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How to Get the Compensation You Deserve After a Construction Accident

Broken leg

Construction sites are fraught with risk and danger due to the amount of heavy machinery, toxic substances, and dangerous tools involved not to mention the risk of potential injuries due to falls, structural collapses, and equipment failure. In California, most construction works are protected by the California Division of Workers’ Compensation, which helps workers with their compensation claims and benefits. However, what happens when workers’ compensation laws do not apply to your situation? In those rare cases, you may be able to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit to recover damages. Today, we will go over how to do so.

The Most Common Construction Accidents

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are 4 hazards that contribute to over half of the construction worker injuries and death across the United States. These are as follows:

  • Struck by an object
  • Falls
  • Electrocutions
  • Getting caught between or inside of construction equipment

From 2013 to 2017, 309 construction workers in California were killed in work-related accidents. The most common construction injuries include:

  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Brain injuries
  • Amputations
  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Respiratory disease and distress
  • Spinal cord injuries

According to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, a construction worker has a 75% of getting a disabling injury and a 1 in 200 change of being killed while working.

How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Injuries sustained while doing construction can be expensive to recover from. Fortunately, you can typically receive compensation by filing a workers’ compensation claim, or in some cases, a third-party lawsuit. In California, you must legally report an injury to your employer within 30 days. You will also need to provide your employer with the proper paperwork, including a workers’ compensation claim form, within 1 year of the date of your injury.

You are granted the following benefits under California’s workers’ compensation laws:

  • Covered medical costs (includes doctor visits, medicine, and physical therapy)
  • Permanent or temporary disability benefits
  • Death benefits
  • Retraining benefits (if your employer does not offer you work after your recovery period is complete)

To file this type of claim you must prove that the injury occurred while working, is covered under the California workers’ compensation laws, was not intentional, and was also not due to any drug or alcohol abuse. While you can file this claim yourself, it would be advisable to speak with a seasoned attorney to ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.

How to File a Third-Party Lawsuit

If you were hurt by a third party in a construction accident, (someone besides your employer or co-worker) you can file a workers’ compensation claim as well as a third-party lawsuit. To do so, you must prove that this individual’s actions were negligent and caused your injury. This means you must show that the third party:

  • Owed you a duty of care
  • Breached the duty of care
  • Established breach led to your injury

In most cases, you have about 2 years from the time of your injury to file a third-party lawsuit. This kind of lawsuit may be appropriate in the event you were injured by a defective tool or piece of equipment.

As lawsuits can get complicated, you will require the experience of a reputable lawyer.

Contact our firm online or call us at (916) 778-3228 to get started on your case today.

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