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San Diego Construction Accident Attorney

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.

Number1Award2019If you are a San Diego construction worker injured in a construction related accident, please give us a call at (619) 237-3490. Don’t face losing your job, suffering permanent disabilities, and incurring a lifetime of medical treatment alone. We are committed to helping you and your family recover just and fair compensation and getting you back to work. Our firm has extensive experience in these type of cases, and our personal injury attorneys and staff will help walk you through the process. We are dedicated to getting you the best result possible. Contact a San Diego personal injury attorney today at Gomez Trial Attorneys.

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:

  • FallsConstruction 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
  • Explosions
  • 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

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. An 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.

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 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.

655 West Broadway, Suite 1700
San Diego, CA 92101
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