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Solana Beach depends on construction workers to provide new homes, businesses, and attractions throughout the community. However, these workers are also dramatically more likely to suffer a workplace injury or fatality than workers in other industries.
If you or someone you love suffered a construction workplace injury in Solana Beach or the surrounding area, it is important to act quickly to ensure you recover for your injuries. Contact the Solana Beach Construction Accident Lawyers at The Gomez Trial Attorneys today at (619) 237-3490 or at our website for a free consultation regarding your workplace injury case.
The Gomez Trial Attorneys law firm is one of the best-known in the greater Solana Beach area, collecting more than $550 million in settlements and awards for clients over the last 20 years. The firm’s attorneys have proven their skills in trial practice—and many have received awards of Trial Lawyer of the Year or Outstanding Trial Lawyer. The firm brings its extensive resources to each client’s case, which is how the lawyers have secured more than 125 awards of more than $1 million on behalf of clients.
On average, more than 10 million U.S. workers are employed in the construction industry each year. More than 20 percent of fatal work injuries in the private sector in one recent year were in the construction industry, meaning that one in five worker deaths were in construction that year. Data shows that approximately three out of every 100 construction workers will suffer from a work-related illness or injury. The most common causes of construction injuries are falls, being struck by an object, electrocution, and being caught-in or compressed by equipment, objects, or structures.
Injuries that occur at work are handled differently from other personal injury claims. The majority of work injuries are compensated through state-specific workers’ compensation programs. If, however, the individual was an independent contractor exempt from worker’s comp, or a party other than the employer is at fault, the injured worker might recover outside the workers’ compensation system.
Workers’ compensation is a system of compensation for injuries received while at work. Each state operates its own system, with its own processes and benefits. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning that the worker does not need to prove the employer acted negligently. The system provides a more limited recovery than a lawsuit, however, because it does not compensate for non-economic injuries like emotional distress.
The Department of Industrial Relations manages the California workers’ compensation system. Navigating the workers’ compensation system can be complicated.
If you are a construction worker who was injured at work, make sure to:
If the insurance company deems that they qualify, injured employers will receive the following benefits through workers’ compensation:
Workers’ compensation is a complicated system, and it may leave you with questions, including:
If you are limited to recovery through workers’ compensation, it is important to ensure you take the process seriously and get all your questions answered. An attorney can help you file all the appropriate paperwork, communicate with your employer and the insurance provider, contest any decisions, and advocate for the maximum recovery on your behalf.
Solana Beach employers’ obligations to employees and independent contractors are very different. One important difference is that independent contractors are not covered or restricted by workers’ compensation for workplace injuries. Whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor has been an area of much debate in California, with new legislation broadening the scope of employees.
The “ABC test“ determines whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor.
A worker is only considered an independent contractor if:
The California laws become even more complicated for certain professions, including certain construction workers. An additional test, called the Borello test, is applied instead of the ABC test for certain professions. The Borello test has many additional factors to consider in the analysis. The Borello test may apply for certain individuals performing work under a subcontract in the construction industry.
A determination that you are an employee or independent contractor can have serious implications on your recovery for a work injury. If you are concerned there is not sufficient evidence of fault, it may be a benefit to be an employee because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. If you have suffered damages in addition to economic damages, an independent contractor has the opportunity to recover for non-economic damages without the restraints of the workers’ compensation system. Work with an attorney to determine if you should pursue an argument that you are an independent contractor.
Your employer may not be responsible for your injury. Be sure to analyze whether any other party acted negligently or intentionally in a way that caused or contributed to your accident. This is particularly important for work-related injuries because a civil claim against another party allows you to recover damages that are not included through workers’ compensation.
Other parties to consider after suffering a construction-related work injury include:
If the victim was an independent contractor or if a third party was responsible for the injury, the injured worker can seek recovery for medical expenses and lost wages, similar to workers’ compensation.
A civil claim, however, also allows the victim to pursue the following damages:
If you pursue a claim outside the workers’ compensation system, a Solana Beach attorney can work with you to ensure that all appropriate damages are included in your recovery demand. If necessary, they will also employ experts to provide additional analysis where required such as an economist or medical expert. The defendant and insurer will likely dispute any damages claim and are likely to extend a low settlement offer in hopes of making the matter disappear quickly and cheaply; your attorney will review any settlement offer to ensure you are not settling for an amount significantly less than the strength of your case demands.
The timeline for pursuing recovery outside of workers’ compensation is generally two years from the date of injury. Do not delay in filing, because the defendant and their insurer will be looking for any opportunity to deny payment.
If you are a construction worker injured on the job, contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today to learn more about their services and how they support clients in and around Solana Beach. Our attorneys are committed to achieving extraordinary results for ordinary people. We bring our deep experience and vast resources to every case we handle, allowing us to pursue the best results possible.
In addition to skill, our Solana Beach personal injury lawyers also approach each client and each case with compassion. We work to understand the unique details and hardships of each client and stand beside you to advocate for the full justice you deserve. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys or call us at (619) 237-3490 today to schedule a free case consultation.
No Fees Unless We Recover Money On Your Behalf