Austin Construction Accident Lawyers
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Construction sites are filled with hazards that pose a serious risk of injury to construction site workers. Some of these injuries can be permanent or even fatal. For instance, in 2018, there were over 100 construction-related fatalities throughout the Lone Star state. Unfortunately, Austin is often in the news with accidents on building sites.
If you have been involved in a construction-related accident and are interested in filing a claim, or to learn more about your rights, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Austin construction accident lawyers.
COMMON CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENTS
Numerous objects, activities, and conditions make a construction site fertile ground for an accident. Listed below are some of the most common types and causes of construction accidents.
Unsafe or Hazardous Equipment Accidents
Construction sites are littered with dangerous tools and equipment. Examples of hazardous equipment may include items such as forklifts, drills, power tools, and other heavy or motorized objects. These items may cause several types of injuries, such as cuts, crushing, fractures, concussion, or even death.
Falls are another prevalent type of construction accident. In many cases, the victim is injured after falling from a ladder or scaffold. An injury may also occur by falling through a roof or down a manhole. These types of accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, including sprained backs, broken arms or wrists, and even paralysis.
Explosion and Fire Accidents
Explosion and fire-related injuries are also very common at construction sites. These accidents can occur due to events such as broken gas lines, natural gas leaks, or improper or negligent handling of combustible materials. These accidents are serious and may lead to death.
Read More: Austin Burn Injuries
INJURY AND ACCIDENT PREVENTION
Minimizing the risk of injury is imperative in the construction site setting. One of the best ways to accomplish this task is to familiarize yourself with applicable safety protocols and know what to do in the event of an accident. Examples of proactive measures to reduce the risk of an accident occurring include:
- Always wearing safety equipment
- Removing unnecessary objects from the workplace
- Implementing a hazard communication and education program
- Reading and understanding safety manuals
- Being vigilant of your surroundings
Read More: OSHA Safety Regulations and Tips for Preventing Construction Accidents
WHAT TO DO AFTER A CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT
Victims of construction-related injuries may experience high levels of stress and anxiety in the immediate aftermath of an accident. Familiarizing yourself with the steps you should take after an accident may help protect your health and legal rights.
1. Seek Medical Attention
The first and most important step to take after being injured in a construction accident is to seek medical attention as promptly as possible. Because time is of the essence in these types of cases, consider visiting a doctor or emergency room as soon as you can. Obtaining medical attention from a trained professional may put you in a better position to recover as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
2. Document the Accident
The phrase “document the accident” means keeping a running file that contains all important information and documents about the construction site accident. Taking this step after being injured in a construction-related injury may strengthen the viability and value of any future claim. Examples of documents and information that should be kept in the file include:
- Photographs of any injuries
- Photographs of the scene of the accident injuries
- A copy of the accident report
- The names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident
- A copy of medical records and hospital bills
3. Contact a Construction Accident Lawyer
Lastly, you should consider contacting a construction accident lawyer. Navigating a claim for a construction-related injury can be difficult and frustrating. A construction accident lawyer may work on your behalf and protect your rights. For example, after an initial consultation, an attorney may begin the process of tracking down helpful evidence to help strengthen your claim. An attorney may also negotiate on your behalf against multi-million-dollar insurance companies who refuse to pay the full value of your claim. If necessary, an attorney may also represent you at trial in front of a judge and jury.
WHO IS AT FAULT?
Numerous parties may be held accountable for a construction accident. Determining who is at fault and who may be sued requires a careful analysis of the circumstances giving rise to the injury. Listed below are several parties who may be at fault for construction-related injuries.
Employers who fail to provide a safe workplace may be at fault for construction accidents. Whether you may sue your employer for such negligence depends on certain factors. In Texas, when an employer opts into the state workers’ compensation insurance program, employees injured on the job must file a workers’ compensation claim rather than a negligence lawsuit. However, workers’ compensation is not mandatory for employers in Texas, so if an employer opts out, a traditional lawsuit may still be an option. Your lawyer may review your case and discuss your options.
Contractors or Subcontractors
Construction sites are typically composed of many individuals. Some of these people may be employed by a general contractor, a subcontractor, or some other third-party. If a person who is not employed by your employer causes your injury, you may be able to file a claim against that individual or the individual’s employer.
Property owners generally have a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. Failure to do so may provide grounds for a legal claim. In other words, owners of the property where the construction site is located may be subject to liability if the conditions of the site were unreasonably dangerous.
Read More: Austin Premises Liability Lawyers
Manufacturers of Tools/Equipment
Manufacturers and sellers of defective products may also be subject to liability if the defect caused an injury. For example, if a construction worker was injured by a drill with a defective safety switch, the manufacturer or seller of the drill may be held legally responsible for resulting injuries caused by the defective part.
Workers’ compensation laws govern many construction accident claims. Although workers’ compensation laws offer similar protections to injury victims as personal injury laws, there are still important differences between the two. Listed below are several important similarities and differences between worker’s compensation law and personal injury law.
Personal injury law generally requires a personal injury victim to prove that the negligent acts or omissions of another party caused the injury. In contrast, workers’ compensation claims generally provide some amount of compensation to an injury victim as long as the injury occurred while on the job. This means that a workers’ compensation claimant typically does not have to overcome the obstacle of proving that another person caused the accident.
Under personal injury, a construction accident victim may be entitled to compensation for both economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. On the other hand, workers’ compensation laws generally limit claims to recovery of only economic damages.
Read More: How to Calculate the Value of a Case
Generally, a construction accident victim may not file both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim against the same party. However, there are several exceptions. For example, if a construction accident was caused by a third party and not by the victim’s employer, the victim may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim with the employer and also file a personal injury claim against the negligent third party.
LEGAL TIME LIMITS
A statute of limitations is a legal time limit in which an injury victim must file a claim. A person who fails to file a claim within the applicable statute of limitations may be barred from pursuing legal action.
Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Thus, a construction accident victim has two years to file a claim after being involved in a construction accident. For instance, if were injured at a construction site on October 1, 2020, you must file a claim by October 1, 2022. In certain cases, the two-year statute of limitations may be extended or “tolled.”
If you must file a workers’ compensation claim, the Texas statute of limitations is one year from the date of the accident.
The statute of limitations is a critical aspect of a personal injury claim. Waiting too long to file a claim may diminish or entirely destroy the value of your claim. Consulting with an experienced construction accident lawyer may help ensure that your claim is handled in a timely fashion.
ZINDA LAW GROUP’S AUSTIN ATTORNEYS ARE READY TO FIGHT FOR YOU
At Zinda Law Group, our team has years of experience negotiating, settling, and litigating construction accident claims. Our Austin construction accident lawyers are ready to protect your rights while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Our firm also believes that an injury victim should never have to worry about being able to afford legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
If you would like to discuss the details of your case with an experienced Austin injury lawyer, or to learn more about the claim filing process, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive your free case evaluation.
Meetings with attorneys are by appointment only.