Construction site accidents are not like other personal injury cases. If someone runs a red light and crashes into you, liability is clear, and you know who to sue for your injures. When you are injured at a construction site, knowing how the accident happend, who is liable, and who to sue isn't always easy to determine.
Accidents that happen on Texas construction sites present many challenges that require an experienced attorney to fight for your maximum financial compensation. A construction injury attorney can walk you through the unique rules and steps of a construction accident Injury.
One of the main complexities of construction accidents is determining the type of remedy you can receive. Construction accidents can challenge some plaintiffs because of the rules of workers’ compensation claims. If you have suffered an injury on the job, you first need to determine the cause of the accident. If your employer was to blame for the accident, they might escape legal responsibility. Still, you do have some legal options to get financial compensation.
Can You Sue Your Employer for a Construction Accident Injury?
Employers in Texas are not required to purchase workers’ compensation policies to protect their employees. If an employer does purchase worker's compensation insurance, they receive certain protections if you elect to use workers comp benefits. One of the benefits to the employer is that they cannot be sued for personal injuries. Construction workers in Texas can choose to use their employer's workers compensation insurance, or choose to sue the employer for their construction site injuries.
When you've been injured in a construction site accident, after your initial medical treatment, it's a good idea to counsel with an attorney to determine which route is best for you. Your attorney will need to perform an intensive investigation to determine the exact cause of the accident. There can be more than one person or company responsible for your work accident.
Why You Want to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Construction Accident Injury
It is in your financial best interest to file a negligence lawsuit. Your compensation is far better because you can receive:
Your full lost wages for an indefinite period
Non-economic damages, including pain and suffering
Potential punitive damages depending on the extent of the defendant’s blame for your injuries
Even though there is a risk that you can get nothing, you can always fall back on a potential workers’ compensation claim that you will have already filed.
Your Lawyer Can Help You Investigate Possible Third-Party Lawsuits
It can be challenging to get to the bottom of exactly what happened when you're injured on the job. If you are concerned about who is at fault, hiring a Texas work injury lawyer can help find exactly who is responsible for your job site injuries. You want to avoid jumping to conclusions and let an experienced attorney review your case.
Third-Party Construction Accident Claims
The following are some possible third parties that you can sue in a construction accident case:
The employer of a truck driver who hits you at the worksite or in the vicinity
A third-party contractor or subcontractor who is also working at the site (it is common for there to be multiple contractors on-site at the same time)
A company that manufactured or sold work tools or machinery that turns out to be defective
An electrical company or power supplier who is responsible for utilities at the site
A third party who was responsible for releasing hazardous and toxic substances in the vicinity of the work site
The property owner who fails to warn of dangerous conditions that they know about
The maker of building materials that end up being substandard
An engineer or architect who provides faulty plans for the construction or demolition
Builders and manufacturers of scaffolding equipment
Product Liability Claims for Construction Accidents
Although they are not always easy to pursue, third-party claims are often your best route to financial compensation. You can expect these investigations to be very complex. If you file a product defect claim, you will need testing to show that the work equipment was defective.
Three types of product defects can make the manufacturer strictly liable:
Design defects when the product design is unreasonably dangerous (and in some cases, you may also need to prove that there was a safer alternative design)
Manufacturing defects are when there is nothing wrong with a design, but the product is still unreasonably dangerous for its intended use because something has gone wrong in the manufacturing process.
Warning defects occur when the manufacturer does not give adequate safety instructions or fails to warn the public of a known danger in using their product.
The Process Takes Time, So Start Now
A number of things can go wrong at a construction work site. It may take a long time to get to the bottom of the accident and learn what caused it. There may be an OSHA investigation that can help pinpoint the cause of the accident. You may be looking at a process that can take weeks or months. In the meantime, there are tight deadlines, and the clock is ticking.
To start the necessary investigation, you should contact an experienced construction accident attorney immediately after you have suffered an injury. You must do everything possible on your end to get to find out what happened because you can lose evidence in a hurry. People come and go and evidence can be moved from a construction site, and the responsible party has a financial incentive to make the evidence you need quickly disappear.
Even if you are suing someone else, a highly technical inquiry is necessary to get the evidence you need to potentially hold them liable. Your attorney will need specific experience in construction accidents. This area of the law is not one that someone can walk into without the necessary knowledge to help investigate and prove your case. Your attorney will often need to work with construction experts and other people with extensive scientific training to learn the exact cause of the accident.
Construction Accidents Are Also Complex Because of Serious Injuries
Construction accidents may also be more complicated because of the injuries involved. Construction workers have among the highest rates of severe injury and fatality of any employee in the country.
About 31 out of every 10,000 construction workers suffer non-fatal injuries every year. This rate is nearly 50 percent higher than other professions across the country. In addition, 20 percent of on-the-job fatalities occur in the construction industry.
Construction workers can suffer the following injuries:
Given the severity of the injuries, the resulting claim can be more complex. If you are dealing with a workers’ compensation claim, there is more of a chance that you will miss extended time from work. In that case, you may have access to more financial compensation for your injuries. Your injury may even be serious enough that you can no longer work again, meaning you may be eligible for a settlement with the workers’ compensation insurance company.
If your loved one died in a construction accident, you can pursue a death claim (either a wrongful death lawsuit if you can sue a third party or a worker’s compensation claim for death benefits). In a wrongful death personal injury lawsuit, your family can recover for its own damages sustained when a loved one died. In addition, workers’ compensation will pay death benefits to families for a certain period.
You Need the Maximum Possible Compensation for Your Injuries
Regardless of the means that you use to pursue financial compensation, there is more of a critical need for full payment for your injuries. Since these injuries are often so severe, it may take more effort to come up with the proper valuation of your claim. An attorney will need to consult with experts to learn as much as possible about your situation and the full extent of your harm.
You will also need to understand your legal options quickly because it may accelerate the timetable in which you can receive payment for your injuries. Your damages accumulate almost immediately after a construction accident, between medical bills and not receiving a paycheck when you cannot work. It is vital to begin getting some money into your pocket as quickly as possible.
Financial Compensation in a Truck Accident Lawsuit
Lost wages for the time missed from work ( in a personal injury case, you can receive 100 percent of your lost wages)
Pain and suffering
Loss of enjoyment of life
Embarrassment and humiliation
Since you are often suing a corporate defendant, your recovery may be higher. Although you are legally only entitled to payment for the damages you have suffered, corporations and contractors often have more extensive insurance policies that keep you from needing to go after anyone personally to pay for your injuries.
Do I Need to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim for a Construction Accident?
You should always act as if you intend to file a workers’ compensation claim after a construction accident, even if you do not follow through. The reason is that workers’ compensation has very tight deadlines that you need to follow in notifying your employer of your injury.
If you do not comply with these deadlines, you may lose the ability to get any compensation for your injury. Even if your lawyer is still in the process of determining whether you have a personal injury lawsuit, you can always move to file a workers’ compensation claim. If you get a settlement check or jury award, you will need to reimburse the benefits you have received. However, you cannot go back after deadlines have expired and initiate a worker’s compensation claim.
Take Advantage of a Free Consultation with a Lawyer
Remember that it does not cost you anything to speak with an attorney after a construction accident. Every personal injury and workers’ compensation lawyer should offer prospective clients free initial consultations to discuss their cases. It helps you both learn your legal options and understand what you may face after your accident.
Your attorney will also not charge you when they accept your case. You only need to pay an attorney if you win, never out of pocket. Not having an attorney will cost you more than the amount you need to pay a lawyer if and when you win your case. Knowing that you have legal options and the ability to pursue them is worth an unquantifiable amount of money.
When you begin the legal process with help from a qualified personal injury attorney, you can get instant peace of mind. You will not have to worry about how to navigate the claim process and which claims you might need to file. Your lawyer will evaluate all of these matters for you.
Then, your attorney can handle both workers’ comp claims and third-party claims. Juggling insurance companies is stressful, and you have enough stress as it is. Ease your mind by consulting with a construction accident attorney as soon as you are healthy enough to do so. You do not have to wait for your injuries to heal to begin the process, and you should not wait this long. Contact a law firm right away.