Many jobs are inherently dangerous: construction, law enforcement and security, road-based vocations and jobs that involve exposure to toxic chemicals and other hazardous substances. These are the most common sources of serious workplace injuries, but anyone can be injured in the workplace.
Ashton & Price understands the value of hard work, and our practice has worked hard to defend the rights and safety of employees in Sacramento and throughout California for 20 years. We have helped families affected by injury and wrongful death recover more than $100 million since we opened our doors in 1996. The principles that defined our founding are still intact: a dedication to providing our clients with honest, sound legal advice, vigorous representation, and operating with integrity as we seek to secure the best possible compensation.
Without having evidence immediately available, hesitating to bring a legal claim against your employer is perfectly understandable. Proving that a safety violation occurred can be extremely difficult. However, if you wait to act until you are absolutely sure that you have a claim, by the time you act, the evidence may no longer exist. This is why it’s imperative that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible, such as an attorney at Ashton & Price who is skilled in workplace accident litigation. We have the resources needed to immediately begin interviews and investigations, gathering the evidence necessary to prove that a workplace safety violation occurred.
If you or a family member has been seriously injured by an accident in the workplace in Sacramento or anywhere in Northern California, contact our lawyers for a free, open and honest consultation at Ashton & Price.
Many people don’t realize that California is a “comparative fault” state. What this means is that even if you are found to be partially at fault for an accident that resulted in your injury, you are still entitled to recover a percentage of your total damages equal to the percentage of fault for which the other party is responsible. This means that if your total damages are $100,000, and it is determined that you were 30% responsible, then you are still entitled to collect 70% of your damages: $70,000.
It’s easy to be confused by California’s complex workplace safety laws and regulations. That’s why it’s extremely important to contact a lawyer in order to determine whether or not you have a case.
Construction Accident Lawyers
Construction sites are dangerous places, even when everybody follows rules and regulations. However, accidents on construction site typically occur when safety regulations are not followed. In such situations, employers and site managers provide their employees with substandard equipment, materials, and workplace practices. And when these tools, machinery, products and plans fail, the ultimate result is often serious injury.
Construction injuries can be some of the most complicated workplace injury claims to litigate. In situations where accidents involve falling from ladders or scaffolding, claims can involve many different companies and types of equipment, as well as workplace laws and regulations. Lawsuits may have to be simultaneously filed against employers, employees, insurers, and equipment manufacturers. This is why in these situations, it’s important to call upon the experience and knowledge of lawyers and investigators who are well versed in such claims, such as those at Ashton & Price.
We have represented clients who have suffered injury due to the actions (or lack thereof) of parties involved in almost every aspect of construction, including:
- Fellow employees
- Supervisors and foremen
- Property owners
- Site superintendents
- Contractors and subcontractors
- Tool and equipment manufacturers
Ashton & Price is where injured employees can come to recover: not only from their injuries, but also recover the compensation for lost wages, injuries, and suffering that they need in order to rebuild their bodies and their lives. We have a keen understanding of how to find and investigate the evidence needed to prove workplace error and negligence. And while we investigate who or what contributed to your injury, we can help you get the medical care and treatment that you need in order to recover your health and wellbeing.
OSHA & Workplace Safety Regulations
At Ashton & Price, our attorneys use their extensive knowledge of OSHA regulations and California’s workplace safety laws to help injured employees secure the financial compensation they need to recover from serious accidents. We fervently believe that employees in all lines of work deserve to work in a safe, secure workplace. Part of fulfilling that commitment to workplace safety is to assist those who have needlessly been injured on the job to the best of our abilities, by always staying up to date and current on the latest regulations and the most common sources of workplace injury.
Some of the most common OSHA violations that our attorneys discover when we investigate accidents include:
- Failure to provide necessary safety equipment
- Not properly training employees on how to use or work around dangerous equipment
- Equipment and machinery that fail or operate improperly due to neglect or improper maintenance or repair
- Not remedying evident and visible workplace hazards: not covering holes in flooring, properly securing scaffolds and ladders, and not properly reinforcing construction site trenches in order to prevent collapse
Employers Are Financially Responsible for Their Employees, Even Sometimes When They Act Outside Their Job Description
Many employees are injured by other employees in situations that fall outside the strict definition of the injuring employee’s responsibilities. A recent California case, Vogt v. Herron Construction, shed light on just how broad an employer’s responsibilities can be.
The Vogt v. Herron Construction case was spawned by injuries that a construction worker, Augustus Vogt, suffered when he was hit by a pickup truck driven by another worker on the site, Jesus Cruz. While Vogt and Cruz were contractors on the same site, Cruz was employed by Herron Construction, while Vogt was employed by another construction company.
Vogt was preparing to pour concrete when he noticed that Cruz’s truck was near where he was about to pour, which presented several problems: (1) the truck could potentially block the cement truck, and (2) he didn’t want to ruin the paint on Cruz’s truck with splashed concrete. Vogt sought out Cruz, and asked him to move his truck. Cruz agreed, but in the course of moving his truck, he ran over Vogt, severely injuring him.
Vogt sued Cruz’s employer, Herron Construction, arguing that Cruz injured him while he was performing his job. Herron Construction countered that Cruz’s job description did not include driving, and thus he was operating strictly within a personal capacity, meaning that the company shouldn’t be held liable for the accident.
The court ultimately ruled in Herron’s favor, on the basis of its argument that Cruz was acting on his own behalf. However, when Vogt appealed the ruling, the appeals court reversed the decision. The appeals court held that in order for people and companies to successfully collaborate on a project, they must all cooperate together in order to bring the job to completion. If Cruz hadn’t moved his truck, then the concrete could not have been poured, preventing the work from continuing. If Cruz’s actions—or rather, his inaction—prevented the timely completion of the job, it was likely that he would have been disciplined by his employer. Thus, while moving his truck wasn’t strictly within the proscribed limits of his job, doing so was a necessary and logical aspect of furthering his employer’s business interests. The court further found that even if Cruz had only moved his truck to prevent damage to it, doing so would have been necessary to ensure his convenience and welfare while on the job, which would still fall within the scope of his job description.
What all of this boiled down to was that Cruz’s employer was financially responsible for Vogt’s injuries, due to Cruz’s actions.
What this means for you is that you may have a valid legal argument in a workplace injury case, even if you were injured by someone who wasn’t working strictly within their job description. The only way of determining this for sure is by speaking to an experienced work injury claims attorney, such as one of those at Ashton & Price. Contact us for a free consultation, so you can find out if you are eligible to pursue financial compensation for your workplace injury.