The Basics of Construction Accident Injuries in California

Construction worker laying down with a knee injury, another worker attending to his wound.

The Basics of Construction Accident Injuries in California

It's no secret that many types of work have different occupational hazards. One well-known example is construction, where workplace injuries and accidents are widely prevalent. While the thought of it is undoubtedly scary, the good news is that workers can get compensation.

Workers' compensation is a form of insurance paid for by your employer, and it provides you with a range of benefits if you're injured at work. Workers' compensation covers medical expenses, wage replacement, property damages, and permanent disability in California. Additionally, should there be a proven negligent party, that party is financially responsible for any injuries you sustained in the workplace accident.

To say that workers' compensation can help you is an understatement, but there are still people who don't realize how it can help them. We'll discuss the fundamentals of workers' compensation in this article, so read on below to get started.

How Workers' Compensation Works

Workers' compensation can help with various expenses if you sustain an injury on a construction site, but that's the tip of the iceberg. For starters, there are different scopes on how getting the compensation will be based, such as:

Liability of the Owner and the General Contractor

This refers to who is responsible for your injury. Generally, both the owner and the general contractor are liable for accidents that occur in the workplace. This means that they are accountable for any medical bills, lost wages, and property damages that you sustain.

However, there will be instances where the general contractor won't be liable. This is usually the case when the owner and the general contractor are not related or when the general contractor does not have an agency-type relationship with the owner. In this case, the owner will be the only one responsible for your injuries.

Violation of Safety Regulations

As a worker, you're entitled to protection from hazardous working conditions. California law requires employers to meet and maintain a certain level of safety inside and outside the workplace.

Additionally, all employers are expected to comply with the government's various safety regulations. These safety regulations include the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

Admissible Evidence

You need to prove that you sustained workplace injuries and accidents to get compensated. Technically, it's your testimony, but you can also use other admissible evidence to support your claim. This admissible evidence can include photos, videos, and blueprints.

Damages in the Case

When a worker files a claim, there are two types of damages. These are:

Damages for Loss of Consortium

The first type of damage is called consortium damages. These refer to damages that cover a spouse's losses when their loved one was injured at work. This may include lost companionship and affection and damages for mental pain and suffering.

Punitive Damages

On the other hand, punitive damages refer to damages that punish the negligent party for their actions. These include compensatory damages caused by the employer's reckless and willful behavior.

When to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim

If you're injured on a construction site, you may be entitled to get workers' compensation. You have a window of one to two years from when the accident occurs, so you'll have plenty of time. However, you shouldn't wait around, and you must do it right away to be entitled to the benefits.

Additionally, there are specific rules and procedures that you need to follow. For example, you must notify your employer within 90 days after your injury. You must also report the incident to your immediate supervisor and the partnered general contractor.

How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Filing a workers' compensation claim tends to be a long process. To help you, here are some steps:

Collect Your Evidence

The first thing you need to do is gather all evidence related to your accident and injury. This includes photos of your damage and belongings and any documents related to the case. You'll use this evidence to support your claim.

File a Formal Claim

As soon as possible, you need to file a formal claim. You can do this by going to your county's worker's compensation office. Alternatively, you can file a claim online as well.

Wait for a Decision

After your claim has been filed, you'll be given a hearing date. Keep in mind that the worker's compensation office will make a decision that'll take a few weeks or months, meaning it will take some time before the hearing will occur.

File an Appeal

If you disagree with the worker's compensation office's decision, you can file an appeal. This applies to claims that were denied entirely or partially. However, you must keep in mind that the appeal process is time-sensitive, so you'll have to do it quickly.

Filing an appeal doesn't mean that the first claim will be denied. The worker's compensation office may be willing to reconsider their decision based on the new evidence.

What If the Claim Is Denied?

If your claim ends up getting denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. However, you can still get some of the benefits you need, such as medical expenses and wage replacement, by filing a lawsuit. The best way to get the compensation you need is to get help from a compensation attorney.

Finding the Best Attorney

When finding a workers' compensation lawyer, it should be an attorney who specializes in the field. Since various legal issues are involved, it's best to get help from an attorney with significant experience. We also recommend that you book an appointment with the attorney because you'll be able to discuss everything about your case in detail and learn about your options.

Here are some other considerations when finding a workers' compensation lawyer:

Reputation and Reviews

Another thing that you should consider is a lawyer's reputation. Since you're entrusting them with your case, still do your background check. You can check the lawyer's rating on Avvo and Yelp, among other platforms.

Service and Cost

Since you're dealing with workers' compensation, you're entitled to workers' compensation benefits from your employer. Unfortunately, not all employers will comply with the payment, so you must look for help from a lawyer.

Excellent Communication Skills

While you can find your own workers' compensation lawyer, it's best to consult an experienced workers' compensation attorney. This way, you'll have a professional making all the decisions and going to court to get you the compensation you deserve.


The last but not the least factor you should consider is the lawyer's honesty. You don't want to hire an attorney who'll take advantage of your situation to get a high profit, so choose one who will help you and be straightforward.


Workers' compensation is an essential benefit for construction workers who get injured. You should know that you have the right to get compensation for medical bills and lost wages, so speak with an attorney to get the appropriate amount of compensation for you.

If you’re looking for accident lawyers in Los Angeles, Mendez & Sanchez Law has your back! Our team of experienced legal professionals will ensure that you get the compensation you deserve so you won’t worry about anything else. Reach out today for a consultation!

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