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Construction Accidents

Bakersfield Construction Accident Lawyers

The construction industry is one of the most dangerous lines of work. The types of injuries construction workers sustain are often life-changing and can cause serious complications that can prevent employees from working. Fortunately, many of these injuries are covered by the workers' compensation system, which means workers may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, disability benefits and other damages. At Berry, Smith & Bartell, our team of professionals has decades of combined experience helping injured workers and their families with a variety of workers’ compensation claims. Senior partner & founder Wm. Todd Berry has represented injured workers to the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.

Schedule a free, no obligation consultation today with a licensed Bakersfield construction accident lawyer to review your case and determine your legal options. We believe in protecting the rights of injured workers and will work hard to obtain the compensation you deserve. If you decide to move forward, there are no upfront costs or fees to worry about. You only pay us if we help you recover fair compensation.

Give us a call at 1-800-848-6288 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.

Common Causes of Construction Accidents

Construction sites are filled with safety hazards and large construction equipment that can lead to severe injuries and even death. Often times, property owners, subcontractors, contractors, vendors and other parties are involved on the jobsite which can cause safety procedures to be overlooked.

Some of the most common causes of construction accidents include:

  • Failure to maintain equipment
  • Lack of proper safety gear
  • Falling objects
  • Chemical exposure
  • Industrial fires and explosions
  • Inadequate staffing
  • Poor supervision
  • Inadequate worker training
  • Defective materials or equipment
  • Failure to comply with OSHA regulations

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the most common construction accidents involve falls, electrocutions, falling materials, and caught-in-between accidents.

Many of these accidents can lead to devastating injuries, such as:

  • Heat stroke
  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Burns
  • Respiratory problems
  • Repetitive trauma injuries

Our knowledgeable construction accident attorneys in Bakersfield understand the severity and long-term health complications with being injured on the jobsite. We can help you obtain the compensation you need for your recovery.

Fill out our Free Case Evaluation form to get started.

Types of Construction Accident Cases

The Bakersfield construction accident lawyers at our firm are experienced in handling construction accident cases involving a wide variety of situations, including:

  • Slip and fall accidents – These accidents are caused by a variety of things, from slippery, uneven surfaces or holes in the ground to unstable ladders or scaffolding. Workers can slip on wet surfaces, trip over tools or fall from windows or roofs. This can result in severe or even fatal injuries.
  • Overexertion accidents – These accidents are caused by hours of hard labor, usually in hot and humid weather conditions. Workers can overexert themselves and sustain a heat stroke or suffer a back injury from doing a lot of heavy lifting.
  • Falling materials accidents – Tools, machinery, steel beams and other items can fall from different heights and cause serious injuries to workers below.
  • Explosions and burns – Unfinished piping, leaking gases or electric systems being worked on can cause fires and explosions on the jobsite. Workers can become severely burned or disfigured.
  • Electrocution accidents – These accidents are caused by exposed wiring, power lines and unfinished electrical systems which can result in electrocution or shock.
  • Forklift accidents – These accidents are caused by speeding, improper training and inattentive operation. Workers can be struck or crushed by a forklift, resulting in serious personal injuries.
  • Automobile collisions – Construction sites are often located next to roads or on highways which can be very dangerous. Workers can be hit by cars passing by the jobsite. These accidents are commonly caused by distracted or inattentive drivers.  
  • Crane accidents – Lack of inspections, overloading, improperly trained employees and improper crane setup can result in cranes hitting workers with heavy objects and materials or colliding with power lines and buildings.
  • Trench accidents – Trenches are common on construction sites to maintain, install or inspect pipes or cables underground. However, when a trench collapses with workers inside, they could be hit by machinery, tools or become buried underneath the dirt. 
  • Machinery accidents – These accidents are caused heavy machinery commonly found on construction sites. Workers can be pinned against the ground or wall by heavy machines or be injured using a jackhammer or nail gun. 

If you or someone you love has been involved in a construction accident, contact a qualified Bakersfield construction accident attorney who can explore your legal options and help with your claim.

Call Berry, Smith & Bartell now at 1-800-848-6288 to get started on your claim.

California Workers’ Compensation Claims

Under California law, all construction companies must have workers’ compensation insurance, either from an insurance company or by self-insuring. If an employee suffers a work-related injury or illness, employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to cover medical care and lost wages while he or she is unable to work because of a total or partial disability. You could also be entitled to supplemental job displacement benefits, which would help you pay for retraining and education expenses if you need to get a different type of job because of your disability. If your loved one died because of a workplace injury or illness, you could receive death benefits to compensate you for lost financial support.

Workers' compensation is available to workers no matter who was at fault for the injury. However, some situations are excluded from workers’ compensation coverage. For example, you might not be eligible for benefits if your injury was caused by the use of drugs or alcohol or violations of workplace safety rules.

One way to help prove your injuries occurred during the course of your job is to immediately go to a hospital or doctor's office so you can receive necessary medical care and report the construction accident to your employer as soon as possible. If you do these things, it will be much harder for your employer to argue that your injury is unrelated to your employment.

Deadlines for Workers' Compensation Claims

There are certain deadlines when it comes to filing a workers’ compensation claim in California. You have 30 days from the date of the accident to give a written notice of a work-related injury to your employer. If you fail to report the accident to your employer within those 30 days, you may lose the right to receive benefits.

Within one day of receiving notice of injury, your employer must provide a claim form to you. You then have one year from the date of your injury to file a claim. The faster you report your accident and file a claim, the less likely it is your employer or its insurance company will try to say the injury occurred outside of work, or you are just trying to get money. This might help improve your chances of recovering compensation.

Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be complicated to do on your own without an in-depth understanding of state laws and regulations. Our qualified Bakersfield workers' compensation lawyers can explain how the law applies to your situation and help protect your rights. We can also guide you through every step of the process, from filing a claim to representing you in an appeal if you are denied benefits or recover less compensation than you feel you deserve.

Our lawyers have the skills and resources to investigate your situation to find additional evidence that may improve your chances of winning an appeal.

Fill out our Free Case Evaluation form today to get started on your claim.

Third-Party Claims

Workers’ compensation laws prohibit the majority of employees from suing their employer over a work-related injury or illness. However, if you are injured through the negligence of a third-party, someone other than your employer, you may be able to file a claim against the third-party. 

Third-parties who may be held liable could include:

  • Engineers
  • General contractors
  • Architects
  • Subcontractors
  • Property owners
  • Equipment suppliers
  • Product manufacturers

A third-party can contribute to a construction accident in many ways and be held liable. For example:

  • If you are driving a construction vehicle as part of your job and a negligent driver in another vehicle caused you to suffer an injury, you may be entitled to file a claim against the driver.
  • If you are operating heavy equipment on the job and part of the equipment became faulty and caused an error that led to serious injuries, you may be entitled to file a claim against the manufacturer of the equipment.
  • If you are working under the employment of a subcontractor or general contractor whose negligence caused you serious injury, you may be entitled to file a claim against the contractor.

Unlike a workers’ compensation claim, a third-party claim offers other forms of compensation such as physical and mental pain and suffering. You can also pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and lost earning capacity, just like you could in a workers' compensation claim.

The other difference between a third-party claim and a workers' compensation claim is that you must prove that negligence was involved in your injury. Negligence does not come into play in workers' compensation, only third-party claims. By conducting a thorough investigation, our attorneys can help you gather evidence to prove that the third-party failed to use reasonable care, resulting in your injuries.

Third-party claims are personal injury lawsuits so they are subject to California's statute of limitations, which places a specific time limit on the right to file a lawsuit to recover damages after suffering an injury. Personal injury cases must be filed within two years from the date the injury occurred. After two years, you are unable to bring a lawsuit forward.

A construction accident lawyer in Bakersfield can review your case and determine if a third-party claim is an option.

Our firm is ready to schedule your free consultation: 1-800-848-6288

Contact a Bakersfield Construction Accident Lawyer Today

If you were injured in a construction accident, you need dependable legal representation as soon as possible. There is a limited amount of time to file a workers’ compensation claim or third-party claim and seek the compensation you need for your damages.

Our Bakersfield construction accident attorneys can explain the entire process, your legal rights and help you build a claim that might enhance your chances of approval. We are dedicated to helping injured workers obtain the maximum compensation they deserve.

Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis which means there are no costs or fees upfront unless we help you recover favorable compensation. 

For a free case evaluation with Berry, Smith & Bartell, a Professional Law Corporation call 1-800-848-6288 today!

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Decades of Workers' Compensation Experience in the Central Valley

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