CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTION SITE WORK INJURY TYPES:
Construction sites are dangerous places. Heavy equipment, dangerous tools, and hazardous conditions lead to catastrophic injuries and death at too many construction sites. The danger is increased by the many different independent companies that provide the many trades necessary to build our towns and cities. For example, an electrician may leave an exposed live wire that sadly electrocutes a plumber. Or the plumber may drop a wrench on the electrician’s head. Coordination and management by the General Contractor (“GC”) is often negligent, and/or the independent contractor is simply negligent. See Contractors Code Laws . The owner and or general contractor may also be liable due to Los Angeles Building Code violations, for example. An experienced construction injury attorney is usually needed to figure out exactly who is at fault when tragedy strikes.
INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR LIABILITY FOR LOS ANGELES CONSTRUCTION SITE INJURIES:
Construction site injuries are different from most workplace injuries. Most workplace injury claims are limited to worker’s compensation claims. However, the compensation is much greater if someone other than the injury victim’s employer is at fault for the injury incident. Construction site injuries usually involve a general contractor that manages the whole project, and many subcontractors that do the work. The subcontractors are usually divided up by specialty trade. So one company provides the plumbing, another does the electrical work, carpenters do the framing, a roofing company is on site, and another company installs the scaffolding for other subcontractors to use for their work. The plumber’s employee assistant is usually limited to a worker’s compensation claim against the plumbing company.
LOS ANGELES CONSTRUCTION PERSONAL INJURY, DEATH V. WORKERS COMPENSATION:
The good news for the injured plumber’s assistant is that he doesn’t need to prove negligence to receive worker’s compensation benefits. However, those benefits are relatively small, and usually do not fully compensate for the major injuries suffered by the worker. An experienced personal injury attorney is needed to find out if the injuries were caused, or contributed to, by another subcontractor’s employees, or by the general contractor or its employees. The victim will be able to recover compensation for past and future pain and suffering, lost earnings, and medical expenses, if another subcontractor or the general contractor caused or contributed to the injury. The amount of that compensation will likely be much higher than any worker’s compensation award or settlement.
PROVING CONTRACTOR LIABILITY FOR CONSTRUCTION SITE INJURIES:
The injured worker will have to prove that the other subcontractor or general contractor was negligent, and prove that negligence caused the subject injuries. An experienced construction site injury and wrongful death attorney is needed to meet the legal burdens of proof. In California, the amount of the financial recovery depends on the percentages of fault. So if the victim’s own negligence was 20 percent responsible for the injuries, then the victim will receive 80 percent of the total damages. The subcontractors and the general contractor will hire lawyers to defend the claims. They usually have insurance, and that insurance company will hire lawyers and investigators to investigate the loss, interview all witnesses, and find any way possible to avoid liability for the company. Thus, it is essential that an injured construction worker, or the worker’s family if he was killed, must hire an attorney to protect their rights as soon as possible. Time is of the essence to protect your rights against large corporations and large insurance companies looking to minimize or eradicate their losses.
Related Sites: Wrongful Death Claims, California Contract Code, California Business and Professions Code, Los Angeles Construction Site Death
Sources: Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety, Construction Site Legal