Thousands of construction workers are injured or killed on the job each year. For example, 1,178 construction fatalities occurred in the United States in 2007 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics..
Workers on construction sites are always at risk for serious injuries and death due to the nature of their employment. Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe place to work for its workers. Employers are required to implement appropriate safety procedures, properly maintain equipment, properly supervise the jobsite and their workers and comply with all OSHA and other safety regulations.
BENEFITS AVAILABLE TO THE INJURED WORKER
Most construction workers know that, if they are injured on the job, they have the right to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits pursuant to the provisions of the California Workers’ Compensation Act. The Act provides benefits for workers who suffer injuries while at work or suffer an occupational disease arising out of their employment, regardless of who was at fault. An employee who is partially or totally at fault for his or her own injury may still recover workers’ compensation benefits.
Unfortunately, Workers compensation does not provide enough financial reimbursement in order to meet the needs of most work-injury victims. Workers’ compensation will only replace 2/3 of your salary up to a statutory maximum. Medical and other benefits have, also, been reduced in recent years. Therefore, it is important for a seriously injured worker to seek the advice of an attorney experienced in third party construction accident cases to insure that they receive full compensation for the injuries received. Please see http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/basics.htm for additional information about California’s worker’s compensation system.
Additional Compensation Through Third Party Cases
Workers are seriously injured on the jobsite every day. Most of these injured workers believe they can only recover workers compensation benefits since California law prohibits lawsuits directly against the employer in most cases (although there are some exceptions such as those involving a “punch press”). It is important to know that the injured worker may also have “third party” claims that can be made in a personal injury lawsuit that will provide benefits in addition to those that can be obtained through the worker’s compensation system. Under certain circumstances the worker can pursue a workers’ compensation claim and a “third party” case for damages against a liable party other than the employer that will provide additional compensation to the injured worker. The advantage of third-party claims is that injured worker can receive substantially greater compensation than he can receive through workers’ compensation.
In a third-party lawsuit, the worker can recover damages for all lost wages, impairment of earning capacity, medical costs, future medical costs, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium which are not available through a worker’s compensation claim. In such cases, the “third party” must be proven to have fault based upon various legal theories. In California the injured worker may pursue a third-party claim even if he was partially at fault. The worker’s overall claim will be diminished by the worker’s percentage of fault. This principle, followed California, is known as comparative negligence.
It is important to note that time is of the essence in most of these cases. Construction sites constantly change as construction progresses and important evidence vital to proving a third-party claim may soon be altered or destroyed. Berglund & Johnson, with its significant staff, experience, and financial resources can immediately launch an investigation into the causes of the accident and locate important witnesses that will be vitally important in proving the liability of all responsible third-party defendants. Experienced attorneys are essential for the injured worker to obtain full compensation.
In order to lessen the financial burden and challenges associated with work injuries, Berglund & Johnson will provide a free consultation and inform you of the steps needed to pursue a claim. We aggressively seek third party claims by locating all parties involved at the time of the accident. These claims often involve premises liability, product liability, and other third party liability claims.
Common Types of Construction Accidents
Falls causing Death, Back, Neck and Brain Injuries
Equipment failure causing amputation and crush injuries
Burns, Electrical injuries
Automobile and construction vehicle accidents
Farm equipment injuries
Trench and excavation accidents
Defective products and machinery on the construction site that cause injuries
Failure of the property owner or occupier to provide a safe place to work
Third Party Construction Accident Cases Require Particular Expertise
Berglund & Johnson has represented many workers in third party cases to obtain benefits in addition to those available through Worker’s Compensation. These cases involve a very complex area of law that requires particular expertise to determine whether there is any legal liability of some person or entity other than the worker’s employer. Berglund & Johnson attorneys have consistently been at the forefront in these types of cases and aggressively litigate on behalf of their clients who have been injured in the workplace.
CALL BERGLUND & JOHNSON to insure your rights are protected
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury while working at a construction site within the past 2 years and have not sought legal counsel, call Berglund & Johnson at 1-800-4-IF-HURT for a free consultation. It is important that you contact Berglund & Johnson as soon as possible after a workplace injury to explore whether you are limited to workers compensation benefits or whether you can also recover full and fair compensation for your injuries because a third party was, also, a cause of the accident.
Do not rely on contractors, employers and insurance companies to treat you fairly. It is their intent to run the Workers’ Compensation system to reduce their costs and increase their profits. A civil case coordinated with the workers’ compensation award will provide fair compensation and justice for you and your family.