In the event of a construction site accident causing personal injury, legal recourse can be pursued by having The Law Offices of Louis Gabbara file a lawsuit against the parties accountable for the incident. The compensation sought in a personal injury lawsuit may encompass medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and loss of future income. If a construction worker loses their life as a result of an accident, surviving family members have the option to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable entities. Such a lawsuit can secure compensation for the family’s loss of a loved one.
In the case of a construction accident that occurs while on the job, the employer may have workers’ compensation coverage that includes medical expenses and lost wages due to the accident. However, a third party responsible for the accident may still be subject to legal action through a lawsuit.
For additional inquiries, please contact The Law Offices of Louis Gabbara at 760-294-0808, and refer to our article on construction lawsuits.
Construction sites are known for being some of the most hazardous areas, with a high frequency of injury accidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) notes that the construction industry has a fatality rate exceeding the national average, making it one of the most dangerous industries in the United States.
In 2016, there were 4,693 fatalities in private industry, with more than 21% of them occurring in the construction sector. OSHA has identified the “fatal four” as the primary causes of fatalities in the construction industry, namely falls, being struck by falling objects, electrocutions, and getting trapped in between machinery or other equipment.
The most common safety citations and hazards in the construction industry include scaffolding, fall protection, excavations, ladders, head protection, hazard communication, and electrical wiring, design, and protection. Additionally, injuries and deaths can occur from defective tools, heavy machinery, collapsed scaffolding or trenches, fires, defective welding or brazing equipment, and improper training of personnel.
Construction site accidents can result in various injuries, such as burns (first, second, or third-degree), head, shoulder, and brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, fractured and crushed bones, sprains, tears, cuts, and repetitive motion injuries. Moreover, strokes, heart attacks, respiratory diseases, blood disorders, and cancers from toxic exposure or radiation may also arise.
It is essential to seek medical attention promptly following a construction site accident to document the injuries and their severity. Delaying medical attention can create doubt as to the cause and extent of the injuries.
If you are injured in a construction site accident, you may be able to hold responsible parties accountable by filing a personal injury lawsuit. The party or parties responsible for the accident will depend on the specifics of the incident. Liability could fall on the property owner, construction worker, construction company, machine manufacturer, architect, engineer, general contractor, subcontractor, or city/government agency.
Personal injury claims in construction site accidents can be based on negligence, premises liability, vicarious liability of an employee, or product defects. Negligence is the most common basis for personal injury claims. To prove negligence, you must show that the defendant had a duty of care, breached that duty through negligence, and that their negligence was a substantial factor in causing your injuries or death. If you can prove these elements, the defendant would be liable for your damages.
DID YOU KNOW THAT HIRING A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY
WILL GET YOU 3.5X MORE MONEY VS. NO ATTORNEY?
The Insurance Research Council found that:
“Accident victims with a lawyer receive an average of 3.5 times more than those who are unrepresented.”
PREMISES LIABILITY - CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENTS
Under premises liability laws, property owners and occupiers are responsible for ensuring that their property is safe for others. The duty owed is based on the type of visitor to the property. In a premises liability personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owned, occupied, or controlled the property, was negligent in the use or maintenance of the property, the plaintiff was harmed, and the defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the harm.
Construction areas are no exception to premises liability laws. Visitors or customers to store or office buildings may inadvertently walk into construction areas, which can pose a risk of injury. Property owners and contractors should take steps to prevent accidents in construction areas, such as installing warning signs or barriers to prevent people from walking into dangerous areas. Accidents in construction areas could include falls from elevated areas without proper railing, falls down temporary stairs, injuries from falling objects, slips and falls on wet surfaces, or tripping on loose flooring.
Vicarious Liability of an Employee
When a construction site accident is caused by the negligence of an employee of the construction company, the employee can be held liable for their actions. However, under “Respondeat Superior” laws, the employer can also be held vicariously liable for the employee’s negligence. This means that the employer can be held responsible for the actions of their employees while they are acting within the scope of their employment. To establish vicarious liability of an employer in a personal injury lawsuit, the following must be proven:
- The employee was acting within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident.
- The employee’s actions were negligent or careless, causing harm or injury to the victim.
- The victim suffered damages as a result of the employee’s negligence.
If these elements are satisfied, the employer may be held liable for the employee’s actions, even if the employer was not directly involved in the accident. This can include accidents caused by employees operating heavy machinery or vehicles, or those working on elevated structures.
When injury victims file successful lawsuits or personal injury claims, they may receive compensation for a range of damages including medical bills and expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Defective equipment can also cause construction accidents, resulting in injuries to workers or others on the site. In such cases, product liability laws hold the designer, manufacturer, or seller of the defective equipment strictly liable for the injuries caused by the product, regardless of whether or not they were negligent.
Strict liability for product defect claims can be based on manufacturing defects, design defects, or inadequate warning defects. Examples of product defects that may cause construction accidents include:
- Cutting tools or saws that lack proper safety guards
- Heavy machinery with faulty parts or components
- Accidents resulting from defective or faulty ladders or scaffolding
- Heavy machinery that lacks proper safety warnings
- Electrical machines that cause electric shocks or electrocution
- Leaking machines that can cause fires or explosions.
If a product defect is found to be the cause of a construction accident, the designer, manufacturer, or seller of the equipment can be held liable for any resulting damages.
What are my damages in a construction accident lawsuit?
n a construction site accident lawsuit, you may be entitled to damages to compensate for your losses and expenses. Compensatory damages aim to restore you to your pre-accident condition and may include both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic compensatory damages in a construction accident lawsuit cover quantifiable financial losses and may include expenses such as medical bills, physical therapy, long-term care, medication, lost wages, and lost future income.
Non-economic compensatory damages are intended to compensate for losses that are harder to quantify, such as loss of consortium, injury to reputation, compensation for loss of a limb, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.
In some cases, punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, may be awarded if the defendant’s conduct was particularly reckless or intentional. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate you for your loss, but rather to punish the defendant and prevent similar behavior in the future.
Punitive damages may be available if the defendant acted with malice, fraud, oppression, extreme recklessness, or intentionally caused harm.
Can I file a lawsuit if I was injured on the job in a construction site accident?
If you sustain injuries on the job in a construction accident, you may be covered by workers’ compensation insurance for both minor and serious injuries. However, in some cases, you may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. Workers’ compensation may limit your legal rights, and you may not be able to file a lawsuit against your employer. Instead, you can file a workers’ comp claim that will pay for your medical bills and cover wage replacement. The downside is that compensation may be limited, and your claim may be denied by your employer or insurance company.
However, you may still be eligible to file a personal injury claim against negligent third parties or if you were an independent contractor. A personal injury lawyer can assist you in determining whether you are entitled to compensation and file a lawsuit. If you are an independent contractor, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible for the accident. You may also be able to file a claim against any third-party defendants responsible for the accident, including property owners, equipment manufacturers, or contractors.
If you have questions about construction accident lawsuits in California or would like to discuss your case and legal rights with an experienced attorney, contact The Law Offices of Louis Gabbara today at 760-294-0808
Our law firm operates on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if we win your case. Read our testimonials to learn more about our years of experience securing fair settlements. Schedule an initial consultation with our attorneys for legal advice.
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