West Hollywood Construction Accident Proves Fatal for Worker

March 25, 2016

Ellis Law Corporation

Construction Accidents

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.