Construction sites are dangerous. Heavy machinery, toxic substances, falling objects, and exposed wiring pose risks to workers and passersby. The San Jose construction accident attorneys at Needham Kepner & Fish LLP help people throughout the Bay Area who have suffered serious construction injuries.
Our lawyers have decades of experience handling a wide range of catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases. We have the background and the resources to fight for compensation for you after a construction zone accident.
Common Causes of Construction Accidents and Injuries
Construction accidents and injuries can occur due to various factors and hazards present on construction sites. Some common causes of construction accidents and injuries in San Jose, CA include:
- Falls: Falls from heights are a leading cause of construction-related injuries. They can occur due to unstable scaffolding, lack of fall protection equipment, unguarded edges, or improper use of ladders.
- Struck by Objects: Workers can be injured when they are struck by falling objects such as tools, building materials, or equipment. This can happen if items are not properly secured or if there is inadequate signage or barricades to warn workers of potential hazards.
- Electrocutions: Construction sites often have exposed wiring, unfinished electrical systems, or improperly grounded equipment, leading to electrocution hazards. Contact with live wires or faulty equipment can result in serious injuries or fatalities.
- Caught-in or Caught-between Accidents: Workers can get caught in or between heavy machinery, equipment, or collapsing structures. These accidents may occur due to inadequate safety protocols, malfunctioning machinery, or lack of proper guarding.
- Construction Vehicle Accidents: Construction sites involve the use of various vehicles like dump trucks, cranes, forklifts, and loaders. Accidents can happen due to collisions between vehicles, pedestrians, or other objects, often caused by negligent operation or lack of proper training.
- Unsafe Working Conditions: Unsafe working conditions such as poorly maintained equipment, inadequate lighting, lack of ventilation, or hazardous materials can contribute to accidents and injuries on construction sites.
- Lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Failure to provide or use appropriate personal protective equipment, such as hard hats, safety goggles, gloves, and safety harnesses, increases the risk of injuries from falling objects, chemical exposures, or other hazards.
- Overexertion and Musculoskeletal Injuries: Construction work often involves physical labor and repetitive tasks, leading to overexertion, strains, sprains, and musculoskeletal injuries. Improper lifting techniques, inadequate rest breaks, and lack of ergonomic considerations can contribute to these injuries.
- Inadequate Training and Supervision: Insufficient training and supervision can lead to accidents and injuries. Workers may not be adequately prepared to handle machinery, follow safety procedures, or recognize potential hazards.
- Hazardous Materials and Chemical Exposure: Construction sites may involve the handling, use, or disposal of hazardous materials. Accidents can occur if proper safety measures are not followed, resulting in chemical exposures, fires, explosions, or respiratory problems.
What to Do After a Construction Site Accident in CA
If you or someone else experiences a construction site accident in California, it's essential to take the following steps to ensure your safety, receive proper medical attention, and protect your legal rights:
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention: If the injury is severe, call 911 or ask someone to do so. Prioritize your health and safety by getting prompt medical assistance. Even if the injury appears minor, it's still important to get evaluated by a healthcare professional to assess any underlying issues.
- Report the Accident: Notify the appropriate individuals about the accident. Inform your supervisor, project manager, or any other responsible parties on the construction site. They should be made aware of the incident and can initiate the necessary procedures.
- Document the Accident: Gather evidence and document the accident scene. Take photographs or videos of the site, including any hazardous conditions, equipment involved, and your injuries. These records can be valuable in supporting your case if legal action becomes necessary.
- Obtain Witness Information: If there were witnesses to the accident, gather their names and contact details. Their statements may be crucial in establishing the facts surrounding the incident.
- Preserve Evidence: Preserve any physical evidence related to the accident, such as damaged equipment or faulty machinery. Do not alter or dispose of any evidence, as it may be required for investigations or legal proceedings.
- File an Incident Report: File an incident report with your employer or the construction site management. Provide a detailed and accurate account of what occurred, including the date, time, location, nature of the accident, and any contributing factors.
- Consult with an Attorney: It's advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney who specializes in construction accidents. They can provide guidance on your legal rights, help determine liability, and assist in pursuing any necessary claims or compensation.
- Report the Accident to Authorities: In some cases, construction accidents may require reporting to regulatory agencies such as the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA). Your attorney can advise you on the appropriate reporting procedures.
- Keep Detailed Records: Maintain a comprehensive record of all medical treatments, expenses, lost wages, and any other costs associated with the accident. These records will be valuable in evaluating your damages and potential compensation.
- Follow Medical Advice: Adhere to all medical instructions and recommendations for your recovery. Attend follow-up appointments, undergo necessary treatments, and engage in rehabilitation programs to aid your recovery and demonstrate your commitment to healing.
We Help Construction Accident Victims in San Jose, San Francisco and Sacramento
Workers’ compensation benefits are often the only available remedy for a construction site injury. But when parties other than the employer are at least partially responsible for the accident, our personal injury attorneys pursue a lawsuit against those negligent parties. Such a claim might arise, for example, when a supplier’s delivery vehicle causes injuries on the construction site. A premises liability suit might also be an option, if there was a hazard at the site and the property owner failed to fix it or provide a warning.
Defective products are another common cause of construction site injuries. These include faulty tools, machinery that fails to shut off, and slippery materials that cause slip and falls. Additionally, toxic chemicals that lack adequate warnings can cause illness and injuries. If our investigation reveals that a defective product contributed to your injury, you can pursue recovery from the manufacturer or distributor. Workers’ compensation would not bar these lawsuits. Our San Jose construction accident attorneys can determine third-party construction accident liability.
Retain Experienced Counsel After a Construction Injury
If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, consult our experienced attorneys as soon as possible so we can begin investigating.
Our San Jose construction accident lawyers are available for weekend and evening meetings. We handle injury cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that you pay us nothing unless you recover compensation.