Construction sites are often a chaotic place with high accident statistics and incident rates. Workers are constantly exposed to dangers, they move fast, they are surrounded by machines and they have to stay focused on their tasks. In such a dynamic environment, accidents happen quite often. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 20% of worker deaths in private industry are in construction industry.
The “fatal four” leading causes of worker fatalities in construction are falls, struck by falling objects, electrocution, and caught in or between objects. In 2013, these fata four caused almost 60% of construction worker deaths.
Types of Construction Accidents
There are many ways in which workers can be injured or even killed on a construction site, for instance:
- Falls (roof related falls, scaffolding falls, elevator shaft falls, crane falls, falls caused by holes in flooring);
- Electrical accidents: electric shock, electrocutions or power line contact;
- Caught in or between objects;
- Motor vehicle collisions;
- Fires and explosions, arc burn accidents, exposure to toxic and harmful substances;
- Trench collapses;
- Ladder and scaffolding accidents;
- Forklift or crane accidents;
- Workers being run-over by operating machines;
- Defective machines and equipment (power tools, hoists, derricks, woodworking tools, scrapers, conveyors or pressure vessels).
Liability in a construction accident case
Many times, construction accidents can be attributed to:
- Employers failing to adhere to safety regulations;
- Failing to install visible health and safety notices around the jobsite;
- Workers who over-exert themselves;
- Companies not providing the right personal protective equipment (also known as PPE) to their teams.
Several parties can be legally responsible for your construction site injuries, including:
- The construction company;
- Third-party contractors;
- Architects and engineers;
- Property owners;
- Equipment manufacturers.
General contractors, prime contractors and subcontractors have the responsibility to provide safety provisions and make sure the job site is safe. Their duties include warning about possible dangers, making sure of employees’ alertness while working and checking if safety rules are followed. Equipment manufacturers have to design and maintain safe products, otherwise, if an accident occurs because of their faulty products, they can be found liable.
In the aftermath of a construction accident
If you if you are injured while working on a construction site, you need to:
- Seek immediate medical attention;
- Promptly report the injury to your supervisor (the employer). It’s highly recommended to do it in writing and to keep a copy;
- Contact an experienced construction accident lawyer to help you fill the paperwork related to your accident;
- If possible, take photographs of the injury, the scene of the accident, and the machines involved in the accident;
- Request a copy of the accident report and review it with your lawyer to make sure it’s accurate;
- In order to file for a workers’ compensation claim, fill a claim form and keep a copy of it;
- File the legal claim as quickly as possible, as any delay in claiming workers’ compensation benefits leads to delays in benefits.
Your legal options
Construction accidents lead to severe injuries, including crushed or fractured limbs burns, spinal or back injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. They require long absence from work and they might cause short-term disability or long-term disabilities. As an injured worker, you have 4 main legal options to cover your losses:
Product liability claim. When the injury is caused by a defective product (a faulty ladder, for instance), you can file for a product liability claim. The compensation will be obtained from any part of the distribution chain: wholesaler, manufacturer, and retailer.
Workers’ compensation claim. If the accident was caused by your employer’s negligence, filing a workers’ compensation claim will help you obtain wage supplementation and medical benefits.
Wrongful death lawsuit. If an employee is killed in a construction accident, his family has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Personal injury claim. If you can prove that your employer or contractor didn’t provide safe working conditions, then you can file a personal injury claim for the injuries you suffered. The difference is that in personal injury cases, awards can include punitive damages, which is not available for workers’ compensation claims.
A Houston, Texas construction accident lawyer can help
Having an experienced construction accident lawyer from Texas on your side will make a major difference as he will:
- Deal directly with your employer;
- Investigate your construction accident;
- Make sure you’re fairly compensated;
- Negotiate with insurance companies;
- Make sure you receive the enough compensation to cover your present and future medical treatment;
Pearland Personal Injury Lawyers will recover your damages
The team behind Pearland Personal Injury Lawyers has years of experience in successfully handling cases involving injuries sustained on construction sites. If you or someone you know has recently been injured in a construction accident, allow our knowledgeable lawyers to evaluate your case.
We will explore your potential legal options and build a strong case so you recover your losses fast and with no further complications. In the past years, we’ve helped construction accident victims from Houston and surrounding areas (Pearland, Brazoria County, Galveston, Fort Bend, Harris) to recover:
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity;
- Pain and suffering;
- Property damage;
- Ongoing living expenses;
- Ongoing medical expenses and physical therapy;
- Counseling costs and mental anguish;
- Mortgage and rent;
- Out-of-pocket expenses;
- Loss of consortium for the spouse of the victim.
To receive fair compensation for your injuries, contact us today and schedule a free initial consultation. Speak with an attorney today so you can move forward with your life.