Representing Construction Accident Victims in La Quinta, California
Construction is one of the most crucial industries in the United States. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most dangerous. Each year, thousands of construction industry employees sustain serious injuries at work, some of them fatal. It is also possible for construction zone accidents to cause injuries to bystanders and other third parties. When these incidents occur, it is critical for the injured victim to know their legal options for recovery. Depending on how the accident occurred, the victim may have several methods available to recover their damages.
At English, Lloyd & Armenta, we believe in providing client-focused legal counsel for construction accident victims. If you have suffered any type of construction accident-related injury, whether as an employee of the construction industry or as a bystander, we can help you determine your best available options for legal recourse against the party responsible for your injury. We can also assist you in navigating the California workers’ compensation system if your injury occurred while working in the construction industry.
Why Get Injury Attorneys for Legal Representation?
After experiencing a construction accident, you may wonder whether you have grounds for legal action against the party responsible. If the injury occurred while you were working in construction, you likely have the ability to file a workers’ compensation claim, even if the accident was your own fault. It is normal to feel uncertain and confused about your legal options for recovery after experiencing a serious accident at work but hiring an experienced La Quinta construction accident lawyer is the best way for you to determine your best approach to recovering your losses.
The attorneys at English, Lloyd & Armenta have extensive experience handling construction accident claims, both within the California workers’ compensation system and outside of it as a part of the civil court system. We will take the time to get to know you and learn as much as we can about your accident to ensure we provide you with comprehensive legal counsel. Our team will help you thoroughly explore every potential avenue of compensation available to you after an injury from a construction accident.
How Do Construction Accidents Happen in La Quinta?
Construction is dangerous for many reasons, both to the people working within the construction industry and bystanders who may need to navigate around construction sites. Some of the most reported construction injuries include:
- Fall-related injuries. Falling is one of the leading causes of construction-related injuries in the United States. Depending on the height of the fall, the victim can suffer severe injuries including broken bones, traumatic brain damage, spinal injuries, and more.
- Injuries from tools and construction equipment. Construction often requires the use of dangerous tools and equipment, such as saws, drills, and pneumatic devices. These devices can be incredibly dangerous when mishandled or when poorly maintained. In the event a defective tool or piece of machinery causes a construction injury, the victim may have grounds for a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
- Vehicle-related injuries. Construction often requires the use of specialized vehicles, including forklifts, dump trucks, and front-end loaders. These vehicles can potentially cause severe injuries to both operators and bystanders.
- Injuries from falling objects. Many construction sites are multi-level buildings in unfinished states. When tools, building materials, or debris fall, they can hit workers or bystanders below and cause serious injuries.
- Injuries from unstable workspaces, scaffolds, and ladders. Many construction sites feature areas of unstable ground, and construction industry employees may need to use scaffolds, ladders, and other equipment to navigate high spaces. Falls are possible, and a victim may also become ensnared by a ladder or scaffold and suffer additional injuries.
Filing for Workers’ Compensation After a Construction Accident
If you work in the construction industry and suffer an injury at work, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim under California state law. California requires all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage. When an employee suffers an injury, they must report the injury to their immediate supervisor and request the materials necessary for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
It is vital to file your workers’ compensation claim in a timely manner. While the California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) offers a generous window within which you must file your claim after an accident, sooner is always better. This will prevent the DWC from unfairly scrutinizing your claim due to your delay in filing. You will also need to visit a physician approved by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. This physician will examine you and assign you a disability rating based on the severity of your injury. This rating will be a crucial element of your workers’ compensation case, determining how much you receive in benefits and for how long.
Unfortunately, the workers’ compensation claim system is not exactly user-friendly, and many claimants have trouble completing their applications for benefits. Some encounter unexpected delays and unfair denials due to paperwork errors or other procedural missteps. Additionally, there is no guarantee that a successful workers’ compensation claim will yield enough compensation to fully cover the victim’s damages from a construction accident.
For these reasons, it is vital to consult a La Quinta construction accident lawyer as soon as possible after sustaining any type of injury while working in the construction industry. English, Lloyd & Armenta can provide the compassionate and results-driven legal counsel you need to navigate the claim process successfully. We will carefully examine your claim to determine the best approach to your recovery, whether that involves a workers’ compensation claim, alternative legal action against the party responsible for your accident, or both.
What Is Retaliation?
It is an unfortunate reality that some employers are less than helpful to their injured employees when it comes to filing workers’ compensation claims. Workers’ compensation insurance is just like any other type of insurance, and an employer may see their premium rate increase after an employee files a claim for an injury. Unfortunately, in an attempt to avoid this expense, some employers will interfere with their employees’ claims, fail to provide them with the materials they need to file their claims in a timely manner, or may even go as far as to fire the employee and take other negative actions against them.
When an employer interferes with an employee’s workers’ compensation claim in any way, or when they take punitive actions against an employee who files a claim, the employer has engaged in “retaliation.” Retaliation is both unethical and illegal. If you believe you have valid grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim in the La Quinta, CA area and your employer has engaged in any type of retaliation, it is vital to contact a reliable La Quinta construction accident attorney as soon as possible. You may be able to file a claim for wrongful termination, workplace harassment, or workplace discrimination through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and your attorney can assist in this process.
Construction Accidents and Wrongful Death
Unfortunately, some construction accidents are fatal for victims. In these situations, their surviving family members may have grounds for legal action through both the workers’ compensation system and the civil court system. The California DWC will pay benefits to the surviving family of a construction worker killed on the job, typically limited in a similar fashion to the way the DWC limits benefits paid directly to injured workers. An injured worker can expect an amount equivalent to approximately two-thirds of their average weekly wages in workers’ compensation benefits. When a worker dies from a workplace injury, their family will receive $10,000 in funeral and burial expense benefits and up to $320,000 in survivor benefits. The exact amount of these benefits is based on the number of dependents the deceased had at the time of their death as well as their incomes.
If a third party causes a wrongful death, the surviving family can hold them accountable through a wrongful death action. The family may still qualify to receive workers’ compensation survivor benefits in this situation. However, there is no guarantee the amount received will fully cover the damages resulting from the death in question. Your La Quinta construction accident lawyer can help you determine the best available legal options for your family’s recovery if you have lost a loved one in a construction accident.
Our Accident Attorneys Can Help With Your Claim
A construction accident can have devastating consequences for the victim and their family. The victim will incur significant medical expenses and remain unable to work for an extended time while they recover, while the family may suffer economic hardship and the emotional fallout from the injury. While the workers’ compensation claim system can provide some measure of financial relief for medical expenses and lost income, these benefits typically do not last very long. When extended benefits are available, this usually means the victim has suffered a permanent disability of some kind that will prevent them from working for a long time.
If your family has recently experienced a construction accident of any kind, it is natural to be uncertain about the best available path to recovery. English, Lloyd & Armenta is available to assist injured construction workers, other victims, and their families in these situations. Our firm has years of experience helping clients navigate the California workers’ compensation claim system and pursuing alternative legal actions when necessary.
Contact English, Lloyd & Armenta today to schedule a consultation regarding your recent construction injury with a compassionate and experienced La Quinta construction accident lawyer. We will carefully review your situation and help you determine how our firm can assist in your recovery.
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