San Francisco Construction Accident Attorney
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there were 7.2 million construction jobs, with 263,000 job openings in June of 2018. The construction industry is booming and is expected to grow even faster than average with a continued expansion of employment. A career in construction typically means that you will have a job that pays well and offers excellent benefits with a promising future.
While construction is a great industry to make a career in, it can also be a hazardous business to work in. Construction sites account for many workplace accidents and fatalities. OSHA, the federal agency that oversees the health and safety of millions of workers, has some insight on just how extravagant that number is. Out of the 4,779 total worker fatalities that took place in 2018, 21.1% of which were related to the construction industry.
If you’ve been injured in a workplace construction accident in San Francisco, the attorneys at Rizio Lipinksy may be able to help you seek the compensation you deserve. Our construction accident attorneys will diligently pursue a claim on your behalf to ensure you are awarded money for the injuries and damages that you suffered as a result of a workplace accident.
Causes of Construction Accidents
Construction accidents can happen in many different ways. Many are freak accidents, and other times the root cause is disregard for safety protocol. OSHA has many guidelines in place that employers must follow, including obtaining permits, conducting inspections, and implementing job safety programs. These guidelines help eliminate workplace construction accidents.
The following are the leading causes of workplace construction accidents:
- Lack of training
- Insufficient safety precautions and oversight
- Crane accidents
- Hoist accidents
- Harness accidents
- Collapsed structures
- Improper maintenance of equipment
- Compressed gases
- Mechanical dangers
- Contact with toxic substances
- Falls from high elevations
- Slips and falls
- Faulty equipment
- Fires and explosions
- Scaffolding accidents
- Improper use of tools
- Electrical accidents
- Welding accidents
- Falling objects
The top four causes of death in construction accidents in 2018 were:
- Falls – 364 deaths
- Hit by an Object – 90 deaths
- Electrocutions – 81 deaths
- Caught in or Between – 67 deaths
Top 10 Safety Standards Cited by OSHA
In 2018, the following safety standards were most often cited by OSHA:
- Eye and face protection
- Machinery and machine guarding, general requirements
- Fall protection – training requirements
- Powered industrial trucks, general industry
- Ladders, construction
- Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout)
- Respiratory protection, general industry
- Scaffolding, general requirements, construction
- Hazard communication standard, general industry
- Fall protection, standard
Because construction can be a dangerous industry, any disregard for safety protocols can result in a workplace accident or even death. Employers must be held to a standard to ensure that safety standards are being followed.
Your Rights in a Construction Accident
If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, you have rights. A severe injury can negatively impact the quality of your life, making it difficult or even impossible to provide for yourself. When expensive medical bills begin to pile up, who is responsible for paying them? It can be challenging to know what to do next, especially when you are trying to focus on recovery.
When a construction worker is injured on the job, establishing liability can be complicated. Often, there are multiple parties who have a share in the responsibility. The employer is usually protected from personal injury lawsuits as long as they carry workers’compensation. It is more common for a third party to be held liable.
Construction Site Owners – Liability in these cases is usually based upon the amount of control the owner has over the work site compared to the amount of control over the work being conducted on the site.
General and Sub-Contractors – OSHA requires that general contractors and sub-contractors provide construction workers with a safe environment to work in, free of hazards, and ensuring that safety protocols are being followed. When a worker is injured due to the failure of a contractor meeting the requirements, then a worker can seek compensation through a legal claim.
Prime Contractors – Prime contractors are responsible for the work that is outlined in the contract, and they often delegate work out to sub-contractors. When a worker is injured on the job, then the prime contractor may be held responsible if they have responsibility for the subcontractor.
Architects and Engineers – Sometimes, architects and engineers are responsible for ensuring compliance on the job site. If a work injury occurred under their purview, they may be held responsible, depending on the terms of their contract.
Manufacturers – When a worker is injured on the job due to a defective product, a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer may be held liable for the injury.
Should you Hire a Lawyer?
The sooner you contact a construction accident attorney, the better. In San Francisco, a workplace accident victim has two years from the accident, or one year from the date the injury was discovered, to file a claim. After that, the statute of limitations may run out, making your claim void.
Questions to Ask
Hiring an experienced construction accident attorney is essential for a workplace injury. It is important to ask some preliminary questions to evaluate credentials and experience:
- “How long have you been in the practice of law?”
- “How long have you dealt with construction accident cases?”
- “How many construction accident cases have you handled? How often do you negotiate a settlement? How many have made it to court?”
- “What is a typical settlement that I can expect for a situation like mine?”
- “How does payment for your services work? Do you take these cases on contingency, or is there another payment arrangement I should be aware of?”
- “Could you provide me with some references?”
A construction accident lawyer will help guide you through the legal process and help you avoid costly mistakes that may limit your compensation. At Rizio Lipinsky, we have years of experience in construction accident cases, and we know how to protect your legal rights. We will handle your case from beginning to end, so that you can focus on your recovery. Please don’t wait until it is too late. Contact Rizio Lipinsky today to get in contact with an experienced construction accident lawyer.