Houston Construction Accident Lawyers
CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH A HOUSTON CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT ATTORNEY FOR FREE
Regardless of how safe you think you may be near a worksite, construction accidents can happen in milliseconds. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a construction accident, you may be entitled to compensation for damages. At Zinda Law Group, our experienced Houston construction accident lawyers may help you seek the maximum compensation possible. We may not only fight to get you and your family the compensation they deserve, but also hold the negligent parties accountable. Our firm handles construction accident cases throughout Southeast Texas, including Houston, Beaumont, Galveston, and College Station. Call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with our experienced Houston construction accident lawyers.
CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT STATISTICS
Few other occupations in the United States are more dangerous than working in the construction industry. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017, of the twenty most hazardous jobs ranked according to fatal injury rates, construction jobs comprise six of the deadliest job positions. Among these high-risk jobs, construction crews working in the areas of paving, surfacing, and tamping equipment operations were the most at risk, with a rate of 46.7 fatal injuries per 100,000 workers. More recently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2018, there were 152 fatal construction accidents in the state of Texas alone. Neither of these statistics even begins to address the magnitude of nonfatal injuries that thousands of construction workers experience every day. Accidents at construction sites have the potential to cause catastrophic injuries, which often results in wounded workers’ families incurring large costs ranging from property damage, medical expenses, lost productivity, as well as the psychological pain and suffering associated with an injury or death.
Defining Construction Accidents
Usually, construction accidents involve employees or independent contractors getting hurt while working at the construction site. However, pedestrians and bystanders can also be injured as a result of construction activities.
More broadly, construction accidents occur as a result of negligence, either on the part of the employer, site manager, construction crew, or the private citizen involved. Due to the inherently hazardous environment of a construction site, with the presence of heavy machinery, unstable foundations, and many moving parts, accidents can happen quite suddenly. It is for this reason that construction zones are strictly regulated by city and state laws.
However, this strict regulation does not prevent site owners, general contractors, sub-contractors, engineers, or architects from breaching the proper safety procedures and putting workers and others at risk of serious injury or death. Therefore, it falls on personal injury attorneys and injured clients to hold these rogue actors accountable.
Steps to Take Immediately After a Construction Accident
1. Seek Out Medical Attention Immediately
If you’re hurt, don’t try to “tough it out.” This tactic could not only hinder your physical recovery, but it could also inhibit your ability to recover financial compensation from insurance companies later. If you’re an employee, regardless of what your supervisor says, dial 911 and request that paramedics be dispatched to the scene. Get seen right away at a hospital or other medical facility.
2. Report the Accident to Your Employer
Next, report the incident to your employer and construction site manager without delay. You should make sure the report is made as soon as possible after the accident to preserve the details of your accident as well as to prevent others from experiencing the same fate. This report will be central to your future claims for workers’ compensation and potential personal injury lawsuit.
3. Contact an Experienced Attorney
After a report has been filed with your employer, you should contact an experienced construction accident attorney as soon as practicable. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Texas is two years after the day the injury occurred. Therefore, it is crucial that you find an experienced lawyer who may promptly conduct a thorough investigation, duly file your claim, and position your case for an optimal outcome.
Learn More: Why Hiring a Lawyer Will Help Your Case
4. File an OSHA Report, If Necessary
Lastly, if you feel that the construction site or your employer is likely to continue operations dangerously, you may want to also file a report with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA will create an additional report of your accident and they will take independent steps to investigate and remedy any breaches in safety code to ensure the health and wellbeing of other employees.
Pedestrians Or Members Of The Public Involved In Construction Accidents
Pedestrians, drivers, and any member of the public not affiliated with the construction project who were injured as a result of construction activities are entitled to sue any negligent parties who caused the accident. In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases gives plaintiffs two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit in the state’s civil court system.
Read More: Houston Premises Liability Lawyers
Construction Workers Hurt on the Job MAY BE Entitled to Workers’ Compensation
Construction workers and employees, unlike pedestrians and bystanders, have a more limited scope of remedies available to them. Employees of a construction company may have to seek compensation through a workers’ compensation claim. Though workers’ compensation is not required for employers in Texas, if the employer does carry workers’ compensation insurance, the injured party must recover through workers’ compensation rather than a personal injury lawsuit. An experienced lawyer may help you determine if workers’ compensation insurance applies.
Although workers’ compensation provides some level of coverage for medical expenses and lost wages for employees or their beneficiaries when they are injured, fall ill, or are killed as a result of their job; it is not always adequate to cover the extent of emotional and psychological damages they have sustained.
However, if an employee is able to prove that their accident or injury was the result of their employer’s gross negligence or intentional misconduct, then they may be entitled to sue their employer in addition to receiving workers’ compensation. This type of lawsuit may seek damages for nonpecuniary injuries, such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium. It is for this reason that employers carry employer’s liability insurance. Employers' liability insurance is designed to cover the expenses not covered by workers' compensation or a general liability insurance policy. It helps to insulate them from their own gross negligence and covers the financial loss of litigation and potential settlements or verdicts in the plaintiff’s favor. For conduct that was extremely outrageous or egregious, an employee may seek punitive damages as well. Punitive damages, also known as or exemplary damages, are a form of damages intended to punish the employer for outrageous conduct and deter the employer from engaging in similar conduct in the future.
Construction Workers May Also Be Entitled to Suits Against Third Parties
Although workers’ compensation laws may limit claims against employers, they do not limit claims against third parties operating at the site. Therefore, even though construction employees may not be entitled to sue their own employer, they may be able to sue other operators or companies that were working at the site and who contributed to the accident. For example, while an employer may not be directly liable for the accident, a contractor or subcontractor hired by the employer may have contributed to or caused the conditions of the accident. These contractors and subcontractors are not insulated from lawsuits like an employer and may be subject to a personal injury lawsuit. Another example of a third-party claim may involve a defect in a tool or piece of machinery. If there is a product liability claim, the employee could seek compensation from the manufacturer of the defective tool, machinery, or product instead of suing the employer.
Thus, if an employee feels that their workers' compensation does not adequately cover their losses, they should contact an experienced construction accident attorney to flesh out their options. Injured construction workers and their surviving beneficiaries should not suffer alone.
Learn More: How to Calculate the Value of Case
GET HELP FROM OUR HOUSTON CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT LAWYERS TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, our Houston attorneys have helped many construction accident survivors and surviving beneficiaries get their lives back on track after suffering injuries, death, and financial losses. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you seek maximum compensation for any associated medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and all the other costs your accident has incurred.
Our firm believes that a construction accident victim should not have to worry about their ability to afford high-quality legal representation. This is why we offer 100% free consultations. Zinda Law Group operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive your free consultation with our Houston office attorneys today. We are also offering free virtual consultations during the COVID-19 crisis.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.