injured workers have to report their injuries to their employers immediately, get approved medical care, file claims on time.
That might not seem like much to do, but when a worker is struggling with a serious injury, those tasks can feel difficult. A worker who misses a step, or has a doctor who makes a mistake in filing paperwork, can end up having a claim for much-needed benefits get denied.
Speaking with an experienced San Diego construction accident injury lawyer as soon as possible after a construction accident helps to protect workers against having a claim denied by a workers’ comp carrier.
OTHER SOURCES OF PAYMENT
The trade-off for workers “always” being covered by workers’ comp insurance is that they cannot take legal action against their employer if an injury results from the employer’s careless or reckless (or even intentional) actions. In almost all circumstances, workers’ comp benefits are the only payments a construction worker has a right to receive from an employer after a construction accident.
That does not mean, however, that an injured construction worker has nowhere else to turn to receive payment of expenses resulting from a job site accident. Workers’ comp benefits close off a worker’s right to sue an employer who is at fault for an injury. It does not, however, take away a worker’s right to seek payment from other parties whose actions may have led to the accident and the workers’ injuries.
Who might also have a legal liability to a construction worker for causing an accident that left the worker badly injured (or worse) and unable to return to work temporarily or permanently? The list can include any company or individual you might find, or whose products get used, on the typical construction site, such as:
- Other contractors. The typical construction site hosts workers employed by lots of different employers. If, for example, employees of a cement contractor make errors that injure employees of an electrical contractor, the cement contract may have liability to those injured electricians.
- Equipment manufacturers. Construction workers use heavy equipment all the time. Sometimes, that equipment fails because it is defective, leading to catastrophic injuries. Manufacturers of defective construction equipment may have legal liability to workers injured by their dangerous, defective products.
- Materials suppliers. Similar to equipment manufacturers, suppliers of raw materials and construction materials on a construction job site have an obligation to stand behind the safety and suitability of their products. If a construction worker gets injured because of toxic or unstable materials, the material’s supplier may have liability.
- Engineers and architects. Building professionals create the plans for a construction project; construction workers execute those plans. If a design or engineering professional makes a mistake that costs workers their lives or health, that professional may have legal liability for paying damages to those injured workers.
HOW A SAN DIEGO CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT INJURY LAWYER CAN HELP
In the aftermath of a construction site accident, injured workers and their families often have an idea that they might need a lawyer. They often have less clarity, however, on what a lawyer might be able to do for them.
MAKING SURE SAN DIEGO WORKERS GET THE WORKERS’ COMP BENEFITS THEY DESERVE
Workers’ comp rarely covers all of the expenses that come with a construction accident injury, but it’s a start. That is, assuming the workers’ compensation insurance carrier approves a workers’ claim and pays the full benefits the worker deserves.
In the aftermath of a San Diego construction site accident, an experienced construction accident injury lawyer can help injured workers and their families make sure they seek and obtain the workers’ comp benefits they need and deserve. Having an attorney on your side shows the workers’ comp carrier that you mean business, and that you will not settle for anything less than the full benefits the workers’ compensation insurance policy requires. A personal injury attorney can also help workers and their families avoid mistakes in the workers’ comp claim process that can lead to a costly and frustrating claim denial.
Even if an injured construction worker has already filed a workers’ comp claim, it is not too late to benefit from the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney can help to appeal a claim that has been partially or totally denied. An attorney can also take over communication with the workers’ comp carrier to make sure that wherever the worker is in the claims process, it goes as smoothly as possible from there on out.
FINDING AND PURSUING OTHER SOURCES OF PAYMENT
In addition to helping injured construction workers pursue just and fair workers’ compensation benefits, an experienced San Diego construction accident injury attorney can also explore the facts and circumstances of a workers’ accident and injury to determine whether someone other than the workers’ employer might have legal liability for paying damages.
A third party does not always bear liability for a construction accident. But when it does, an attorney can help an injured construction worker take legal action to seek additional compensation—beyond what is available through workers’ comp—for the workers’ injuries.
The hope in these circumstances is that the third party (or the party’s insurer), be it another contractor, an equipment manufacturer, or someone else, will recognize their role in the accident that injured the worker and offer to pay additional money as a “settlement.” Sometimes, however (particularly in the rough-and-tumble construction industry), parties who caused injuries to a worker will nevertheless fight to avoid having to pay the worker damages. When that happens, a San Diego construction accident attorney should have the skills and resources to take the case to a California court to prove why the injured worker should receive maximum damages.
IMPORTANT STEPS AFTER A SAN DIEGO CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT
If you sustain injuries in a San Diego construction accident, take these important steps to protect your legal rights:
- Notify your employer. Do not hide your injury or assume that if you wait until later to seek medical help that you will have coverage under workers’ comp. You have important legal rights, but they amount to nothing if you do not exercise them by telling your employer that you have sustained an on-the-job injury.
- Seek medical care. Do not wait to seek appropriate medical care. If you are hurt, go to the doctor. Tell the doctor you sustained an injury at a construction site while working. The doctor will know what to do to make sure you receive workers’ compensation benefits.
- Contact an experienced construction accident injury attorney. Get a lawyer involved in your case right away. The sooner you speak with a lawyer, the better your chances of making sure you receive every penny of compensation you deserve for your injuries, whether from workers’ comp or someone else who did you harm.
SAN DIEGO CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT FAQS
Terrible accidents commonly take place on construction sites. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), one in five worker deaths in a 12-month period happened within the construction industry. If you experienced a traumatic construction accident due to negligence, contact us. Gomez Trial Attorneys provides a free case evaluation that addresses the following types of frequently asked questions when it comes to construction accidents and possible compensation:
WHAT TYPES OF NEGLIGENCE OCCUR ON A CONSTRUCTION SITE?
Construction sites are busy places with moving equipment and various projects. An accident can occur in a second, resulting in serious harm for the injured construction worker.
OSHA gears its training, regulations, and oversight to protecting construction site workers from harm.
Among the most common violations found by the administration are:
- Falls due to violations in scaffolding, ladder, and other equipment regulations
- Safety violations involving machinery
- Lack of or improper eye and face protection
These are a few examples of the types of safety hazards that can result in a serious injury. If you experienced a life-altering injury while on a construction job site due to defective equipment, a careless coworker, or other related reason, contact Gomez Trial Attorneys.
A team member can investigate your accident to determine if more than one party may be liable for your damages. Our team believes in providing our clients with customer service that is respectful and caring.
A construction site injury is a serious matter that can end your career. If this happened to you, contact us as soon as possible.
WHAT ARE COMMON TYPES OF SAN DIEGO CONSTRUCTION SITE INJURIES?
Traumatic construction site injuries are sometimes catastrophic and always costly when it comes to medical care. A fall from a ladder or scaffolding, a machinery accident, or other incidents can cause you to suffer physical, emotional, and psychological pain.
The following injuries can occur in an instant on a construction site:
- Neck and back injury: A fall can result in a neck or back injury that impacts your ability to turn, twist, stand, lift, or walk.
- Brain injury: A bump, blow, jolt, or penetrating head injury can result in a severe brain injury that impacts normal brain function.
- Spinal cord injury: A spinal cord injury, which can be classified as either complete or incomplete, can impact movement and sensation below the point of injury.
- Internal injury: Internal bleeding or other injury types that show no outward signs or symptoms can result in organ damage if left untreated.
Changes in personality, ability to process thoughts, and capacity to experience sensation are among the more common traumatic brain injury outcomes. Patients with a spinal cord injury must adjust to home modifications and other changes to their daily lives. No matter the serious injury you experienced, you should not have to pay for all of the medical bills resulting from another person’s negligence.
A serious injury sometimes results in a lifetime of medical costs. Caring for a loved one who has been severely injured in a construction site accident is difficult, as you may witness many changes a serious injury can cause. The accident that caused the injury could have been prevented had the construction equipment not failed or had the site manager not disregarded OSHA safety regulations.
WHY IS AN INSURANCE ADJUSTER PRESSURING ME TO ACCEPT A SETTLEMENT?
An insurance adjuster representing those responsible for your accident may contact you. The adjuster will likely want you to settle with them without a lawyer by your side. This is intentional and not necessarily in your best interests.
The settlement offer they extend to you may seem like a large sum as you face growing medical bills. Your inability to work can make you anxious about paying for your basic needs, much less the medical costs that accumulate.
Do not be persuaded by an insurance adjuster who seems friendly and eager to help you. As a for-profit business, many insurance companies want to save money by offering accident victims the least amount possible.
The insurance adjuster knows that if you accept the offer, you cannot return for additional funds later. This means the amount you accept is an amount that must cover your current and future medical needs.
Protecting your best interests is where Gomez Trial Attorneys can help you. We are familiar with how insurance adjusters operate when it comes to accident settlements.
Many of our San Diego construction accident claims and lawsuits settle without us ever stepping into a courtroom. But as trial attorneys, we prepare each case for a possible trial. If we must, we will move forward if a trial provides the best possibility for pursuing justice for you.
If an insurance adjuster pressures you to accept a settlement, hire us to represent you. You can then refer insurance companies to us. This can eliminate one source of stress you do not need as you recover from your construction site accident.
HOW CAN I HELP MY SAN DIEGO CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT CASE?
There are several ways you can help your lawyer with your case. Providing them with a statement of what you remember, if possible, can help them learn more about the accident. It is unlikely that law enforcement reported to the accident scene. This makes your ability to recall the accident important for piecing together what took place.
The names and contact information for witnesses, such as coworkers, are also helpful. Your lawyer may want to interview them. Only your lawyer should discuss your accident with them. Your coworkers may also be your friends, making it difficult not to talk about your injury with them. However, the less you say is better for your claim and lawsuit, as an insurance company may use what you say against you.
Accident scene photos and your medical records are additional forms of evidence that may help your case. Gomez Trial Attorneys can carefully examine all evidence to determine the best approach for your case.
If your injuries are too severe for you to assist in your case, do not worry. We can find the information we need to build a strong compensation case. Our goal is to protect your best interests so that you can focus on your recovery.
WHAT TYPES OF COMPENSATION ARE POSSIBLE?
It is impossible to determine the amount of damages you may recover. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we understand that accident victims seek a quick fix to the serious financial hardship they experience. While we work diligently, we will not stop until we secure the best outcome possible.
The types of compensation we typically pursue in San Diego construction accident claims and lawsuits include:
- Medical expenses: Medical costs include such fees as those relating to the trauma center, hospital, doctors’ office visits, labs, tests, and more.
- Ongoing medical expenses: rehabilitation, therapies, prescription medications, and other continuous costs.
- Lost income: wages lost due to recovery.
- Potential future earnings: income lost due to the inability to ever work in the construction industry again.
- Pain and suffering: the mental anguish associated with the accident and injury.
Each case is different. Success is never guaranteed when it comes to compensation. If you experienced a devastating construction site injury and want help pursuing justice, contact Gomez Trial Attorneys without delay.
WHY MUST I HURRY TO CONTACT A SAN DIEGO CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT LAWYER?
The civil process seems to take forever as you wait to hear if you receive a settlement or jury award. To start the process, you must act quickly due to the statute of limitations. It is a specific deadline for filing your civil lawsuit.
California law requires accident victims to file a San Diego construction accident lawsuit within two years. Twenty-four months seems like a long time; however, putting off a call to a lawyer can cost you your chance at compensation. If two years pass without filing your lawsuit, you generally have no further chance for legal action.
Witness memories can fade, important evidence can become lost, and other issues may occur that make a case difficult as time goes by. To not prolong civil litigation, the courts require that lawsuits reach the court within the statute of limitations.
Your world turns upside down when you experience a sudden and severe injury. Numerous doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals surround you as you struggle to understand what went wrong. The clock for filing your civil action begins to tick the moment you suffer the injury.
Take the important first step toward holding those responsible for your harm accountable for their actions. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys and let us handle the legal details of your case.
CAN I SUE FOR A LOVED ONE’S DEATH?
If your loved one suffered a fatal injury on a construction job site, a wrongful death claim and lawsuit may be possible. To qualify, you must prove you had a close relationship with the decedent. The types of relationships required generally include a surviving spouse, parents, or children. A lawyer from our team can determine if you qualify for civil action.
Losing a loved one in such a tragic manner can leave you confused and frightened for your future. The financial impact of such an event can affect your ability to pay household bills and expenses associated with their death.
Preparing a funeral or memorial service for your loved one is emotionally difficult. It is no time for aggressive insurance adjusters to contact you regarding a possible settlement. If they contact you, refer them to your lawyer.
The types of damages generally covered in a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Loss of companionship: The level of closeness to a loved one
- Lost wages and future earnings: The income possible had the loved one survived
- Final medical expenses for the loved one
- Funeral and burial costs
The impact of a sudden loss on your life is hard to measure in monetary terms.
If your case succeeds, pursuing compensation for wrongful death:
- Helps with expenses
- Can serve as a form of justice
- May prevent the same tragedy from happening again
A high emotional state may cause you to accept less than you deserve. Protect your best interests during your time of mourning. Let the team at Gomez Trial Attorneys get to work seeking justice on behalf of you and your loved one.
GOMEZ TRIAL ATTORNEYS: HELPING SAN DIEGO CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT VICTIMS
Construction sites are dangerous places that demand strict adherence to important safety regulations. Site managers who cut corners to save time and money place workers at risk for serious injury and possible death.
Moving equipment, scaffolding, and unsafe gear can result in disaster for construction workers. Failure to use caution and protect workers from harm demands accountability.
You may feel overwhelmed by your situation. Take comfort in knowing you are not alone. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we are not afraid of large construction and large insurance companies. Our experience in representing the injured and family members of fatal accident victims is demonstrated by our case results.
If you suffered serious harm in a San Diego construction site accident—or lost a loved one—we want to help. No one case is alike, and our past case results do not guarantee or predict your case’s outcome. We will commit our best effort to secure justice for your accident injuries.
We work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you do not owe attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. There is no deposit or retainer required, making our services more affordable.
Using care on a construction site is imperative. One small act of negligence can forever impact a construction worker’s life. Pursuing justice for your damages is a right under California law. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today for help with your San Diego construction accident case.
YOUR SAN DIEGO CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT INJURY ATTORNEY
The experienced construction accident injury attorneys at Gomez Trial Attorneys have the know-how and resources to make sure construction workers injured on-the-job receive the compensation the law demands, whether from workers’ comp or from other parties whose actions caused a jobsite tragedy. Do not wait to contact them after a construction site accident causes devastation in your life. You deserve quality legal representation, and the sooner you contact a San Diego construction accident lawyer, the better your chances of protecting your rights.
Schedule a free and confidential case evaluation with our team today by calling (619) 237-3490 or contacting us online. Although every case is different and there are no guarantees, you may be entitled to substantial compensation resulting from your injury. Let us review your case for free today.
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