Q: How is fault determined in a construction accident?
A construction accident claimed the life of one worker and injured another on a recent rainy afternoon in Santa Cruz County. The workers were part of a team charged with clearing a mudslide along Highway 17.
Reportedly, despite wearing “bright colored safety gear” to enhance their visibility, the two workers were struck by a dirt-hauling truck that backed over them. One of the workers that were run over was killed and the other was trapped beneath the truck. Emergency workers extricated the trapped man and transported him to the hospital. His condition is unknown.
When workers are injured on the job, they are entitled to Workers’ Compensation (“Workers Comp”) benefits which cover their related medical expenses so they do not go through their personal health insurance. In addition, workers receive a portion of their weekly wages so they are not completely without income during their recovery and/or rehabilitation period. Workers’ Comp Law prohibits workers from suing their employers for injuries sustained on the job.
While they can’t sue their employers, injured workers are often able to sue a third-party that may have caused or contributed to their injuries on the job site. In the case of a construction accident, third parties may be contractors, subcontractors, foremen, or supervisors in charge of maintaining safety or inspecting or repairing construction equipment or vehicles, and the manufacturers of equipment or vehicles involved in the accident.
In the Highway 17 case, it was not clear if the truck involved had back up warning beepers or rear-facing cameras.
If an investigation reveals that a third-party may be liable for all or part of the injured and deceased victims’ injuries, the injured worker may be able to pursue a personal injury action and the close surviving relatives of the deceased victim may be able to pursue a wrongful death action.
In a personal injury action, a victim may recover current and future medical costs, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more depending on the particular circumstances. Survivors in a wrongful death action, generally may jnylawrecover the medical expenses related to their loved ones accident, funeral expenses, lost income if the deceased supported them, and more, depending on the relationship and the facts of the case.
It is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney if you or a loved one is involved in a construction accident or any other kind of accident where you’ve been injured as a result of the negligence, recklessness, or malicious actions of another person or entity.
The attorneys at J&Y Law Firm can help you recover compensation to relieve the financial burden imposed by the accident so you can focus on grieving and healing. Contact us for a free consultation at 888-806-6722. Whether you reside in California or are injured while visiting here, J&Y Law Firm has 21 convenient locations throughout California to serve you.