Two California Construction Workers Trapped in Trench: One Critically Injured

One construction worker was reported to have fractured ribs while another was hospitalized in critical condition after a shallow trench collapsed on them while recently working on renovation of a Sherman Oaks home. They were rescued by members of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The injured workers were in the process of building a two-story addition on a home. The employer of the men said that the accident occurred in a “split second” when “a chunk of foundation concrete just fell on the guys.” He noted that the foundation was “poorly built” and “without any rebar on it,” A spokesman on the scene for the fire department remarked that there were no obvious code violations, and the construction site appeared to be in compliance with building code standards.

Every employer in California is required to carry workers’ compensation coverage, even if it only has one employee. California operates on a no-fault workers’ compensation system wherein an employee who is injured in the course and scope of their employment might be eligible for benefits, even if their accident and injuries were caused by his or her own negligence. The following are some of the workers’ compensation benefits that an injured worker can pursue:

  • Costs of Medical Treatment: This would include all reasonable and necessary medical treatment in connection with the injuries suffered by the employee, including emergency room treatment, hospitalization and surgical costs, rehabilitation, physical therapy and prescription drugs.
  • Temporary Total Disability (TTD): Temporary Total Disability operates as wage replacement. It’s a sum paid to the injured employee that is equal to two-thirds of his or her average weekly wage during the period of time that an injured employee is totally incapacitated and unable to work as a result of work-related injuries. California’s legislature has placed limits on the amount and duration of any TTD payments.
  • Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): After a worker has reached maximum medical improvement, he or she is given a disability rating. A lump sum PPD payment is made in accordance with any settlement or award.

Other benefits like permanent disability payments, a small pension for life, job retraining costs and death benefits might also be paid when circumstances warrant them.


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