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How to calculate compensation for a construction accident in Los Angeles

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As throngs of music fans flocked to Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles in mid-November, eager to enjoy a mega concert featuring Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias, they walked through a cityscape in the middle of drastic change. A construction boom stretching from 2017 to today has made Downtown the country’s top neighborhood for new apartment construction, which also makes it ripe for a new wave of construction accidents.

Downtown Los Angeles — experiencing its biggest prolonged building boom in a century — is packed with high-rise buildings overlooking some of the busiest streets in the country. As construction projects get back on track after a COVID-19 slowdown, thousands of construction workers desperate to get back to work are once again in harm’s way.

If you are injured on a construction site, you are entitled to workers’ compensation, but it can be difficult to figure out just how much. That is where Conexion Legal’s network can help. You can receive a free legal consultation by calling us at 1-800-201-1220 or writing to us through WhatsApp. If needed, we can connect you to construction accident attorneys in our network.

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Construction workers face dangers every day

Construction workers can be crushed between machinery, slip and fall on spilled lubricant or water, become impaled on exposed rebar, pinned under a collapsing wall or electrocuted due to negligence from supervisors, management or even co-workers. Even if all safety protocols are followed, they could still be injured by heavy equipment, repetitive stress or impact, or a passing motor vehicle. 

Scaffolding collapses, crane failures and open trenches, chemical exposure, burns (from welding and other hot equipment and materials), explosions, nail gun accidents and even car and truck accidents add to the list of construction site accidents that can result in injury and even death.

Because construction sites are regularly cited as some of the most dangerous workplaces in the United States, all construction companies and contractors are required by law in California to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Injuries suffered in construction accidents can lead to costly medical bills for workers, and can prevent them from working for long periods. In a place like Los Angeles — the ninth-most expensive city to live in in the United States — those kinds of bills could financially ruin a family.

What should I do to receive workers’ compensation if I am the victim of a construction site accident?

First: Seek immediate medical attention. By doing this, you ensure that there are medical records of your injuries, and an idea of what kind of treatment you will need. Documentation is vital. It will show that the injuries you sustained were a direct result of work activities, and can provide a timetable for recovery.

It is also important to inform your employer as soon as possible, so that they can inform their insurance carrier. The sooner this process is started, the sooner you can receive compensation.

If I am injured in a construction site accident, what compensation can I receive?

In California, if you are injured on the job, you are entitled to receive two-thirds of your pre-tax gross wage. This is set by state law, but does have a maximum amount, which is adjusted annually by the state. 

For example, if you make $52,000 in annual salary, your weekly, pre-tax gross salary would be $1,000. The state would pay you $666.66 per week if you are injured and unable to return to work. If your employer has a “Disability with Leave Pay” program, they would make up the difference between what the state pays and what your weekly salary would be (in this example, $333.34 per week).

If you are permanently disabled by a construction site accident, you may be eligible for Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits, which can provide up to $6,000 for vocational skills training. You will also be eligible for up to $10,000 in compensation for medication, hospital expenses, doctor’s office visits and physical therapy until such time as your claim is either accepted or rejected.

Insurance companies, though, are profit-seeking businesses. They often deny or minimize legitimate claims. That is why having an attorney by your side is a smart decision.

Can I sue if I am involved in a construction site accident in California?

In case of claim denial, or if workers’ compensation benefits are not enough to cover potentially lifelong medical expenses, you have other options. In California — depending on the facts of your case — you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. Be mindful of the statute of limitations: With few exceptions, you must file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent parties within two years of the date of your accident. Construction site accident attorneys in Conexion Legal’s network can help you determine if that is the right path, and will keep you informed of filing deadlines.

Although the law does not require the hiring of a workers’ compensation attorney, it is a prudent decision, especially if you suspect that negligence may have contributed to the accident.

In most cases, construction accident victims who are represented by an attorney will recover more compensation than if they represent themselves in a personal injury lawsuit. Given how confusing the legal process can be, and the fact that many construction workers are of Hispanic descent, Conexion Legal can also connect you with Spanish-speaking attorneys.

Schedule your free legal consultation with Conexion Legal by calling 1-800-201-1220 or writing to us through WhatsApp. If you decide you need an attorney, we can connect you to experienced construction accident attorneys in our network.

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