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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.

San Diego Construction Accident FAQs

From multifamily buildings going up in Kearny Mesa to laying foundations for laboratories in the new San Diego Research and Development District and city street improvement projects in the Gaslamp Quarter, construction happens all over San Diego every day.

Construction is a vital engine for the San Diego economy. It’s also a dangerous industry to work in and to be around. Construction accidents account for a disproportionate number of workplace injuries nationwide, including right here in Southern California. Victims of those accidents, consisting mostly of workers but also sometimes including bystanders, suffer catastrophic and fatal injuries that devastate their lives and the lives of their families.

The Gomez Trial Attorneys law firm represents individuals harmed by San Diego construction accidents in seeking compensation for their injuries and financial losses. Below, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from clients and potential clients about San Diego construction accident injuries.

To learn more about your rights, contact our experienced team of construction accident injury lawyers online or call our San Diego offices today.

Who can seek compensation for injuries in a San Diego construction accident?

Anyone who was injured in an accident can seek compensation for their injuries.

It does not matter if you were a construction worker on a construction project, a visitor on a construction site, or merely a passerby or bystander. If you got hurt in connection with a San Diego construction accident, then chances are you have the right to seek some form of compensation for your injuries and losses.

As an injured worker, you have rights no matter what your employment or immigration status. Full-time, part-time, and day workers all deserve to receive compensation for their injuries. So do foreign workers, no matter if they are in the country legally or illegally.

For confidential answers to questions you may have about whether you are eligible to seek compensation for construction accident injuries in San Diego, contact us at Gomez Trial Attorneys today. Se habla Español.

What compensation can I get as an injured San Diego construction worker?

At a minimum, as a worker who got hurt in a San Diego construction accident, you have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Workers’ compensation (or simply “workers’ comp”) is a form of insurance that your employer must provide for you as a San Diego construction worker. Your employer pays for this insurance, and it covers you no matter how many hours you work or, as mentioned above, your immigration or work visa status.

Workers’ comp provides three core benefits for injured workers and for the families of workers who tragically die in San Diego construction accidents:

  • It pays for medical care to treat accident-related injuries and health conditions;
  • It pays temporary or permanent disability benefits that replace part of the wages you lose when an injury keeps you out of work; and
  • It pays death benefits to replace the wages of a worker killed in a construction accident.

To get these benefits, you must file a claim. Usually, this happens when you seek medical treatment for a work-related injury.

In addition to workers’ comp benefits, as an injured construction worker, you may also have the right to seek compensation by filing a lawsuit against someone other than your employer or a co-worker (see below). In that sort of third-party lawsuit, you may have the right to obtain extra compensation that workers’ comp does not pay.

At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we can help you explore whether you may have the right to seek compensation through a third-party claim.

What compensation can I get for San Diego construction accident injuries if I sue for damages?

If you suffered injuries in a San Diego construction accident and you were either:

  • Not a construction worker at the time; or
  • A construction worker in an accident resulting from the dangerous actions of a third-party (someone other than your employer or coworker),

Then you likely have the right to seek compensation by filing a lawsuit against the party at fault for causing the accident, and/or against anyone else who has a legal obligation to answer for the at-fault party’s actions.

The amount of compensation you may receive depends on the particular facts and circumstances of your case. However, in general, injured San Diego construction accident victims can seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages, also called special damages, include:

  • Past medical expenses incurred because of the accident.
  • Estimated future medical expenses to treat accident injuries and related health complications.
  • Wages lost through missing work due to a construction accident injury.
  • Future wages and income likely to be lost because of an injury-related disability.
  • Replacement or repair of destroyed or damaged personal property.
  • Funeral, burial, and/or cremation expenses in the event of fatal injuries.

Non-economic damages, also called general damages, include:

  • Pain and suffering, including emotional distress.
  • Harm to personal relationships.
  • Loss of quality of life.
  • Loss of use of a body part or a bodily function.
  • Amputation.
  • Scarring and disfigurement.

In addition, the circumstances of some San Diego construction accidents may entitle victims to seek punitive (or exemplary) damages that aim to punish and deter extreme conduct on the part of the party at fault.

Who pays my damages if I am injured in a San Diego construction accident?

It depends on your role on the construction site and how the accident happened.

As discussed above, injured San Diego construction workers can usually receive payments from their employers’ workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Workers receive these benefits instead of suing their employers or coworkers.

Subject to that exception, you may have the right to sue anyone whose wrongful, dangerous decisions or conduct caused the construction accident that left you or a loved one injured. Every case has unique facts that determine whether another party, other than your employer or coworkers, may be held liable for your injuries.

However, in general, parties liable for a San Diego construction accident could include:

  • Owners of property where a construction accident happened, in the event an unreasonably dangerous property condition played a role in its cause;
  • Construction managers and contractors, if their actions contributed to the cause of an accident;
  • Architects and engineers whose faulty designs or workmanship contributed to the cause of a construction accident; and
  • Manufacturers of construction equipment, materials, or supplies—especially safety equipment—if defects in their products posed an unreasonable hazard to the safety of workers and others.

These are only examples. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we treat every San Diego construction accident as a unique event. We identify all parties who may potentially owe damages to our injured clients, and then pursue those parties who can pay damages.

What types of construction accidents does Gomez Trial Attorneys handle?

Any kind that involves an injury to a worker and/or unreasonably dangerous conditions, decisions, or conduct on a San Diego construction site.

Examples include:

  • Falls from high heights;
  • Being struck by falling objects or debris;
  • Being crushed under or between building material or equipment;
  • Electrocution, often related to accidentally severing buried power lines or coming into contact with overhead lines;
  • Falls involving unsafe worksite conditions, such as void spaces, or unreasonable amounts of debris underfoot;
  • Scaffolding collapses;
  • Structural failure;
  • Trench cave-ins;
  • Explosions and fires;
  • Runaway or defective equipment;
  • Use of equipment in dangerous conditions, such as high wind or during electrical storms; and
  • Accidental exposure to toxic substances or materials.

What kinds of construction injuries do your San Diego construction accident lawyers handle?

As with types of accidents, the team at Gomez Trial Attorneys can help San Diego construction accident victims obtain compensation for virtually any kind of injury that might happen on or near a construction site. We have extensive familiarity with the medical and practical issues surrounding a wide variety of severe and catastrophic injuries.

Common injuries our clients have suffered include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries that cause loss of consciousness and long-term cognitive, emotional, or motor impairments;
  • Spinal cord injuries resulting in loss of sensation and paralysis;
  • Traumatic amputations and crush injuries that deprive victims of the use of limbs and appendages;
  • Burns caused by electrocution, fires and explosions, and chemical exposures;
  • Fractures and orthopedic injuries to joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons; and
  • Back, neck, and shoulder injuries that leave victims in chronic pain and unable to work.

These are only some examples of the types of injuries our team can handle. Ask an experienced construction accident lawyer from Gomez Trial Attorneys today about the injuries you or a loved one suffered in a San Diego construction accident.

I’m worried I’ll lose my job or face other consequences if I seek compensation for my San Diego construction accident injuries. What should I do?

Talk to a lawyer from Gomez Trial Attorneys right away about your concerns. A consultation with our team is free, 100 percent confidential, and does not obligate you to hire us or to take any legal action. We will not tell anyone what you say to us without your permission.

You may have additional legal rights if your employer has given you a reason to believe you will face consequences for seeking compensation. It is illegal in California for an employer to threaten, intimidate, or punish workers who file claims for workers’ compensation benefits. You may have the right to receive additional compensation from your employer if that has happened.

A contractor on the San Diego construction site offered to pay me directly for my injuries if I don’t sue or file a workers’ comp claim. Should I take the money?

No.

Taking money directly from someone involved in the construction accident, especially if it’s in exchange for not suing or filing a workers’ comp claim, is potentially illegal. At a minimum, it will harm your legal rights to receive the compensation you deserve.

Almost always, anyone who offers you money directly after you get hurt in a construction accident does so to avoid legal liability to you and others. The money they offer will rarely, if ever, come close to the amount you deserve for your injuries.

The team at Gomez Trial Attorneys understands how tempting it may seem to accept a quick payment. However, we strongly urge you to instead call our team to learn about your rights and options. Chances are you have the right to obtain far more money than someone has offered you.

I’m worried about my employer’s refusal to address unsafe conditions at my San Diego construction worksite. What should I do?

Construction companies must abide by safety rules designed to ensure that their workers stay safe on the job. They must, for example, supply workers with safety equipment, such as harnesses and helmets.

San Diego construction workers can report unsafe work conditions to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), which regulates workplace safety throughout the state.

You may also want to speak with a member of the team at Gomez Trial Attorneys about your concerns. You may have legal rights to compensation if your employer knowingly puts you and your fellow workers in danger by refusing to take reasonable steps to protect you from unsafe conditions.

How much does it cost to hire Gomez Trial Attorneys for my San Diego construction accident case?

As we’ve mentioned, an initial case consultation with a member of our team is free, confidential, and does not obligate you to anything.

If, aftr we meet, you and we decide that Gomez Trial Attorneys can help you pursue compensation for your injuries and losses, we would take the case on a contingent fee basis. That’s an arrangement in which we only receive payment for our work on your behalf if we succeed in securing money for you. If you don’t get paid, then we don’t get paid.

Never let your financial worries keep you from discussing your San Diego construction accident with an experienced attorney. We work hard to make sure our services are affordable for everyone who needs them.

Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys Today

You deserve compensation for the injuries you suffered on a San Diego construction site. A skilled construction accident injury lawyer can help.

For a free, confidential consultation, contact Gomez Trial Attorneys’ San Diego office at any time.

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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