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Los Angeles Construction Accident Attorney

Legal Assistance for Injured Construction Workers

Construction workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States, according to the United States Department of Labor (DOL). Despite federal regulation of this industry, thousands of construction workers are killed and injured on the job each year. Sometimes, construction accidents are handled as workers’ compensation claims, but in other cases, construction companies or third parties are held directly responsible for negligence that resulted in the accident. If you are a construction worker and you were injured in a serious workplace accident, get in touch with a Los Angeles construction accident lawyer from Martinian Lawyers as soon as possible to discuss your case.

What are Los Angeles Construction Accidents?

Los Angeles construction accidents refer to the incidents, injuries, and mishaps that occur at construction sites. The construction industry is notorious for its potential hazards, given the nature of the work and the tools and machinery involved. As one of the largest cities in the U.S. with a constant stream of development and infrastructure projects, Los Angeles is a major hub for construction accidents.

Why You Should Choose Martinian Lawyers As Your Trusted Partner

In a city where construction sites are common, having a dedicated Los Angeles construction accident attorney by your side can make all the difference. Here’s what sets us apart:

  • Deep-Rooted Experience: Our years in the industry have afforded us a comprehensive understanding of the intricate dynamics of construction accident claims. We’ve seen firsthand the multifaceted challenges victims face and have consistently crafted strategies to address them effectively.
  • Personalized Approach: At Martinian Lawyers, we believe every case is unique. We take the time to understand the individual circumstances of each client, tailoring our strategies to fight for the best possible outcome.
  • Extensive Connections: Over the years, we’ve cultivated valuable relationships within the construction industry and legal community. From expert witnesses to construction safety specialists, our connections mean that we bring a well-rounded perspective to each case.
  • Commitment to Justice: Beyond our technical prowess, our firm is driven by a genuine passion for justice. We’re fiercely committed to fighting for construction accident victims to receive not only the compensation they deserve but also the peace of mind that comes with a resolved claim.

Construction Accident Statistics

The statistics below are supplied by the U.S. DOL’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA):

  • Out of 4,114 worker fatalities in private industry in calendar year 2011, 721 or 17.5% were in construction. The leading causes of worker deaths on construction sites were falls, followed by electrocution, struck by object, and caught-in/between. These “Fatal Four” were responsible for nearly three out of five (57%) construction worker deaths in 2011*, BLS reports. Eliminating the Fatal Four would save 410 workers’ lives in America every year.
  • Top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards violated in FY2011: Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451) Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501) Hazard communication standard, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200) Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134) Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry (29 CFR 1910.147) Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry (29 CFR 1910.305) Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178) Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053) Electrical systems design, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.303) Machine guarding (machines, general requirements, general industry) (29 CFR 1910.212)
  • Every day in America, 13 people go to work and never come home. Every year in America, nearly 4 million people suffer a workplace injury from which some may never recover. These are preventable tragedies that disable our workers, devastate our families, and damage our economy.

Common Types of Los Angeles Construction Accidents

In Los Angeles, a bustling urban hub with continuous construction projects, construction accidents are unfortunately a reality. Given the intricacies of construction work and the myriad of tasks happening simultaneously, a variety of accidents can occur.

As mentioned above, falls from heights, such as from scaffolding, ladders, or roofs, rank among the most frequent and can be especially dangerous given the city’s affinity for vertical constructions. Workers are also at risk from falling objects, be it tools, building materials, or swinging equipment, especially in zones with overhead activities. The modern complexity of building designs means that electrocutions from exposed wires or faulty equipment aren’t uncommon. Workers can get caught in between machinery or become trapped in a trench collapse during excavation tasks.

Malfunctions, often stemming from maintenance lapses, operator errors, or inherent mechanical failures, can lead to fatal accidents. The intricate mesh of electrical systems, gas conduits, and flammable materials makes sites prone to fires and occasional explosions. Los Angeles workers also confront the dangers of hazardous material exposures, encountering toxic substances that can cause immediate harm or long-term health issues. The city’s temperate climate poses another challenge, as workers laboring under the relentless sun are at risk of overexertion and heat-related ailments. Lastly, the chances of vehicular accidents remain a persistent concern.

Scaffolding Accidents

As you can see from the construction accident statistics, scaffolding accidents are the most common cause of construction worker injury and fatality. According to OSHA, compliance with federal regulations can eliminate these types of accidents. Employers are required to set up fall protection systems specifically to prevent these types of accidents from occurring. According to OSHA, “fall protection must be provided at elevations of…six feet in the construction industry. OSHA requires that fall protection is provided when working over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of fall distance.” When employers ignore these regulations and employees are harmed as a result, the employers could be held legally responsible.

Falling Objects Construction Accidents

Construction sites often involve activities at various elevations – from workers on scaffolding or ladders to machinery lifting heavy materials to higher floors. When items aren’t secured properly or if mishaps occur, objects can fall, leading to potential injuries below. Anything from hand tools like hammers or wrenches to larger items like concrete blocks, steel beams, or even unsecured machinery parts can fall. Even smaller debris, like nuts, bolts, or shards of glass, can cause significant harm if they strike a worker from a height.

Falling objects at construction sites can cause a range of injuries, from traumatic brain injuries despite hard hat protection to broken bones, cuts, and spinal damage. In the most severe cases, particularly with heavy objects from great heights, these accidents can even be fatal. To mitigate the risk of falling objects on construction sites, worksites should provide workers with hard hats and emphasize the use of safety measures like tool lanyards, nets, toe boards, and proper storage methods. Additionally, deploying debris nets, canopies, and clear signage or barricades can further protect both workers and pedestrians from potential hazards.

Los Angeles Fire-Related Construction Accidents

Fire-related construction accidents in Los Angeles are particularly concerning given the city’s dense urban environment and the potential for rapid fire spread. Such incidents not only jeopardize the lives of construction workers but can also pose risks to nearby structures, residents, and bystanders.

Fire-related accidents at construction sites in Los Angeles can arise from a variety of sources, including faulty wiring, gas leaks, the misuse of flammable materials, and activities like welding. Additionally, carelessly discarded cigarettes and malfunctioning machinery can also pose significant ignition risks.

Fire-related accidents at construction sites can result in varying consequences, from burn injuries, which may range from minor to severe, and smoke inhalation that can sometimes be fatal, to compromising the structural integrity of buildings. Additionally, they can lead to substantial financial losses due to equipment and material damages, and cause evacuations that disrupt both work and the surrounding community.

California Labor Code in Los Angeles Construction Accidents

The California Labor Code is a comprehensive set of laws that govern employment relations, including matters related to construction accidents. These codes outline the rights and responsibilities of both employers and employees, ensuring that workplaces are safe and that workers receive appropriate benefits and protections.

Here are some relevant aspects of the California Labor Code as they pertain to construction accidents in Los Angeles:

  • Safe Working Conditions (Division 5): Employers are required to provide a safe working environment for all employees. This includes giving proper training, maintaining equipment, and adhering to safety regulations. Any negligence or violation of these standards can lead to legal implications.
  • Workers’ Compensation (Division 4): The Labor Code establishes the framework for workers’ compensation in California. This system ensures that workers injured on the job receive medical care, compensation for lost wages, and other benefits without needing to prove fault. In the case of construction accidents, this is critical as it provides a safety net for workers.
  • Wage and Hour Laws (Division 2): While not directly related to accidents, these provisions ensure that workers are paid for all hours worked, including overtime. Construction workers who put in long hours should be adequately compensated.
  • Employment Relations (Division 3): This division covers aspects such as the employment of minors, apprenticeships, and more. Specific regulations are in place for certain construction roles and age groups to ensure their safety.
  • Retaliation Protections: The Labor Code also provides protection against employer retaliation. If a worker reports a safety violation or files a workers’ compensation claim after a construction accident, employers cannot retaliate by firing or discriminating against the employee.
  • Liability of Contractors and Subcontractors: Under certain sections, general contractors can be held liable for wage violations by their subcontractors, which underscores the importance of compliance at all levels of a construction project.

Cal/OSHA’s Role in Los Angeles Construction Accidents

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) plays a pivotal role in ensuring workplace safety in Los Angeles. Given the scale of construction activity in LA, with its numerous high-rises, infrastructure projects, and residential developments, Cal/OSHA’s role in preventing and responding to construction accidents is particularly crucial.

One of Cal/OSHA’s primary responsibilities is to conduct workplace inspections, which can be routine or in response to reported accidents or complaints. When significant accidents occur in Los Angeles, Cal/OSHA typically conducts inspections to verify compliance with safety regulations. If any violations are detected, the authority can issue citations, impose penalties, and even mandate corrective actions for employers.

In addition to enforcing standards, Cal/OSHA emphasizes the importance of training and education, offering outreach and assistance to both employers and workers to keep them updated on safety protocols. Investigations are initiated after severe incidents, such as fatalities or events leading to multiple hospitalizations, ensuring causes are identified and future incidents are prevented. Employers are also obligated to report major injuries, illnesses, or deaths to the agency, aiding Cal/OSHA in monitoring safety trends in the construction realm.

Third Party Personal Injury Claims

In many workplace accidents, victims can file workers’ compensation claims. This means that the employee is covered by workers’ comp insurance and cannot sue their employer for injuries. In other cases, a third party can be held liable for the accident. For example, if a construction worker was injured by a nail gun because it was defective, then they could potentially sue the nail gun manufacturer. To put it simply, third-party insurance claims are claims that are not filed against the employer or employee, but an outside third party. Evaluating what type of case you have may be complicated.

Be sure to consult with a Los Angeles construction accident attorney at Martinian Lawyers to discuss your legal rights.