Anyone injured in a construction accident can bring a lawsuit against those responsible for the accident and their injuries in California. Construction injury lawsuits allow accident victims to seek damage compensation, including reimbursement for medical and rehabilitation expenses, loss of income, pain, and suffering. In addition, when someone dies in a construction site accident, their family is entitled to file what is known as a wrongful death suit and seek compensation from responsible parties. Construction accidents are so common that they are the second leading cause of death in California, according to a study from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
Although a successful claim filed with the California Department of Workers’ Compensation can help injured construction workers cover their medical costs and at least some lost income, those benefits are often not enough to fully compensate construction site accident victims. In such cases, workers can bring a lawsuit against any third party who may have been negligent, causing the accident.
This post will explore which parties may be held responsible for a construction accident.
Liability in a California Construction Accident Lawsuit
When construction workers are injured in a work-related accident, they have a right to file a claim against any individual or entity responsible. Often, these claims never make it to a courtroom and end in settlements.
Determining responsibility in a construction accident will depend on several factors, including how it occurred and who might have been involved.
Some individuals or entities that may be found liable can include:
- the property owner
- the construction company
- the general contractor
- the sub-contractor
- an equipment manufacturer
- the architect or engineer
- government or city agencies
- a manufacturer, when defective products are involved
An experienced California workplace injury attorney will help explain the best course of action for you to receive compensation following a construction accident. Although workers’ compensation and personal injury claims are different, choosing one doesn’t mean ignoring the other.
Your construction site accident attorney may file a personal injury claim based on one or more of the following principles:
The majority of construction accident injury claims involve negligence. To demonstrate negligence in a construction site accident, a victim must prove that the responsible party owed them a duty of care, that the responsible party failed in providing that duty of care, either through carelessness or negligence and that it had a significant influence on the incident and the defendant’s injuries.
When it comes to construction site accidents, property owners or managers may be responsible when a construction accident occurs on-site because it is their responsibility to keep the premises safe and address any dangerous conditions that may exist.
In a premises liability case, the victim must prove that the responsible party owned or was in control of the property, that they were negligent by not adequately maintaining their property, and that the accident and injury resulted from that negligence.
It is not uncommon for a construction accident to be caused by the negligence of construction workers on site. While employees may be responsible for their own actions, the employer may also be responsible for their negligence. That is known as vicarious liability.
A construction accident may also be the result of a defective product. Product liability lawsuits can hold manufacturers, designers, or sellers of defective products responsible for injuries resulting from the use of a faulty product. Defective products on construction sites may include faulty tools, equipment, or machinery that malfunctions and causes an accident or injury.
Seeking Damages Related to a Construction Site Accident
Damages awarded in construction accident claims represent financial compensation to help accident victims cover their losses due to the incident. This compensation might include monetary awards to cover both economic and non-economic damages.
Compensatory damages related to a construction accident may include awards for:
- medical expenses
- long-term medical care
- lost wages and income
Non-economic compensation may be awarded for physical pain or suffering that the victim may have endured because of the accident, including mental anguish. While it is always challenging to associate a dollar figure with such losses, a California construction accident attorney can evaluate your unique construction accident case and help determine a potential damage amount to seek as part of your lawsuit.
In certain construction site accident cases, punitive damage awards might also be granted. These are typically available to victims in cases where a responsible party’s actions were intentional or particularly egregious. Punitive damages do not compensate victims for losses but punish the responsible party and act as a deterrent to similar future actions.
How to File a Construction Accident Lawsuit
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury due to a construction site accident, contact the workplace injury attorneys at Aoudi Law. The personal injury experts at Aoudi Law have helped countless California workers get the compensation they deserve following a construction site accident injury.
Call or text 714-386-9874 today for a free consultation and learn how we can help you get the compensation you deserve following a construction accident in California.