Construction sites can be a positive sign of growth, renewal, and economic opportunity—but they may also pose certain hazards, due to the heavy, complex or defective equipment being used and the type of job being performed. If the right precautions are not taken, serious accidents can happen at a construction site.
When an incident occurs, it may be possible to take legal action and to file a personal injury lawsuit for the damages sustained. If the negligent party is your employer, you may be limited to a worker’s compensation claim. If there is a negligent third party, you may be able to seek compensation from the third party. In some circumstances, there are claims that result from the negligence of both an employer and a third party in which case a worker’s compensation claim and a third party claim may both be filed. An early evaluation of potential defendants, including your employer and/or third party actors is necessary to begin your claim.
For years, the Dolan Law Firm has successfully advocated on behalf of its clients in various practice areas. Composed of several construction accident lawyers, the firm’s extensive experience and knowledge enables it to help the injured parties navigate the complex legal process involved in pursuing a construction accident case.
To speak with a construction accident attorney in Los Angeles, call us at 800-339-0352 or fill out our contact form to get a free case evaluation.
The high risk of accidents for construction workers
Every construction worker has the right to a safe workplace, free from undue hazards or negligent safety concerns, in accordance with state and federal safety regulations—especially those of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). While lengthy and complex, these regulations are designed to help protect workers in all environments, construction worksites included.
Despite these safeguards, construction incidents are all too common for workers. According to the Center for Construction Research and Training, a construction worker has a 75% chance of suffering a disabling injury over a 45-year career, with a 1-in-200 chance of fatal injury. In 2021, California alone saw over 24,000 construction injuries, with 79 fatalities.
Common causes of construction accident injuries include:
- Being struck by falling objects;
- Being caught in or between objects.
Possible injuries in these cases include burns, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, loss of limbs, broken bones, internal bleeding, impaired vision, crush injuries, respiratory problems, and even more catastrophic, death. Some of these common injuries may be temporary while others may carry lifelong impairment or disability.
The severity of the injuries may entitle the claimant to compensation not only for current and future medical expenses, but also for lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other economic and non-economic hardship that result from the accident injury.
Establishing fault and negligence in a construction accident
While construction work inherently carries some risk, the chance of injury or wrongful death can be increased by noncompliance with OSHA safety regulations. Construction sites that do not adhere to these safety rules and do not take the proper precautions to safeguard workers may expose them to hazardous conditions which may include:
- Lack of fall protection, such as barricades and safe scaffolding;
- Faulty wiring or controls for dangerous energy sources;
- Unsafe handling or operating of heavy machinery and objects;
- Defective machinery and tools;
- Improper respiratory, head, or eye protection.
If a construction site accident and resulting injury can be attributed to one or more of these safety violations, it may be possible to establish legal liability for the party responsible.
Who is at fault for a Los Angeles construction accident?
Construction sites are not a monolithic entity. It involves a multitude of companies, contractors and other third parties working together. Therefore, in the event of a construction accident, it is important to identify precisely who is responsible. Among the potential responsible parties are:
- The construction company that employs the worker;
- The owner of the property where construction is taking place;
- Equipment or product manufacturers and suppliers;
- Other construction personnel, including contractors and subcontractors.
If a company is found to be liable, one of the possible actions for the injured party is to file a worker’s compensation claim. This is a common procedure for obtaining potential compensation.
Additionally, pursuing personal injury claims against other liable parties may be advisable, particularly as workers’ compensation may not fully or equitably compensate an individual for long-lasting injuries.
What you should do after a construction incident
In the event of a construction incident that results in personal injury, seeking prompt medical care is of paramount importance. This measure ensures that serious injuries are expeditiously treated, and potentially life-threatening complications are addressed. Additionally, it is advisable to document the scene and the items/conditions that caused your injuries, as such evidence may prove valuable in any subsequent legal proceedings. If co-workers captured the scene in a photo, ask them to share it with you.
In addition, it is recommended to contact an experienced Los Angeles construction accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss the case and the options available. There are many factors to consider, including workers’ compensation rights and the role of other third parties involved. No decision may be made or settlement accepted without first discussing the matter with proper legal counsel.
Moreover, depending on the exact details of the case and the damage suffered, the statute of limitations may differ in terms of duration, which reduces the possibility of filing a claim.
Therefore, it is important not to wait and to seek out immediate legal advice following your injury.
How can a Los Angeles construction accident attorney help?
If the decision to file a claim is made, a construction accident lawyer in Los Angeles from the Dolan Law Firm may help to:
- Investigate the details of the case to understand exactly what happened, when and where the incident happened, and what other parties were involved. This helps determine who is at fault, what negligent actions occurred, and assess potential damages that may be claimed through compensation or legal action.
- Advise on the next steps, including filing potential workers’ compensation and/or pursuing workers’ compensation claims for additional lawsuits. This may require involving a workers’ compensation specialist.
- Collect and evaluate evidence, including testimonials from witnesses, medical records, status reports and records from the construction site to establish that the at-fault party was negligent in creating an unsafe environment, thereby leading to the accident(s).
- Support potential claims and recovery by working on behalf of the injured party with insurance companies and/or workers’ compensation and coordinating necessary medical care.
- Act as the injured party’s legal representation in all meetings and communications with the negligent third party and/or employer, their attorneys, insurance companies, and any other involved parties.
- Negotiate on the behalf of the injured party with all liable parties and their representation to reach a just settlement offer.
- Litigate in court if needed. While we often push for a fair out-of-court settlement, we are also prepared to take a case to trial if we feel that we are not able to get a fair offer.
Although embarking on a legal case may initially appear to be a challenging undertaking, obtaining the appropriate legal representation may significantly influence the outcome. With the help of an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney like the Dolan Law Firm, the stressful details will be taken care of so that the injured party can focus on their health, well-being, and recovery.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What distinguishes the Dolan Law Firm from other Los Angeles law firms?
Founded by Chris Dolan, the law firm comprises a team of 15 experienced personal injury attorneys and has gained recognition and respect throughout the state of California for its expertise and accomplishments in its representation of clients.
How much could I recover in settlement from my construction injury case?
The outcome of a potential settlement depends on the specifics of each case, including the financial and non-financial damages sustained. Therefore, we cannot make any promises regarding a specific outcome. However, as designated Los Angeles construction accident attorneys, we will undertake a thorough review of your case and accompany you if we deem that we can pursue your claim.
How much does a Los Angeles construction accident attorney charge their clients?
At the Dolan Law Firm, we charge you nothing upfront. If you have experienced a workplace injury following a construction incident, you have enough to worry about without adding legal bills. As your Los Angeles construction accident law firm, we only receive compensation for our services in the event that we successfully secure a favorable verdict or settlement on behalf of our clients.
Is there a set timeline for a Los Angeles construction incident case?
It is not possible to provide an exact timeline for the resolution of cases. Construction accident cases can be time-consuming, with various factors influencing the outcome, including the specific circumstances of the said case, the extent of the damages incurred, the employer’s involvement, and any other parties involved.
At the Dolan Law Firm, our focus is on achieving a favorable outcome in a timely manner, while maintaining our high standards of work and preparation. Throughout the process, we will maintain regular communication with you to keep you informed of the progression of your case.