On The Job Injuries

By law in the United States, employers must carry worker's compensation insurance for each and every employee. As an employee, you are entitled to workers compensation benefits, if you are injured while working, even if you were injured due to your own fault or negligence. In workers compensation cases fault is usually not relevant.  Therefore, you cannot sue your employer even if his negligence or the negligence of a co-employee caused your injury but you do have a workers compensation claim which will provide certain benefits.

Under workers compensation laws you are entitled to have your injury related medical bills paid and if you are unable to work you can receive temporary disability monies.  If you have a permanent injury, you will also be entitled to permanent disability payments and some additional benefits.  

If you were injured at work, you have a workers compensation claim. If you have been injured while working on a construction site, often you will have both a workers compensation claim and a "third party claim." A "third party claim" arises when the negligence of a person or entity, other than your employer or a co-employee caused your injury.  

Example of a "third party claim"  

An electrician, John Wired,  is working for an electrical contractor Sparky, Inc. wiring a newly constructed elementary school (Lincoln School).  The general contractor, who retained Sparky, Inc., is Builder, Inc.  Builder has a crane on site which is operated by its employee, Joe Crane.  On July 4, 2009, Joe had a large cement bucket on the crane when he negligently rammed it into the building where John Wired was working.  The damage to the building caused the ceiling to collapse onto John Wired and he was injured.  John Wired has a "third party claim" against Builder, Inc. and Joe Crane for negligence.  Since John was at work, he also has a workers compensation claim against his employer, Sparky, Inc.

Determining if you have a "third party claim" can be very complicated and pursuing these claims requires the assistance of an experienced attorney like Dean Goetz.

Working in the construction industry can be exciting but construction sites can also be dangerous places with uncovered trenches and holes, debris, steel rods, ladders, scaffolding, trucks, skip loaders, heavy equipment, big machinery, cranes, construction site traffic, heavy objects being lifted and moved to different places in the construction site by cranes and other dangerous activities. Frequently, production and speed are more important than safety.

Construction site accidents result in injuries that are often very serious and sometimes even fatal. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics keeps track of job site injuries and deaths in the U.S. each year. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics informs us that, "Workers in construction incurred the most fatalities of any industry in the private sector in 2008."

If you have been injured on a construction site and you believe that you were injured because of an unsafe work environment, faulty equipment, or negligence, you may have a civil "third party claim" which may allow you to recover damages for all your past and future medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering and other general damages above and beyond any benefits you may be entitled to from your worker's compensation claim.

The available workers compensation benefits are usually not enough to cover all of your lost earnings or to adequately and fairly compensate you for your injuries.  That is why it is important to pursue a "third party claim" if it is available.  In a "third party claim" you must be able to establish that some third party was negligent and that this negligence resulted in your injury.

Third party claims arising as a result of construction site accidents are complex. You will need an experienced and effective attorney to properly handle your case. An experienced attorney will be able to find the evidence necessary to establish the proof you need to win your case. An experienced construction accident attorney will thoroughly obtain all the facts and investigate all aspects of your particular construction accident to obtain the evidence needed to prove your case and obtain the compensation you are legally entitled to receive.  

If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, you may have a personal injury civil lawsuit for your damages and pain and suffering. You will need proof to pursue a civil action, but any civil lawsuit will be handled separately from your worker compensation benefits. These are third party claims and they can be quite complex and require a skilled and experienced San Diego construction accident attorney to ensure that your rights are protected and you receive the maximum compensation due to you under the law.

The United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulates safety on construction sites. OSHA provides the standards that are the legal requirements that define the minimum protections employers must provide to employees. OSHA also sets the rules for safety measures for cranes and derricks.Construction sites require experienced workers and managers to ensure everyone's safety so OSHA establishes and regulates rules for cranes and derricks such as: the qualifications for individuals who operate, maintain, repair, assemble, and disassemble cranes and derricks, work zone control, crane operations near electric power lines, qualifications of signal-persons and communication systems and requirements, load capacity and control procedures, wire rope criteria, crane inspection/certification records, rigging procedures, requirements for fail-safe, warning, and other safety-related devices/technologies, verification criteria for the structural adequacy of crane components, stability testing requirements, blind pick procedures, and hydraulic cranes.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates and oversees the right to a safe work place in the United States. But frequently the OSHA job site safety rules are ignored on construction sites which often results in severe and lasting injury to construction workers. Crane accidents have occurred too often in recent years around the USA making big news and resulting in workers being injured by heavy and extremely large objects falling. Scaffolding is sometimes poorly constructed or negligently erected and as a result does not support the construction site crew.  Many workers have been negligently exposed to asbestos. A construction site may have hot live wires which could lead to electrocution of workers. Welding accidents are  common and can be extremely painful causing permanent injury. On large construction sites, the  "construction site vehicular traffic" can lead to job related vehicle accidents. Trucks or "Bobcats" may run into workers.  Objects may fall and strike workers causing injury.  Roofs or walls may collapse. Employees may fall into open trenches.  Carpenters may fall from inadequately secured ladders.  Workers may fall from roofs, scaffolding, ladders, or fall through floors, or slip and fall while walking on the construction site.  All of these accidents may be the result of actionable negligence.  

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics keeps track of how death or injury are caused on work sites. Work place accidents like chemical exposure or even asbestos exposure may cause the injured worker to have a serious illness rather then an acute injury. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, "Construction workers experienced 135,350 injuries and illnesses in 2007 and had an incident rate of 190 per 100,000 workers. Also, contact with objects and equipment resulted in 35 percent of the injuries and illnesses." Some constructions site accidents may be due to defective products. When construction equipment malfunctions, the results can be disastrous. An experienced construction site accident attorney will know how to properly investigate and prove your claim even it involves a defective or dangerous product. Your experienced and effective construction accident attorney will identify the responsible parties in your case, conduct investigations which will secure the necessary evidence for your case.

If you have been injured in a construction site accident and believe your injury or the injury or death of a loved one was avoidable and due to negligence, you need to consult with an experienced California construction site accident attorney.

Retain a San Diego construction accident attorney who will fight for your legal rights.

Attorney Goetz will immediately hire the construction experts needed to inspect the construction site accident scene and gather evidence in order to establish the negligence of the third party.  

Dean Goetz will maximize your overall net recovery by expertly dealing with the workers compensation insurance company and reducing its lien.  He will also obtain the expert witness input needed to establish the full extent of your injuries, future medical expenses and future income losses.  Call 858-481-8844 NOW for immediate answers to your questions.