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Employer Liability in Electrocution Accidents

Electrical sparkWhether caused by a known electrical hazard, a sudden electrical explosion, high voltage wiring, or OSHA safety standard violations, there are many scenarios where an employer could be held liable for a construction worker’s electrocution injuries. Lack of protective equipment, improper training, poor inspection protocols, and inadequate maintenance are all factors where employers may be negligent.

Are Employers Liable For Electrocution Accidents?

According to NIOSH National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities data:

  • 80% of those injured had some type of electrical safety training (most commonly, on-the-job training).
  • Supervisors were present in 53% of the accidents.
  • 41% of the victims were on the job for less than one year.
  • In 35% of incidents, there was no safety program or established safety procedures.

They concluded that “Most of the 224 occupational electrocution incidents investigated… could have been prevented.” Investigators have found that comprehensive safety programs are often not fully implemented. Management is not 100% on board with explaining and promoting safety protocols.

Though many injured workers were inexperienced and did not fully understand how to identify hazards in their environments, management is ultimately responsible for providing a safe work environment for all employees through training, protective equipment, and adherence to established safe work procedures and policies.

Preventing Electrocution Injury

In order to avoid serious liability, it is important that construction worker employers follow every protocol to avoid contributing to a worker sustaining injury.

Such measures may include implementation of standardized programs and procedure that:

  • Develop and revise comprehensive safety programs
  • Ensure compliance with OSHA regulations and National Electrical Code standards
  • Provide specialized electrical safety training in hazard awareness, proper lockout/tag-out procedures, and rescue
  • Control hazardous electrical energy
  • Provide adequate testing, detection, and safety equipment
  • Create a culture that emphasizes workplace safety
  • Conduct job hazard analyses for all tasks involving contact with electrical energy

Furthermore, manufacturing companies accounted for 54% of the lower-voltage incidents, despite design features like safety interlocks, emergency stops, and electrical guarding. Failure to maintain properly designed equipment falls on the employer.

Electrocution accidents are sometimes traced back to utility companies who fail to maintain their lines. Companies that put profits before public safety must pay for their negligence.

Contact an Electrocution Accident Lawyer at Ellis Law

If you or a loved one have been electrocuted in a serious electrocution accident near Los Angeles, California, Ellis Law can help! We will help you determine how much worker’s compensation will cover, look into premises liability issues that put you at unnecessary risk, and identify systemic issues that could be putting your coworkers at risk of suffering a similar fate. Call 1-800-INJURED for a free, no-obligation case assessment.

Additional Electrocution Accident Lawsuit Resources:

Construction Site Accidents & Injuries – Who Is Liable?

construction site injuriesCalifornia construction laborers face a number of workplace hazards each day. According to OSHA, more than 20% of fatal workplace accidents occur in the construction industry. That means roughly 1 in 5 workers will get hurt on a construction site. California’s construction industry has a fatal injury rate of 6.8 percent, which is second-highest, next to the sector which includes loggers, fishermen, and ranchers. Construction workers die from falls, electrocutions, being struck by heavy objects, getting crushed by equipment, or trapped inside collapsing structures.

OSHA violations often lead to injury

According to the U.S. Occupational & Safety Hazard Administration, the most frequently violated standards leading to injury and death on construction sites include:

  1. Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501)
  2. Scaffolding requirements (29 CFR 1926.451)
  3. Ladder use (29 CFR 1926.1053)

Other general violations that occur across the various industries include failure to adhere to proper hazard communication standards, poor control of hazardous energy, improper electrical wiring methods, and inadequate respiratory protection. On average, more than 13 people die at work each day in largely preventable accidents. Those who survive are often left with debilitating injuries.

Who is liable for construction accidents and injuries?

Determining liability can be a complex matter, given that each construction setup follows a different hierarchy. There are site landowners, designers and engineers, general contractors, subcontractors, construction managers, equipment manufacturers, material suppliers, maintenance technicians, insurers, and construction management firms. Large construction projects involve a good deal of delegation to spread out legal responsibility.

Possible parties that may be held liable for a construction accident may include:

  • The construction site owner / legal possessor of the land – Like all premises liability cases, the landowner is responsible for maintaining a safe environment for all invited guests. If the land owner knows about (or should have reasonably known about) a potential hazard on the land, but did nothing to remedy the situation, he or she can be charged with violating a duty of care. This standard does not apply when invitees are forewarned about the hazard.
  • General contractors, subcontractors, and coworkers – These workers have a duty to make sure they have performed their portion of work on the construction site safely, to industry and company standards. Competent workers should be hired and thoroughly trained to ensure compliance with safety regulations.
  • Architects and engineers – Design and land use professionals must act in accordance with local code regulations. They must obtain all relevant permits and inspections before their work moves from blueprints to reality. If their work fails to meet the terms, conditions, and standards set forth in their contracts, they may be held responsible.
  • Machinery manufacturers or maintenance technicians – Sometimes equipment malfunctions as a result of poor maintenance work, defective design, or early degradation. The legal principles of a standard product liability lawsuit may apply here.
  • Insurers – Insurance coverage is designed to cover property owners or construction firms in the event of a catastrophe. Sometimes there is ample coverage to pay for all injuries and a lawsuit is not necessary. More often than not, the amount of insurance money offered pales in comparison to the expenses incurred by a serious injury or fatality. Insurance only pays for tangible medical expenses and lost income, not emotional pain and suffering or other, more personal losses. Only a lawsuit can compensate for loss of enjoyment in life, guidance, consortium, companionship, and other heartaches.

Get an experienced Los Angeles construction accident lawyer who cares

Over the last 20 years, the Ellis Injury Law Firm has won over $250 million for clients from diverse backgrounds. A Los Angeles construction accident attorney can help you evaluate your claim for compensation. Our investigators have extensive experience in construction accident reconstruction, and we employ the best industry witnesses to provide depositions and testimonies that lend credence to your case. In most cases, we obtain fair settlements outside of the courtroom. All legal counsel is provided free of charge until we secure money on your behalf, so there is nothing to lose by calling 1-800-INJURED.

Additional California Construction Accident Resources:

  1. BLS – Fatal Occupational Injury Rates by Industry (California, 2015), https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/rate2015ca.htm
  2. BLS – Highest Fatal Injury Rate, https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20140915.htm
  3. OSHA – Common Statistics, https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html

Construction Injuries that Result in Paralysis

construction site injuriesOSHA statistics paint a grim picture for construction worker safety in the United States. Tens of thousands of construction workers are seriously harmed on the job every year, and falls are the number one cause of life-threatening and fatal injuries. When accidental falls and other mishaps crush or damage the spinal cord, partial or complete paralysis may result. After suffering spinal cord trauma, victims may experience loss of sensation and movement in the legs, trunk, arms and hands, depending on the severity and location of the injury.

Anecdotal reports of construction accident-related paralysis speak to the imminent dangers facing workers today, especially considering that fall protection is the most violated OSHA regulation. All laborers must be provided with adequate fall protection equipment – including guard rails, safety harnesses and toe-boards– whether working on scaffolding or operating heavy equipment at heights more than 6 feet.

Falls from great heights

More than any other type of construction accident, falls are the leading cause of spinal cord trauma and paralysis. Take the case of construction worker Hugo Hernandez Palomino, a Maryland worker who was paralyzed from the neck down when he fell from scaffolding after being struck by a high-voltage transformer. The impact from the violent fall broke his cervical vertebrae, rendering him quadriplegic. In 2014, a Maryland jury awarded Palomino and his family $21.7 million to account for his substantial pain and suffering, and lifelong medical needs. Palomino is unable to work, and will need 24-7 nursing care for the remainder of his life.

When workers like Palomino are unfortunate enough to suffer injury higher on the spinal cord (between the C1-C4 vertebrae), the results are catastrophic. Quadriplegic patients require round-the-clock personal care and assistance with basic tasks such as bathing, dressing and eating.

A fall that irreparably injures the lower cervical vertebrae or thoracic vertebrae in the middle to lower back can result in paraplegia, affecting movement and nerve sensation in the legs and lower body. Victims may be confined to a wheelchair, though many can learn to drive a modified car.

Struck-by accidents

OSHA includes “struck by” incidents as part of the construction industry’s Fatal 4 hazards. Every year, thousands of workers are struck by falling objects, tools and heavy machinery such as crane loads and forklifts, causing debilitating injury and death.  A severe blow to the neck or back from a heavy machine or falling object can easily damage the delicate spinal column, culminating in temporary or permanent loss of function.

Examples of common “struck by” accidents that can result in paralysis:

  • Struck by crane load or boom
  • Fallen tools, objects or machinery
  • Collapsing structures
  • Compressed air flying-object hazards
  • Hit by a rolling object such as a road grader, forklift or backhoe

Compensation for construction accident paralysis

Though advances in spinal cord research and groundbreaking nerve cell therapies hold promise for the future, those living with paralysis face exorbitant medical costs and a reduced quality of life. For workers who have suffered a paralyzing construction accident injury, it’s important to ensure that negligent parties are held accountable and fair compensation is obtained.

Ellis Law Corporation works with medical and economic experts and life care planners to accurately project the true value of your claim, and leverages more than 25 years handling complex construction accident cases. For a no-charge case evaluation with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer call us at 1-800-INURED.

Paralysis Caused by Construction Accident: Resources

  1. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Construction’s “Fatal Four” https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html
  2. Washington Post, Paralyzed construction worker awarded $21.7 million after accident at Pepco site https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/paralyzed-construction-worker-awarded-217-million-after-accident-at-pepco-site/2014/10/24/92ada96a-5bb5-11e4-bd61-346aee66ba29_story.html?utm_term=.8bab6a09fb85

West Hollywood Construction Accident Proves Fatal for Worker

2-construction-workersOn March 22, a contractor with Southern California Edison died as the result of a construction site accident in which he was crushed in between a trailer and crane located in the 1200 block of La Cienega Boulevard in West Hollywood close to the Sunset Strip.

According to officials from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the man was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead there.

Construction projects booming near accident site

A spokesperson for Southern California Edison confirmed that the victim was employed by one of the utility company’s contractors. The accident happened in a portion of the Sunset Strip which has been characterized by a significant uptick in construction activity of late. In fact, La Cienega Boulevard was closed in order to accommodate the work being done at the specific location, based on information provided by a Sheriff’s Department representative. Following the event, an investigation was initiated by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

Inherent risks posed by construction site work

The federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration estimates that roughly 6.5 million Americans go to work at a quarter of a million construction sites each and every day. Given the inherently risky nature of the tasks undertaken by these individuals, it should come as no surprise that the rate of fatal injuries for those working in construction trades is elevated when compared to those in other industries.

Dangers commonly faced by workers on construction sites include things such as:

Severe nature of construction site injuries

Each of the dangers faced by construction workers on a daily basis has the potential to cause life-altering injuries and sometimes even death. When laborers must work near heavy equipment placed on surfaces that are often unstable or must complete tasks at dangerous heights, the possibility of suffering real harm is ever-present.

Common injuries sustained on construction sites include:

Liability in construction site accidents

The worker’s compensation system in California is designed to provide essential financial resources for those harmed in workplace incidents, but in exchange for such payments, workers necessarily forfeit their right to pursue their employer for negligence which may have contributed to their injuries. For some, worker’s compensation payouts are sufficient assistance to cover medical bills and other losses.

However, in other cases, the amount received does not come close to offering the funds necessary to facilitate real recovery or compensate loved ones for the loss of income, familial support and companionship after a fatal event.

When that is the case, the victims of accidents and their families may consider the option of a third-party claim against an entity other than the actual employer if it can be established that the negligence of that party caused or contributed to the injury or death.

Possible defendants in such cases could include:

  • equipment manufacturers

  • crane or truck operators

  • lift operators

  • public utility companies

  • subcontractors

  • engineers, architects or project management

Fighting for construction workers in LA

Whether you need assistance navigating the worker’s compensation claims system or are interested in exploring the option of a third-party negligence suit, the attorneys of Ellis Law are ready and willing to assist. To explore your options with a trusted construction accident lawyer, contact us at 1-800-INJURED.

  1. NBC Los Angeles, SoCal Contractor Worker Killed in West Hollywood Crane Accident, http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/west-hollywood-crane-accident-kills-one-sunset-boulevard-373163871.html
  2. KTLA, Worker Crushed to Death in Cran Accident at West Hollywood Construction Site: Authorities, http://ktla.com/2016/03/22/worker-crushed-to-death-in-incident-at-construction-site-in-west-hollywood/
  3. Los Angeles Times, Man crushed to death between crane, trailer in West Hollywood, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-man-dies-crane-west-hollywood-20160322-story.html
  4. United States Department of Labor – Occupational Safety & Health Administration, Worker Safety Series: Construction, https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3252/3252.html

Construction Worker Plunges to His Death in LA

scaffoldingA construction worker, on his second day on the job, fell 53 stories to his death last week. The accident occurred at the Wilshire Grand Center tower, which has been under construction for the past three years. Officials for the construction company called the accident “not work-related.”

The building, which is located in the 600 block of South Figueroa Street, is slated to be the highest building west of the Mississippi River when it is finished. Just recently, the building topped out at 73 stories and stands 1,100 feet high. Approximately 1,000 workers are at the construction site daily and this was the first accident reported from the location.

Worker lands on passing car

According to a report at KTLA, the worker fell from the 53rd floor and landed on a passing car. The worker was pronounced dead at the scene and the driver of the vehicle was taken to the hospital, where she was listed in stable condition.

The deceased worker, whose identification is pending upon notification of his family, had been employed by Turner Construction Co. as an electrician for the new construction. It was not clear why the worker would have been doing electrical work at the edge of the building and a spokesperson for Turner said they were able to confirm the employee was “not providing any functions related to his employment or his work” when he fell. The accident is now under investigation by local police and OSHA.

An initial investigation by OSHA at the scene confirmed the no fall protection violations were noted. It was unclear whether the employee was wearing a safety harness at the time of his fall, however. Sergeant Barry Montgomery of the Los Angeles Police Department told New 4 Southern California, “At this time this is being investigated as a tragic workplace accident.”

Falls are common on construction sites

Falls are the most common type of accident occurring at construction sites today, according to OSHA. Other common causes include electrocutions, getting hit by an object and getting caught between objects. In fact, these “fatal four” contributed to more than half of all construction work-related deaths in 2014. There were 874 deaths in the construction industry during that year, and 349 were related to falls.

Construction sites are some of the most dangerous places in the country. OSHA estimates that one in 10 construction workers will be injured on the job every year. The construction industry is also number two in the U.S. for fatal injuries in workers younger than 18, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Liability in construction accidents

Construction workers who are injured on the job are usually covered by worker’s compensation. However, this type of compensation is rarely sufficient for catastrophic injuries or the death of a loved one. In many cases, victims are forced to document the severity of their workplace injuries to recover just compensation, and disputes are not uncommon. For this reason, it’s recommended that victims ally themselves with experienced legal representation.

For more than 20 years, Ellis Law has advocated for injured victims, ensuring they and their families recover the maximum compensation to which they are entitled. For a free consultation with one of our Los Angeles construction accident attorneys, please call 1-800-INJURED.

  1. KTLA, Construction Worker on Second Day of Job Dies in “Not Work-Related” Fall from 53rd Floor in DTLA, http://ktla.com/2016/03/17/construction-worker-dies-after-falling-from-wilshire-grand-center-landing-on-passing-car-in-downtown-la/
  2. NBC Los Angeles, Construction Worker Plummets 53 Stories to His Death at Downtown LA High-Rise, http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Construction-Worker-Plummets-to-His-Death-at-Downtown-LA-High-Rise-372455792.html
  3. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Commonly Used Statistics, https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html
  4. Capterra Construction Management, 13 Shocking Construction Injury Statistics, http://blog.capterra.com/13-shocking-construction-injury-statistics/

Wall Falls at LA Construction Site, Injuring 2 Workers

2-construction-workersTwo construction workers were rushed to the hospital on March 15 after a wall where they were working fell on them, according to Los Angeles authorities.  Though the wooden wall weighed a thousand pounds, co-workers were able to lift the structure off of the two men.  The two victims were hospitalized for critical injuries.

Authorities are currently investigating the cause or causes of the accident.

Construction injuries and fatalities are common in the Los Angeles area due in part to the high volume of construction carried out in this major metropolitan area.  Although the causes of the accidents vary, in many cases workers are not provided adequate training or supervision, or corners are cut with safety in order to meet deadlines or come in under budget.

Liability for Los Angeles area construction site injuries

Several kinds of construction accidents have resulted in serious injury or death in the Los Angeles area.  Heavy equipment, especially cranes, have fallen or otherwise malfunctioned.  In many cases, workers themselves have fallen from scaffolding or other elevated locations.  Injuries have also been connected to burns or electrocution.

Liability in such cases may vary.  For instance, a piece of equipment may have malfunctioned and the problem in such a case may be traced back to the manufacturing company.  Companies in charge of maintaining the equipment may also be responsible for the accident. Poor training and lax safety measures can also account for serious construction site accidents.

The fact that there are many parties involved in a construction project besides the construction workers’ direct employer is crucial in terms of gaining compensation for an accident or fatality.  Worker’s compensation is available to those injured on the job and it is not possible to sue an employer directly over various liability; however, all of the other parties may be liable and are able to be sued in the case of an accident.

Compensation available for workplace accidents

Although worker’s compensation is available in the case of construction accidents, it is rarely sufficient to cover the expenses incurred.  Medical expenses in the short term may be substantial enough.  In addition, many workers face long term rehabilitation costs that are also significant.  An accident may render a worker unable to continue in his chosen field.  He or she may therefore face not only lost wages in the period immediately following the accident, but also a loss of earning potential that may have a detrimental impact on the worker and his or her family.  Finally, the loss of a breadwinner may have serious financial consequences for a family left behind.

If you have been injured or lost a family member in a construction accident, you may be entitled to legal compensation.  To speak with a Los Angeles construction accident lawyer at Ellis Injury Law, dial 1-800-INJURED. The first consultation is free, and we don’t get paid unless you recover damages.

Victims Remain Hospitalized After Corona Bridge Collapse

emergency roomA bridge collapse in Corona on October 9 sent nine workers to the hospital with injuries resulting from the accident. Three of the employees were listed as critical and seven remained hospitalized as of October 17, according to the Press-Enterprise.

The accident occurred at E. Grand Boulevard and the 91 Freeway late in the evening of October 9. The victims were all injured by falling wooden support beams that were knocked loose when a portion of a bridge deck dropped unexpectedly. A malfunction during the jacking process caused the bridge section to drop.

Some 16 employees of project contractor Atkinson Walsh were on the construction site as a new bridge was being lowered and positioned as an on-ramp to Highway 91 in Corona. All construction was halted after the accident and E. Grand Boulevard was closed until the morning of October 14. The accident is currently under investigation by state agencies and is expected to take a number of months.

Relief funds established for victims

In the meantime, a relief fund has been established for two of the accident victims by the California Transportation Foundation. James Chaffee Jr. and Gilberto Ortiz will receive funds from the non-profit, which promises to match donations dollar for dollar up to $5,000. The rest of the injured workers will also have the option of signing up for the fund.

The family of another accident victim, Jarell Boyd, has set up a GoFundMe account to collect donations for medical bills and other expenses. Boyd, a 33-year-old father of two sons, suffered severe head trauma and remains in the hospital after undergoing surgery October 12. Family members told NBC Los Angeles they are hoping for answers on why the accident occurred and whether negligence played a role.

Highway work accidents & workers’ compensation

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that 105 workers died at road construction sites in 2013 alone. Most of those deaths occurred in Texas, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania and California, respectively. The majority of deaths were caused by collision events involving either a vehicle or mobile equipment.

Workers’ compensation is available to all California employees that incur a work-related injury or illness. This compensation is designed to cover medical expenses, temporary and permanent disability benefits, supplemental job displacement benefits, and death benefits. All California employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance to cover the expenses of employees injured on the job.

While workers’ compensation offers financial relief after a serious injury, it is rarely sufficient for covering pain and suffering and other non-economic losses. However, victims of work-related accidents may be entitled to these additional benefits under California law. In some cases, a civil lawsuit is the only reliable means of pursuing compensation for injuries and losses incurred in workplace accidents.

Ellis Law is highly experienced in the area of workers’ compensation and injuries arising from workplace accidents. If you have been harmed on the job and would like to schedule a free case review with one of our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers, please call 1-800-INJURED to discuss your legal options.

  1. CBS Los Angeles, Bridge Collapses in Corona, Injuring 9 Workers, http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2015/10/10/bridge-collapses-in-corona-injuring-9-workers/
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Highway Work Zone Safety, http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/highwayworkzones/
  3. NBC Los Angeles, Injured Workers Fund to Help Workers in 91 Freeway Bridge Collapse, http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Injured-Workers-Fund-Established-for-91-Bridge-Collapse-Workers-333700471.html
  4. The Press Enterprise, CORONA: Relief Funds Established for Two Men Hospitalized in Bridge Collapse, http://www.pe.com/articles/corona-783766-donations-transportation.html
  5. State of California, Department of Industrial Relations, Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Workers’ Compensation for Employees, http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/WCFaqIW.html#5

Off-Site Crane Accident Closes Los Angeles Freeway

construction craneMost Los Angeles crane accidents take place on construction sites, but authorities recently closed part of a major freeway after an off-site crane accident in San Clemente. At about 3 p.m. on October 30, 2014, a big rig carrying an 110,000-pound construction crane that was headed northbound on the 5 Freeway lost control. The truck struck the center barrier and overturned.

No one was injured in the accident but four out of the five freeway lanes were closed. The closure lasted more than 12 hours, with closed lanes opening at 3:50 a.m. Friday morning. The lanes were re-opened after two cranes were brought in to remove the crash debris. Traffic was backed up for miles.

Crane accidents among most serious construction injuries

The Los Angeles 5 Freeway crane accident did not result in any injuries, but it was also an unusual type of accident involving one of the most dangerous pieces of construction equipment. Because of their enormous size and their use in lifting and moving large objects, crane accidents tend to be serious, often fatal.

The main causes of crane-related death and injury are:

  • Electrocution, often involving work near power lines
  • Crushing by equipment parts
  • Strikes by the equipment or its load
  • Falls from the crane

In 2010, in response to the significant number of fatalities related to cranes, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a new safety standard addressing hazards related to cranes. OSHA expects that the new standard will cut construction fatalities by 22 per year and non-fatal injuries by 175 per year.

The rules put much responsibility on the employer, who must ensure compliance with the rules.

Some of the requirements in the OSHA standard include:

  • A pre-erection inspection of tower crane parts
  • Use of slings during assembly or disassembly work
  • Evaluation of the ground where the crane is to be placed
  • Minimum qualifications, including licensing, for crane operators
  • Protocols for working near power lines

Speak with a Los Angeles crane accident lawyer

Like in many other types of construction accidents, who is liable for a crane accident can depend on several factors, such as who owned or operated the crane, who was in charge of the construction site, who directed its use, and whether the crane was maintained and in good repair.

The effects of a crane accident can be crippling or deadly, leading to back and neck injuries, paralysis, amputations, and other serious personal injuries. Victims or their loved ones may be entitled to compensation for the injuries or wrongful death. Recovery may include payments for pain and suffering, lost wages, past and future medical expenses, and lost support that would have been provided by a deceased victim.

To speak with Los Angeles construction accident attorneys who have expertise in crane accident cases, contact Ellis Law for a free consultation.

Our LA crane accident lawyers have over two decades of experience in winning serious personal injury cases in the L.A. area and offer service that is both personal and professional. To learn more about your legal options, call 1-800-INJURED.

  1. CBS Los Angeles, Crane Accident Closes Portion of 5 Freeway in San Clemente, http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2014/10/30/crane-accident-spurs-closure-of-portion-of-5-freeway-in-san-clemente/
  2. L.A. Times, 5 Freeway lanes reopen after crane accident in south O.C., http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2014/10/30/crane-accident-spurs-closure-of-portion-of-5-freeway-in-san-clemente/
  3. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, OSHA Fact Sheet: Cranes and Derricks in Construction Final Rule, https://www.osha.gov/as/opa/cranesderricks-factsheet.html

LA Construction Accident Attorneys: Consultations Available

LA Construction AccidentLos Angeles led the nation in construction accidents in 2013 and there is no reason to doubt that this situation will continue in this year as well. Although the fact that L.A. and surrounding areas are able to offer so many job opportunities has been a source of attraction to many in the construction industry, these jobs are some of the most dangerous. Unfortunately, many accident victims are not aware of all of their options and do not realize that Los Angeles construction accident lawyers at Ellis Law are available for free consultations.

Serious accidents, sometimes resulting in injury or death, often make the news in the Los Angeles area. For instance, in July, a construction accident in Century City resulted in the partial collapse of a parking structure, according to reports from the Los Angeles fire department. Fortunately, there were no injuries, though the accident was serious enough that it necessitated the evacuation of surrounding apartment complexes.

Authorities thought initially that a crane accident in which a large planter fell from the crane was to blame for the collapse, as has been the case in so many recent LA construction accidents. Further investigations revealed that lava rock and dirt used during landscaping and stored in the parking facility were too heavy for the structure to sustain and resulted in its collapse.

Victims should consult Los Angeles construction accident lawyers

Workers who have suffered injuries likely have substantial medical and rehabilitation costs with which to contend. Some injuries may have long-term ramifications for employment, leaving construction workers unable to continue with their previous jobs or to work at all. They may have no way to support their families and next of kin may be accountable for end of life expenses.

Workers’ compensation may cover some of these expenses, but will likely not be adequate to cover all of them. Unfortunately, workers and their families may believe that they are not able to file a personal injury lawsuit because of stipulations that they may not sue their employers, but are only entitled to worker’s comp.

In fact, however, it is possible to sue other parties such as subcontractors, training organizations, equipment manufacturers, and other entities who may be liable for some aspect of your injury or loss due to poor supervision, negligent design and manufacture of equipment, or other factors.  That’s why it’s so important to consult the experienced LA construction accident attorneys at Ellis to learn about all the options available to you and your family.

LA construction accident attorneys at Ellis Law available for consultation

The Los Angeles construction accident lawyers at Ellis Law are available to meet with workers injured in construction accidents or with their families to discuss their rights and options for compensation for the injuries or losses that they have sustained.

At Ellis Law, we listen to your account of the incident, offer an honest assessment (free of charge) of your possible options, and answer any questions that you may have. Remember, it is important to contact us as soon as possible so that we can make use of all available evidence and avoid violating the statute of limitations.

To set up a complimentary consultation appointment, call 1-800-INJURED.

  1. CBS Los Angeles, Century City Parking Structure Partially Collapses in Construction Accident http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2014/07/25/large-planter-falls-off-crane-causing-partial-collapse-of-beverly-hills-parking-structure/
  2. CBS Local: Los Angeles, LA, OC, leads nation in adding construction employment for 2013 http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/12/31/la-oc-leads-nation-in-adding-construction-employment-for-2013/

Los Angeles Highway Worker Accident Attorney: Drivers Urged to Slow Down in Work Zones After Increased Accidents

According to a California Highway Patrol report, there have been four incidents this September in highway work zones, all of which were preventable, resulting in injuries to 15 persons.

Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS)  are calling on all Californians for their help in the ongoing effort to make highway work zones safer.

According to published reports, since September 16 four incidents, all of which were preventable, resulted in injuries to 15 people:

·      On Sept. 16, a head-on collision between a passenger vehicle and a Caltrans truck on State Route 20 in Mendocino County sent both drivers and their passengers to the hospital with major injuries. The Caltrans workers had stopped to remove a dead deer from the roadway.

·      On Sept. 16, a contractor on flagging duty near State Route 191 in Butte County was struck by a vehicle and sustained major injuries. Authorities say the driver swerved to avoid another vehicle which had slowed down in front of them.

·      On Sept. 17, a CHP officer on Interstate 80 in Auburn positioned his cruiser into the path of a vehicle approaching a work zone at an estimated 65 mph. His intervention successfully blunted the vehicle’s approach, saving the life of a Caltrans worker who was removing debris from the roadway. The officer was knocked unconscious from the impact.

·      On Sept. 18, a big rig drove into a work zone on State Route 60 in Diamond Bar, injuring the driver, two Caltrans workers, and six members of a crew of court-ordered community service workers who were picking up roadside litter.

“Every day, highway workers put their lives in danger just by going to work,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “These incidents are a sobering reminder that we all must do everything we can to keep our highways safe. Motorists must slow down, watch out for highway workers and safely move over a lane when passing work crews.”

Californians can help keep highways safe by slowing down in work zones and complying with the Move Over law, which took effect in 2007 and was amended in 2009 to add Caltrans vehicles displaying flashing amber warning lights to the list of vehicles for which motorists must move over if safe to do so, or slow down.

Caltrans and the CHP work together in construction zones to monitor driver safety, and enforce the speed limit and the Move Over Law. When feasible, Caltrans allows an extra buffer lane between workers and vehicles in specific construction zones, so that workers previously separated only by orange cones have more space between themselves and oncoming vehicles.

“By moving over and slowing down, motorists can do their part to ensure the public, highway workers, and emergency personnel stay safe,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “The CHP will continue to work with Caltrans to ensure motorists are complying with the Move Over, Slow Down law.”

California has made significant strides in work zone safety since 1999 when Caltrans launched its Slow for the Cone Zone safety campaign. Since the inception of Slow for the Cone Zone, California’s work zone fatality rate has declined 56 percent compared to a drop of 32 percent nationally.

“Every day on every highway throughout the state, highway workers, emergency personnel, tow truck operators, and law enforcement risk their lives to make travel safer and more efficient,” said Chris Cochran, Assistant Director, Marketing and Public Affairs, California Office of Traffic Safety. “We can all help just by following the simple rule when we see flashing lights on the side of the road – Move Over, Slow Down.”

Highway construction and maintenance work is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. Since 1927, 180 Caltrans employees have died while on the job.

Work accident attorneys in Los Angeles 

Roadway workers are placed at constant risk of injury. The job involves heavy machinery and dangerous equipment that can inflict catastrophic and fatal injuries if poorly designed, inadequately maintained or negligently operated. In addition, negligent drivers who speed, drive drunk or use their cell phones can cause serious job hazards. Ill-constructed roads also contribute to the dangers.

Ellis Law focuses exclusively on injury recovery. Our lawyers advocate for workers’ rights to safety. Your employer and the drivers who travel by your work zone can take simple measures to avoid accidents. We hold them accountable if you are injured because of their actions or omissions.

Highway work zone injury statistics

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration reports that more than 20,000 workers are injured in road construction accidents every year. Numerous workers suffer serious or fatal injuries due to being:

  • Run over or backed over by dump trucks or other heavy equipment
  • Involved in collisions between work vehicles
  • Caught in between construction equipment
  • Struck by objects
  • Hit by passing motorists

Lawsuits against negligent drivers

In Los Angeles speeding through a construction zone is a criminal misdemeanor. Drivers may be charged under this statute in addition to other charges, including DUI or reckless driving. However, criminal prosecution does not typically compensate injured victims. Our lawyers can file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent drivers who contributed to your accident.

Employer negligence

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published the report “Building Safer Highway Work Zones: Measures to Prevent Workers Injuries From Vehicles and Equipment” to instruct workers, employers, contractors and government agencies about improving work zone safety. Among their many recommendations, it urges employers to take these basic steps:

  • Lay out work zone in accordance with the “Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices” and the project’s traffic control plans Create lateral buffer zone that protects workers from passing motorists
  • Reroute or slow speed of motorists travelling through the work zone
  • Use temporary traffic control devices — such as signs, warning systems and concrete barriers
  • Employ flaggers to direct traffic and implement measures to protect flaggers from passing motorists
  • Require workers to wear high-visibility apparel
  • Illuminate work zone, especially at night or in inclement weather
  • Maintain equipment in good condition and discontinue use of broken equipment until full repairs are made
  • Train heavy equipment operators and ensure they have valid licenses and credentials
  • Appropriately compensate workers for carefully performing equipment safety checks
  • Supply safety tools and training to all workers on the site

Ellis Law will assess if your employer followed regulations and implemented necessary measures to keep you safe from harm. We hold your negligent employer accountable for failure to comply with the law if you were injured at work.

Consult our injury lawyers about los angeles laws protecting highway construction crews

For more information about highway construction liability, call Ellis Law at 1-800 – INJURED or contact our law firm online to schedule an appointment.