The construction industry is critically important. Every building that we have, the roadways that we drive on, and the parks that we let our kids play in all rely on competent construction professionals. However, construction workers often sustain severe injuries on the job. When that happens, they should be able to recover compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. At ABDI & Associates, we are here to help if you need a Los Angeles construction accident attorney by your side. We have extensive experience handling complex injury claims throughout Southern California, and we know what it takes to recover maximum compensation for your losses.
Choose ABDI & Associates for Your Construction Accident Claim
Construction accident injuries can become complicated, particularly if an employer or a workers’ compensation insurance carrier pushes back against paying out full compensation. Additionally, if there was a third party involved, something which is not uncommon in the construction industry, you may need an attorney to help with your personal injury lawsuit.
· At ABDI & Associates, we believe in treating every client with dignity and respect.
· We take a client-focused approach to every injury case that we take, which means that we will take the time to listen to your story so we can make sure that your goals and needs are met.
· We will come to you if you cannot get to our office. If your injury prevents extensive travel, you deserve a lawyer who will meet you where you are.
How Will an Attorney Help Your Construction Accident Case?
Construction accident claims can become challenging, particularly if you try to handle the case all on your own. The reality is that your employer and the insurance carriers have experience handling these claims. In particular, they have experience doing anything they can to limit how much money they payout in a settlement to protect their bottom line. When you have a construction accident lawyer in Los Angeles by your side, you will have an advocate with the resources necessary to handle every aspect of your claim. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
· Conducting a complete investigation into the injury incident in order to gather the evidence needed to prove what happened.
· Exploring the possibility of any third-party claims that may arise as a result of the construction accident injury.
· Opening communication with insurance carriers and your employer and handling any negotiations to recover fair compensation on your behalf.
· Fully preparing your claim for any workers’ compensation appeal or personal injury trial that may be necessary for recovering full compensation.
How Construction Injuries Occur in Los Angeles
The reality is that the construction industry is one of the most dangerous fields that anyone can work in. When we look at statistics available from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), we can see that out of all worker deaths that occurred across the United States during the latest reporting year, approximately 20% of those occurred in the construction industry.
When we further examine the information available from OSHA, we can see that there are frequently cited hazards at construction sites throughout the United States and in California. These citations paint us a picture of how injuries likely occur on job sites. Some of the most common causes of injuries in construction include:
· Falls from the same level (slip and fall, trip and fall, etc.)
· Falls from heights
· Improper guards on tools
· Improper use of tools
· Failure to use face or eye protection
· Vehicle accidents at a construction site
· Heavy machinery mishaps
· Getting caught in between objects
· Trench collapses
In most cases, construction accident injuries occur due to the careless or negligent actions of the injury victim or those around them. This can include coworkers as well as the overall systemic negligence of an employer. Most construction accident injuries occur as a result of an acute traumatic incident, such as an accident with a tool or a fall. However, many injuries occur over longer periods of time due to exposure to hazardous elements in the workplace. This can include exposure to harmful particulates, asbestos, extreme heat, continuous sunlight, and more.
Most Common Construction Accident Injuries
The reality is that the injuries that occur in the construction injury are vast and encompass not only traumatic injuries but also long-term injuries and occupational illnesses. Here, we will explore some of the most common construction injuries and illnesses, but this is by no means a complete list. If you think that your injury or illness occurred as a result of your on-the-job construction activities, please reach out to an attorney immediately so we can examine your case.
Most people think of traumatic injuries when they think of construction incidents. This includes, but is not limited to, the following types of injuries:
· Traumatic brain injuries
· Spinal cord injuries with paralysis
· Other severe neck or back injury
· Severe lacerations or puncture wounds
· Massive blood loss
· Scarring or disfigurement
· Internal organ damage or bleeding
· Fractured or dislocated bones
· Crush injuries
Repetitive motion injuries, often referred to as repetitive stress injuries (RSIs), can also be considered traumatic injuries in the context of construction jobs. A repetitive stress injury is one that occurs over a longer period of time due to the repetitive use of a certain body part or certain motions. Often, the signs and symptoms of RSIs do not appear until months or even years after a person has been on the job.
One of the most common repetitive stress injuries includes carpal tunnel syndrome, which most people associate with office jobs. However, this type of injury can also occur in the workplace. Tendonitis, bursitis, trigger finger, back strains and sprains, shin splints, and tennis elbow are all other examples of repetitive stress injuries that can occur in the construction workplace.
Construction workers are exposed to hazardous conditions, elements, chemicals, and particulates on a regular basis. Even though construction companies should take proper steps to prevent hazardous exposure for their workers, that does not always happen. Construction workers can suffer from a range of occupational illnesses, most of which do not begin to show signs or symptoms for years or even decades after a person has been on the job or even after they have retired.
Some of the most common occupational illnesses associated with construction workers include the following:
· Various types of cancers
· Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
· Various musculoskeletal disorders
· Cardiovascular disease
If you or somebody you care about suspects that an illness is related to construction work but are not quite sure, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer will examine your medical records and work with trusted medical experts to determine whether or not it is likely that your occupational illness was caused by your job.
Will a Construction Injury be Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
The vast majority of individual employees in California are covered through the workers’ compensation system. California mandates that nearly every employer carry this type of insurance for their employees, with very few exceptions.
When a construction employee is covered through workers’ compensation and they sustain an on the job injury, they should be entitled to a range of benefits. Workers’ comp is considered a “no-fault” type of insurance. This means that an individual will be able to receive compensation regardless of who caused the injury, even if a worker causes their own injury. This is typically beneficial because individuals can receive compensation without having to prove the negligence of another party involved, which is what has to happen for a successful traditional personal injury claim.
However, workers’ compensation does not pay individuals for their pain and suffering damages. The only way a construction accident injury victim will receive pain and suffering damages for their injuries is if they are able to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit against another individual or entity who may have caused the injury.
Individuals who go onto a construction site as contractors or subcontractors not employed by the overall operation manager are likely not be covered by the overall company’s workers’ compensation insurance. Contractors and subcontractors should have their own workers’ compensation insurance to pay for any injuries they sustain on the job.
Properly determining where to turn for workers’ compensation insurance after a construction accident injury can be confusing for workers, and we strongly encourage individuals to reach out to an attorney who can help with their claim immediately.
Types of Compensation Available for a Construction Injury in LA
If a construction employee goes through the workers’ compensation insurance system, they should be able to receive a range of types of compensation if they sustain an injury on the job.
Hospital and Medical Benefits
Individuals who sustain on the job injuries at a construction site should be able to receive coverage for all of their medical bills related to the injury. This can include, but is not limited to, the following:
· Emergency medical bills
· All hospital costs
· Follow up doctor visits
· Prescription medications
· Medical devices
· Any needed surgical procedures
· Physical therapy or rehabilitation
· Prosthetic devices
· Any necessary in-home care
Individuals who receive workers’ compensation benefits will typically not face a limitation on how much compensation they receive for medical benefits, so long as a doctor deems them necessary.
Temporary Disability Benefits and Lost Income
If an individual sustains a work injury that results in a temporary disability, California workers’ competition law will handle this in one of two ways:
1. Temporary total disability (TTD). This type of disability payment typically covers wages that an individual cannot earn while they are temporarily disabled. This will be equal to two-thirds of the individual’s average weekly wage at the time the injury happens.
2. Temporary partial disability (TPD). These benefits will also cover lost income, but they are specifically paid to those who are able to work after they sustain an injury but likely in a job that pays less money during their time of disability. TPD will cover two-thirds of the difference between what a person is currently able to earn and what they were able to earn at their job before they sustained a disability.
Permanent Disability Benefits
If an individual sustains a permanent disability as a result of a construction accident injury (an injury that affects their mental or physical capacity and faculties), then they may be able to receive permanent disability benefits through the California workers’ compensation system. The total amount of permanent disability payments will depend on various factors, including the circumstances and nature of the injury or illness, the type of medical condition and the level of disability, the overall level of impairment, and the individual’s wages prior to the injury.
Third-Party Construction Accident Injury Claims
As we have continually mentioned throughout this page, there may be times when it is reasonable to file a third-party civil lawsuit against someone else for your construction injury. In some cases, this could even include your employer, but only if the employer’s actions were grossly negligent. This can include instances where the employer intentionally caused you harm or put you in a situation that they knew was likely to cause harm.
There are other parties that could be held liable in the event a person sustains a construction job injury. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
· Companies or manufacturers. Construction workers use various materials and tools all day long. They count on these tools and materials to be constructed correctly and safely. However, if a product used at a construction worksite is defective and causes injury to a worker, then the injured worker may be able to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit directly against the company or manufacturer responsible for the product.
· Architects or engineers. Construction work depends on the designs put forward by architects and engineers. If these designs are inherently flawed and these flaws lead to an injury, these other parties could face a lawsuit.
· Contractors or subcontractors. On a construction job site, there are often various contractors and subcontractors not related to the overall company in charge of the site. This can include plumbers, electricians, individuals brought on for specialized tasks, and more. If any of these contractors or subcontractors cause an injury to a construction worker, they may face a personal injury lawsuit directly from the worker.
· Other drivers. There are times when construction workers are injured as a result of drivers not associated with the construction company. In these situations, other drivers could face a personal injury lawsuit, similar to situations that arrives with traditional vehicle accident claims.
Third-party construction accident claims take place in the civil court system in California. This means that the injury claim must be filed within two years from the date the injury occurs, per the California personal injury statute of limitations. Failing to file a lawsuit within this two-year timeframe will mean that a third-party claim is no longer an option because it will be dismissed by the court.
Steps You Need to Take After a Los Angeles Construction Accident
If you or somebody you care about has sustained and on the job injury in the construction industry, then there are various steps that you need to take as soon as possible to protect the integrity of your claim and to look after your well-being.
1. Seek medical treatment. It is crucial to assess the situation rapidly and seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Regardless of the severity of the workplace injury, you need to ask to see a doctor. A medical professional should be the one to examine any workplace injuries and determine the best course of treatment moving forward. Some workplace injuries do not show any signs or symptoms until hours or even days after the incident occurs, but you need to see a doctor to establish a strong link between the incident and any injuries that appear.
2. Report the injury. You need to report the incident to your employer as soon as possible. In California, individuals have 30 days from the day an injury occurs to report the injury to their employer, but we do not suggest waiting this long. Failing to promptly report an injury to an employer could result in the insurance carrier delaying or even denying the claim.
3. Keep all documentation. Workplace injury victims need to keep all documentation that comes in after an injury occurs. This can include medical records, medical bills, proof of any income lost as a result of the injury, and more. Even individuals who are able to continue working should keep track of any lost wages caused by having to take a lower-paying job or working fewer hours.
4. Follow up with your employer. All construction accident injury victims need to follow up with their employer to ensure that the employer has filed the proper paperwork with the insurance carrier.
5. Continue your medical care. Construction injury victims should continue all medical care requested by their doctor until the doctor says they have reached something called maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is the point where a doctor thinks that the injury victim’s condition is unlikely to improve any further with additional medical care. Discontinuing medical treatment before MMI could result in a person receiving less compensation than they should otherwise receive.
6. Contact a skilled attorney. We always suggest that workplace injury victims, particularly those who could sustain construction accident injuries, reach out to an attorney very soon after the injury occurs. An attorney can get involved in the case early, conduct a full investigation into the incident, and handle any attempt by the employer or insurance carrier to pay less compensation than they should.
Deadlines for Filing a Construction Accident Claim
Because of the complexity of construction accident injuries, an attorney will also get involved and explore the possibility of a third-party injury claim. It may not be immediately apparent that a third-party injury claim is available to a construction accident injury victim, but this could open the door to much more compensation should a claim be successful.
As we mentioned above, any third-party injury claim must be filed within two years from the date the injury occurs. We also mentioned that individuals have 30 days to report an injury to their employer for the purposes of workers’ compensation. Additionally, the overall workers’ compensation reporting deadline is one year after the injury occurs.
This clock starts ticking the day an injury occurs, but there is some wiggle room here. This is particularly true for injuries or illnesses that a person is not immediately aware of. For example, if a person develops a repetitive stress injury or discovers they have sustained an occupational illness, the clock for reporting deadlines begins ticking from when the person discovers the injury or when they receive a diagnosis.
We strongly encourage any person who has sustained a construction accident injury or illness to report the incident immediately. This will help ensure that the claim gets started and significantly increase a person’s chances of recovering the compensation they are entitled to.
Call a Los Angeles Construction Accident Attorney Today
If you or somebody you love has sustained an injury while working in the construction industry, you deserve compensation for your losses. At ABDI & Associates, our team is here to help regardless of whether or not you need assistance with a workers’ compensation claim or a third-party personal injury lawsuit for your construction accident injury.
We have the resources necessary to fully investigate every aspect of your injury, and we have no problem standing up to aggressive employers or insurance carriers to make sure that you recover the compensation you need. When you need a Los Angeles construction accident attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by filling out the contact form at the bottom of this page, or you can call us at (888) 772-2529.