The construction industry is subject to specific regulations due to the inherently dangerous nature of the work. Before Congress created OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) in 1970, approximately 40 construction workers per day were killed on the job. That number has since dwindled to 14 deaths per day, however accidents – whether life-altering or fatal – continue to happen with regularity. The causes are as varied as the injuries themselves: from dangerous working conditions, to heavy machinery, to careless co-workers or third parties, to defective tools and products, construction workers encounter countless risks on a daily basis.
Injuries suffered by construction workers are comprised of four primary categories: falls, electrocution, “struck by” (such as standing under a load of lumber and the lumber falling on the worker, and “caught between (such as being pinched between an I-beam and a wall).
If you have been injured while working on a construction site, you have many options available to you. Depending on the circumstances of your claim, you can pursue either a worker’s compensation claim, a civil suit, or both. Contact Levin Simes Abrams to determine which claims apply to your unique situation.
Worker’s Compensation – Required in California
Worker’s compensation is a no-fault insurance program California employers are required to carry. “No-fault” means the injured worker is not required to prove that another person or entity was negligent or otherwise caused his or her injury. Workers’ compensation is a worker’s exclusive remedy only in those cases where the injury arises out of conditions of employment.
Workers’ compensation insurance will provide benefits to injured employees, such as temporary disability, medical expenses, and if appropriate, permanent disability. While these benefits are certainly better than no benefits, the remedy available to workers can be inadequate to compensate injured workers for all harms and losses suffered.
There are exceptions to the exclusive remedy rule that include (1) dual capacity; (2) fraudulent concealment; (3) employer assault or ratification; (4) power press; and (5) uninsured employer. This is why it is imperative you consult with an attorney regarding your case to determine whether one of the exceptions to the exclusive remedy rule applies, providing grounds for a civil suit.
Civil Lawuit for Construction Injury
An injured worker has grounds for a civil suit if one of the exceptions to the exclusive remedy rule applies (where the injured worker would sue his or her employer) and/or if the construction worker is injured due to the negligence of another person.
Typical construction jobs have a myriad of workers onsite. More specifically, workers on the job are not limited to employees of the general contractor who oversee the construction site, but also include subcontractors hired to perform specialized work, vendors, engineers, architects, and suppliers. These persons may play a role in on-the-job injuries, as can products and/or tools these persons bring to and utilize on site.
These civil suits can sound in negligence, such as when a worker falls from scaffolding that has been improperly erected or when a worker is injured by the reckless driving of a truck driver, and/or product liability, which applies when a worker is injured by a piece of equipment or tool despite using the equipment properly.
Construction Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured at a construction site, contact our experienced Levin Simes Abrams team at 1-866-598-7480 or email us at [email protected].
Our attorneys have the expertise, resources and dedication to ensure you are properly compensated for your injuries, lost wages, and lost ability to work. Levin Simes Abrams has helped thousands across the country, and recovered over a billion dollars in verdicts and settlements. We provide our clients with personalized attention and an attorney will be available to answer your questions and help navigate you through this complex system.