Construction Accident Attorney in Tracy
Construction Accident Injury & Workers’ Compensation Claims
In California, nearly all employers—including general contractors—with at least one employee must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This means that if you were injured in a construction accident and you are classified as a W-2 employee, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
At Pacific Workers’ Compensation Law Center, we understand the dangers construction workers face every single day on the job. Our attorneys recognize that injured construction workers typically face immense challenges, from obtaining the right medical care to managing new disabilities to making up for lost income while out of work. As your legal team, our goal is to help you understand your rights, protect your best interests, and fight for the maximum benefits you are owed, whether through the California workers’ compensation system or other, additional means.
From our office in Tracy, our construction accident attorneys represent injured workers and the families of those killed in tragic workplace accidents throughout San Joaquin County and the surrounding areas. We bring over 130 years of combined experience to our practice, as well as a long-standing history of success.
Are Construction Workers Covered by Workers’ Comp in California?
Generally speaking, most construction workers in California are covered by workers’ compensation. State laws require all employers with at least one employee to have workers’ compensation insurance (with very few exceptions). This includes general contractors and construction companies. Additionally, roofers in California must have workers’ compensation (or Certification of Self-Insurance) regardless of whether or not they have any employees.
One exception to this is the case of independent contractors. In California, independent contractors, including those in the construction industry, are not typically covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Independent contractors may choose to be self-insured, but this is not mandatory.
Common Construction Accidents & Injuries
The construction industry is notoriously dangerous. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), approximately one in five worker deaths in 2019 were in the construction industry.
Often, construction accidents occur due safety standards violations or improper safety procedures.
OSHA reported that the most commonly cited safety standards in 2020 included:
- Improper fall protection
- Failure to properly communicate hazards
- Lack of sufficient respiratory protection
- Unsafe scaffolding
- Ladder safety violations
- Improper or lack of control of hazardous energy
- Violations involving the use of powered industrial trucks
- Inadequate training regarding fall protection
- Insufficient face/eye protection
- Machinery/machinery guard failures
These types of safety violations can lead to devastating on-the-job accidents and life-altering injuries. In many cases, such accidents can even be fatal.
Some of the most common construction accident-related injuries include:
- Fall-related injuries
- Broken bones/fractures
- Accidental amputation
- Hearing/vision damage or loss
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- “Crush” or “caught-between” injuries
- Internal bleeding and hemorrhaging
- Back, neck, and shoulder injuries
- Toxic exposure
Victims of such catastrophic injuries often find themselves suddenly dealing with immense physical pain, emotional trauma, and financial hardship. Depending on the severity of the injury, a victim may be unable to return to work for months, years, or even the remainder of his or her life.
At Pacific Workers’ Compensation Law Center, our Tracy construction accident lawyers understand the challenges you are facing—and we know how to help you seek the fair compensation you are owed. We can assist you in filing a workers’ compensation claim after a construction accident or, if necessary, pursuing a third-party work injury claim. We leave no stone unturned when it comes to maximizing the value of our clients’ claims and are prepared to investigate all possible avenues of compensation on your behalf.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system that provides monetary benefits to injured employees to aid with expenses associated with medical treatment and care, as well as lost wages. In some cases, eligible employees may also be entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits, which are intended to assist the injured worker in job retraining and education when he or she is no longer able to perform the same type of work or same work-related duties as before.
Most injured construction workers in California are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This may include the following:
- Medical Benefits: Workers’ compensation covers the full cost of medical care and treatment associated with your work-related injury. This includes surgeries, hospital stays, rehabilitation, medications, medical equipment and devices, co-pays, follow-up appointments, and more. It also includes mileage reimbursement for travel to and from medical appointments.
- Wage Replacement Benefits: Workers’ compensation also provides wage replacement benefits for injured workers who are temporarily or permanently unable to return to work. This includes temporary partial disability, temporary total disability, permanent partial disability, and permanent total disability.
- Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits: Also known as “vocational rehabilitation” or “job retraining,” these benefits assist with the costs associated with education and training for new employment when an injured worker is unable to return to his or her previous employment or job. Only those injured in 2004 or later are eligible for supplemental job displacement benefits.
- Death Benefits: The California workers’ compensation system also provides certain monetary benefits to the surviving spouses and/or dependents of covered employees who die due to work-related injuries or illnesses. This includes ongoing payments to eligible surviving individuals, as well as compensation for funeral/burial expenses (up to a set amount).
Because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, injured construction workers who are eligible for benefits do not need to prove that their employer or another party was negligent or otherwise at fault for their accidents, injuries, or illnesses. However, in exchange, covered employees are not allowed to sue their employers after sustaining a job-related injury or medical condition.
When to File a Third-Party Construction Accident Claim
There are several circumstances in which it may be appropriate or even necessary to file a third-party work injury claim after a construction accident or job-related injury.
Some examples include:
- When a construction worker is not covered by workers’ compensation
- When a construction worker’s injuries are not covered by workers’ comp
- When a third party, such as a product manufacturer, is liable
- When a construction accident involves an injured third party
For example, if an independent contractor was injured on a construction site due to the general contractor’s failure to follow proper safety standards, the injured worker may be able to bring a standard personal injury claim or lawsuit against the liable party, despite not being covered by workers’ compensation. Additionally, if a construction worker is injured by a defective product, he or she could have a claim against the manufacturer under the rule of strict liability in addition to a workers’ compensation claim. And if a person other than a construction worker is injured on or near a construction site, that person may be able to sue the construction company for negligence.
At Pacific Workers’ Compensation Law Center, we thoroughly investigate our clients’ claims to determine all available avenues for seeking recovery. Our Tracy construction accident attorneys work tirelessly to secure the maximum compensation our clients deserve so that they can get back on their feet and move forward with their lives.
Get in Touch with Our Team Today
Construction accidents often have serious, life-changing consequences for victims and their loved ones. At our firm, we believe in helping those affected by these tragic accidents and are committed to fighting for the justice they deserve.
We have a 98% success rate in the cases we have handled and, to date, our attorneys have secured more than $125 million for injured workers and their families. If you or someone you love was involved in a construction accident in Tracy or any of the surrounding areas, reach out to Pacific Workers’ Compensation Law Center today to learn how we can help. Your time to file a claim is limited, so don’t wait until it’s too late!