Workers’ Compensation Lawyer San Diego, CA

Workers’ Comp Claims in California Heavily Linked to New Construction Companies

Portrait of a Latin American contractor wearing a facemask while working at a construction site carrying wood during the COVID-19 pandemic

A workers' comp lawyer in San Diego explains what you should know

Inexperience on the part of a construction company owner may be a huge contributing factor to workplace injuries.

About 75 percent of all workers’ compensation claims filed in the construction industry are from companies that are less than four years old, according to a new study.

It’s not just inexperience on the part of the owner that increases the likelihood of injury. Construction employees with less than one year on the job make up 1 out of every 3 claims, the study says.

Researchers at AmTrust Financial Services Inc. analyzed 26,000 workers’ comp claims over 10 years to reach these and other conclusions.

Work injuries in construction

The AmTrust report reveals many interesting details about workplace injuries in the construction industry.

Some key takeaways include:

  • Who files the most claims? Nationwide, out of all of the artisan contractors, plumbers and electricians file the most workers’ comp claims, the study says. Plumbers make up 28 percent of all industry claims while electricians make up almost 20 percent. The most common injuries cited are the result of strain or falls.
  • Days spent healing. A contractor on workers’ comp is out for an average of 13 workdays, but each injury has its own average recovery time. For example, workers suffering from burns usually miss 19 days of work; for falls it’s 21 days, cuts are 14 days, and strains are 11 days (although, if the strain is due to repetitive motion, the average number of days missed goes up to 23).
  • Common injuries. The most frequent injuries reported to workers’ comp by contractors are lower back pain, knee injuries, finger(s) damage, and shoulder pain.

In general, workers’ compensation is a benefit that most businesses must offer their employees. When you're injured on the job, the program helps pay for medical expenses and partial wages while you heal.

California offers a safety net to workers who are injured while working for a company that is illegally operating without workers’ comp insurance. It’s called the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund (UEBTF).

Construction Injuries in California

The bulk of workers’ comp contractor claims are from states like California and Florida, where the winter is mild and building season is year-round.

The San Diego area usually reports 50,000 workers’ comp claims each year, according to state data. Riverside County reports about 30,000 to 35,000 claims each year while Orange County reports about 55,000. Imperial County, meanwhile, usually has fewer than 4,000 claims.

The bigger the project, the more opportunities for injury. Southern California is home to many large, upcoming, and ongoing construction projects.

In San Diego, some of the larger construction projects include the $3 billion pure water recovery initiative, a 22-story residential high-rise tower, and multiple projects on the University of California (UCSD) campus. In Riverside County, work has started at the Boulder Crossing Shopping Center.

Injured construction workers have legal rights

Filing a workers’ comp claim in California can be a confusing process full of paperwork, deadlines, medical appointments, and phone calls. Enter the wrong information on a form or get the wrong doctor to do your medical examination, and you might not get the workers' comp benefits you're entitled to.

At McLaughlin & Sanchez, we have a lot of experience helping injured construction workers navigate the California workers’ comp system. Our firm has helped thousands of clients in Southern California obtain the workers' comp benefits they need and deserve—and we would be honored to talk to you about your potential case.

Find out how we can help you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced San Diego workers' comp attorney.

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