San Diego Construction Accident Attorney
Workplace injuries can occur in almost any industry or job location in San Diego; however, construction sites pose particularly high levels of risk for all involved. Because of the heavy machinery used, exposed parts, and dangerous conditions, our San Diego construction accident attorneys know that it is not uncommon for these accidents to lead to serious injury for workers and those on-site.
With the heavy volume of construction projects in progress both downtown and throughout San Diego, the chances of a serious construction accident occurring are extremely high. If workers’ comp is not enough or you feel does not justify your injury, schedule a FREE consultation with our San Diego personal injury lawyers.
Common Causes of Construction Accidents
Construction accidents are usually the result of oversight, improper execution, or a lack of awareness on somebody’s part. Specifically, these are some of the common causes:
- Falls. Construction sites often require workers to perform their duties from elevated heights. Fall injuries are already one of the major causes of injury, but on constructions sites, the risk is even higher. Whether it’s on a ladder, scaffolding, ledge, or other raised surface, there is always a risk of falling. These falls can be particularly dangerous when the height involved is more than a few feet or the landing site is hazardous.
- Slip/Trip and Falls. Construction workers don’t have to fall from high heights to injure themselves. Slip/trip and falls often lead to severe injuries that require ongoing medical attention. These slips or trips are usually related to uneven or slippery surfaces, inadequate stairs, or improperly placed equipment.
- Falling Debris. While construction workers are required to wear hard hats, these small protection devices cannot prevent everything. When large amounts of debris or heavy equipment come into contact with a worker’s head, serious injuries are often sustained.
- Electrocution. On construction sites where there is exposed wiring or machinery, workers are at risk of electrocution. This is often very serious and can cause considerable internal damage.
- Machinery Accidents. Workers operating heavy machinery are exposed to huge levels of risk on some sites. This includes getting caught between parts, tipping, or crushing injuries.
- Overexertion. Much like any job, construction sites can force workers to overexert themselves and cause significant musculoskeletal injury. Overexertion injuries usually result from lifting, pushing, holding, throwing, pulling, or carrying.
- Fires and Explosions. Any time there is construction, a risk of fire or explosion exists. Often these are minor in nature, but they can still inflict harm on workers and leave the with serious burn injuries.
Construction site accident fatalities are largely due to what has been referred to as the “fatal four” by OSHA. Falls, electrocutions, caught in between, and struck by object accidents make up over 54 percent of the fatalities.
Who May Be Liable in a Construction Accident/Injury?
Construction is one of the most inherently dangerous industries, and injured victims in construction accidents may wonder about their legal options after sustaining on-the-job injuries. Due to the way construction sites work and the many parties in play in any given scenario, some construction accident cases can lead to difficulty in determining liability or may involve multiple defendants.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) monitor American employers for worker safety and compliance issues. Employers in all industries have a legal obligation to furnish their employees with a safe working environment. They must also take action to correct known safety issues in a timely and complete manner. Some construction work involves working with third parties or specific product manufacturers, and a construction accident may implicate these parties as partially liable for a victim’s injuries.
If an employee notices a workplace hazard, he or she must report it to the workplace supervisor as soon as possible. Employers then have the obligation of addressing and correcting the issue. If there is no way to correct the issue for the time being, the employer must take steps to prevent employee injury until they can solve the problem. If an employer fails to take these measures or does nothing to prevent employee injury, the injured employee may sue the employer for negligence.
Most injured construction workers can secure compensation for their medical expenses and lost income after a work-related injury through workers’ compensation claims. All California employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance and must process claims in good faith. If a workers’ compensation claim isn’t enough to cover an injured employee’s losses, the employee can secure additional compensation through a personal injury lawsuit against the employer.
Third Party Claims
Some construction work involves contact with third parties like product vendors, subcontractors, or just the general public. For example, a construction worker delivering supplies to a jobsite suffers an injury when another motorist negligently crashes into his truck. The injured employee may file worker’s compensation since the injury occurred while he was working, but he may also file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent third party.
Many construction workers rely on tools and supplies from other companies and vendors. Product manufacturers must ensure their products perform as advertised and present no extraordinary risk to end users through normal use. If a construction worker suffers an injury from a defective piece of machinery, tool, or construction material, he or she may be able to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer. Unlike personal injury claims, the plaintiff will not necessarily have to prove the manufacturer was negligent, only that the product in question was defective and the defect caused the plaintiff’s damages.
OSHA carefully monitors complaints of employer negligence and job site hazards. If a construction employee notifies his employer about a job site hazard and the employer does nothing to address it, the employee can contact OSHA to report the issue. OSHA violations are serious matters, and employers found guilty of such violations are liable for any resulting employee injuries.
Common Construction Accident Injuries
In San Diego, common construction accident injuries include the following:
- Spinal Injuries. Whenever force is involved, the human spine is at risk. With so many nerve endings, discs, muscles, and tendons, any wrong movement can result in injury to the spinal cord. When you account for all the risk factors on construction sites, it’s no surprise that spinal injuries are so common. These include displaced discs, fractures, nerve damage, and more.
- Head Injuries. Trauma to the head can lead to cuts, fractures, concussions, brain damage, coma, or death. On construction sites, head injuries usually result from falling debris, machinery malfunctions, or falls.
- Burn Injuries. When electrocution, explosions, or fires occur, burn injuries frequently result. These could be minor in nature or as serious as third degree burns requiring skin grafts and leading to permanent scarring.
- Heat Stroke. Because construction sites are usually outdoors, workers are often exposed to extreme conditions. In the summer, high temperatures can lead to heat stroke. This may result in brain, kidney, or heart damage, if left untreated.
Construction site accidents are also responsible for over 800 fatalities every year in the United States.
What to Do After a San Diego Construction Site Accident
If you have suffered an injury related to a construction accident, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention for any injuries you may have sustained. This includes both physical and psychological suffering. After receiving treatment, it’s important to contact a personal injury lawyer to see if you have legal grounds to recover compensation.
Liljegren Law Group – Construction Site Accident Attorneys Serving San Diego
At the Liljegren Law Group, we specialize in personal injury law and would be happy to discuss your potential case with you. You may have the ability to recover damages for medical bills, loss of wages, future earnings loss, pain and suffering, and more. For more information, contact our San Diego construction site accident lawyers today.