Southern California, and the Temecula area in particular, is rapidly growing and expanding and boasts new construction projects daily. Construction is a dangerous profession resulting in injury and death all too frequently – nearly 5,000 workers died on the job in 2017, and there were over 450,000 annually reported nonfatal injuries in California alone. One of every five California workplace fatalities are construction workers and 75 workers lost their lives in 2015. Construction accident victims in Temecula may be entitled to recover damages and should speak with an experienced Temecula construction accident attorney to learn their options and take steps to receive just compensation for their injuries.
What Causes Construction Accidents?
Construction accidents can result in a broad range of injuries or even death to workers. Given the numerous tasks that take place on a construction site, there are a wide range of common risks that can ultimately cause harm to workers, including:
- Falls – Falls from ladders, scaffolding, roofs, and unguarded exposed steel rebars account for nearly 22 percent of worker injuries.
- Falling Items – Masonry walls, construction tools, materials, and other equipment improperly secured above a worker’s head can fall, hit a worker, and injure them even when wearing a protective hardhat.
- Collapses – Workers in buildings under construction or being demolished can be injured in the event of an unexpected collapse of some or all of the structure.
- Electrocution – Exposed wires, faulty connections, and issues with ground-fault protection at construction sites can harm workers and constitute 10 percent of construction industry deaths.
- Explosions and Fires – Leaking gas lines, exposed electrical wiring, and common use of flammable chemicals in construction can create hazardous conditions and injure workers.
- Equipment Accidents – Dangerous equipment including cranes, forklifts, blowtorches, saws, and power tools all can cause worker injuries.
- Unsafe Working Conditions – Employer failure to follow safety codes and OSHA, as well as improper site inspections, can create in hazardous conditions resulting in injury or death.
Serious injuries can also come with disastrous, life-changing consequences for the victim and their loved ones. Even if your injury does not result from one of the more common risks at your workplace, you should still consult a Temecula attorney skilled in handling claims of construction accident injuries.
What Should I Do If I Am Injured in a Construction Accident in Temecula?
The aftermath of injury from a construction accident can be traumatic and overwhelming – pain, medical care, inability to work, and uncertainty about the future are very real and very daunting. Hiring an experienced Temecula personal injury attorney skilled in construction accident cases can ensure your rights are preserved, your best interests are protected, and your claims are represented properly. Simple actions can help ensure the optimal outcome for you from a tragic situation.
- Seek out immediate medical care and follow healthcare provider recommendations exactly.
- File an accident report with your employer and retain copies of all records, reports, and documentation regarding the accident.
- Obtain information from all witnesses and take photographs of the accident site and any equipment involved if you are able.
- Keep copies of all expenses, medical treatments, lost wages, and other damages you suffer as a result of the accident and your injuries.
- Do not sign anything without consulting an attorney and try to avoid giving recorded statements to your employer or their insurer.
- Consult an attorney experienced in handling Temecula construction accident injuries sooner rather than later to avoid a bar under California’s 2-year statute of limitations deadline.
What Can I Recover if I Am Injured in a Construction Accident?
Construction accident injuries can result in massive medical expenses for victims and their families, as well as other unforeseen long-term financial, physical, mental, and psychological challenges. California law understands this and has created several types of damages that, thought they will not undo the injury, can both compensate you and your family for the harm done and punish the perpetrators.
Once attorneys have proven someone’s negligence caused your harm, a judge or jury may award damages you are able to show you suffered. Compensatory damages are meant to make you whole for the injuries you sustained and may be economic or noneconomic in nature.
Economic damages are awarded for harms you can concretely attach a number value to through records such as:
- Medical bills;
- Paystubs; and
- Treatment plans indicating future medical care expenses.
Noneconomic damages may be awarded to compensate for injuries that do not have a price tag – emotional, mental, and psychological damage from claims such as:
- Pain and suffering;
- Infliction of emotional distress;
- Loss of consortium; and
- Mental anguish.
Additionally, if a victim can demonstrate additional elements once they have established eligibility to recover compensatory damages, they may be entitled to additional monies known as punitive damages. Punitive damages may be awarded if it can be shown the party causing the victim’s injuries acted with malice, oppression, or fraud. The damage award is meant to punish the wrongdoer for their reprehensible, intentional, or grossly reckless conduct as well as deter them and others from acting similarly in the future. There is no set limit on the amount of punitive damages judges and juries may award – situations are evaluated on a case by case basis to make their determination.
Should I Seek Legal Advice for My Construction Accident Injuries?
You should contact the experienced Temecula construction accident attorneys at Walton Law today to learn about your options, receive a professional case evaluation, and decide the best course of action to move forward and receive compensation for your injuries. The skilled attorneys at Walton Law represent clients in Temecula and the surrounding area and have years of experience advocating effectively for clients like you. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866)-338-7079 or through our online Contact Page to set up your no-risk, no-obligation initial consultation. The review is confidential, and you will pay no fees unless we win your case. Our knowledgeable attorneys will review your unique circumstances and deliver personalized representation to help you or your loved ones receive the best possible outcome in your case.