The Mercury News reports that Cal/OSHA will begin investigation into the circumstances surrounding a fatal construction accident at the Woodlake Shopping Center. A Sacramento man, Cristobal Reyes-Segura, suffered fatal injuries after falling 15 feet from a beam where he was standing to install metal studs in building frames.
Under California law, when work-place accidents occur you may have remedies both through workers' compensation and traditional tort law. The general rule is that you cannot sue your employer form on-the-job injuries. However, you may be able to submit a claim for benefit to the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board. Where a death occurs, these benefits are paid to your dependents. The type of compensation recoverable includes medical bills, lost income, permanent disability and death benefits. Often the amount of compensation is much lower than you would be able to recover in a civil proceeding.
Although you may not sue your employer in civil court for your workplace injuries, in some circumstances it is possible to file a lawsuit where a third party is responsible. In construction cases this may be a third party contractor, the owner of a site [who is not your employer] or other party on the premises. If one of these parties is responsible for creating an unreasonable risk of harm, providing faulty equipment, or otherwise engages in reckless or negligent conduct, they may be held responsible and required to compensate you or your family for the injuries sustained.
For more information, or if you have been injured in a construction accident or other work environment, contact the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette, dedicated to helping those injured for more than 15 years.