Hakim Injury Law: Construction-Accidents

Understanding Non-Worker Construction Accidents: What You Need to Know

April 01, 2024

Construction workers wear hard hats and other PPE (personal protective equipment) that shield them from construction site injuries. Furthermore, these individuals are fully aware of the risks they take, at least for the most part. Finally, if they get hurt, the workers’ compensation system protects them. They can hire Construction Accident Lawyers in California to pursue the fair compensation they deserve.

People who pass by construction sites wear no PPE. Additionally, they are completely unaware of most injury risks. So, they are much more susceptible to serious injuries. These victims cannot rely on workers’ compensation for protection, but they can rely on a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer. Attorneys protect people by obtaining the compensation they need to pay medical bills and forcing construction companies to accept responsibility for the injuries they negligently cause.

Construction Defects

Some construction site injuries occur after the crews leave the area and, in some cases, many years after they leave. Common construction defects include:

  • Design Defects: Design deficiencies are especially common in large single- or multi-family developments. Designers often draw up plans for dwellings that look nice, as opposed to practical dwellings that fit the way people live in California. Frequently, these designs don’t conform with local building code standards. 
  • Engineering Errors: These defects are usually communication problems. The structure on the lot doesn’t match the picture on the blueprint. Cracks in walls, ceilings, floors, and foundations can be signs of structural damage caused by improper construction techniques or materials.
  • Material Deficiencies: Speaking of material deficiencies, to save money, many companies use cheap, imported parts and materials. Cheaper products usually wear out faster. When structures begin deteriorating, they become dangerous.

California has a ten-year statute of repose. Usually, if a construction defect-related injury occurs more than ten years after the building’s completion, a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer cannot file a legal action. 

Actually, that’s not technically correct. In these situations, the defendant can bring a legal motion and ask the judge to dismiss the case. The judge then says yes, no, or, most likely, maybe.

Rather than go through all that, many defendants would rather settle these cases, especially since they’ll probably lose in the court of public opinion if they refuse to compensate a victim because of a technicality.

Motor Vehicle Crashes

Some construction accident injuries occur beyond the construction site itself. Large construction vehicles, like dump trucks, weren’t designed to navigate California streets and highways. Therefore, large vehicle collisions, especially pedestrian collisions, are much too common. These victims often sustain serious injuries, such as:

  • Head injuries,
  • Internal injuries, like punctured lungs,
  • Broken bones,
  • Internal bleeding, and
  • PTSD.

Compensation is available if a personal injury lawyer proves the driver was negligent (a lack of care). Commercial operators, like construction vehicle drivers, are held to a higher legal standard in the Golden State. So, these drivers have very little margin for error. Almost any driving mishap, such as driving slightly above the speed limit, is usually negligence.

The construction company is usually financially responsible for damages in these cases, under the respondeat superior rule.

Third-Party Sexual Assaults

In the law, “assault” is more like “harassment.” Assault, as opposed to battery, is a credible, unsettling threat to a person’s safety that’s usually, but not always, associated with physical violence.

The construction industry has the second-highest sexual harassment rate of all industries in the United States. Examples include lewd gestures, catcalls, and lewd remarks. These claims are especially common in workplaces that are under construction, such as bathroom remodeling.

Sexual assault/harssment causes long-temr injuries that, in many cases, don’t become apparent for many years. Frequently, these victims display symptoms of sexual abuse, like depression, PTSD, and eating disorders, but they don’t connect those symptoms with a tortfeasor’s (wrongful actor’s) conduct.

Fortunately, the statute of repose doesn’t apply in such situations. So, no matter how long the delay is, compensation may still be available.

Consult A California Personal Injury Lawyer!

In some cases, especially the partial construction cases mentioned above, a third party, usually the victim’s employer, could be financially responsible for damages. A California Workplace Injury Lawyer must prove that the employer or other defendant knew about the harassment, was in a position to do something about it, and didn’t adequately address the issue. 

Construction site injury victims may be entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.

Sharona Hakim

Sharona Eslamboly Hakim, Esq. is a successful personal injury attorney and the principal of the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim firm in Beverly Hills, California.

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