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West Hollywood Construction Accident Proves Fatal for Worker

On 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:

  • scaffolding collapse

  • falls from elevations

  • improper use of protective gear

  • failure to secure heavy machinery such as cranes, earth movers

  • electrical shock and subsequent burns

  • trench collapses

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:

  • serious bone fractures

  • injuries to the neck/back

  • traumatic brain injury

  • damage to internal organs

  • lacerations

  • spinal cord injury

  • death

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 Los Angeles construction accident attorney, contact us at 310-641-3335.

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 an experienced Los Angeles construction accident attorney at Ellis Injury Law, please call 310-641-3335.

Wall Falls at LA Construction Site, Injuring 2 Workers

Two 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, with the help of a personal injury lawyer 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 attorney at Ellis Injury Law, dial 310-641-3335. The first consultation is free, and we don’t get paid unless you recover damages.

Victims Remain Hospitalized After Corona Bridge Collapse

A 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 a Los Angeles construction accident attorney, please call 310-641-3335 to discuss your legal options.

Off-Site Crane Accident Closes Los Angeles Freeway

Most 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

An experienced personal injury lawyer can tell you that, 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 a Los Angeles construction accident attorney who has expertise in crane accident cases, contact Ellis Law for a free consultation.

Each construction accident lawyer has 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 310-641-3335.

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 there is always a Los Angeles construction accident lawyer at Ellis Law is available for a free consultation.

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 310-641-3335.

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.

Los Angeles construction accident attorney 

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. Each construction accident lawyer at Ellis Injury Law strongly advocates 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 a personal injury lawyer 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.

Los Angeles Construction Worker Accident Attorney: Two Injured in West Sacramento Construction Accident

Two men were injured early Wednesday morning by falling metal at a construction site in West Sacramento.

According to West Sacramento Police, two sub contractors with PG&E were installing pipe for the city near Jefferson Boulevard and 15th Street. Steel supports were in the ditch to stabilize the sides. When a crane was lifting the supports out, a chain reportedly snapped.

Police say the workers’ injuries are considered critical, with one having head trauma and the other with leg trauma.

Both were taken to the hospital.

What To Do If You’re Involved In A Construction Accident

Have you or a loved one been injured in a construction accident? Each year, thousands of construction workers are injured in construction related accidents. Whether it’s a falling girder, a defective piece of equipment, or a bulldozer without a warning signal, construction workers are constantly exposed to dangerous work environments. As a result they can suffer serious injuries resulting in a loss of employment, permanent disabilities, and a lifetime of medical bills. Each Los Angeles construction accident lawyer from the Ellis Law Firm have years of experience in representing injured construction workers, and know what it takes to bring these cases to a successful conclusion. If you have sustained a work injury from a construction accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer from the Ellis Law Firm today. The Ellis Law Firm is dedicated to helping people all across  Los Angeles County to get fair and just compensation for their injuries. The Ellis Law Firm handles all construction accident claims on a contingency basis, which means you nothing unless we recover money on your behalf. For a free consultation, contact the Ellis Law Firm today.

Because construction injury cases are complex, you will need an experienced Los Angeles construction accident attorney from to successfully handle them. Construction cases typically require the injured worker to bring claims against contractors, subcontractors, developers, owners, material suppliers, architects, engineers and insurance companies, as all of these parties typically attempt to avoid liability for their wrongful conduct and pass it on to others. Additionally, construction cases frequently require expert witnesses-both medical and construction industry experts-to demonstrate both the cause of the accident and the nature and extent of the employee’s injuries. Accordingly, without an experienced and aggressive construction accident attorney, an injured worker may suffer for years without any compensation while the construction lawsuit carries on.

Construction Accidents

  • Scaffolding collapses
  • Falls from ladders
  • Electrocutions
  • Explosions
  • Machine failures
  • Inadequate supervision
  • Collapses of walls, columns or roofs
  • Crane accidents
  • Holes without warnings

Construction companies and contractors must by law carry workers’ compensation insurance, no matter what the size of the company. Workers’ compensation covers medical care and lost wages, but the payments are limited and do not assign fault. We seek damages above and beyond Workers’ Comp, as the law allows, ensuring that the victim’s current and future needs are fully met. The employer owes a safe work environment for its workers, and is obligated to take reasonable measures to ensure safety. We seek compensation for victims of construction site accidents relating to negligent or reckless actions and orders, unqualified equipment operators, OSHA violations and other employer liability. Our Los Angeles construction site accident lawyers will need to interview witnesses, procure files and plans, study the site of the accident, etc. Some of our clients include steel workers, carpenters, electricians, roofers, sheet metal workers, structural workers, and all tradesmen.

Injuries due to construction accidents are frequently severe, resulting in crushed or amputated limbs, paralysis and spinal cord injuries, burns, vision loss or hearing damage, back and neck injuries, loss of mobility and other permanent disability. Through jury trial or insurance settlement, The Ellis Law Firm will seek maximum compensation for medical expenses and future care, loss of wages and lost earning potential, and other damages such as loss of enjoyment. When these accidents turn fatal, we also represent surviving families in filing wrongful death lawsuits. If you or a loved one have been seriously hurt in a worksite accident, contact the Los Angeles construction accident lawyers at the Ellis Law Firm today.

Latino Workers at Higher Risk for Fatal Construction Accidents

Recent Tragic Lancaster Construction Accident Illustrates Problem

Just days ago, a job-site accident in Lancaster tragically killed a young, Latino construction worker. The 26-year-old man was helping construct a 65-foot wall when the cinder-block wall suddenly collapsed, killing him and seriously injuring three others. Early reports indicate that the wall failed as scaffolding collapsed and fell onto the wall. Sadly, the victim was a father, survived by his pregnant wife and two children.

The Lancaster construction accident is still under investigation, but presumably there were some safety practices overlooked. In fact, that same construction site had previously received six violations issued by the Los Angeles City Department of Buildings since June, 2009. The violations were for failure to follow essential safety laws, such as posting necessary warning signs.

A formal investigation is under way by the Buildings Department, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is likely to investigate, as they typically scrutinize the worksite of any fatal construction accident.

Accidents in the Los Angeles Construction Industry

Los Angeles City had 157 construction accidents in 2009, and those are just the accidents that were reported. In the construction industry, it is common practice to keep workplace accidents unreported unless a serious injury or death occurs. The construction industry is the second deadliest in the U.S. as 816 construction workers died in 2009, making it more dangerous than mining or factory work.

There are some risks a construction worker faces that can be reduced, but not eliminated. These threats are part of the job, such as:

  • Weather: rain, lightning and high winds can increase the risk of an accident.
  • Heavy equipment: many of the tools and equipment present a chance of serious injury or death to both the operator and nearby workers.
  • Heights: construction workers are often working at great heights and even when on the ground they risk being struck by falling equipment or debris.
  • A changing landscape: what may have been solid ground yesterday could be a 50-foot hole today.

However, health and safety officials have been working for decades to protect workers from these hazards. Los Angeles scrutinizes construction work especially closely because of the tight spaces and high population density. Countless laws and ordinances have been passed to make the industry safer, but unfortunately they mean nothing if construction companies continue failing to ensure safety measures.

The truth is that these fatal construction accidents will continue to occur as long as construction companies and foremen bypass important safety practices to save them time and money. Government and workers’ rights organizations can only do so much. Ultimately, the responsibility of worker safety falls upon the employer.

Latinos, Hispanics Often Victims of Construction-Safety Violations

Unfortunately, Latino construction-worker injuries and deaths remain common in the construction industry. The BLS reports that workplace accidents killed 668 Latinos in 2009, accounting for 15 percent of all job-related fatalities. Latinos endure a workplace fatality rate of 3.7 per 100,000, the highest of any ethnic group.

Experts propose many different reasons for the disproportionate risk that Hispanic or Latino construction workers face. Some of their reasons include:

  • Communication barriers – Spanish-speaking workers may not understand all English warnings or instructions. However, employers should accept the responsibility of providing sufficient communication to their workers, even if it means having an on-site translator or bilingual foreman.
  • Undocumented status: Construction companies often seek the labor of undocumented workers – sometimes referred to as illegal aliens – who came from Central or South American countries such as Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras. Construction companies know that these undocumented Latino workers will not report safety violations, out of fear of deportation.
  • Hardworking nature: Some experts believe that construction companies take advantage of the hard-working and non-complaining traits of Latinos by putting them up to dangerous tasks without the necessary safety precautions in place.

Regardless of the cause, Latino construction workers suffer a heightened risk of serious injury or death. Fortunately, all injured Latinos have legal rights in America.

All Injured Latino Workers Have Legal Rights to Recovery

It does not matter whether the Latino worker is a first or second-generation American, or whether the hurt worker has documented or undocumented status. The lack of a work-permit, visa or green card has no bearing on an injured worker’s entitlement to damages when they suffer a work injury. And when a Latino worker dies from a workplace accident, his surviving family is entitled to legal recovery as well.

If you have been seriously injured while working at your job, it is crucial to contact a skilled Los Angeles personal injury attorney. Do not hesitate; you can confidentially consult with an independent lawyer and it will not appear in your employment files. The attorney will share information to help you obtain adequate compensation for your work-related injury or loved one’s death.

Los Angeles City Scaffolding Accident Attorney


If there has been an injury it is crucial that you contact a Los Angeles construction accident attorney immediately. The timeliness of obtaining evidence for your case is key.  At Ellis Law we have a team of attorneys that can assist you ”if” you get to us in time. We have doctors who work at UCLA and USC medical center as well as top neurologist that have successfully healed victims. These doctors are important not just for your health, but also make a major impact in you gaining a big reward.

Scaffolding accidents and other construction accidents can lead to serious and fatal injuries. Despite complex regulations and industry standards intended to protect workers from the dangers of scaffolds, many individuals and families continue to suffer the devastation of scaffolding injuries and death. If your loved one has been injured or killed in a scaffolding accident, you may be entitled to representation by a personal injury lawyer who will fight to recover significant compensation under state and federal regulations related to construction site safety and operations. Ellis Personal Injury Law is a team of scaffolding accident attorneys experienced in recovering maximum compensation for the families and victims of scaffolding accidents.

Using evidence, experts, legal knowledge, and strategy, we are able to advocate for your family to help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Success Stories

  • Construction: Parties agreed to a $1,375,000 settlement, which was established via the guidance of mediator Peter Merani, of United Arbitration Inc.
  • Construction Accident Results in a $1.25 Million Settlement (PDF)
  • Painter Injured in a Scaffold Accident in Los Angeles, $900,000 Settlement (PDF)

Contact our offices for more information on scaffolding accidents and your recovery.

Our Los Angeles scaffolding lawyers are experienced with all of the following:

Ladder accidents

Forklift accidents

Crane accidents

  • Falling objects
  • Brickwork injuries
  • Burns, electrocution, and explosions
  • Improper equipment
  • Failing security measures
  • Falling accidents
  • Trench collapses
  • Construction injuries and death
  • Machinery defects
  • Workers’ compensation

Our Los AngelesCity scaffold accident attorneys have the experience and the objectivity necessary to determine the true cause of a scaffolding accident. We will work hard to ensure that you recover damages from any and all negligent parties, including third parties such as building owners, subcontractors, or scaffold manufacturers. We will ensure that the spirit and the letter of Labor Law 240 (the “Scaffolding Law”) is used to your advantage as it applies in your case.

Learn More: Visit our Construction Accidents Information Center.

Workers’ compensation and construction accident recovery
Even if you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, you may be eligible for additional damages if a third party (someone other than your employer or a coworker) caused your injuries. Examples of third parties include scaffolding manufacturers, a subcontractor who erected the scaffold, or a landlord. Settlements and verdicts awarded to victims of scaffold accidents caused by third-party negligence are typically much greater than workers’ compensation awards.


At Ellis Personal Injury Law, we take all cases on a “contingent fee” basis. A contingent fee means that the attorneys are paid only at the time when, and if, they recover money damages for the client. A contingent fee thereby allows an injured person with little or no financial resources to obtain competent legal assistance. At the time recovery is obtained, the attorneys’ fee is a percentage of the award in the case. If there is no recovery, there will be no attorneys’ fees.*

Free consultation: If you have recently been injured in a scaffolding accident or construction accident in Santa Monica, El Monte, Lancaster, or Los Angeles, or wonder if you have a legal claim, a qualified and experienced construction accident lawyer will offer a confidential and honest assessment of your case. Contact our office today.