While federal regulations, employer policies, and common sense can help make construction sites much safer than they would otherwise be, mistakes still happen. People neglect their duties or make reckless decisions, which can lead to injuries and fatalities that could have been prevented.
If you were injured in a construction site accident, you may be wondering which person or entity should be held accountable, whether you can file a personal injury claim, and what sort of compensation you may be eligible to receive. We hope to provide answers to these important questions and point you in the right direction so you can obtain the financial recovery you deserve.
Here is an overview of construction accidents and the steps victims can take to protect themselves and increase their chances of receiving compensation.
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Determining Liability in Texas Construction Accidents
Identifying the at-fault party in a construction site injury can be uniquely difficult due to the number of parties involved in ensuring site safety. When it comes to preventing injuries, everyone has a role to play, including property owners and managers, contractors and subcontractors, equipment manufacturers, architects, engineers, and construction workers. A construction worker’s fall could look like a simple misstep at first glance, but a closer inspection may reveal that it was inadvertently caused by another party’s failure to install a guardrail or warning sign.
There are many potential contributing factors to construction accident injuries, such as:
- Inadequate employee safety training
- Lack of proper safety protocol
- Lack of protective equipment
- Employee misconduct (such as use of drugs or alcohol)
- Equipment malfunction
- Failure to maintain equipment
- Design/inspection errors
Determining liability requires closely examining the circumstances of the accident to discover the person or party that neglected their duty of care.
What to Do After a Construction Accident
The actions you take immediately after your accident are just as vital to the strength of your case as the events that preceded it. These are the steps you should take to begin preserving your case:
- Seek medical attention. The sooner you document your injury, the better. Even if you’re unsure of the severity of your injury, don’t wait until your symptoms worsen to visit a doctor or hospital. Some types of injuries take longer to manifest, and waiting could compromise both your health and your case.
- Report through the proper channels. If you are a construction worker, you must report the accident to your employer, who is legally required to report it to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This may prompt an investigation into the incident. If you were a bystander injured on or near a construction site, notify the property owner or manager, who will have procedures for reporting the accident, and contact the police so that an official report will be created.
- Document the accident and identify witnesses. If you are able to, take photos, videos, and notes, and obtain the contact information of people who witnessed the accident.
- Consult a construction accident injury lawyer. Lastly, speak with a personal injury lawyer before you communicate with the at-fault party’s insurance company or make any other big moves regarding your case. Insurance adjusters often try to manipulate accident victims or get statements on record that can be used to devalue or deny injury claims. A lawyer will manage negotiations with insurance providers, help you obtain competent medical care, and investigate the circumstances of your accident in order to prove the at-fault party’s negligence.
Damages in Construction Accident Injury Claims
If you are successful in bringing a claim against the at-fault party, the financial recovery you receive will correspond to the severity of your injury and its impact on your life. The types of damages that are commonly awarded in construction accidents include medical expenses, lost earnings, impact on quality of life, and pain and suffering.
Complicating Factors in Construction Accident Cases
Your relationship to the at-fault party may determine your course of action. If you were injured on the job and your employer subscribes to workers’ compensation insurance, there will be legal obstacles to filing a personal injury lawsuit against them. However, if you were injured on the job due to the negligence of a party or person who is not your direct employer or a coworker, there should be no restrictions on your ability to file a lawsuit.
Texas does not require employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance, which can cause confusion for workers injured on the job. You may not know whether you’re covered by workers’ comp until the accident has been reported through the proper channels, and even then it can be difficult to know who is liable and whether workers’ comp will prohibit you from filing a claim. Speaking with a construction accident attorney can help you understand how your employer’s workers’ comp coverage status will dictate the outcome of your case.
Consult a Construction Accident Injury Lawyer
Construction accident injury cases are complex, and the Texas accident lawyers at FVF are up to the challenge. We have an impressive track record of securing positive case outcomes for victims of construction accidents, and we pride ourselves on providing critical support and guidance during a difficult time.
A free consultation with one of our lawyers will help you understand your options and provide the clarity you need to make decisions about your case. Contact us today to schedule a free, remote consultation.