Construction worker holding a hard hat with construction equipment in the background.

What Damages Can I Recover From a Construction Accident?

Understanding Construction Accidents and Injury Claims

Construction workers have one of the most dangerous jobs, and working with heavy equipment, power lines, scaffolding, and trenches can pose many risks. According to a recent study, construction accidents account for the second-highest number of worker deaths in California — right behind the trade, transportation, and utility industry. It is essential to know your options for recovering damages when it comes to construction accidents.

Recovery Options in a Construction Accident

While workers’ compensation may be one recovery option and provide other benefits for your injuries, there are other options that construction workers have if they have been injured on the job. Since many independent contractors are involved in projects, a personal injury lawsuit against a third party may be a viable option. A personal injury case may be pursued if:

  • Your employer does NOT carry workers’ compensation insurance.
  • Your employer intentionally caused harm to an employee.
  • You became injured or sick by exposure to a toxic substance.
  • You were injured by a defective product.
  • You were injured by a third party, such as a contractor or subcontractor.

If you meet any of the criteria above, you may be deemed eligible to file a civil lawsuit in order to receive compensation for your injuries. You may be entitled to the following types of compensation.

Economic Damages

Under personal injury law, economic damages refer to reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses a victim may incur for their injuries. A construction accident victim may be entitled to the following economic damages:

  • Lost earnings.
  • Past or future medical expenses, including hospital bills, medication, physical therapy, etc.
  • Missed job opportunities as a result of the injury sustained.
  • Compensation for any personal property that was damaged relating to the injury.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are tricky to quantify since they can’t be backed by receipts, bills, and other documentation. However, having a skilled personal injury lawyer who knows how non-economic damages work can make all the difference. Non-economic damages may include the following:

  • Pain and suffering.
  • Mental anguish.
  • Loss of life enjoyment.
  • Loss of consortium for spouses (wrongful death claims).
  • Permanent disabilities or disfigurement.

Punitive Damages

Also referred to as exemplary damages, a victim may be awarded punitive damages in some cases. Punitive damages are not related to a victim’s losses. Punitive damages are awarded to a victim to punish the defendant if they acted with malice and intentionally harmed the victim or demonstrated extreme negligence or recklessness in causing the injury.

Hiring an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer That Gets Results

Our clients, Charles Yamamoto and George May were working on the same construction site and were both seriously injured when a manlift failed, and they fell more than 30 feet to the ground. The manlift failure resulted from negligence by the employer in maintaining the equipment. Lack of lubrication caused the coupling to disengage — and the emergency brake system was defective and in a state of disrepair.

Yamamoto suffered a fractured spine and suffered a brain injury that permanently disabled him and rendered him unemployable. May suffered a compression fracture in his back and was permanently disabled from returning to his former occupation as a boilermaker.

We secured a 3.96 million settlement — 2.97 million to Yamamoto and 1.26 million to May.

If you’ve been injured in a construction accident and sustained severe injuries, we want to help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Hurt a Construction Accident? We are Here to Help.

When injured in a construction accident, devastating injuries can have a lifetime impact on victims and their families. At Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn, we have extensive experience in protecting the rights of construction workers who have been severely injured in a workplace accident. We won't give up when it comes to our client’s rights to receive the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one were hurt in a construction accident, we are here for you.

Our team at Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn is here to help construction accident victims in San Francisco and the Bay Area. Contact us today at (415) 940-7176 or use our online form to schedule a free consultation.