Construction sites are notoriously dangerous places. They pose a risk to both workers and people passing by on the street.
While there are strict regulations to keep construction sites as safe as possible, accidents happen regularly. If you were injured at a California construction site, you might be wondering what a fair construction accident settlement amount is. To learn more about what your case is potentially worth, contact a skilled California construction accident lawyer.
No two accidents are exactly alike, and therefore, no two settlements are exactly alike. Your case value is dependent on multiple factors, including liability and your damages. At Young Wooldridge, LLP, we can evaluate your case and let you know what you might receive in a settlement or a jury trial.
How to Tell If I Have a Case
Just because you are injured in a construction accident, doesn’t necessarily mean you will have a successful claim. Before you can collect a settlement for a construction accident, you need to prove the basic elements of a personal injury case. You need to demonstrate that the defendants were negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries. You also need to show that the injury resulted in your damages. These damages may include things like medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Are you an injured construction worker? In California, construction companies are obligated to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you are a construction employee who is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you would need to file a claim for any injuries sustained on the job. If you are covered by workers’ compensation benefits, you’re prohibited from filing a claim against your employer. However, if there was another party responsible for your injuries, you could bring a third-party claim against them.
If you work as an independent contractor or an innocent victim, you could file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
What Steps Should I Take After the Accident?
Immediately following the accident, try to document the scene if your injuries are not too severe. It would help if you tried to get photos of the site and whatever caused your accident. Try to take pictures of your injuries as well. If your injuries are severe, you should call 911 to have emergency responders dispatched. If they are not transporting you to the emergency room from the scene, you still need to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
If you plan to pursue a claim for reimbursement of your damages, contact an experienced California construction accident attorney who can help.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Help with a Settlement for a Construction Accident?
You are not obligated to hire an attorney to represent you, but we recommend it. Construction accident claims are complicated and may involve numerous defendants. At Young Wooldridge, LLP, our legal team has decades of combined experience with construction accidents. Our top priority is helping you get the compensation you deserve after an accident.
How Do I Know If the Insurance Company Is Offering a Fair Settlement?
The best way to determine whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement is to speak with an attorney. If you have not already retained a personal injury lawyer, now is the time. You should not agree to settle or sign a release of claims without speaking with a California construction accident attorney first.
Without legal representation, it’s doubtful that the insurance company will be offering you a fair amount for your injuries. Insurance companies look for ways to deny claims or avoid paying high settlement amounts. Despite what they may try to tell you, they are not on your side. Without an attorney representing you, you could be missing out on the compensation you are owed.
How Do I Know What My Case Is Really Worth?
Before you can settle your construction accident case, you must calculate the value of your claim. Two types of damages make up the value of your construction accident claim. The first is economic damages, which reflect your quantifiable financial losses. These may include:
- Medical expenses;
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation;
- Prescription costs; and
- Lost earnings.
The second type of damages is your non-economic damages, which are subjective in value. These damages include things like:
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of consortium,
- Emotional distress, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
In limited circumstances, punitive damages may also be available. These are not awarded to compensate you for the accident. Instead, they are to deter the defendant from engaging in the same behavior and punish them. Punitive damages are available only in exceptional cases—ones where the defendant’s actions were intentional, extremely reckless, or involved fraud or malice. Even if your case technically qualifies for a punitive damages award, there’s no guarantee the court will award one.
Fault also plays a role in determining the value of your case. California is what’s known as a pure comparative negligence state. That means you can still recover compensation for your injuries, even if you are partially at fault. However, the court will reduce your award according to your percentage of fault. For example, if you were 30% at fault for the accident, you could claim only 70% of your damages.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you were injured in a construction accident, finding the right California personal injury attorney is crucial. Construction accident claims are complicated to pursue, especially when liability is in dispute and there are multiple responsible parties. Do not retain an attorney who doesn’t have prior experience successfully resolving similar cases. There is a chance that your construction accident claim will proceed into litigation. Choose a firm with a proven record of success at trial.
To learn how we can help you resolve your construction accident claim for the maximum compensation possible, contact Young Wooldridge, LLP, today to schedule an initial consultation.