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Legal Blog

Construction Work Injuries and Legal Options for Houston Workers

The construction industry continues to boom in the Houston area, providing superior opportunities for workers to boost their income with steady work. Yet, construction has long been acknowledged as one of the most dangerous areas of employment. If you have been hurt on the job, you need qualified guidance on construction work injuries and legal options available to Houston workers.

Below, the work injury lawyers from The Krist Law Firm discuss important considerations for those who are hurt on the job and require financial relief from an employer via a personal injury lawsuit.

Workplace Employment Insurance and Construction Accidents

In Texas, the law doesn’t require most employers to carry insurance for employees who are injured on the job. However, construction companies must provide workers’ compensation that will provide partial wages and medical payments for costs associated with the injury and recovery. In many cases, you can turn to this program for benefits that help you heal and get back to work.

However, although submitting a claim might seem simple, the insurance provider may require substantial paperwork and proof of your injury before releasing benefits. They may also reduce or deny your claim if you don’t follow all the rules. These claims will not provide substantial financial relief, however.

An experienced personal injury lawyer can also advise you on whether you might have grounds for a third-party lawsuit against parties other than your employer. In many instances, an injured worker can file for employer-provided insurance benefits and pursue a lawsuit against other parties at the same time. The specifics of your situation will determine your options.

Third-Party Lawsuits After Construction Accidents

There are numerous individuals and companies present on a construction worksite who aren’t employed by the construction company. These include:

  • Subcontractors
  • Equipment vendors
  • Mechanic and maintenance crews
  • Site inspectors
  • Security personnel
  • Visitors

Members of these groups may be unfamiliar with your job site’s safety protocols. They could be careless or even intentionally harm you and your colleagues. For example, if a contracted maintenance technician fails to properly lock out the power on a high-voltage piece of equipment, employees could suffer electrical injuries or death.

Beyond those who visit the site, manufacturers and distributors could be at fault if they produce or sell faulty equipment, components, or safety gear. This could trigger a product liability lawsuit where you hold them accountable for endangering others through their negligent design, manufacturing, or marketing.

Construction Site Dangers That Lead to Work Injuries

gated construction siteWhile the fences are meant to keep the public safe from construction site hazards, workers inside of them are at high risk of injury. Even with strict safety rules and equipment, it’s easy to be hurt in a sudden on-the-job accident. On top of that, individuals who perform relatively safe jobs can still develop repetitive strain injuries that require benefits and treatment.

From family residential buildings to skyscrapers in downtown Houston, there are workplace hazards that can result in serious injury for construction workers. Some of the most common types of accidents include:

  • Caught-by or caught-between accidents
  • Fires and explosions
  • Collapsing material or structures
  • Falls from scaffolding or other heights
  • Dropped objects from heights
  • Equipment malfunction
  • Vehicle accidents
  • Hazardous material exposure
  • Electrocution or shock
  • Vapor, fume, or smoke inhalation
  • Missing or broken safety gear
  • Exposure to extreme temperatures

Again, these incidents could have many factors and multiple parties at fault. Determining who is responsible and how to proceed could get complicated, and you likely have bigger things on your mind if you are injured. With guidance from an experienced work injury attorney, you can focus on recovering while your lawyer manages the details of your claim.

Steps to Take After a Construction Site Accident

No matter what legal option you choose for recovering compensation for your work injury, it’s critical that you take some key steps to protect your health and your claim for damages. You’ll need to act immediately to establish a link between the accident and your injury. Whether you are filing a workers’ compensation claim or you pursue a third-party lawsuit, these same steps will help your attorney build a powerful case against the at-fault parties.

Follow these recommendations after a construction work injury:

  • Report the accident to your supervisor right away
  • Get medical attention, either first aid onsite or by visiting a doctor
  • Submit a written account of your accident to back up your initial report
  • Schedule a consultation with a qualified construction accident attorney
  • Keep all medical appointments and follow your doctor’s orders to recover
  • Keep copies of all bills and receipts associated with your injury

Insurance adjusters will want to verify you are not making a fraudulent claim, so they may ask questions you don’t know how to answer. It’s wise to let your attorney handle these conversations to prevent the insurance company from using anything you say against you. If you engage an attorney for a third-party lawsuit, they can also tackle the negotiations for your settlement and advise you when it might be time to proceed to court.

Potential Value of a Construction Work Injury Third-Party Lawsuit

construction accidentWhen you seek compensation from a third party, you may begin by filing a claim against their insurance. Your attorney can handle the conversations and negotiations, working toward an appropriate settlement for your needs. In some instances, the insurer does not offer enough, and your lawyer could recommend moving on to a trial.

This often happens when you have substantial medical costs, or you have suffered a significant amount of non-economic damage. For example, if you lose a hand or your vision due to a third party’s negligent actions, you not only could be disabled from working in construction, but you must also adjust to a life-altering injury. It could have an overwhelming impact on your quality of life, and the responsible party must acknowledge that financially.

Common damages clients may claim include:

  • All medical bills
  • Prescription medications
  • Mobility or medical devices
  • Lost income
  • Lost benefits and future compensation
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy costs
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of society from isolation and embarrassment
  • Permanent disability
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering

Each case is unique, and your lawyer can’t give you a full estimate until they hear your story and conduct an investigation. However, with serious or catastrophic injuries, the value of a claim can rise to hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Your economic losses usually make up the majority of your claim and include anything with a fixed value. Non-economic damages describe how your life has been affected.

How Much Does a Construction Accident Attorney Cost?

You may worry about how you’re going to pay a lawyer when you are out of work from your injury. If your condition is serious, you could be recovering for several weeks. Along with your regular bills, the costs of traveling to see doctors and other expenses will pile up and be stressful.

Our work injury attorneys will speak with you for free to assess your claim and determine whether you should move forward. We also work on a contingency fee payment structure, where you do not pay any fees unless and until your case is settled or we win a trial verdict. This allows you to get the high quality legal representation you need without worrying about paying upfront costs when you are already facing medical and other bills.

To learn more about how an accomplished construction accident injury attorney can help you with your case, contact The Krist Law Firm to schedule a free consultation today. We are ready to explain your legal options as a Houston worker and help you get the compensation you need.