Experienced Representation for Fontana Construction Site Injury Victims
Most construction industry professionals risk their personal safety and wellbeing simply by showing up to work each day. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), every year, one out of every 10 construction workers in America is injured while engaging in work-related activities. The injury rate among construction workers is more than 70 percent higher than the injury rate average experienced by American workers generally. To place these figures in context, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that during 2004 alone, construction workers suffered 150,000 non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses in addition to approximately one-quarter of all fatal occupational injuries and illnesses suffered by the American workforce as a whole. If you have been injured while working in the construction industry, you’re unquestionably not alone.
Whether you work as an independent contractor or as an employee of a construction company, you’re likely entitled to one or more kinds of compensation in the wake of sustaining injuries while working on a construction site. Our firm has extensive experience working with both residential and commercial construction industry professionals who have been hurt or made ill on the job. Regardless of the circumstances that led to your injuries, we invite you to schedule a free, no-risk consultation with our experienced legal team. Once we learn more about your employment situation, your accident, and your injuries, we’ll provide you with an objective assessment of the potential strengths and weaknesses of your case, your rights as a worker, potential opportunities to obtain compensation, and the likelihood that any/all of the legal opportunities available to you will succeed. That way, you’ll be empowered to make an informed decision about your legal situation. Attending a free consultation will not obligate you to work with our firm moving forward. However, if you do choose to work with our team, you’ll benefit from the time-tested, effective, efficient, knowledgeable, compassionate, and client-focused approach that has earned our firm a stellar reputation throughout San Bernardino County.
Effective Legal Assistance for Injured Construction Workers
Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, personal injury damages, insurance settlements, and/or other opportunities for legal recourse. Our firm provides comprehensive representation for injured construction industry professionals. It does not matter whether you are a documented or undocumented worker, an independent contractor or employee, financially stable or financially strapped, we can help.
When you walk through our doors, you and your case will receive the respect, consideration, and attention that you and your case deserve. The law takes the rights of injured construction workers seriously and so do we. Your case will never be “just another case” to us. And you will never be treated as “just another client.” If you haven’t already scheduled a free consultation with our legal team, please do so now. Receiving a no-cost, no-risk case evaluation will help to ensure that any decisions you make regarding your legal situation are informed. Every injury victim deserves that opportunity and it is our firm’s honor to facilitate it.
Common Causes of Construction Injuries
The construction industry is notoriously hazardous, partially because of the heavy equipment used for construction purposes, partially because of exposure to potentially toxic substances that many workers are subjected to, and partially because construction sites are inherently dangerous places to work. Construction injuries and illnesses spike during the extreme seasons of summer and winter because even the weather itself can contribute to incidences of construction-related harm. Sometimes, construction accidents occur that are no one’s fault. However, there is no mystery as to why rates of work-related injury go up when employers don’t pay adequate attention to accident prevention regulations. As a result, most of the top reasons why construction accidents occur are, indeed, preventable. This reality impacts injury victims insofar as some opportunities for post-accident compensation cannot be pursued unless a third party (an individual, company, or other legal entity other than the injured worker) is responsible for causing the worker’s injuries. Note that in the context of personal injury law and workers’ compensation law, the word “injury” also generally refers to the development of occupational illness.
Some of the most common preventable causes of construction accidents and injuries include:
- Falls – Most falls can be prevented if employers properly train their workers, provide adequate fall protection, and ensure that on-site scaffolding is safe.
- Crush injuries – One of the “fatal four” causes of construction-related accidents identified by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration involves becoming “caught-in or compressed by equipment or objects, and struck, caught, or crushed in collapsing structure, equipment, or material.”
- Being Struck by Flying and Falling Objects – When debris, equipment, tools, and construction materials aren’t properly installed or secured, falling objects can cause workers serious injuries.
- Motor Vehicle Accidents – Truck operators are at a unique risk for work-related injuries caused by motor vehicle collisions. However, construction workers operating any kind of vehicle are at risk of crash-related injuries.
- Electrocution – Defective wiring and electrical material, problematic electric system design, and inadequate implementation of lockout and tagout procedures often lead to preventable electrocution injuries among construction workers.
Workers’ Compensation Claims for Construction Injuries
If you are not classified as an independent contractor, you are likely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, even if the construction accident that caused your injuries was your fault. The only major exceptions to this rule would come into play if you were either drunk or high when your construction accident occurred or you caused an accident on purpose to commit workers’ compensation fraud. Otherwise, even if the accident that caused your injuries was partially or totally your fault, you should be able to obtain a workers’ compensation benefits award to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other eligible costs.
Note that if you are ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits because you work as an independent contractor but you should rightfully be classified as an employee, our firm can work to get you the benefits you deserve.
Personal Injury Claims for Construction Injuries
Independent contractors and others who are ineligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits may sue any third party whose negligence, recklessness, or intentionally dangerous choices contributed to the cause of their harm. California is a comparative negligence state that allows injury victims to seek compensation from others responsible for causing them harm, even if the injury victims themselves contributed to the cause of their injuries. Meaning, if you are ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits and your behavior was not the sole cause of the accident that injured you, you may sue those whose reckless, negligent, or intentionally dangerous actions or inactions directly caused you harm. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may be able to sue the company that you were providing work-related services for, manufacturers of defective equipment, motorists who struck you, etc. It is possible that we may be able to help you hold multiple parties accountable, when appropriate.
Note that the amount of compensation you’ll potentially be entitled to will be limited if you are deemed to have been partially at fault for your accident. Your compensation eligibility will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. For example, if your personal injury damages are valued at $100,000 and you are assigned 30 percent of the blame for your accident, you’ll only be able to pursue $70,000 in compensation from others responsible for causing your harm.
Filing Both Kinds of Claims Under Limited Circumstances
If you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits as a result of your injuries, you cannot sue your employer for anything that your employer may have done to cause your harm. This restriction exists because the workers’ compensation system provides employers with limited liability for work-related injuries and occupational illness. However, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party other than your employer. If a third party, such as a manufacturer of defective tools or a motorist who caused a crash, contributed to the cause of your accident, we may be able to help you file a personal injury claim against that party and a workers’ compensation claim simultaneously.
Weighing the Consequences of Accepting a Settlement
If you have already been offered a settlement by others responsible for your harm, do not sign it until our team has thoroughly reviewed it and advised you as to whether the terms of the settlement are fair. By signing a settlement, you are likely signing away your rights to sue those responsible for your accident. If the terms offered aren’t fair or are undervalued, you could be doing yourself a significant disservice by accepting them before you’ve received legal guidance concerning your options.
Concerns About Employer Retaliation
It is illegal, under both federal and state law, for employers to retaliate against workers for exercising their legal rights. However, many workers understandably remain concerned about exploring their legal options, participating in worksite safety investigations, and/or filing workers’ compensation claims due to fears concerning employer retaliation. Know that our consultation process is confidential – your employer won’t know that you’ve spoken with us unless you give us permission to notify them. Additionally, know that if your employer attempts to retaliate against you, we will do our utmost to ensure that your rights remain protected and that they are held accountable for illegally attempting to infringe upon your rights.
If Your Working Conditions Remain Unsafe
If you were injured as a result of unsafe working conditions, you and your coworkers may benefit from allowing our team to help you file an anonymous request for a worksite inspection. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is charged with ensuring the safety of American workplaces. They regularly conduct safety inspections of job sites within high-risk industries, including the construction industry. As a result, your employer will have no reason to suspect that you requested an onsite safety inspection if one occurs in the wake of your anonymous request. It is important to safeguard both yourself and your coworkers from suffering additional harm, if you can. Allowing us to help you submit an anonymous worksite safety inspection from OSHA will help to facilitate that critically important aim.
If you have been injured as a result of a construction accident, you could significantly benefit from exploring your options under the law. Depending on your worker classification and the circumstances surrounding your accident, you may be entitled to personal injury damages, a workers’ compensation benefits award, and/or various insurance settlements. Our experienced team offers comprehensive legal services for injured construction industry professionals, whether they are employees or independent contractors, documented or undocumented workers. Call today to schedule a free, risk-free, and confidential case evaluation with our team so that we can help you navigate the complex legal and financial aftermath of your construction accident. We look forward to speaking with you.