Construction is one of the most dangerous fields in which anyone can work, and every year in California, the construction industry accounts for more workplace injuries and fatalities than most other industries. Construction accidents can happen in many ways, often resulting in life-changing harm for victims and severe economic stress for their families.
California enforces some of the strongest workers’ compensation laws in the country, requiring almost every employer to have workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance coverage can help an injured worker handle their medical expenses and offset the financial strain caused by their inability to work while recovering, but these benefits may not entirely compensate the victim of a serious construction accident in Bakersfield, CA.
If you or a family member are struggling with the effects of a recent construction accident in Bakersfield, you need to know the full scope of the recovery options available to you. You may have the right to seek further legal recourse than just a workers’ compensation claim and a Bakersfield construction accident attorney can help you determine your most viable path to maximizing your compensation. The Law Offices of David Davidi, APLC, can provide the legal representation you need for any recovery efforts you must pursue after a construction accident.
It is technically possible for you to file a workers’ compensation claim and/or a personal injury claim in California without hiring an attorney. However, this could be incredibly challenging on your own. You would not only face several risks in attempting this but also the difficulty of managing your medical needs and your legal affairs simultaneously. Even if you managed to succeed, you would risk settling for less than you legally deserve. An experienced attorney is likely to be able to streamline your recovery efforts and shorten the time it takes you to recover from your injuries.
When you hire a Bakersfield construction accident attorney to represent you, you are better prepared to handle the unique legal challenges between you and the recovery you deserve. An experienced legal team can make filing your claim for workers’ compensation benefits much easier, and you can be prepared to address any legal issues that arise between you and your employer and/or their insurance carrier regarding your claim.
If you have grounds to file a personal injury claim against the party who caused your injury, your attorney can significantly improve your experience with this process as well. A Bakersfield construction accident lawyer can help their client:
You have the greatest chance of success with all your recovery efforts after a construction accident when you have legal counsel you can trust on your side.
Construction is a dangerous industry for many reasons. A few of the most commonly reported types of injuries that happen in construction zones in the Bakersfield area include:
These are only a few examples of the types of injuries that often occur on Bakersfield area construction sites. The victim of any construction accident should notify their supervisor of the incident and seek medical care immediately, even if they think they only suffered minor harm. The employer is required to create an incident report for the injury and provide the injured worker with any materials needed to file their claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
As long as your recent construction accident injury occurred while you were working, you likely have the ability to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits through your employer’s insurance policy. Almost every employer in the state must have this insurance, even if they have a single employee. Construction companies typically have more expansive workers’ compensation insurance coverage than employers in other industries due to the inherently dangerous nature of their work. However, this does not mean that your benefits will fully cover your losses or that you will have an easy time securing them at all.
Like most other insurance companies, workers’ compensation insurance carriers in California try to avoid paying out on claims whenever and however possible. Working with an experienced Bakersfield construction accident attorney can significantly reduce the risk of encountering any bad faith handling of your claim, and you can be prepared to address any problems that arise throughout the workers’ compensation insurance claim process.
A successful workers’ compensation claim in California should yield two forms of benefits to the injured worker. First, the insurance carrier will cover the cost of all the medical care they need to recover from their injury. This includes immediate treatment costs following the injury and ongoing expenses if they need rehabilitative care. Second, they will receive ongoing disability benefits if their injury prevents them from working.
Most injured workers will qualify to receive roughly two-thirds of their average weekly wages each week in disability benefits. These benefit payments may continue for up to 104 weeks, or until they are able to return to work. If the claimant can work, but cannot earn as much income after their injury, they may qualify for partial disability benefits. The claimant will need to report their weekly income to the insurance company to maintain eligibility for these benefits.
The workers’ compensation system in California aims to provide injured workers with economic support during recovery while protecting their employers from civil liability for injured workers’ damages. However, it is possible for a worker to have grounds for further legal action aside from their workers’ compensation claim under certain circumstances. An injured worker can only file a civil claim against their employer if:
It’s more likely that an injured worker will have grounds for legal action against a third party responsible for their damages. For example, if a construction worker was hurt in a car accident while performing their job duties, they could file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits since they were working at the time of the accident, but they could also file a civil claim against the driver who caused their accident.
If you are unsure whether you could have grounds for a third-party personal injury claim after your construction accident, it is crucial to speak with a Bakersfield construction accident attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can not only help you identify the party or parties at fault for your damages but also guide you through the legal process of holding them accountable. The compensation you recover from a successful personal injury claim can amount to much more than you receive in workers’ compensation benefits.
Your workers’ compensation claim may result in coverage for your medical expenses, but it will only provide compensation for a portion of your total lost income. You can claim the remainder of any lost wages through your personal injury claim, and you may also recover compensation for lost future earning capability if the defendant left you permanently disabled. Additionally, a personal injury claim allows you to seek compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced, which typically cannot be claimed through workers’ compensation.
Under California’s personal injury laws, the victim of a personal injury has the right to hold the defendant accountable for the physical pain, psychological anguish, and emotional suffering they experienced from the defendant’s actions. This may seem like it would be difficult to prove, and even harder to translate these intangible losses into financial terms, but your Bakersfield construction accident attorney can provide guidance for this aspect of your claim.
California upholds a one-year statute of limitations on workers’ compensation claims. This means you must file your claim within one year of your construction accident, or you lose the chance to recover workers’ compensation benefits through your employer. However, while you may have a full year in which to file a claim, it is generally advised to file your claim for benefits as soon as possible after your work-related injury. This will prevent the insurance company from doubting the legitimacy of your claim since you didn’t file it immediately.
If you have grounds to file a personal injury claim in response to the construction accident you experienced, you must do so within two years of the date your injury occurred. If your accident happened while you were working, you can only file a personal injury claim if:
The total compensation you receive depends on whether you can file a personal injury claim along with a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation will cover medical expenses and provide a portion of your lost income, but any outstanding damages may be sought in a personal injury claim. Working with an experienced Bakersfield construction accident attorney greatly improves your chances of maximizing your recovery.
If you caused your workplace injury in Bakersfield, this should not necessarily disqualify you from filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. However, factors could inhibit you from filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, including if you:
The Law Offices of David Davidi, APLC, does not take legal fees until we win our client’s case. Our contingency fee billing arrangement ensures that our client does not pay upfront or ongoing attorneys’ fees. If we win your case, you will only pay a percentage of the total case award as your fee to our firm, but we take nothing if we cannot secure compensation on your behalf. This billing format allows you to approach your case with confidence without worrying about your legal fees overshadowing your compensation.
The Law Offices of David Davidi, APLC, can provide compassionate legal counsel after a construction accident in the Bakersfield area. Our team can help clients recover from all types of personal injuries, including those that happen in the workplace. Construction is inherently dangerous for many reasons, and injured workers need legal counsel they can trust to help them recover. If you believe you have grounds for a workers’ compensation claim and/or personal injury claim in response to your recent injury, contact us today and schedule a consultation with a Bakersfield construction accident attorney.