Jury Awards Huge Sum in Death of Construction Worker
A jury in neighboring Los Angeles County determined that a construction company was to blame for the death of one of its employees who died in 2011. The fatality occurred when the employee was helping to place a wall in a construction area which later collapsed on him, causing serious head injury which resulted in his death.
Ultimately, it came down to the site plans which called for placement of the wall without proper support. The jury deliberated for less than a day before awarding the victim’s family $3.5 million in economic damages and $23.5 million in non-economic damages. The judgement against the construction company came as the jury determined it was 55% at fault for the accident.
This case is a perfect example of how an employer may be liable for harm that comes to an employee as a result of a construction accident.
Construction Accidents are far too Common
Construction accidents can be serious and often result in death. Despite proper precautions taken by both employers and employees, there can sometimes be a lapse that leads to serious injury or death.
In October 2013, a worker was killed in Oceanside at a construction site near El Camino High School. The death was the result of a structure collapse that pinned the worker underneath a section of retaining wall. This is one of many construction accidents that took place in 2013.
Other accidents of note include a construction worker who was killed when hit by falling rebar near Pacific Highway and West Washington Street; and, a construction worker in Jamul who fell five stories to his death while working at the construction site of the Hollywood Casino.
We could list many more accidents that have taken place in San Diego County over the last few years but, you can already see that these types of accidents are far too common. And, for every death, there are way more accidents with serious injuries such as broken bones, paralysis, and even amputation.
Why Construction Accidents Happen
As stated previously, employers and employees do take necessary steps for the safety of everyone on the job site. However, there are times when a lapse in judgment takes place and can cause harm. This can be on the part of the employee or on the part of the employer.
When an employee fails to take proper safety precautions there can be serious injury that takes place. For example, a crane operator who fails to visually clear the area they are working is more likely to cause an accident than someone who checks for people walking in the area. An accident can not only injure the employee failing to take the precaution but also injure others nearby.
An employer is mandated to make sure the premises are safe for workers. Some employers fail to do so and unsuspecting employees can be injured by believing an area is safe. Employers sometimes provide workers with substandard or broken equipment which can also result in injuries to employees.
What Happens Legally After an Accident?
After the damage from an accident has been taken care of, including providing necessary medical treatment for the victims, it must be determined who is at fault. Cal/OSHA is one agency that will likely investigate the incident but it is also wise to contact an attorney for legal advice. Remember that there is always a time limit to filing a claim so make sure to seek advice as soon as possible.
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