CA stadium construction accidents remind victims of rights after injury

Sometimes, people living in San Diego suffer serious personal injuries in unexpected circumstances, but just as often, these injuries occur in a setting that is recognized as risky. California construction accidents - whether they occur on-the-job or harm random passerby - fall into the latter category. Recent accidents that have occurred during the construction of Levi's Stadium serve as a reminder of the potential danger of these settings, as well as the rights of people who have been injured.

Two fatal accidents have occurred

According to ABC News, two deaths have occurred this year during the construction of Levi's Stadium, the future home of the San Francisco 49ers. Most recently, a worker was struck while unloading materials in October. In June, another worker was fatally injured in another struck-by incident. After both incidents, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration investigated the site and state officials declared it safe to reopen.

These tragic accidents both involved one of the most common causes of construction accidents. OSHA reports that the four top causes of accidents in the industry, which accounted for 56 percent of construction fatalities in 2012, were:

  • Falls, which caused more than half of the fatalities.
  • Being struck by a falling object.
  • Electrocution.
  • Getting caught in or between objects.

In a separate report, OSHA states that the average fatality rate for workers in the construction industry is higher than the average national worker fatality rate. Although many workers understand the risk and many employers make extensive efforts to protect their laborers, it is still important for people to understand their rights following a construction-related accident.

Victims can seek recourse

After an individual is injured in a construction accident, he or she may be able to pursue compensation. Employees may be entitled to workers' compensation, or they may be able to seek recourse from a third party, such as a contractor or equipment manufacturer. People who are not workers but are injured on a construction site may also be entitled to compensation, depending on the circumstances of their presence and the accident.

Generally, to obtain compensation for a personal injury, a victim must be able to establish that someone else was at fault for the injury. If someone failed in a duty or acted unreasonably, in a way that could reasonably be expected to cause harm or create a dangerous situation, that person may be considered negligent. If an injury directly results from negligence, the injury victim may have cause to seek compensation.

To an extent, California's workers' compensation system reduces the need to establish fault. However, a disagreement over coverage may occur or the administrator may deny the claim.

When people are injured through no fault of their own, determining who was at fault can be complicated, and construction site accidents are no exception. This is one reason that it benefits victims to speak with an attorney early on about the specifics of the accident and injury.

If you have been injured in a construction accident or other workplace accident, you should speak with a lawyer to understand your rights and options for seeking recourse.