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Compensation options for construction workers

There are numerous construction projects that take place in California each year. If someone sustains an injury or is killed while on a construction site, there are multiple avenues the injured worker or surviving family members can take to obtain compensation.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 49 construction workers killed on-site in 2014, which accounts for 14.2 percent of the total number of workers who died at the workplace in the state. Data from the Occupation Safety and Health Administration show that in 2014, 899 construction workers nationwide were killed at work, a figure that made up 20 percent of the total number killed among all industries.

Typical situations that can lead to injury and death include insufficient falling protection measures or defective scaffolding, getting stuck between objects, electrocutions, being caught in machinery and falling objects. Falling accounted for the highest percentage of worker deaths in 2014 at 39.9 percent according to OSHA. Next was electrocution, which caused 8.2 percent of the total worker deaths. Employee deaths due to falling objects were at 8.1 percent, and 4.2 percent of deaths were because workers were caught in equipment or between objects.

All employers in California are required to carry workers' compensation insurance. Injured construction workers can receive benefits, and relatives of construction workers who were killed on-site may receive monthly payments to account for part of the worker's income. Compensation can also be obtained through third-party lawsuits. For example, if the negligence of a third party at a construction site caused an accident that resulted in injury or death, the party may be held liable according to California's personal injury tort laws.

Construction workers often work on sites that pose high risks for injury and death. If either one occurs, a personal injury attorney may advise about the proper method of obtaining financial compensation.

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