Construction sites can be hazardous places. They pose a significant risk not only to construction workers, but also to innocent passersby. Although there are many rules and regulations to ensure safe construction sites, accidents happen quite often. If you have suffered an injury at a California construction site, you should know how much your accident settlement is worth.
Common Construction Accident Causes
While injuries are typical, California construction fatalities are also common. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), one in five worker deaths in 2018 were in construction. OSHA has deemed the four most common causes of construction site injuries and fatalities as the “fatal four.” They are:
- Struck by objects,
- Electrocutions, and
- Caught in/between equipment or objects.
There are a wide variety of reasons for construction accidents. While safety is a top priority on construction sites, accidents can still happen.
Common Construction Site Injuries
Construction site accidents can lead to many different injuries, including:
- Broken bones,
- Neck and back injuries,
- Spinal cord injuries or paralysis,
- Head and brain injuries,
- Amputations, and
- Severe burns.
In some unfortunate cases, as previously mentioned, construction accidents may also result in death.
When Can I File a Personal Injury Case?
Your ability to file a personal injury claim after a construction accident depends on the circumstances. There may be instances where filing a personal injury claim is the obvious remedy, but others may depend on certain factors.
Construction companies in California are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage. If you are an employee covered by workers’ compensation and are injured at work, you can file a claim to receive benefits. These benefits will cover specific expenses and lost wages.
Employees covered by workers’ compensation insurance are not allowed to file a personal injury claim against employers. However, if a third party was at fault for your accident, you can file a personal injury claim against them.
Independent contractors not covered by workers’ compensation insurance are allowed to file a personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible.
In many cases, non-workers suffer injuries at construction sites. Innocent victims are injured for a variety of reasons, from being hit by falling objects to suffering a fall at sites not clearly marked. Non-workers injured at construction sites have the right to file personal injury lawsuits against those at fault, including the construction company.
Our Case Results
Rear End Vehicle Collision
A negligent driver rear-ended our client who suffered a significant back injury resulting in pre-trial settlement of $750,000.
LOW-SPEED REAR END VEHICLE COLLISION
Our client was a passenger in a vehicle involved in a low-speed impact resulting in back surgery. Settlement of his third-party liability and his underinsurance claims resulted in total settlement of $565,000.
Pedestrian Struck by Vehicle
Our client’s mother was struck and killed in a crosswalk resulting in a policy limits settlement of $500,000.
Car Rear Ended By Bus
A bus rear ended our client causing serious back injuries. Result: $125,000.
Disputed Liability Red Light Crash
Our client came to us with a low back injury after having been sued by a motorist in a disputed fault automobile collision. The police report placed fault on our client. They claimed he entered an intersection in his Porsche on a red light. This supposedly was the cause of a collision with a large pickup truck. The truck went on to collide with several more vehicles after the initial collision. The police report included numerous witness statements most of which blamed our client. After the course of the next two years, we took numerous depositions. Eventually, what we had known all along eventually became evident. The police report was wrong and it was actually the driver of the pickup who had run the red light. After multiple days of mandatory settlement conference, just before trial, the other driver’s insurance finally agreed to compensate our client for his back injury and paid $115,000 to settle the case.
While our clients, grandparents and their two grand-kids were driving through an intersection, another vehicle illegally turned left in front of our clients. The insurer for the other driver contended that the claimed injuries were not severe and not caused by the collision. After aggressive advocacy for our clients, we made a policy limits demand and contradicted the insurer’s position regrading our clients’ injuries. The insurer paid its entire policy to our clients.
Although these results may not indicate the possible outcome of your case, you can see that we work tirelessly to get the best possible results for our clients. To learn more about the potential value of your San Francisco car accident claim, call us now at 415.569.7495 or contact us to schedule your free consultation.
How Much Is My Settlement Worth?
You will need to calculate the actual value of your case if you can file a personal injury claim against the construction company or a third party. Your costs and losses will help determine the value of your case.
There are two types of damages in construction accident cases: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are easily calculable. These may include:
- Medical treatment,
- Medical expenses,
- Rehabilitation, and
- Lost wages.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are not as easily calculated. These include:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress, and
- Loss of consortium.
Punitive damages may also be available in construction accident cases. These damages do not serve to compensate the plaintiff but, rather, to punish and deter the defendant. Punitive damages are not available for every case—only for those where the defendant’s reckless or intentional actions caused the injury.
The value of your case will also depend on who is liable for the accident. Many parties are involved in construction, so multiple parties can share liability. The injured party may also play a part in the accident.
California operates under a pure comparative fault law. While the injured party can still recover damages, the amount they are able to recover will depend on their percentage of fault. For example, if the injured party is awarded $100,000 and it is determined they are 30% at fault, their award will be reduced by 30%, leaving them with $70,000.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
With so many moving parts, construction injury cases can be challenging and complicated. If you have been injured at a construction site and qualify to file a personal injury lawsuit, you must contact a California personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can review your case and give you the best legal options in an effort to obtain just compensation.
The Wakeford Law Firm, a premier Bay Area law firm, focuses on helping clients injured in unfortunate accidents. Wesley Wakeford is an experienced and decorated trial lawyer, passionate about advocating for clients and fighting for just compensation. Contact us today, and let’s see how we can help you.