The last few years have experienced a growing demand for the construction of new homes, apartments, and a resurgence in remodeling of existing homes. Unfortunately the rise in new home building in Los Angeles and across the state of California has resulting in an increase in construction related accidents. There are numerous hazards on construction sites which have the potential to cause accidents resulting in catastrophic injuries to crew members. Common causes of construction related accident include, defect in construction equipment and machinery, improper inspection of the premises before commencement of work, live exposes electrical lines, roof and floor collapse, crane accidents, falls from high places and welding accidents. Employers and managers of construction site owe a duty to keep a construction site safe for workers. Frequent OSHA violations are a common cause of some of the most tragic construction accidents.
Victims Right to Compensation: Victims of construction site accidents are entitled to monetary compensation for all their losses including
Employers are held liable for all consequences following an accident, so long as they are reasonable. This includes liability for the unskillful operation of industrial equipment i.e. cranes, by an employee. Employers are required to provide compensation for such injuries, however it will be covered under a worker’s compensation claim. Workers compensation claims allow for recovery when the employee was injured during the course of employment. However, these types of claims do not provide recovery for your pain and suffering. Instead they will provide compensation only for medical expenses and loss of earnings.
You can file a separate lawsuit, if it can be shown that a third party is responsible. Third parties include manufacturers of machinery, which is defective and causes injury. Depending on the facts, your injuries can be from a defective crane or other machinery. In such cases you can pursue a separate claim for damages against the manufacturer-see below for explanation. Generally work related injuries are covered under workers compensation claims. However, if you can show that the injury was caused by a third party it is possible to separate or bifurcate the claim.
The most commonly asked questions by our clients to our attorneys is “how much is my case worth.” Case value is based on two main principles, degree of injuries and likelihood of recovery.
How bad are your injuries? If the injuries are serious i.e. spinal cord injuries or brain injuries the case will have a greater value. Why? These types of injuries are often lifelong and cause serious cognitive issues.
Future medical expenses are another factor. How much will the cost of future medical care be? These costs are all calculated and account for inflation. Depending on the required cost for future medical treatment, the value of the case can begin to be determined.
When considering the value of your case you should also factor in loss of income, future loss of income, pain and suffering along with other potential damages claims. Until we have a full understanding of your medicals and treatment schedule we will not be able to assess the value of your case.
As an attorney our job is to maximize these damages. What this means is that we fight to get you paid dollar for dollar on your medicals and future loss of care. Insurance companies and defense attorneys will work to minimize damages. They will always paint a much less serious picture in order to pay a minimum settlement.
Independent contractors are those employed by contractors to perform certain work. Independent contractors are under the “control” of the party employing them. So what does an independent contractor have to do with your claim? Broadly speaking your own employer will not be liable if the injuries you sustained were caused by an independent contractor. However, not all parties qualify as a independent contractors.
Depending on the degree of the relationship a employer employee relationship could be formed. Courts generally look at payment as a key factor. Method of payment can be indicative of the type of relationship between the parties. A key method of distinguishing between a independent contractor and agent/servant for the purpose of a personal injury claim is payment.
Exceptions to the independent contractor were expressed in Lawrence v. Shipman and include “(1) the contract specifically directed the act that caused the injury, (2) the contract called for work that exposed others to ‘unusual peril’ , (3) an incompetent or untrustworthy contractor had been negligently retained, (4) the negligence of the employer and of the contractor led to the injury, (5) the negligence created a nuisance, or (6) the contract called for the performance of an illegal act.
In certain cases your injuries are because of a defective product. Defective product cases essentially assess whether the product is defective. Products can be defective because of design, manufacturing or failure to warn. Most construction accident defect claims are because of design or manufacturing defects. In some rare cases they deal with failure to warn. Design defects are those that arise because a product is defectively manufactured from the start. This is because of some type of inherent flaw in the design. Manufacturing defects are those that occur during the production phase. Either because of machine or human error. Failure to warn defects are those that occur because the manufacturer failed to warn of some risk i.e. weight capacity. Each of these are a different type of defect, which can be found in construction equipment. A defective product can be dangerous to all users. When the product is defective it will cause the harm to both the user and those within the proximity of the product.
Types of Construction Accidents: We have selected a few of the most common types of construction accidents. Here is a list for your review.
Common Injuries Caused by Construction Accidents: Common injuries include the following types of bodily injuries. This is not a complete list, if you were injured seek immediate medical attention for your injuries.
Never attempt to self diagnose your injuries. If you were injured, contact your primary care physician immediately.
Construction managers are required to take all necessary steps in order to ensure that the premises is safe. They are required to comply with all applicable safety provisions and safety protocols. Under OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) guidelines construction site managers are required prevent contractors, sub contractors and independent contractors from creating an unsafe working conditions. On site construction managers are generally charged with the duty to oversee and safeguard the well being of employees on the job site. If they fail to do so, it will be considered negligence, for which they will be held accountable.
Construction zones require specific safety requirements. This is because the operation and use of this type of equipment can be very dangerous. Even a slight miscalculation can cause a serious injury. Due to the size of the equipment and the nature of the profession, a significant injury can occur where a employee acts negligently. Thus every construction site is charged with a duty to keep and maintain the premises, equipment and properly train staff. Failure to do so will hold them liable for the harm caused upon others.
Attorney Representation: To speak with a Los Angeles construction accident attorney regarding your claim contact our law offices toll free. All consultations regarding your case are completely free of charge