San Bernardino Construction Accident Lawyer

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Construction is inherently dangerous, but when a worker is injured in a preventable accident, they may be entitled to compensation in addition to workers’ comp. If you have been injured on the job in San Bernardino, contact Hanson & Mouri. We can help you determine who is liable and hold them responsible. Call (951) 688-0006 or send us a message online to arrange a free consultation today. 

San Bernardino Construction Accident Lawyer

Why Choose Our San Bernardino Construction Accident Lawyer?

  • We have decades of legal experience in all areas of personal injury law in San Bernardino, including construction accidents. 
  • With previous experience as a former insurance defense attorney, our lead attorney knows what it takes to succeed in your construction accident claim. 
  • We give personalized attention to each case from start to finish and will aggressively pursue maximum compensation on your behalf. 

What a San Bernardino Construction Accident Attorney Can Do for Your Case

Workers are automatically entitled to workers’ compensation benefits when they suffer a construction-related injury. However, employer’s insurance companies often deny valid claims or offer unfairly low settlements. A construction accident attorney can deal with the insurance company on your behalf and represent your best interests. Having representation will significantly increase your chances of recovering fair benefit payments. 

Your attorney will also investigate your accident to determine whether a party other than your employer contributed to your injury—for example, a contractor, property owner, defective product manufacturer, etc. If a third party is partially or entirely to blame, you have the right to file a lawsuit for further compensation in addition to your workers’ comp claim. A San Bernardino accident lawyer has the resources to gather critical evidence of fault and ensure that the wrongful party is held accountable. They can also accurately estimate the value of your case and, when in negotiations with the insurance companies, will not settle for less. If necessary, they will prepare your case for trial and represent you in court to secure a favorable outcome. 

What are Common Injuries Associated With Construction Accidents?

Construction accidents often cause catastrophic injuries, such as the following:

Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can range from mild to severe. However,  a victim can still face long-term consequences from a minor TBI or concussion and permanent cognitive or physical impairment in extreme cases.

Severe Bone Fractures

Broken arms, legs, ribs, and pelvis breaks are common in construction accidents. They may take weeks to heal, and activities are typically restricted. 

Internal Bleeding

Damage to internal organs can be life-threatening if not treated immediately after an accident. 

Back Injuries

Back injuries of all types can occur, such as herniated or bulging discs, fractures, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and more. These injuries often result in lifelong complications and chronic pain.

Crush Injuries and Limb Amputations

A construction accident can result in a crushed limb or digits, causing damage that is so severe that it leads to amputation. 

Scarring and Disfigurement 

Lacerations or burns can occur—for example, due to explosions, broken glass, tools, sharp metal, plastic parts, vehicle fire, etc. A severe laceration or burn can cause long-term damage and may result in significant scarring that diminishes a victim’s ability to enjoy life.

Exposure to Hazardous Substances

Construction workers can become ill when frequently exposed or at long intervals to contaminants, such as chemicals, mold, asbestos, wood dust, etc.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The trauma from a construction accident can lead to severe mental and emotional conditions that are debilitating.  

Wrongful Death

Some construction accidents result in fatal injuries to the victim, making it a San Bernardino wrongful death case

After any type of construction accident, it is critical to seek medical care immediately. Some severe injuries can have delayed symptoms, and in addition, there must be medical records linking injuries to the construction accident. 

What Are Common Causes of Construction Accidents in San Bernardino?

Four types of accidents responsible for causing the most construction-related fatalities, commonly referred to as the “fatal four.” The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) lists the fatal four as follows: 

  • Fall Hazards: Even at minimal heights, falls can cause severe injury or death, and they were responsible for 36.4% of all construction accident-related fatalities in 2019. Employers must take safety precautions, such as routinely inspecting, maintaining, or providing safety reinforcements—for example, properly installed scaffolding, adequate railing, equipment, or safeguarded machinery. Otherwise, workers are at increased risk of a fall accident. 
  • Struck By or Against an Object: Due to heavy machinery, various equipment, and loose materials on a job site, construction workers are constantly at risk of being hit by a falling object. Approximately 15% of construction fatalities involved a worker being struck by or against an object in 2019. To protect workers, job site owners or operators are required to provide workers with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), training in how to safely use equipment and heavy machinery, and warning workers of areas where there is a higher chance of being struck by or against something. 
  • Electrocution Accidents: A little over 7% of worker fatalities were caused by electrocution accidents in 2019. These accidents are often caused by workers coming into contact with live wires. Common reasons are poorly planned construction sites, failure to inspect a site for safety, failure to provide electrical and safety training, or failure to divert power or shut it off.
  • Caught in Between: “Caught in between” accidents occur when a worker gets wedged between two objects—for example, a trench collapse, a semi-trailer and a dock wall, a truck frame and its hydraulic bed, etc. These accidents accounted for 5.4% of worker fatalities in 2019. 

Workers’ Compensation Benefits in San Bernardino

The workers’ compensation benefits injured construction workers are entitled to are generally divided into five basic categories:

Treatment or Medical Care

Reasonable medical treatment, such as evaluations, surgeries, hospitalizations, prescription medications, medical devices, transportation costs, etc.

Temporary Disability Benefits

Up to two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wages while recovering from a job injury.  These benefits last up to 104 weeks within a five-year period. However, there are exceptions to this time limit. For instance, you can receive 240 weeks of temporary total disability if you experience one of the following conditions on the job: 

  • Amputation;
  • Severe burns;
  • Certain eye injuries;
  • Pulmonary fibrosis;
  • Chronic lung disease;
  • Hepatitis B or C, or
  • HIV.

Permanent Disability Benefits

When workers are unable to return to their former job or any type of work, they can receive permanent disability benefits for up to 14 years. The benefit amount is decided based on a disability rating. The rating will depend upon the type and severity of injury, the worker’s age, occupation, and doctor’s restrictions. A disability evaluator or judge will include this rating in a formula to calculate benefit payments. 

Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Also referred to as the Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit, vocational rehabilitation services assist workers with skill enhancement or retraining if they cannot return to their previous job. 

Death Benefits

When a worker is killed due to a job-related injury or illness, their spouse or dependents will receive death benefits. 

Under California law, employers with one or more employees must purchase workers’ compensation insurance. That means all construction workers are entitled to benefits if injured on a job site. However, if your employer does not carry insurance, they are subject to criminal liability, and you have the right to sue for damages. 

Who Is Responsible for a Construction Accident?

Employers cannot be held legally responsible for a construction accident as long as they carry workers’ compensation insurance and did not intentionally cause you harm. However, when a third party also contributed to the accident, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit for further compensation. Third parties that may be liable, for example, can be the following:

General Contractor, Construction Manager, or Subcontractor  

These parties are legally obligated to provide workers with a reasonably safe construction site and warn of any hazards. 

Property Owners

Property owners have a duty to provide a reasonably safe environment for construction workers on their premises by fixing or warning of known hazards or ones they should have known about. 

Design Professional

Professionals such as engineers and architects have a responsibility to ensure their plans are not defective and to meet safety standards when designing what is being constructed. 

Product Manufacturers and Suppliers

If defective equipment, tools, or materials caused your accident, the faulty product’s manufacturer and any other party involved in the distribution chain may be liable. 

A construction accident lawyer can review the facts of your case and investigate to determine if any other parties should be held accountable.

Types of Compensation Available in a Third Party Construction Accident Claims

When you pursue a third-party claim for a construction accident injury, you can potentially recover compensation beyond what workers’ compensation covers. For example: 

  • Medical Expenses: Any current and future medical costs that workers’ compensation benefits will not cover. Workers’ comp only pays for reasonable medical expenses. 
  • Lost Wages: Total lost wages and benefits (the difference in compensation that benefits do not pay). 
  • Loss of Future Income and Diminished Earning Capacity: For any income you will lose in the future beyond the amount of time workers’ comp covers. Additionally, the difference in wages if you are unable to earn the same level of income as before the accident.
  • Physical and Emotional Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical pain you have endured and any emotional distress (e.g., depression, anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, etc.). 
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If you cannot participate in activities you were able to do before the accident. 
  • Disability: Compensation for permanent physical impairments that impact your daily life. 
  • Property Damage: If any personal property (e.g., cell phone, tools, clothing) was damaged and requires repairs or replacement. 
  • Out-of-pocket Expenses: Any expenses related to the accident that you had to personally pay for.
  • Loss of Consortium: If you cannot provide a spouse the same love, affection, companionship, comfort, society, or sexual relations as before the accident, your spouse can recover this compensation. 
  • Punitive Damages: Only available in cases involving a defendant (at-fault party) who was extremely reckless or exhibited egregious behavior. 
  • Wrongful Death: When a construction accident victim is killed, their surviving family members can pursue a wrongful death claim to recover funeral expenses, loss of expected income, and other types of compensation. 

What to Do After a San Bernardino Construction Accident

What Should I Do After a Construction Accident in San Bernardino?

After a San Bernardino work injury, immediately report the injury to your employer or as soon as possible. Seek medical attention right away as it is critical to your health and will also protect your right to a claim. Whether you only file a workers’ compensation claim and/or pursue a third party lawsuit, taking the following steps is also vital : 

  • Write down the names and contact information of co-workers or anyone who witnessed the accident.
  • Keep copies of all reports and paperwork related to the accident, including the accident report given to your employer, medical bills, lost income, receipts for any accident-related expenses, etc.
  • Keep track of your treatment and providers. Attend all medical appointments, and follow your advised treatment plan. 
  • Keep a journal of your daily symptoms, your pain level, and how your injury limits activities. 

Lastly, contact an attorney as soon as possible. Many will evaluate your case for free and can advise you on your workers’ compensation claim and legal options. 

How Much Time Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim for a Construction Injury in San Bernardino?

Under California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1, you have only two years to file a personal injury lawsuit related to a construction accident. This law is known as the statute of limitations and once the deadline has passed, you will likely be barred from recovering compensation. This statute ensures evidence remains available for claims, as it can disappear over time or witnesses’ memories can fade. 

Speak to a San Bernardino Construction Attorney

If you were injured on a construction site, contact Hanson & Mouri. We will fight to ensure you recover all the compensation and benefits you are entitled to. Call (951) 688-0006 or message us online to arrange a free consultation today.

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