Construction sites are some of the most dangerous places to work in America. Roughly 1 in every 5 work-related deaths occur in the construction industry.
In Texas, roughly 200 people die in construction-related industries every year.
Construction accidents present unique legal challenges, as a workers’ compensation claim, wrongful death claim, or personal injury lawsuit may be appropriate depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident.
Let’s take a closer look at construction accidents in the Lone Star State.
Construction zones are inherently dangerous environments. What’s more, Texas has historically been plagued by safety-compliance issues in the construction industry.
Though just about anything can cause a serious accident on a construction site, there are 4 common causes that account for more than half of the total construction deaths across the country. These causes (known as the “fatal four”) are:
In addition to the "fatal four," other causes of serious injury or death for construction workers include:
Shockingly, Texas had more fatal occupational injuries due to cranes as the next 3 states combined from 2011—2017, according to the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
It’s not just construction workers that risk being injured by something on a construction site. Bystanders also run the risk of being seriously injured or killed due to a construction site accident.
The most common construction accident injuries for bystanders include:
In most cases, there are 2 potential legal remedies for construction workers injured on the job.
The Texas Workers' Compensation Act was passed in 1993. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance purchased by employers and designed to compensate employees injured while working.
Unlike most states, employers in Texas are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
If your employer does carry workers’ compensation insurance, your injury will be covered so long as it was sustained in the course and scope of employment. To put it another way, you’re only covered if you were injured while carrying on your employer’s business (including work-related travel).
What does it mean to be covered?
It simply means that you can receive the following benefits (each of which is limited by statute):
How do you get compensated through worker's compensation?
Below are the general steps to file a workers' compensation case in Texas.
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, talk to a Texas workers’ compensation attorney. Denials can be appealed, and an attorney is critical to winning an appeal.
If your employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance (i.e., is a non-subscriber), you can file a personal injury claim against the employer. A personal injury lawsuit is also appropriate if a third-party caused your injury.
Keep in mind that filing a lawsuit and winning a lawsuit are 2 different things. When it comes to workers’ compensation, Texas is a “no-fault” state. This means you can file a workers’ compensation claim and receive benefits without having to prove that your employer did anything wrong.
This is NOT the case when it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit.
To win a personal injury lawsuit, you generally have to prove that the third party was negligent. This means proving that:
Construction accidents are common, serious, and complex. If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, use our free online directory to locate an experienced Texas attorney who can handle your claim.
A personal injury lawyer helps individuals who have sustained injuries in accidents to recover financial compensation. These funds are often needed to pay for medical treatment, make up for lost wages and provide compensation for injuries suffered. Sometimes a case that seems simple at first may become more complicated. In these cases, consider hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. Read more