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Construction Site Falls

Fresno Personal Injury Attorney Litigates Construction Site Falls

Seeking full compensation for workers when third-party negligence causes harm

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), about 21 percent of all workplace fatalities happen in the construction industry, and falls are the leading cause of construction worker death. In many instances, a worker injured in a fall at a construction site is limited to workers’ compensation benefits, which only pay for partial wage replacement and nothing for pain and suffering. But under certain circumstances, a worker hurt in a construction fall, or the surviving family of a fatally injured worker, can sue for negligence and recover full personal injury or wrongful death benefits. At Gates Law Group, A Professional Corporation, we pursue claims for people injured or killed in construction site falls. Drawing on 39 years of legal experience, we build a compelling case for full, fair compensation.

Unsettling facts about construction site falls

OSHA lists falls as the first of the “fatal four” types of construction accidents, causing around 38 percent of construction industry deaths annually. So, it should be no surprise that four of the top 10 OSHA standards violations have to do with falls:

  • Fall protection in construction — The most frequently violated standard is 29 CFR 1926.501, which mandates that “the walking/working surfaces on which its employees are to work have the strength and structural integrity to support employees safely.”
  • General scaffolding requirements — At number three is 29 CFR 1926.451, which requires that “each scaffold and scaffold component shall be capable of supporting, without failure, its own weight and at least 4 times the maximum intended load applied or transmitted to it.”
  • Ladders in construction — The sixth most frequently violated standard is 29 CFR 1926.1053, which mandates that various types of ladders be capable of supporting specific loads.
  • Fall protection — The ninth of the top 10 violations is 29 CFR 1926.503, mandating that every “employer shall provide a training program for each employee who might be exposed to fall hazards.”

Unfortunately for workers, California does not have a New York-style scaffold law that allows workers to sue for negligence when a safety violation coincides with a fall. Employers are generally protected from liability even when they are negligent, which means employees can only sue for a fall when a third party causes the accident.

Third-party lawsuits for construction falls in California

Construction site falls occur for a number of reasons, including:

  • Slippery surfaces
  • Trips over obstacles or debris
  • Defective scaffolds and ladders
  • Being struck by objects

A fall can result in severe injury, including bone fractures, neck and spine injuries, and traumatic brain injury. Workers who fall from a height of at least one level onto hard surfaces or a hazard often suffer disabling and fatal injuries.

However, in order to sue for negligence, the worker must be able to prove that someone with whom there is no employer-employee or coworker relationship is responsible for causing the accident. Potential defendants include:

  • Subcontractors and employees of subcontractors
  • Equipment manufacturers
  • Materials suppliers

Property owners can also be responsible for the fall under a theory of premises liability if a hidden hazard on the property, which they knew or should have known about, caused the fall.

Proving fault for a construction site fall is usually not an easy task. But our construction law background enables us to investigate the accident thoroughly to determine cause and identify potential defendants. You can rely on our knowledge and determination, as we fight for the full compensation you deserve.

Contact our Fresno personal injury law firm for a free consultation on construction site injuries

Gates Law Group, A Professional Corporation provides aggressive representation for victims of construction site falls in Fresno and throughout California. Please call 559-432-9944 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. Our firm’s main office is in Fresno, but we also assist clients from locations in Paso Robles and Visalia.

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  • Fresno Office
    2445 Capitol Street
    Suite 160 E
    Fresno, California 93721
    Phone: 559-432-9944
    Fax: 866-740-6678
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