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Construction Accidents

Fresno Construction Accident Lawyers

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Hazardous working conditions are a daily reality for construction workers in a variety of industries. This means construction workers have a high risk of sustaining serious injuries that prevent them from working. These injuries may be covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. Our dedicated legal team at Berry, Smith & Bartell has helped many injured workers recover fair compensation for work-related injuries or illnesses. Senior Partner & Founder Wm. Todd Berry is a member of the Fresno Bar Association and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum®. Partner Jamie L. Smith also advocates on behalf of injured workers and is a member of the California Applicants' Attorneys Association.

If you were injured in a construction accident, schedule a free consultation with one of our qualified Fresno construction accident lawyers to discuss your claim and determine the legal options available to you. There are no upfront costs or fees involved. You are not obligated to pay our firm unless we help you recover the compensation you are entitled.

Call 1-800-848-6288 or fill out our Free Case Evaluation form today.

Common Causes of Construction Accidents

There are many reasons why construction accidents happen. Some of the most common causes of construction accidents include:

  • Failure to follow federal and state safety laws and guidelines
  • Failure to provide workers with proper safety equipment
  • Extended working hours, leading to worker fatigue and oversight
  • Lack of proper training
  • Lack of employer safety planning

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the four most common construction accidents involve falls, being struck by an object, electrocutions, and caught in-between equipment or objects. These accidents accounted for more than half (63.7 percent) of construction accident fatalities in 2016 with construction sites being the most frequently cited for OSHA standards violations.

You could be entitled to workers' compensation no matter what the cause of the accident. It may be in your best interest to contact our construction accident attorneys in Fresno as soon as possible to determine how we can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

Our trusted attorneys are ready to discuss your case with you. Call 1-800-848-6288 now.

Types of Construction Accident Claims

The Fresno construction accident lawyers at our firm are prepared to handle a wide variety of construction accident workers' compensation claims, such as:

  • Falls from high heights – Construction workers often work from elevated heights and may fall from a building, scaffolding or through floor openings to the ground below. 
  • Electrocutions – Exposed wiring, power lines and unfinished electrical work are often present at construction sites, increasing the risk of severe injuries from electrocution.
  • Trench collapses – When a trench collapses, workers can be buried or suffer crushing injuries. It could also cause workers inside the trench to be hit with tools or machinery from above.
  • Dangerous or defective equipment – Workers can be injured as a result of a manufacturer’s dangerous or defective product. These can include power tools, excavation equipment, construction vehicles and building materials.
  • Slip and falls – Tripping hazards and slick surfaces are common at construction sites. Slip and falls can be caused by exposed electrical cords, loose tarps, construction debris and uneven surfaces. Workers can also trip over tools, fall off an unsecured ladder or slip on wet surfaces.
  • Vehicle accidents – Construction sites are often located next to roads and highways, increasing the risk of workers being hit by passing cars or struck by a construction vehicle on site.
  • Falling objects or materials – Machinery, tools, building materials and other objects can fall from multiple levels of a construction site and hit workers below. These accidents can occur as a result of another worker’s carelessness or from a lack of safety procedures.
  • Fires and expositions – Fires and explosions can happen when there is unfinished piping, leaking gases or incomplete electrical systems in construction sites or at industrial workplaces.
  • Machinery accidents – Construction workers using heavy equipment can be pinned or crushed by machines. An error or accident using jackhammers or nail guns can also be dangerous.
  • Defective conditions – Workers can be injured due to structure failure, a building collapse or other defective conditions caused by a contractor not following proper safety guidelines.

Construction Accident Injuries

Workers can suffer any number of significant injuries in a construction accident including:

  • Back and neck injuries
  • Broken or crushed bones
  • Burns
  • Hearing loss
  • Lacerations
  • Loss of limbs
  • Paralysis
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Vision loss

In addition to these injuries, construction workers can also suffer from repetitive trauma injuries. These injuries are caused by the repetitive motion of certain activities such as lifting, twisting, pushing, or pulling items over a period of time. When workers are tasked to do the same thing over and over again, the muscles and soft tissues can become worn and damaged, limiting mobility and causing pain.

A knowledgeable construction accident attorney in Fresno can help you pursue the workers' compensation benefits you need to move forward from your injury.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.

How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim

All California employers are required to provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees, either from an insurance company or by self-insuring. These benefits help cover certain expenses if an employee suffers a work-related injury or illness. Typically, an employee filing a workers’ compensation claim may be entitled to have his or her medical care costs covered by their employer.

This may also include receiving a portion of your lost wages through temporary or permanent disability benefits for time spent away from work. Temporary disability benefits can be issued if your treating physician says you are unable to work for more than three days while you recover. These benefits are categorized into two types - temporary total disability, meaning you cannot work at all while recovering and temporary partial disability, meaning you can do some work while recovering.

Temporary disability benefits are generally two-thirds of the pre-tax wages you were earning before being injured. Your first payment is due within 14 days after your employer learns of your work-related injury or illness and must be paid every two weeks, for as long as you are eligible.

If your treating physician says you will never fully recover from your injury or always be limited in the work you can do, you may qualify for permanent disability benefits. There are two types of benefits – permanent total disability and permanent partial disability. The amount paid out is based on a permanent disability rating which will calculate how much your disability limits the kinds of work you can do or your ability to earn money.

Depending on your disability rating, you may receive benefits over a certain fixed number of weeks. Once your treating physician says you have a permanent disability from your injury, these benefits must be paid within 14 days of when your temporary disability benefits end. 

To file a workers’ compensation claim in California, there are certain deadlines to meet. You have 30 days from the date of the accident to report your injury to your employer. If you do not report your accident within those 30 days, you may lose the right to receive benefits for your injuries. Reporting your injury as soon as possible after receiving medical attention from a local hospital may help improve your chances of obtaining compensation.

Within one day after reporting your injury, your employer must provide a workers’ compensation claim form. You must fill out the employee section detailing your injuries and return the form to your employer to finish the employer section. This claim form can also be obtained online through the California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) site if your employer does not provide one.

You have one year from the date of your injury to file a workers' compensation claim. Once this deadline passes, you lose the right to file a workers' compensation claim. If you wait too long to file your claim, it could make you look suspicious to your employer or its insurance company. They may suspect your injuries are not as serious as you claim and that you are just trying to cheat the system for money.

Our skilled Fresno workers’ compensation attorneys can guide you through the entire claims process and help you understand how certain state laws and regulations apply to your claim.

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

Filing a Third-Party Claim

In most cases, you have to rely on workers compensation if your employer or work environment caused your injuries. However, if a third party is responsible for your construction accident, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Third parties that may be involved in construction accidents include owners of the construction site, engineers, architects, general contractors and subcontractors and manufacturers of defective tools or equipment. To build a valid claim, the third-party must have caused your injury through negligence.

For example, if you were working at a roadside construction site when a distracted driver ran off the road and hit you, you may be able to pursue compensation from that driver.

In the construction industry, you work with all kinds of heavy equipment and tools. If one of those machines malfunctions and causes your injury, you might be able to pursue compensation from the machine’s manufacturer.

Similarly, if you become ill over time after dealing with a toxic substance, you may be able to pursue compensation from the manufacturer of the substance.

California Statute of Limitations

If a third party is at fault for your construction accident injury, you must abide by California’s statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. This means you must file a lawsuit within two years from the date of your injuries. However, if you discovered your injury at a later date, you have one year from the date you discovered it to file your claim. If you fail to file within the deadline, you will lose the right to do so.

The sooner you get started with filing a workers’ compensation claim or third-party claim the better. The longer you wait, the longer it will take to receive benefits. In the case of a lawsuit, it takes time for your attorney to build a strong case and gather evidence. A construction accident lawyer in Fresno can review your situation and explain your legal rights throughout the claims process. 

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

Contact a Construction Accident Attorney in Fresno

If you suffered an injury in a construction accident, you need qualified legal representation right away. The claims process can be complex and overwhelming to handle on your own which is why an attorney at our firm is prepared to help you build a claim that may improve your chances of being approved. 

At Berry, Smith & Bartell, our construction accident lawyers in Fresno are well-versed in California laws affecting injured workers in construction accidents and know how to fight for your best interests every step of the way.

Your legal consultation with our firm is free and you will not be charged for our services unless you receive adequate compensation.

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

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