If you have been in a construction accident in California, there are several steps you should take to ensure that you protect your health, safety, and legal rights.
1. Seek medical attention
Your health and safety are the top priority. If you have been injured, seek immediate medical attention. Even if you don’t think your injuries are severe, it’s important to get checked out by a medical professional to ensure that you don’t have any hidden injuries or underlying medical conditions.
Should I always seek medical attention after a construction accident in California?
Yes, it is advisable to seek medical attention after a construction accident in California. Even if you think you are not seriously injured, it is important to get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent but can cause serious complications if left untreated.
In addition, seeking medical attention creates a record of your injuries that can be important if you decide to file a workers’ compensation claim or pursue legal action against the responsible party.
Under California law, employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. This insurance provides benefits to workers who are injured on the job, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. In some cases, you may also be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against a third party who was responsible for the accident (we will discuss this in more detail below).
To protect your health and legal rights, it is always a good idea to seek medical attention after a construction accident in California.
2. Report the accident
You should report the accident to your employer or supervisor as soon as possible. This will help ensure that the incident is properly documented and investigated. If your employer fails to report the accident, you can report it to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), better known as the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA). You can learn more at https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/.
If my employer in California fails to report a workplace accident, how can I report it to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health?
If your employer in California fails to report a workplace accident, you can report it to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) by filing a complaint with them.
To file a complaint with DOSH, you can do the following:
- Visit the DOSH website at https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/complaint.htm for more information.
- You can file a complaint over the telephone with the Cal/OSHA Enforcement District Office closest to your worksite between 8 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday (except state holidays). You can view a full list of Cal/OSHA Enforcement District Offices here https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/DistrictOffices.htm.
- You can also call (866) 924-9757 to speak with Cal/OSHA staff who can discuss your complaint and respond to any questions that you have.
- Alternatively, you can email the Cal/OSHA Enforcement District Office nearest to your employer to begin the process of filing a complaint.
- The staff at Cal/OSHA will provide you with a complaint form that you will need to fill out and provide as much detail as possible about the workplace accident that occurred.
- You can submit the complaint form to Cal/OSHA using the instructions provided to you on the sheet.
When filing a complaint with Cal/OSHA, it is important to provide as much detail as possible about the workplace accident, including the date and time it occurred, the location, the names of any witnesses, and the names of any employees who were injured. This information will help Cal/OSHA investigate the incident and take appropriate action to ensure that your employer is in compliance with workplace safety regulations.
3. Collect information
Gather as much information about the accident as possible. Take photos of the scene, write down the names and contact information of any witnesses, and make notes about what happened leading up to the accident.
What kind of information do you need to collect if you were injured in a construction accident in California?
If you were injured in a construction accident in California, there are several pieces of information you should collect to help protect your legal rights and pursue compensation for your injuries. These include:
- Information about the accident: Write down the date, time, and location of the accident, as well as what you were doing when you were injured. Try to recall any details that may be important, such as the weather conditions, the equipment you were using, and the actions of others who may have contributed to the accident.
- Contact information for witnesses: If anyone saw the accident happen, ask for their names, phone numbers, and addresses. Witnesses may be able to provide valuable testimony about what happened, and their statements can help support your claim.
- Documentation of your injuries: Keep a record of all medical treatment you receive as a result of your injuries, including doctor’s visits, hospital stays, medications, and physical therapy. Make sure to obtain copies of your medical records, as these can be used to demonstrate the severity of your injuries.
- Information about your employer and the job site: Write down the name and contact information for your employer, as well as the address and other details about the job site where the accident occurred. This information can be important if you decide to file a workers’ compensation claim or pursue a lawsuit against your employer.
- Photos and videos of the accident scene: Take photos or videos of the accident scene if possible, including any equipment or machinery involved in the accident, as well as any hazardous conditions that may have contributed to the accident.
It’s also important to seek legal advice from a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident. An attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process of pursuing compensation for your injuries, and can ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
4. Consult an attorney
You may want to consult with a personal injury attorney who specializes in construction accidents, like our law firm, Javaheri & Yahoudai. Our team can help you understand your legal options and guide you through the process of filing a claim for compensation.
Third-Party Claims – The most important thing to understand about construction accident lawsuits
There are 2 different kinds of lawsuits that can happen after a construction accident and it is vital to understand the difference between them.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
A significant number of injuries that take place at construction sites in California are attributed to the carelessness of either the construction worker or their co-workers, and since these injuries occur while on the job, they fall under the purview of California’s workers’ compensation laws.
Construction Accidents Caused By Third Parties
In many cases, injuries at a construction site are not caused by the worker themself, or a co-worker, but are actually caused by “outside persons” that are not employed by the same company as the accident victim.
These “outside persons” or companies are called “third parties” in the eyes of the law, and when this type of construction accident occurs it is called a “Third Party Claim”.
If you have been injured due to the negligence of a third party (a person or company not employed by your company), you can file a lawsuit in the Civil Court System to recover compensation for your injuries. The laws surrounding Third Party Claims are complicated, but our team at J&Y Law are experts in this area and understand how to help you to receive the compensation you need to pay for your medical bills, lost income, emotional distress as well as your pain and suffering.
What is a Third Party Claim if you are in a construction accident in California?
In California, if you are involved in a construction accident, a third-party claim is a legal claim filed against a party other than your employer or co-worker who may be responsible for your injuries. Third-party claims are typically filed against a party who is not directly involved in the construction project, such as a manufacturer, subcontractor, or property owner.
In the context of a construction accident, a third-party claim can be filed against a party who is responsible for causing the accident, such as a manufacturer of faulty equipment, a subcontractor who failed to follow safety regulations or a property owner who failed to maintain safe working conditions.
Filing a third-party claim can allow you to recover damages for your injuries and losses that are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and lost wages beyond what is covered by workers’ compensation benefits.
It is important to note that navigating the legal system and determining who may be liable for your injuries can be complex, so it is advisable to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney who specializes in construction accidents and third-party claims in California.
Who is usually responsible for a Third Party Claim after a construction accident?
After a construction accident, a Third Party Claim can be brought against any person or company that may have contributed to the accident or its consequences. This can include:
- Contractors and subcontractors: If the accident was caused by the negligence of a contractor or subcontractor, they can be held liable for damages.
- Property owners: If the accident was caused by a hazard on the property, such as a dangerous condition or defect, the property owner can be held responsible.
- Architects and engineers: If the accident was caused by a design flaw or engineering error, the architect or engineer responsible for the design can be held liable.
- Manufacturers: If the accident was caused by a defective product or equipment, the manufacturer can be held responsible.
- Government agencies: If the accident was caused by a failure of a government agency to maintain the safety of the construction site or to enforce safety regulations, the agency can be held liable.
- Other third parties: Any other party that contributed to the accident, such as a delivery company or a utility provider, can also be held liable.
In general, anyone who had a role in the construction project or who had control over the site where the accident occurred could potentially be the target of a third-party claim.
How common are Third Party Claims after a construction accident?
Third party claims after a construction accident can be fairly common, depending on the circumstances of the accident. A third party claim is a claim against someone other than the employer or the injured worker.
Construction sites often involve multiple contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers, and it is not uncommon for accidents to occur due to the negligence of one of these parties. For example, a worker may be injured due to a defective piece of equipment provided by a supplier, or a subcontractor may have failed to properly secure a construction site, leading to a fall or other accident.
It is difficult to say how common third party claims are after a construction accident, as it depends on the specific circumstances of each accident. However, given the complex nature of construction sites and the multiple parties involved, it is not uncommon for third party claims to arise in the aftermath of an accident.
Is there a statute of limitations on filing a Third Party Claim after a construction accident in California?
In California, the statute of limitations for filing a third-party claim after a construction accident is generally two years from the date of the accident. This means that you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim against any third party, such as a contractor or property owner, who may be responsible for your injuries.
However, there are some exceptions and variations to this general rule. For example, if the accident involved a government entity, you may have a shorter time frame in which to file a claim. It’s also important to note that the specific circumstances of your case can impact the statute of limitations, so it’s best to consult with our team at J&Y Law so we can advise you on the deadlines that apply to your situation.
Overall, it’s important to act quickly and not delay in pursuing your legal rights after a construction accident. Failing to meet the applicable statute of limitations can result in your claim being barred, which may prevent you from recovering the compensation you need for your injuries and damages.
How do you know if you are eligible for a third party lawsuit if you have been injured in a construction accident in California?
If you have been injured in a construction accident in California, you may be eligible to file a third party lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries. Here are some key factors to consider:
- Liability: To file a lawsuit, you must be able to prove that a third party was responsible for your injuries. This could include a construction company, contractor, subcontractor, or another party that contributed to the accident.
- Injuries: You must have suffered physical harm as a result of the accident, such as broken bones, burns, or head trauma. It is important to seek medical attention immediately after the accident to document your injuries.
- Time Limits: There is a limited amount of time, known as the statute of limitations, during which you can file a lawsuit in California. For personal injury cases, this limit is typically two years from the date of the accident.
- Workers’ Compensation: If you were injured while working on a construction site, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits through your employer. However, these benefits may not cover all of your expenses, and you may still be able to file a third party lawsuit to seek additional compensation.
If you are unsure whether you are eligible for a lawsuit, it is best to consult with our team at J&Y Law who can assess your case and help you understand your legal options.
What percentage of construction workers get injured on the job in the United States?
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2020, the incidence rate of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in the construction industry was 3.5 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers. This represents a decrease from the previous year’s rate of 3.7 cases per 100 workers. However, the construction industry still had the highest incidence rate of all private industries.
What percentage of construction workers in California get injured on the job?
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2020, the incidence rate of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in the construction industry in California was 3.8 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers. This is higher than the overall rate for all industries in California, which was 2.6 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers.
It’s important to note that the BLS data includes all nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses, not just those related to construction work. Also, the incidence rate may vary based on the specific type of construction work being performed, and the safety protocols in place at each individual construction site.
5. File a workers’ compensation claim
In California, most employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. You may be able to file a claim for compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages regardless of whether a third party was involved or not.
Remember, it’s important to take action as soon as possible after a construction accident to protect your health, safety, and legal rights.
How do you file for workers’ compensation in California if you have been injured in a construction accident?
If you have been injured in a construction accident while working in California, you may be eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits. Here are the steps you should follow:
- Report the injury: You should report your injury to your employer as soon as possible, preferably within 30 days of the accident. If you wait too long to report the injury, you may lose your right to workers’ compensation benefits.
- Seek medical attention: You should seek medical attention for your injuries, even if they seem minor. Your employer may have a designated medical provider that you must see for treatment, or you may be able to choose your own doctor.
- Fill out the necessary paperwork: Your employer should provide you with a claim form to fill out. You should fill out this form as soon as possible and submit it to your employer.
- Wait for a decision: Your employer’s insurance company will review your claim and determine whether to accept or deny your workers’ compensation benefits. If your claim is accepted, you will receive benefits such as medical treatment and temporary disability payments.
- Consult with an attorney: If your claim is denied, you should consult with our team at J&Y Law. We specialize in workers’ compensation law and know how to help you. We can help you appeal the decision and get the benefits you deserve.
It’s important to note that California has strict deadlines for filing workers’ compensation claims, so it’s important to act quickly if you have been injured in a construction accident.
What Should I Do After Being In A Construction Accident?
In summary, if you are a construction worker in California and you have been injured in a workplace accident while on the job, you need to follow these steps:
- Seek medical attention
- Report the accident
- Collect information
- Consult an attorney
- File a workers’ compensation claim
Being injured on the job can be one of the most stressful experiences of your lifetime, and that is why it is important to be prepared, to educate yourself, and to have a team ready to fight on your behalf should the need arise. J&Y Law is a trusted law firm that serves individuals all throughout California and we have won tens of millions of dollars for our clients over the years. Call us today with any questions you may have about this article or about your situation and we would be happy to assist you.
Note: This page was written with the assistance of artificial intelligence software, but was reviewed for accuracy and approved by attorney Yosi Yahoudai.