Construction workers nationwide, including in California, work in one of the most dangerous industries. They might find comfort in knowing the state-regulated workers’ compensation insurance system will have their backs if they suffer work-related injuries. However, those benefits will not cover more than their medical expenses and a portion of their lost wages.
Personal injury or product liability lawsuit
Workers may have additional options to cover other financial losses and emotional damages such as pain and suffering. Construction workers use equipment, tools and machines of various manufacturers. If any of those pieces of equipment malfunctions and causes injuries to the person operating it, the injured worker might have a viable third party claim against the manufacturer.
Wrongful death lawsuit
Sadly, hundreds of construction workers lose their lives in work-related accidents each year. Like a personal injury claim, the surviving family members of a worker whose death resulted from a malfunctioning tool could pursue financial relief by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. If the worker initially filed a personal injury claim and succumbed to the injuries while the suit was pending, a wrongful death lawsuit could transition from the personal injury suit.
Settlement or verdict
In both wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits, the defendant might offer a settlement amount to avoid facing the jury in a California civil court. The plaintiff can accept such a settlement offer, negotiate for a higher one or choose to take the matter to trial. However, if the settlement is accepted, the injured worker or family of a deceased worker may not pursue any further damages against the defendant related to the same injury.