Construction accidents are among the most dangerous when it comes to the number of catastrophic injuries and deaths. The emotional, physical and financial fallout from these accidents often affect victims and their families for the rest of their lives. If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, we can help. Contact Hanson & Mouri today for a free consultation.
Amidst all of the confusion and hardship that can arise after suffering a construction accident injury, you may be wondering whether or not to hire a workers compensation lawyer to handle your case and help you deal with any involved insurance company. Having an experienced Riverside personal injury attorney at your side can improve your chances of recovering workers compensation and other losses in addition to reducing or eliminating the paperwork and hassle that you and your family must deal with during this trying time. The settlement that may be offered to you by insurance companies is likely not in your best interests. You may face serious financial losses and a decrease in the quality of life if you accept an offer that does not reflect the true extent of your damages.
After a serious construction accident and injury, your finances have likely taken a hit. Fortunately, most lawyer charge on a contingency fee basis when taking on Riverside construction accident cases. That means your attorney will not be paid unless they win you a settlement or favorable verdict. In effect, you can pursue compensation without risking any money upfront.
Contingency fees are calculated as a percentage of your total winnings at the end of your case. The percentage amount can vary depending on the complexity of your case and how long it takes to resolve. For the most part, you can expect a contingency fee amount between 20% and 40%. You may be able to negotiate the attorney’s percentage on either a sliding scale or a tiered fee.
There may also be some small filing fees and other costs associated with going to court. You can demand that these expenses your lawyer advances (e.g., expert fees, obtaining evidence, court costs, etc.) be deducted from the settlement total before the contingency fee.
Here’s an example, a jury awards you $100,000, your litigation costs are $20,000, and your attorney’s contingency fee percentage is 30%. If you pay your litigation costs after your attorney deducts their fee, your attorney gets $30,000 (30%), and you get $50,000 after paying $20,000 in litigation costs. Whereas, if litigation costs are deducted from your award first, your attorney gets $24,000 (30% of $80,000) and you recover $56,000 ($80,000 – $24,000).
Whichever type of contingency fee arrangement you agree upon, you will never owe your construction accident lawyer more than you can afford.
Numerous injuries may be sustained at a construction site, ranging from minor to catastrophic or fatal. Common injuries include, but are not limited to:
When negligence is a factor on construction sites, people will get hurt, no matter their position or who they work for. If you are injured while at work, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Your employer’s insurance company should pay for your medical treatment and a portion of your lost wages.
OSHA has identified the 4 leading causes of wrongful deaths in the construction industry. The following four types of construction accidents were responsible for more than half of construction worker deaths in 2017.
Eliminating these accidents would save almost 600 lives a year in the U.S. Out of a total of 4,674 worker fatalities in private industry in a recent year, 20.7% (971) were the result of construction accidents. This means that effectively 1 in 5 worker deaths that year were in construction, making it the leading cause of worker deaths in the private sector.
After a construction accident, you will likely need to seek compensation for your injuries by filing a workers’ compensation claim. Injured workers are eligible to receive medical benefits and a portion of their lost wages regardless of fault under California workers’ compensation law. However, there are specific procedures to follow, forms to fill out, and deadlines to meet.
It is in your best interests to report an injury or accident to your employer as soon as possible, but you have a deadline of 30 days from the date it occurred. Failing to report the accident on time can forfeit your rights to benefits. Most employers have procedures in place for when an incident occurs. Refer to your employee handbook or ask your supervisor how to go about reporting your injury. Once your employer is aware, you have one year to file a workers’ compensation claim. Any claims filed after the deadline are typically denied.
If your employer is uncooperative and refuses to file a workers’ comp claim, it’s time to get a construction accident attorney involved.
When there are grounds for a construction accident claim against a third party, an attorney in Riverside can help you file a lawsuit against those responsible. Recovering compensation will require evidence of the third party’s negligence by demonstrating the following elements:
Third-party claims are complicated and require the assistance of a skilled Riverside construction accident lawyer.
Workers’ compensation is designed to assist workers that have been injured, need medical treatment, and are unable to perform their work duties. In many instances, however, these benefits are not substantial enough to cover your losses. At Hanson & Mouri, our experienced Riverside premise liability attorney will immediately determine if your case involves a third-party liability.
If a third party is found to be liable, additional damages can be pursued through an injury claim or lawsuit. In many cases this can be a subcontractor, equipment manufacturer, or any individual or business whose negligence contributed to your injuries. The types of damages available in a third party claim include:
When a worker is killed by a construction accident, the surviving family has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible third party. Available damages in a wrongful death claim can include medical bills and burial expenses, lost wages their loved one would have earned if they had lived, pain and suffering for their loved one’s absence, and punitive damages.
Part of the way lawyer assist injured workers in obtaining compensation is by conducting thorough investigations to determine how and why your construction accident occurred. Construction accident lawyer will first get as much information as possible from you. Depending on the needs of the case, they will then either investigate your accident alone or work with other professionals and experts in the field to collect evidence and track down witnesses. Documentation is a primary means of supporting your claim; therefore, your lawyer will attempt to gather the following:
A good and experienced construction accident lawyer will take the time to uncover all the facts and evidence necessary to support and build a strong case.
Immediately after a construction accident, promptly treating your injuries is the most important step in effectively documenting evidence. If you don’t feel like the injury requires an ER visit, go to your regular doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries don’t show symptoms right away, and you may not experience pain until days, weeks, or even months later. By that time, it may be too late to medically link your injuries to the construction accident if there are no medical records indicating you sought treatment previously.
After the doctor determines your injury was a result of the construction accident, write a detailed account of everything that happened leading up to it. Then notify your supervisor and speak to any workers who may have witnessed your accident. Ask for their contact information, and if they’re willing, take a recorded statement.
Take photos and/or video of the scene, your injuries, vehicles or equipment involved, damaged property, out-of-date protective gear, maintenance records, security cameras, and any other items you believe may be important.
The last step is contacting a Riverside Construction Accident Lawyer. They will assess your case and the evidence you gathered, then advise you on how to proceed. As long as you sought out medical attention, reported the accident, and spoke to an attorney, you should be able to recover the compensation you need and deserve.
If you are currently coping with a construction accident injury caused by negligence in the workplace, do not delay in speaking with experienced legal counsel from our law firm to find out about your legal options. Contact Hanson & Mouri today for a free case evaluation online or by phone: (951) 419-3199.