Construction workers have important—but dangerous—jobs to do. In 2015, approximately one of every five worker deaths in this country occurred in the construction industry and more than 58,000 construction workers were hurt. Thousands of those injuries occurred in California.
While construction work is inherently risky, construction workers do not need to pay for their own injuries and their families do not have to pay for their loved one’s death. Instead, construction workers and their families have legal rights that deserve protection. Our experienced attorneys want to hear what happened to you. We want to know your story and we want to get you the legal recovery that you deserve if you’ve been hurt or if you’ve lost a loved one in a construction accident.
Types of Construction Accidents
There are many different hazards and potential risks on a construction site. Falls are a common type of construction accident and the most frequent cause of construction worker fatalities. The most significant risks on your construction site depend on the type of work that is being done, but may include:
- Being hit by a vehicle. Being struck by a vehicle or a heavy piece of equipment was the second leading cause of construction worker deaths in 2015. Any vehicle, such as a truck, a crane, or another piece of equipment could cause a catastrophic injury if it strikes a person.
- Electrocutions. Electrical work is dangerous and is often in various stages of completion during a construction job. In 2015, electrocutions were the third leading cause of construction worker deaths.
- Getting caught between objects or materials. This occurs when a person is caught in or crushed by equipment or a collapsing structure. It was the fourth leading cause of construction worker deaths in 2015.
- Trench collapses. Excavation and trench work can be among the most dangerous work that is done on construction sites. When a trench collapses, a worker may be hurt by the weight of the trench walls, and he may be deprived of oxygen and a way to escape.
- Falls from heights. A lot of construction work happens above ground level. Falls from higher floors or from ladders, for example, can result in serious injuries.
- Falls from scaffolding. Scaffolding is commonly used in construction projects. However, lack of training, lack of safety equipment, and defective equipment can result in a dangerous fall.
- Slip and falls. A fall doesn't’t have to occur from a height in order to result in injury. A slip and fall due to cluttered construction sites, uneven flooring, spilled slippery materials, or other problems can also result in serious injuries.
- Falling debris, materials, or objects. Falls are not the only risks caused by heights. If debris, construction materials, or other objects fall from a ladder, crane, scaffold, or other location, they can seriously injure the people below.
- Fires and explosions. There are many combustible materials used on construction sites that can lead to catastrophic fires and explosions.
- Machinery accidents. Malfunctioning machinery—or machinery that is defective—can be dangerous for construction workers. Crane collapses, for example, can put construction workers at serious risk.
While these construction accidents are different, they often occur for common reasons and result in the same types of injuries.
How Construction Accidents Happen
Construction accidents are, by definition, unpredictable. You can’t know when an accident will occur. However, you should be concerned about a potential accident if there is (or has been):
- Insufficient training. Everyone on a construction site should have sufficient training to do his or her job safely.
- Noncompliance with safety regulations. The federal government and the state of California have safety regulations to help protect people from being hurt in construction accidents. The failure to comply with these safety regulations can result in significant accidents.
- Improper use of equipment. A lot of heavy equipment is used on construction sites. If the equipment is not used properly, then it can be dangerous.
- Defective equipment. Equipment that malfunctions because of a defect can cause an injury to the operator or to someone else on the construction site.
- Negligence. Any time a construction worker or other person on the construction site is negligent, the risk of an accident and injury is present.
Many times you won’t know what caused your specific construction accident until you have already been hurt and a full investigation has been completed.
Common Construction Site Injuries
A construction accident can result in a catastrophic accident that causes you intense pain and changes your life. Such injuries may include:
- Broken bones.
- Eye injuries.
- Illnesses because of exposure to toxic materials.
- Muscle or joint injuries, such as injuries to the knees, ankles, neck, shoulders, or back.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
Additionally, some construction accidents result in tragic deaths.
Recovering Damages for a Construction Site Injury
A construction accident injury can be serious or fatal. You may have the right to recover damages in a:
- Personal injury lawsuit, if you can prove that a third party’s negligence caused your injury.
- Product liability lawsuit, if you can prove that a defective piece of equipment or a defective product caused your injury.
- Wrongful death lawsuit, if your loved one died in a construction accident.
The damages that you may be able to recover could include compensation for your past, current, and future medical expenses, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, and pain and suffering. However, none of these damages will be automatic. Instead, you need to prove liability pursuant to California law and you need to prove the value of your unique injuries. An experienced lawyer can help you do just that.
Our attorneys want to hear what happened to you. We want to help you get the full and fair compensation that you deserve during the settlement process or at trial. When you work with Case Barnett Law, you can expect support from a full team of legal professionals from the moment that you first contact us until your construction injury case is resolved.
Let’s have a conversation about your case, about what you can expect if we take your case, and about how you can decide which construction accident injury lawyer is right for you. Please contact us today to learn more.