Construction workers face the possibility of an accident each time they go to work. To some degree, accidents are unavoidable when you are working with heavy and dangerous materials that can fall on you. Much of the work is also done on the roof or on scaffolds, meaning you can be injured from falling to the ground. This includes incidents of falling through the ceiling, which can be compromised from water damage, mold, improper construction, and many other conditions.
As someone that’s suffered a workplace injury, you probably have questions about your rights and legal options. Certainly, you can file for workers’ compensation, which will pay for your medical bills and a portion of your lost wages. But what if there were negligent circumstances that made the ceiling unsafe, therefore putting you at risk of a serious accident? Can you file a lawsuit against the responsible party, or are you stuck with the benefits you receive from workers’ comp?
The fall accident injury lawyers of DTLA are prepared to represent you in a compensation claim if you got hurt while you were working at a construction site. For a free consultation on your rights and legal options, please give us a call at your earliest convenience.
What can Cause a Ceiling to Collapse?
Ceilings, like any other part of a house, can weaken over time. This is due to a variety of circumstances, including regular wear and tear. Some of the most common issues that can lead to a ceiling collapse include:
- Not repairing cracks in the ceiling
- Failing to fix leaks and other types of water damage
- Lack of or poor maintenance
- Usage of cheap / defective materials
- Poor construction techniques
- Improper duct work
- Infestation from termites and other pests
Injuries can also be caused by ceiling beams that fall off due to damage or improper installation. This can cause severe injuries to workers, or anyone else standing underneath the beam. Ceiling beams can also fall down if someone crashed through the ceiling, which is likely to exacerbate the victim’s injuries.
Our law firm is here for you if you need help with a ceiling collapse or defective ceiling beam causing injury claim. Contact us immediately and speak to a lawyer with experience in accidents at construction sites.
Fall-Related Injuries from a Weak or Defective Ceiling
Falls can lead to lifelong health complications, even if you fall from a relatively low height. The damage to your body and mind is even worse when you fall from a ceiling or roof. Keep in mind that the average ceiling is around 9 to 10 feet, and that’s not counting cathedral ceilings, which are at least 13 feet off the ground.
When you fall from such a height, you strike the floor or ground with significant force, similar to the impact from a high-speed car collision. That’s why victims commonly end up with catastrophic injuries, such as:
What are my Rights if I Fell Through a Ceiling While Doing Construction?
- Fractures and broken bones
- Severe head trauma, resulting in brain damage
- Spinal cord and neck injury
- Torn muscles, ligaments, and tendons
- Ruptured internal organs
- Disfigurement from severe cuts, permanent scars, etc.
- Excessive blood loss
- Loss of function, i.e., paralysis in one or more parts of the body
Here are some questions that may be on your mind as someone that fell through a ceiling at work: Can I only sue with worker’s comp if I got hurt while I was at a job site? If my lawsuit was caused by third party negligence, can I only sue who is liable or can I also get payments from workers’ compensation?
The good news is, you can file a workers’ compensation claim and a third party lawsuit at the same time. These are completely separate actions, as one is a guaranteed payment from the state of California for anyone with a workplace injury. A lawsuit, on the other hand, is based on negligence by a party other than your employer, such as the owner of a property.
That’s why we advise you to report your accident right away to your employer, so that they can initiate a workplace accident claim on your behalf. Then, call us to discuss your accident and see if there are grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit. Our law firm has legal experts that can assist you with workers’ compensation claims, as well as their third party lawsuits. That means we can help you obtain maximum payment for your injuries if you are a construction worker that fell through a ceiling
Third Party Lawsuit for a Workplace Injury
In this section, we will talk more about the possibility of filing a lawsuit, even if you are receiving benefits from a workers’ comp claim. In a previous section, we went over the conditions that can compromise the structural integrity of a ceiling. This becomes a major problem when property owners need to make repairs to the roof and other parts of a building. They can also hire contractors to do renovations, like hardwiring light fixtures and sky lights.
We also mentioned that construction workers are prone to accidents due to the nature of their job. However, property owners are expected to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition. If they fail to maintain their premises and someone is harmed as a result, they can be sued under the state’s premises liability laws.
This is the basis of a negligence claim against the property owner or any other entity that can be blamed for your accident. In some cases, liability may be shared by a previous contractor that was responsible for installing the ceiling or ceiling beams. Product makers can also be responsible for such accidents, meaning that the products used for the ceiling were defective to begin with.
The Benefits of Hiring a Fall Injury Accident Attorney
The legal system allows you to represent yourself if you are eligible for a personal injury claim. So, what are the benefits of hiring a lawyer versus handling the claims process on our own?
We can think of quite a few reasons, including strong and aggressive representation that will help you obtain the highest possible settlement. With a workplace accident, many defendants will argue that you are already receiving payment, so they should not be responsible for providing you with additional compensation. However, this is not true, as workers’ comp only covers your medical expenses and up to 60% of your lost wages. It won’t compensate you for the full value of your losses, which may include loss of earning potential, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other monetary damages.
An experienced workplace accident lawyer can take charge of your case and ensure that you receive every penny you deserve from a ceiling collapse injury claim. We can also provide you with answers to important questions, like:
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- What is the estimated value of my settlement from a ceiling fall accident injury case?
- How long is the process to reach a settlement in these cases?
- What is the deadline to file a worker’s compensation claim? Is the statute of limitations different for a third party lawsuit?
The legal experts of DTLA are available to take your call if you were injured on the job as a construction worker. Falling through the ceiling is one of the most devastating accidents you can suffer, and it’s essential to explore all the legal options that are available to you. Many firms only specialize in one type of claim – workers’ compensation or personal injury. We have lawyers that handle both types of legal actions, and have done so for many years in the Los Angeles area.
We are also happy to meet with you for a free second opinion on your workers’ comp claim or third party lawsuit. That way, you can address any concerns you have and receive advice on what you can do if there are indications that your case is in trouble. We provide a Zero Fee Guarantee to all clients, so you won’t have to worry about legal fees if you allow us to represent you. You pay $0 towards any of our expenses, which we only receive by winning your case and receiving a portion of your settlement award. That means we make $0 if we fail to bring you compensation from a workplace accident lawsuit.
Don’t hesitate to contact us and schedule a free case review if you were injured by falling through a ceiling at work.