Construction workers face many hazards each day throughout Texas. From human errors and dangerous conditions to defective and inadequate equipment, Texas construction workers put their health at risk by simply working at a job site.
Even with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and state laws that require safety measures in the workplace, construction accidents continue to cause extremely serious injuries at an alarmingly high rate. When you're injured doing construction work, don’t wait to reach out to an experienced construction accident attorney. You can be compensated for your losses, including pain and suffering through a third-party claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
What Happens When a Construction Worker Gets Hurt on the Job?
When a construction worker gets hurt on the job, the first step is to seek medical attention immediately. The injured worker should inform their supervisor or employer about the incident to report the accident and to ensure that proper documentation is completed. Depending on the severity of the injury, the worker may need to take time off from work to recover.
If the employer has worker's compensation insurance, Texas workers injured on the job may be entitled to worker's comp benefits, which will cover medical expenses and lost wages. If the injury was a result of the negligence of the employer or a third party, the worker may have the right to elect to file a personal injury lawsuit. It is important for construction workers to be aware of their legal rights and to take necessary precautions on the job to avoid accidents and injuries.
Steps to Take After a Construction Accident
Construction accidents can happen suddenly, and without warning. What you do after your accident can significantly impact your physical and financial recovery. First, get medical attention. Until your health stabilizes, nothing else should matter. Second, after you've seen a doctor, and received initial medical care, it's a good idea to contact a skilled construction injury lawyer to go over your rights and options.
Since injured workers in Texas can choose between taking workers' compensation benefits or filing a personal injury lawsuit against their employer, it's important to discuss with a personal injury lawyer which path is best for you.
Be sure to keep records and document your accident. Make notes of things like your pain and suffering, your inability to do things for yourself or not being able to participate in activities you once enjoyed, and any plans you have had to cancel. You should also keep track of your related expenses, such as travel to and from medical appointments, prescriptions, or medical equipment purchases or rentals. These records will help you seek reimbursement for the full extent of your damages.
Follow all of the advice and recommendations of your doctors and healthcare providers. If you don’t, an insurer can deny your workers’ compensation benefits, and it can be harder to win a personal injury claim. In addition, you should also follow the legal advice of your attorney so that you can get the most from any claims you file.
Types of Construction Accidents Work Injury Attorneys Can Help With
Whether your accident was minor or severe, construction accident lawyers have the knowledge and experience to work toward justice for you and those you love.
The following are some examples of construction accidents:
- Smoke inhalation
- Equipment malfunctions and defects
- Falls from ladders, scaffolding, and roofs
- Slip and falls
- Inhalation of toxic chemicals
- Falls into holes lacking appropriate guarding or barricades
- Exposure to harmful substances, such as environmental toxins
- Falling objects
- Dangerous or unguarded equipment
Common construction workplace injuries include traumatic brain injury (TBI), shockwave injuries, paralysis, internal injuries and bleeding, broken bones, and electrical, chemical, and thermal burns.
Generally, any type of accident in Texas that happens while you are working on the job is eligible for compensation through workers’ compensation insurance.
When you are injured at work because of someone's negligence, you have the legal right to file a lawsuit against those liable. A work injury lawyer in Texas can help you file a claim for financial compensation that is rightfully yours.
What Causes Construction Accidents to Occur?
Construction accidents can happen in a variety of settings and for a variety of reasons. Although they are referred to as accidents, construction accidents are rarely genuine accidents. In most cases, they occur because of the negligence of another employee, the employer, or an equipment manufacturer, and could have been prevented.
Construction industry accidents happen due to:
- Violations of safety procedures, policies, or protocols
- Lack of safety training or equipment
- Human error
- Faulty electrical wiring
- Poorly maintained pipelines
- Unsuitable handling of flammable, combustible, or toxic materials
- Defective equipment or machinery
- Improper protection for equipment or machinery
- Inadequate lighting or ventilation
- Inadequate safety devices
- Lack of concentration due to monotonous tasks
- Inadequate supervision
- Failure to keep the workspace clean and clear of debris and obstructions
- Working too quickly
- Using unsafe positions
- Inherently dangerous power tools
- Horseplay or distracting behavior
When you hire an injured employee lawyer, they will review the circumstances of your accident and injuries and file claims against all responsible parties on your behalf. Your lawyer will determine how the accident happened and who is responsible for your injury or illness. In some cases, there may be more than one party responsible. For example, property owners, general contractors, independent contractors, subcontractors, or manufacturers of defective products can be forced to pay for your losses.
Proving Your Texas Construction Accident Claim
If you file a workers’ compensation claim, you must be ready to show that your injury occurred at work while you were performing your duties. To help support this, you will need an accident report that includes witness statements from your coworkers or other people who saw the accident. This evidence should be all you need to receive the benefits you deserve.
If you pursue ongoing disability benefits, you should also be prepared to give proof of the extent of your injuries and the severity of your impairment.
If you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking reimbursement for your injuries in Texas, your construction accident attorney can build your case to help prove that you deserve compensation for your financial and other losses.
In general, your attorney must show that:
- Another party owed you a duty of care
- They breached that duty of care
- Your injuries were a direct result of that breach
- You suffered harm and losses resulting from your injuries
Evidence used by your lawyer to prove these elements might include testimony from accident witnesses, industry experts, including specialists in construction accidents and workplace safety regulations, as well as medical doctors. They will also use your medical records, bills, receipts, and any photos or videos of your accident or injuries that can help establish your claim.
Personal Injury Lawsuit Compensation
Injured construction workers often worry about how they are going to support their families and how they are going to get better after being injured in a construction accident.
When you file a lawsuit, your damages represent the losses and hardships you had to endure. The following are some examples of the types of economic and non-economic damages you can claim when you've been injured on a construction job in Texas:
- Past and future medical bills
- Loss of earning capacity
- Past and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of the function of a limb or a finger
- Loss of sight or hearing
Damages aren’t the same in every case; therefore, you should talk with your lawyer about which damages you can claim. In addition, your attorney can maximize the amount you receive by naming each possible liable party as a defendant in your lawsuit.
Who Can File a Lawsuit for Construction Accident Injuries in Texas?
If your employer does not have worker's compensation insurance, you have the option to file a lawsuit against your employer. If there is more than one responsible party, you can seek compensation from a third party. A third party is a person or an entity that can be liable for your injuries.
Third parties who might have liability for your injuries and damages include but aren’t limited to:
- Manufacturers of building materials, tools, and machinery
Workers’ compensation doesn’t provide benefits to non-workers who suffered injuries on or near construction sites. With the help of a skilled attorney, non-employees such as pedestrians who were hurt in or near construction zones can sue the construction company or other parties involved in their accident.
If you think you might have a claim or just want someone to review your potential case, don’t hesitate to speak to a construction accident lawyer. If you chose to do nothing, you might be walking away from the money you deserve.
The Statute of Limitations
According to Texas law, injured individuals have a limited time of two years to file a personal injury claim. This does not mean you should wait to file a claim. It is simply a time frame someone has to file a lawsuit for personal injuries. To find out how this law will affect you and your compensation, discuss your injury case with a qualified Texas construction injury lawyer.
Seek Help from Experienced Construction Accident Attorneys Today
Construction workers have protections under laws and regulations that are supposed to create safe work environments. Unfortunately, some corporations that rely on construction workers to build things don’t always adhere to these protections. As a result, neglectful companies continue to have preventable worker injuries. If you are left dealing with pain, injuries, and subsequent lost wages and medical bills, it's time to call an attorney to help you.
Whether you need to file a claim for workers’ compensation after a work-related construction accident or a personal injury lawsuit for injuries you received as a result of negligence, seek legal assistance as soon as you can.
When it comes to injuries from construction accidents, you don’t have to face this battle alone. The right San Antonio personal injury law firm can help you recover the compensation you deserve.