Houston was built on the backs of construction workers. Unfortunately, when injuries and deaths happen in this dangerous and physically demanding industry, the law is often not on the victim’s side. Texas is the only state that does not require workers’ compensation insurance. This can limit your financial recovery options after a devastating construction accident. The lawyers at The Doan Law Firm can help you protect your legal rights and demand the justice that you deserve as an injured worker or family member. Contact our Houston construction accident attorney today to start with a free case evaluation in Houston.
Suffering an accident at a construction site can be a traumatizing, life-changing experience. The legal team at The Doan Law Firm is prepared to fight alongside you every step of the way to secure justice and fair compensation for your injuries. Your lawyer will review evidence, secure expert witness testimony, negotiate with the insurance company, and take your case to trial if needed. You may have a limited amount of time to file a claim due to the Texas statute of limitations, so don’t hesitate to contact an attorney. We don’t get paid until we secure a fair settlement or verdict on your behalf.
Houston Construction Accident Resources
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Representing Construction Accident Victims Throughout Texas and Nationwide
The Doan Law Firm has been a trusted source of high-quality legal representation for injured workers in Texas and around the country for over 20 years. Attorney Jimmy Doan is the most powerful lawyer in Houston, with a 99 percent success rate and record-setting settlements and verdicts. These include two eight-figure outcomes for oil refinery explosions: $18,100,000 and $11,600,000.
We often achieve greater results than other law firms because we aren’t desperate to quickly settle cases and make money. We take our time and turn down a lot of offers that other law firms would accept. Our lawyers have a reputation in the legal community as straight shooters who are honest, communicative and direct. We can help you if a construction accident has changed your life forever. We are friendly, personable and passionate Houston work injury lawyers.
What Are the Most Common Types of Construction Accidents in Texas?
Construction workers can become victims of many different types of workplace accidents and incidents. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, construction is the deadliest industry in the U.S. Every year, approximately 20 percent of worker fatalities (1 in 5 deaths) in the nation take place in construction. Common construction-related incidents are:
The nature of most construction site accidents is severe or catastrophic, inflicting life-changing injuries on those involved. Examples are broken bones, brain damage, spinal cord injuries, paralysis and amputations. If you or a loved one suffered a catastrophic injury in a construction accident in Houston, The Doan Law Firm is prepared to demand maximum financial compensation from the at-fault party on your behalf.
Common Construction Accident Injuries
Information available from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration shows us that construction accident injuries are often severe. Out of all workplace fatalities across the country during a recent reporting year, approximately 20% occurred in the construction industry. However, the fatalities only show a snapshot of the overall injuries that occur in the construction industry each year.
The risks associated with construction sites are very real, and it is not uncommon for individuals to sustain severe injuries. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Crush injuries caused by falling objects or getting caught between objects
Fractured or dislocated bones
Traumatic brain injuries
Spinal cord injuries with paralysis
Lacerations or puncture wounds
Significant internal organ damage or internal bleeding
In addition to acute traumatic injuries at a construction site, individuals can also sustain longer-term injuries caused by workplace exposure. This can include hearing and vision loss as well as various types of occupational diseases, such as respiratory issues, cardiovascular diseases, various types of occupational cancers, and more.
Who Is Liable for a Construction Accident in Houston, Texas?
Liability, or legal and financial responsibility, for a construction accident will go to the party that is the most at fault, or the negligent party. Negligence in personal injury law means the failure to act with proper care. Many different parties can be guilty of negligence in connection to a construction accident in Texas, such as:
Your employer. An employer can be liable for a work accident if he or she fails to properly maintain equipment, train workers, supervise construction sites, and follow federal safety laws.
A contractor. If a contractor caused the incident, he or she could be held personally responsible for a victim’s losses.
A property owner. A property owner could be liable for a dangerous property defect, such as a slip and fall hazard or open trench.
A product manufacturer. If defective construction equipment causes an injury, the manufacturer or distributor could be held liable through a Houston product liability lawsuit.
To hold one of these parties liable for your construction accident, you or your attorney must provide proof of negligence. If this proof does not exist, you may still be eligible for a financial recovery through a workers’ compensation claim. Discuss your legal options with an attorney to decide which course of action is right for you.
Proving Liability After a Construction Accident
To hold one of these parties liable for your construction accident, you or your attorney must provide proof of negligence. If this proof does not exist, you may still be eligible for financial recovery through a workers’ compensation claim. Discuss your legal options with an attorney to decide which course of action is right for you.
There are challenges when determining liability after a construction accident, particularly if the case involves a personal injury lawsuit as opposed to becoming a workers’ compensation claim. When it comes to most workplace injuries, particularly for employers who carry workers’ compensation, it is not necessary to prove that another person or entity caused the injury. Individuals will be able to recover compensation for their medical bills and a portion of their lost wages in most circumstances when they sustain an on-the-job injury.
However, there are several reasons why a personal injury lawsuit may be necessary. Texas does not require every employer to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which means the individual harmed we’ll have to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party to recover any compensation. Additionally, if there is a third-party entity that caused the injury, individuals can file a personal injury lawsuit even if their employer has workers’ compensation insurance.
Determining liability in these situations involves gathering evidence. This can include photographs taken at the scene of the incident, including possible causes of the injury and the injury itself. There may be surveillance footage from cameras nearby that can be obtained to show the insurance carriers or a jury. Eyewitness statements from coworkers and other parties may also play a valuable role in determining liability.
At a more macro scale, an attorney may need to analyze safety, training, and inspection records of a construction company or any other party involved in the incident.
What if I Was Partly Responsible for My Accident?
Individuals who may have been partially responsible for causing their own construction accident injury may still be able to recover compensation for their losses. This is true regardless of whether or not the case is a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit in Houston.
If the employer carried workers’ compensation and there is no other party involved in the case, then individuals should know that this is a no-fault system. It is not necessary to prove that anyone caused the injury, and individuals can recover compensation even if they were at fault for their own injury. Again, not every employer in Texas carries workers’ compensation, and there may be times when a third-party lawsuit is necessary, even under such circumstances.
When there is partial fault involved in a personal injury claim after a workplace or construction injury, individuals can still recover compensation. Texas operates under a “modified comparative negligence” system. Under this type of system, individuals will be unable to recover compensation if they are 51% or more responsible for causing their own injury. Individuals who are less than 51% responsible for causing their own injury can recover compensation, but the total amount of compensation they receive will be reduced depending on their percentage of fault.
For example, if an individual sustains a construction accident injury and incurs $100,000 worth of medical bills and other expenses, but a jury determines that they were 30% responsible for their own injury because they misused a piece of equipment, then they would receive $70,000 instead of the full $100,000. This is $30,000 less to account for their 30% of fault for the incident.
Construction Accidents & Workers’ Compensation Claims
When we examine information available from the Texas Legislature, we can see that not every employer in this state is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance (non-subscribers). This can present major problems for injury victims. For those who are covered through workers’ comp, they will typically be able to recover complete medical expense coverage for any on-the-job injury they sustained, regardless of who caused the injury. This insurance will also cover a significant portion of lost wages if a person is unable to work.
When a construction injury victim is covered through workers’ compensation, they have up to 30 days to notify their employer of the injury and up to one year after the injury occurs to file a workers’ compensation claim. Typically, the workers’ compensation claim will not settle until the individual has completed their medical care or until a doctor determines that they have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI is the point that any continued medical care is unlikely to improve the person’s condition. Lost wages paid through workers’ compensation insurance will continue for a specific amount of time or until a person returns to work.
As we mentioned above, individuals who work for non-subscribers and sustain an injury will have to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the alleged negligent party or parties in order to recover compensation. This is not a no-fault situation, and individuals will have to prove negligence in order to recover compensation for their losses.
How a Houston Construction Accident Lawyer Can Help
The role of an attorney after a Houston construction accident occurs is to help individuals recover the compensation they are entitled to. This process is challenging, and navigating the legal system after a workplace or construction injury often requires assistance from a skilled lawyer.
As we have mentioned, the claim may or may not involve workers’ compensation insurance or a civil personal injury lawsuit. An attorney will work to determine the best possible route of recovering the most compensation for their client. Pursuing this compensation involves gathering as much evidence as possible. An attorney will conduct a complete investigation into the incident, which includes obtaining the evidence, speaking to eyewitnesses, and looking into the employer or negligent party more in-depth.
After determining liability and adequately calculating how much compensation a client should receive, an attorney will engage in negotiations with other parties involved in the claim. This will include insurance carriers, the at-fault party, and any other legal team involved. If a fair settlement cannot be reached during negotiations, an attorney will fully help their client file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. The lawsuit process is immensely challenging and begins with discovery. Attorneys for both sides will continue to obtain evidence and exchange evidence with one another. They will also take depositions of any possible witnesses.
Negotiations will likely continue at some point during the discovery process as more evidence is uncovered. However, if a settlement cannot be reached during this process, a full jury trial will be necessary, and our Houston industrial accident attorney will be ready.
Potential Damages in a Houston Construction Accident Case
If a Houston construction accident case is successful, individuals should be able to recover a range of compensation types. This includes both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages for a construction accident claim include calculable expenses such as the individual’s medical bills, lost wages, property damage expenses, household out-of-pocket expenses, payment for any home or vehicle modifications, and more.
Noneconomic damages are more challenging to calculate because they involve unseen losses a person is likely to endure after a construction accident occurs. The most common types of economic damages that we recover for clients include physical pain and suffering damages, emotional and psychological pain and suffering damages, as well as loss of enjoyment of life damages.
Don’t Wait – Contact Our Houston Construction Accidents Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one was recently injured in a construction accident in Houston or anywhere in Texas, please call (800) 349-0000 or contact us online right away to schedule a free consultation. These cases come with strict filing deadlines. Don’t wait.