If there is any job that conceals a minefield of danger and risk, it’s construction work. Every year, thousands are seriously injured or killed in construction accidents on construction sites. And while many precautions have been put into place to protect workers, construction accidents continue to be the number one cause of job-related deaths in America.
An astounding 1 out of every 10 workers will get injured this year. This is when you need a Construction Accident Attorney. Hastily constructed scaffolding, improperly braced cranes and falls from high places contribute greatly to this high accident rate. In Los Angeles, as in other big cities, economic pressure to get buildings up faster and faster is only making matters worse. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that there will be 1000 work-related deaths nationwide this year in the construction industry. In fact, this trend is so alarming that after ten workers died in seventeen months in Las Vegas construction accidents, Congress is reviewing of whether OSHA’s policies are not only adequate, but are being followed.
Los Angeles Construction Accident Attorneys are seeing more and more devastating cases emerge from on-site accidents. Burns, amputations, spinal injuries, asphyxiation due to faulty ventilation, falls, blindness and head injuries are only a few of the catastrophic construction accidents that can put victims out of work, sometimes permanently. Others face a lifetime regimen of medication and/or weeks or months of rehabilitation. During that time, their families are often without income.
It is the responsibility of the construction site’s General Contractor and his subcontractors to assure the safety of their workers, maintaining a workplace as free of potential hazards as possible and to supervise on-site work situations. This, unfortunately, isn’t always the case. Construction accidents are often caused by negligent General Contractors or Contractors who’ve abdicated supervision to negligent sub-contractors. Ben Howland, a drywall hanger in Los Angeles, was walking across his job site when a bobcat carrying an unbalanced load of drywall broke, and dropped the load on him. He was left paralyzed, unemployable and devastated. His Los Angeles Construction Accident Attorney proved that negligent supervision by the subcontractor and a badly maintained forklift was to blame for the accident. Ben collected $2.5 million.
Third party negligence plays a growing part in on-site construction accidents. Even with the best supervision, faulty third-party equipment, ie: damaged scaffolding, heavy equipment not adequately maintained, or faulty power tools – may cause an unforeseen accident. Negligent, third parties may also, according to law, assume partial responsibility. An expert construction accident attorney can untangle the liability of third party negligence for you if you have suffered such an accident.
Not only construction workers fall under this shadow of injury. Visitors to a job site or innocent passers-by who suffer injury or death fall under this same rule of law. A perfect example of this happened recently in New York City when a crane toppled off the roof of a building under construction and nearly demolished a building across the street, killing several people and injuring others. These victims had nothing whatsoever to do with the construction site, but were victims of negligence of the general contractor, product safety issues and other third party negligence still to be decided in court.
Workman’s Compensation may cover a certain percentage of the expenses incurred by a construction accident, but alone will be woefully insufficient to cover all the costs of a long-term or catastrophic injury such as paralysis, blindness, traumatic brain injury or death. Those types of injuries will often put the victim or the victim’s family into serious financial trouble if not compensated fairly. In such cases, third party negligence will often play a part in the settlement an expert construction attorney can achieve for their client, even if suing the General Contractor is not possible. It is very important to contact an attorney as soon as possible so that evidence of third party negligence can be preserved and investigated.
In California, the joint and several liability rules apply to every person who bears responsibility for a worker’s injury and a good construction accident attorney is skilled at applying this rule of law to the entire injury, including lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering.
Several years ago, California passed a law to make it easier for workers who have been injured to collect their Worker’s Compensation without the hassle of going to court to collect it. But at the same time, big corporations use high paid lawyers to keep you, the victim, from receiving all the Worker’s Comp benefits you’re entitled to. Why? Because their bottom line does not take the reality of yours into consideration. It is their job to help the insurance companies save money.
What recourse can a worker take when he or she has been injured on the job? First, find a good Construction Accident Attorney. In Los Angeles, such lawyers are familiar with California’s Workers Compensation law and can help the client navigate that difficult arena. If you or someone you love has been injured, you have enough to worry about right now without figuring out how to navigate the legal system. Let the experts help you!