It can be difficult to know what to do after sustaining serious injuries after a work site accident. You deserve to seek compensation from any parties that contributed to your suffering. Austin construction accident lawyer Aaron Allison can use his expertise and experience in gathering evidence to support your claim.
You face compounding medical bills, difficulty returning to work, and pain and suffering. Without a construction accident lawyer by your side, it can be difficult to determine what party or parties contributed to your injury. You’ll also face additional challenges if your employer does not carry workers’ comp insurance, which is common in Texas.
Since 1978, The Law Offices of Aaron Allison have provided honest and competent legal counsel to Texas residents. We have a deep pool of local resources here in Austin, and our lawyers have an intimate understanding of local and state law. Of the 95,000 attorneys in Texas, only 40 — including Aaron Allison — stand beside injured employees in workers’ comp cases.
That means we can offer advice at any stage of your claim and are fully prepared to handle both your workman’s comp claim and your third-party lawsuit, if applicable. Simply put — if you have been injured on a job site, we are ready to defend your rights and seek compensation.
Common Causes of Job Site Accidents in Austin
Worksites are extremely hazardous workplaces, with a wide range of risks for employees. The most common causes of construction site accidents are:
- Slip-and-fall. Falls are the leading cause of accidents and fatalities on construction sites. Falls from ladders, scaffolds, elevated work areas like rooftops, and other surfaces can cause severe injuries and even deaths.
- Being struck by an object. “Struck-by” accidents are the most common cause of non-fatal wounds at construction sites. Because job sites involve a high degree of motion of many different types at different elevations, including waste and debris falling from above, and material and equipment being raised by cranes and machinery, the likelihood of laborers being accidentally struck by objects and injured is very high.
- Being caught between objects. Another risk in the dynamic environment of a construction site is workers being caught between objects. Moving equipment and machinery, walls and trenches, narrow walkways, and half-completed structures all elevate the risk of workers being caught between objects.
- Electrocution. On construction sites, workers are frequently at risk of electrical accidents due to the risk of contact with power lines, lack of ground-fault protection or missing path-to-ground, and improper use of extension cords and adapters.
What Should Be Done Immediately After a Construction Site Accident?
The most important things to do immediately after a construction site accident are to provide appropriate medical treatment and report the incident to your employer or supervisor.
If you have been injured at work and have any concerns at all about your wellbeing, especially if there was any impact to your head, neck, or spine, leave work and seek treatment at an urgent care center, or call 911 for an ambulance. Do not be persuaded to go back to work or “walk it off.” Many injuries have less severe consequences when they are treated right away, and it is important to get medical advice before continuing work activities.
You may report your injury verbally with a short message for immediate purposes, but it is always best to follow up with a detailed written description of everything that happened. Create this written record as soon as possible while the event is still fresh in your mind.
Depending on the nature and severity of your injury, you may need to file a workers’ comp claim or file a lawsuit in order to recover fully.
Who Is Liable in a Construction Site Accident?
Construction work sites are complex workplaces that combine high-risk activities with high-risk environments. Some of the parties that may be liable in a construction site accident include:
- The employer. If an employer fails to follow safety guidelines and allows people to work in an unsafe environment, they may be liable for an accident.
- Another construction firm. Construction sites often have several different companies working on the same site. If another contractor or company creates an unsafe environment due to negligence or lack of communication, they may be liable for an accident.
- An equipment supplier or manufacturer. Some construction site accidents are caused by faulty equipment or malfunctions. The manufacturer or the party responsible for the repair and maintenance of construction site equipment may be held liable in an accident.
- The property owner. The construction client or property owner may be liable for construction site accidents if they fail to disclose toxic materials or other site hazards or access or use the site in an unsafe way.
- Architects or engineers. It sometimes happens that an engineer or architect creates an inherently unsafe design, leading to a hazardous site that causes an accident.
- A private individual. Some construction site accidents are caused by the careless and reckless behavior of a private person, like a passing motorist or a thoughtless coworker. You may hold these people liable in a court case. If your workplace injury was caused by intentional violence, you may also involve the police in a criminal case.
Because construction sites are so complex, it can be difficult to determine all the factors that may have contributed to an accident to find out who is liable for the damages. It is important to conduct a thorough investigation as soon as possible before the site changes and evidence is lost.
Can I Apply for Workers’ Compensation After a Construction Accident?
If you are injured in a worksite accident in Texas, you may be able to file a workers’ comp claim against your employer. However, you can only do so if your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance. Texas is the only state that does not require companies to have this type of protection. If your employer is a “non-subscriber,” then you may have other options.
Since these cases present unique challenges, you should always contact an attorney for help. Ultimately, a good Austin construction accident lawyer handles both traditional and non-subscriber workman’s compensation claims. A lawyer can investigate the details of your claim in the context of Austin building code and help identify what parties are involved. However, there are some steps you should take to strengthen your personal injury case.
- Seek medical treatment. If you need emergency treatment, then call an ambulance and visit the nearest hospital. Generally, you will visit an employer-approved doctor if you do not need immediate attention.
- Report your injury. You must inform your employer of your work incident within a specific time period. The sooner you file a report, the better your chances for a favorable outcome.
- Call a construction site accident lawyer. Before speaking to the insurance company or giving your employer a recorded statement, you should call a lawyer. A lawyer can advise you of your rights and assist you in filing your claim.
- Take a record of your symptoms and treatment. Your attorney can help you keep records of your ailments and medical treatment. As a result, an Austin work compensation lawyer can use this data to help with your application.
How Do Workers’ Compensation Laws Affect My Case?
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that employers buy in order to cover the costs of employee injury, disability, or death. Because it is such an effective way to protect workers and their families, and it reduces the number of court cases, most states have made it mandatory, and employers are required to carry workers’ comp insurance.
However, in Texas, workers’ compensation insurance is voluntary. The law allows employers to choose a different type of insurance or to privately cover the costs of workplace accidents and injuries. Texas employers who do not carry workers’ compensation insurance are called “non-subscribers,” and they have special requirements and additional liabilities under Texas law.
When injured employees are covered by workers’ compensation, they can work directly with the Texas Department of Insurance to handle their claims. For injured employees who are not covered by workers’ comp, it is best to contact a qualified construction accident attorney to handle your case.
What If Another Contractor Is Involved in the Incident?
It could be that you can file a third-party claim for your incident at work. A third-party claim identifies parties other than your employer that contributed to your injuries. At construction sites, accidents are frequently caused by the negligence of other subcontractors, materials suppliers, drivers, or property owners. Other responsible parties might include manufacturers of defective products. Usually, injured employees can file third-party claims against those responsible in addition to making a workers’ comp claim.
It can be difficult to identify a third party that contributed to your personal injury, but a lawyer can help you better understand the situation. You need to act fast, though. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that evidence will disappear.
Our Austin lawyers are skilled at handling these types of personal injury cases. We can develop an effective legal strategy to maximize your fair compensation using both a workman’s compensation and a third-party claim. We also represent families who have lost loved ones to wrongful death in work accidents.
Hurt on a Construction Site? Contact our Austin Construction Accident Lawyers Today
Wondering what you do if your workers’ compensation is denied? Suspect your employer does not carry Texas workers comp insurance? Questions about your rights with a personal injury claim? You and your lawyer need to act quickly after an accident. Our Austin construction site accident lawyer can help you expedite the process and work toward a favorable resolution.
At The Law Offices of Aaron Allison, we believe you deserve to be represented by an experienced attorney. If you have suffered a head injury, back injury, or other serious injuries in a construction accident, then we can help. Our legal team pursues every avenue of recovery to help you through personal suffering and time away from work. Contact our firm online or call our Austin office at 512-764-1587. We can review your case and let you know how we can help with a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I Sue for my Construction Accident Injuries?
In Texas, victims have the right to sue the party responsible for the accident that resulted in injuries. If a person was injured in a construction accident, they may be able to sue their employer for negligence that caused unsafe work conditions, or sue the third party that caused the accident or injury.
In Texas, some private employers do not carry workers’ compensation insurance, leaving injured workers no choice but to sue in order to recover their damages. Because these employers have opted out of workers’ comp, they have additional liability and fewer protections from lawsuits.
What Are My Options if I’m Involved in a Construction Site Accident?
Construction accident injuries can be complex, with a wide range of possible damages and relief. In many cases, the injured person is not the only victim: their family and loved ones may also be affected by the accident. Some of the damages you may be entitled to include:
- Medical costs. Medical treatment, including doctor visits, medications, and therapies, can be recovered in a lawsuit.
- Lost wages. When an accident causes a person to miss work and lose wages, they can claim those lost wages in court. If a person has become disabled due to an accident at work, they may also be able to sue for loss of earning capacity over their lifetime.
- Pain and suffering. If you were injured at work, you may be able to recover damages for pain and suffering or other emotional damages like PTSD or anxiety. If you lost a loved one in a construction accident, you may also be able to sue for emotional damages like loss of companionship.
- Death-related expenses. If you lost a family member or loved one due to a work-related injury, you may be able to sue for damages related to their death, including funeral and burial costs, loss of financial contribution, and emotional damages.
To determine the specific type of relief available in your case, it is important to consult with a qualified Austin construction accident lawyer.
How Long Do I Have to File a Construction Accident Claim?
As with all personal injuries in Texas, those who are injured in a construction accident have two years from the date of the accident to file. If a person is not immediately aware of their injury, the client and their lawyer have two years from the date of their diagnosis or the date that they were made aware of the condition.
How Long Will It Take for My Construction Site Lawsuit to Settle?
The length of time needed to settle a construction accident lawsuit depends on a wide variety of factors. Depending on the seriousness of the accident, the number of parties involved, and the complexity of proving fault, some construction site cases can be extremely difficult to settle. For more information, consult with our team to assess the factors at play in your specific case.
Can I Still Make a Claim if I’m an Undocumented Worker?
Undocumented laborers are often fearful of bringing their claims forward, due to concerns about their immigration and legal status. However, immigration status cannot be considered in construction accident cases. All people who work have a right to a safe workplace, regardless of immigration status, and those who have been injured in construction site accidents have a right to pursue compensation. Aaron Allison is here to help. Contact us today.