Have you recently been the victim of a construction accident in the Orange County area? According to federal figures validated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 800 fatal construction accidents around the United States each year. Most of these accidents involve contractors who are engaged in work on a job site. However, even innocent pedestrians and others can be involved in worksite construction accidents.
About four percent of all construction workers in the United States will suffer an injury this year. Some construction site accidents result in fatalities. Although some accidents may be difficult to prevent, most construction site accidents are avoidable and boil down to negligence on the part of someone involved in the project. California and Orange County have some of the strictest safety rules in the United States when it comes to how contractors should behave on the job. When one person violates these rules, everyone is put at risk.
Injuries, Falls, Broken Bones or Even Deaths? You Need a Trusted Construction Accident Attorney.
Are you a contractor? Do you do your best to adhere to all of the applicable safety rules for your job site? If so, you are less likely to suffer an accident related to your business. If you have taken a safety class in the last six months, such as an OSHA course, it can help you to prove that you are aware of the applicable standards. If you followed the applicable standards, this can help you to shoe that your own negligence did not contribute to a workplace accident in which you were harmed.
Many contractors are wary of reporting injuries on the job site because of pressure from their immediate supervisors. When contractors report workplace injuries, it makes it more likely that Orange County or the State of California will become involved to investigate the source of an accident. Contractors can sometimes face discrimination and other problems after making a report, even though the law requires that an accident be reported.
Because of the troubling situation that many contractors can find themselves in after suffering an injury on the job, it is very important to get help from an attorney who is an expert on these matters. One reason is because of the need for “discovery” to find out the information you need that will be pertinent to your case.
“Discovery” is a legal process by which one party, such as the defendant or plaintiff, seeks information from the other party in order to substantiate their claim or case, or to investigate the basis of any defense against the case. In our adversarial system, there is a legal requirement that the other party comply with these discovery requests if they are made in the correct way and have the proper legal basis.
Discovery, Negligence, and Other Key Factors in Orange County Construction Accidents
Discovery is a vital part of any construction injury case, because the information obtained can demonstrate that someone on the job site knew or should have known of the conditions that contributed to your accident. In some cases, it can reveal wrongdoing or failure to follow proper procedures which put you in danger even if you followed all applicable job site rules.
In order to defend themselves against your case, the job site owners or other responsible parties will usually seek to prove that you were negligent and that your own negligence was the cause of your injury. Contractors are at special risk for this kind of claim, and there are a number of ways to help them protect their good name:
— Continuing education in California State or OSHA safety requirements to show safety mindset.
— Involvement in safety programs or training on the job site and off, including college degrees.
— Activity in professional associations in the building trades or contracting industry.
Although these factors can help, you should understand that it is very helpful but not absolutely necessary for you to demonstrate mastery of all safety concepts: What you will need to show is that you did not do something that contributed to the accident. If you did contribute to the accident, your “share” of the responsibility can reduce your right to recover damages under California law.
Road Construction, Home Construction, and Other Construction Jobs can Cause Accidents
Building construction sites are not the only places where people can be involved in accidents. It is important for anyone who is using the services of a contractor to be able to demonstrate due diligence taken to avoid accidents.
When contractors are working on your residence, be sure to:
— Follow all directions that the contractor might offer, especially about electrical issues.
— Set guidelines and expectations for the hours and days that the work will take place.
— Develop and review a contract laying out the expectations of all the parties.
— Document any concerns that you have, especially if you witness unsafe behavior.
— Avoid entering any location that your contractor tells you is temporarily unsafe.
Although most contractors are trustworthy and dedicated individuals, there are still some that could be responsible for highly unsafe practices around your home. That being the case, you should do everything possible to protect your interests.
Be Especially Alert to Worker Dangers in the Highway Construction Industry
Whether the construction in question is residential or commercial, whether it involves a pipeline or a bridge, it is important to always be aware and alert concerning construction activities that are going on around you. In public spaces, construction projects are announced with very clear signage. Be sure to always:
— Take note of projects around you and plan to go around them if possible.
— Be aware of “workers present” signs and obey all traffic and speed changes.
— Take special precautions at night, when workers may or may not be wearing reflective vests.