Construction accidents often result in extensive physical and financial damage to the lives of victims and their families. While these sites can be dangerous, it is important to remember that a number of Texas state and federal laws are in place that serves to protect Houston construction workers from injury.
When you are involved in a construction accident, you may be entitled to significant compensation. The best way to determine what you are entitled is to secure assistance from an experienced Houston construction accident attorney at the Domingo Garcia Law Office.
Our firm is ready to help you with your insurance claim or possible construction accident lawsuit. We will investigate your injury, speak to witnesses and hire experts to ensure you get the biggest settlement possible.
Common Types of Construction Accidents to Sue for in Houston
Our construction accident lawyers in Houston handle all types of construction or on-the-job injury type cases. Some typical construction accidents we have dealt with include:
- Fork-lift accidents or injuries
- Falling into a hole or ditch on a construction site
- Injury from large machinery on a work-site
- Collapsed or improper scaffolding
- Private home construction injuries
- Electrical shock or burns at work
- Trench collapse or crushing injuries
- Hardhat or improper protective gear
Construction accidents often result in extensive physical and financial damage to the lives of victims and their families. While these sites can be dangerous, it is important to remember that a number of state and federal laws are in place that serves to protect construction workers from injury, and when you are involved in a construction accident, you may be entitled to significant compensation.
For a free legal consultation with a Personal Injury lawyer serving Houston, call (713) 349-1500
Injuries Seen in Houston Construction Accidents
Many construction accident victims are under the impression they must have suffered life-threatening or debilitating injuries to have grounds for a claim. However, this is often not the case. Whether you are filing a claim for worker’s compensation benefits, filing a claim with the insurance company, or filing a lawsuit against the liable party, it is not necessarily the type of injury you are diagnosed with that determines your right to compensation.
However, in each situation, your injuries must have affected your life emotionally, physically, or financially. With that in mind, there are some types of injuries we see more frequently in Houston construction accidents than others. Some of these injuries include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Organ failure
- Lacerations leading to sepsis
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Herniated discs
- Back injuries
- Compound fractures and broken bones
- Third-degree burns
- Abrasions and contusions
If you have suffered another type of injury that was not listed above, you might still have grounds for a construction accident claim. You can explore your legal options further when you contact a construction accident lawyer in Houston to discuss it the details of your case.
Houston Construction Accident Lawyer Near Me (713) 349-1500
What to Do After a Construction Accident Injury
Remembering the following steps can help you get the benefits you deserve after a construction site injury:
- Report your injury to your employer in writing and keep a copy for your own records.
- Seek medical care immediately.
- Complete a claim form. If you do not complete a claim form your employer has no obligation to provide benefits.
- File the claim ASAP.
- Gather contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident.
- Collect evidence, such as photos of the accident scene and your injuries. If possible, you should also keep the tool or item that injured you.
- Contact an experienced construction accident attorney in Houston right away to protect your rights
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What Is the Value of My Case?
It is impossible for us to tell immediately how much money you will recover in connection with your case. There is no formula, and each case is unique and different. In cases of serious injury, the ultimate recovery is often related to the amount of insurance coverage available, as well as the nature, extent, and duration of your injuries, along with an assessment of liability.
As your attorneys, we feel it is our primary duty to obtain an amount of money that will fairly and justly compensate you for your injuries. We will make every effort to do this by locating all sources of money. We will advise you of our evaluation in this regard. In general, most states allow recovery of damages for the following elements of damage:
- The nature and extent of injury, including whether the injury is permanent and the amount of disability.
- Medical expenses, both past and reasonably certain to be incurred in the future. This includes mileage to and from the doctor or hospital.
- Wage loss, past and future, as well as the loss of capacity to earn a living.
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium for your spouse, past and future.
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Timeframe to Resolve a Houston Construction Accident Claim
We cannot begin processing your claim until after we have received all of the doctor’s reports stating exactly what your medical condition is and your long-term prognosis. In other words, until you have reached “maximum medical improvement.” If we try to settle your case before your medical condition is stabilized, you may lose money that you might be entitled to for a condition that did not show up until after your case was settled.
It is important to know that your case will not be settled until the damages have been determined and all investigations to determine who is liable have been completed. It generally takes several months to gather the necessary information. If a trial becomes necessary, it can take several years to complete a case. One of the most difficult requests we make of you is to have patience. We will work as hard and fast as possible to settle your case quickly.
Liability for Construction Accidents in Houston
Establishing fault is one of the most important responsibilities your Houston construction accident attorney will have after taking on your case. You may be surprised to find that there are multiple parties who could be at fault for the injuries you sustained. For example, some of the more common parties named in Houston work injury civil and insurance claims include:
- Safety inspectors
- Construction companies
- Construction site owners
- Property managers
- Property owners
- Equipment manufacturers
- Equipment distributors
- Other third parties
These are just a few of the individuals and entities who could share fault for your construction accident injuries. Your attorney’s in-depth investigation into the cause of your construction accident will reveal who should be compelled to cover your damages in their entirety.
Texas Shared Fault Laws Could Impact Your Compensation
Construction accident cases are not always contingent upon establishing liability. However, in cases where you are dealing with an insurance company or filing a civil construction accident claim, proving fault will be one of your attorneys most important responsibilities. With this in mind, it is important to consider how sharing liability for your injuries could impact the outcome of your case.
It is more common than you might think for construction accident victims to be partially responsible for causing their injuries. Fortunately, Texas operates under a proportionate responsibility system with a 50% threshold. This means you can be as much as 50% at fault for causing the accident and still recover compensation for your injuries. However, to ensure you are brought to justice for your own liability, your injury settlement will be reduced by your proportion of fault.
For example, if you failed to wear the necessary protective gear while working on a construction site and suffered injuries caused by defective machinery, the judge might find you 10% responsible for causing your injuries. If the jury awarded you $1 million for your damages, your injury settlement would be reduced by 15%. This would leave you with an injury settlement of $900,000.
As can be seen, sharing liability can have a substantial impact on the amount of compensation you can recover in your case. You can expect the liable party to attempt to place the blame on you in order to reduce their own financial liability. Your attorney will be by your side ensuring liability is accurately evaluated in your case.
Proving Liability in Houston Construction Accident Claims
If your construction accident lawyer is going to prove liability and construction accident claim, they will need to do so by establishing that negligence occurred. To do this, the four following elements of negligence must be met:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
In court, culpability must be proven based on a preponderance of the evidence. The evidence your attorney presents that trial must be compelling. It must give the jury little doubt that someone other than the defendant is at fault for causing your injuries.
Depending on the details of your construction accident case, there are many different types of evidence that could be used to prove liability. Some of the more common of which could include:
- Video of the construction accident
- Photos of the victims injuries
- Photos of the accident scene
- Photos of property damage
- Medical records
- Financial records
- Internal documents
- Safety inspection logs
- Employee records
- Accident reconstructionist reports
- Police reports
- Cell phone records
- Social media posts
- Other evidence of communication exchanges
- Witness statements
- Expert testimony
- Chemical blood alcohol test results
How to Recover Compensation for Your Damages
If you hope to get the most out of your construction accident claim, you may need to be prepared to file claims with the insurance company and bring your case to court.
There are multiple ways you could be compensated for your losses, but filing a workers’ compensation claim and bringing your case to civil court could be in your best interests. Here is more about how these claims work and the types of damages you could recover for your construction accident injuries in Houston:
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Filing a workers’ compensation claim may be an option if your employer has purchased workers’ compensation insurance coverage. There is no law in Texas that requires companies to provide their employees with workers’ compensation protection coverage. If your employer does carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage, there may be certain requirements in place you need to meet before you are eligible.
For example, you may be required to work for your employer for a minimum amount of time or put in a minimum number of hours each week to be eligible for benefits. If you do qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, there are multiple types of workers’ comp. benefits you could collect, such as:
- Disability benefits to cover a portion of your lost wages
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits if you cannot continue working as a construction worker
- Full coverage of your medical expenses both now and in the future
- Death benefits to surviving family members of construction workers killed in Houston construction accidents
Filing an Insurance Claim
Depending on how your construction accident occurred, you may have the opportunity to file a claim with a liable party’s insurance provider. In the vast majority of construction accident cases, the defendant is protected by some type of insurance policy whether that be general liability insurance, motor vehicle insurance, or some other type of insurance.
Since Texas is a fault-based state, you will file a claim with the liable party’s insurance provider where applicable. However, dealing with the insurance company is not going to be easy. Here is more about what you can expect when filing an insurance claim for a construction accident in Houston:
What to Expect From the Insurance Company
Although you may have previously had the impression that insurance companies work for injury victims, you might be shocked to discover that this is not the case. Sadly, insurance companies care little about claimants and injury victims. In fact, if their policyholders were not paying premiums, they would not value their claimants either.
Insurance companies care about their profits only. Any opportunity they can find to reduce this profit loss, they will jump on. For this reason, you should not expect the insurance company to settle your claim fairly. The insurance adjuster is going to look for opportunities to deny your claim or reduce your benefits wherever possible.
In some cases, insurance adjusters have asked injury victims to give them a statement, only to twist the victims words and make it appear as though they have accepted fault for causing the accident. Since Texas is a proportionate responsibility state, if the insurance company can argue you share blame for your injuries, your injury settlement could be reduced, and the insurance company’s financial loss could also be diminished.
You should not be responsible for keeping the insurance company afloat. You have the right to be compensated for every single loss. Your attorney will go up against the insurance company and fight for the compensation that is rightfully yours. We will never pressure you into settling for less than you deserve.
How Insurance Settlements Work
Unfortunately, negotiating with the insurance company is only half the battle. It is also important that you understand how insurance settlements work. Insurance settlements are unlikely to cover your damages in their entirety. Although you do have the right to be repaid for every loss, this does not mean it is the insurance company’s responsibility to cover every loss.
In fact, the insurance company’s financial obligation lies with their policyholder. This means the types of coverage and the amount of coverage the defendant purchased will determine what the insurance company is required to pay you. This often means injury victims can only be compensated for things like property damages and medical expenses.
Even then, your damages may amount to much more than the defendant purchased in their premium. When this happens, your insurance settlement may not be enough to adequately meet your needs. Fortunately, insurance claims are not the only way you can recover compensation following a construction accident in Houston. Filing a civil lawsuit may be the best way for you to recoup your damages in full.
Pursuing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage, your best option may be to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer and those responsible for causing your injuries. Even if you collect workers’ compensation benefits, they may not be enough to cover your damages in full. You should not be expected to cover your damages when someone else is responsible for causing your injuries.
With that being said, you have the right to be compensated for every single way your life has been affected by your construction accident injuries. Some of the different types of economic and non-economic damages you could recover in your Houston construction accident claim include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Medical expenses and equipment
- Loss of household services
- Property damages
- Reputational damages
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims
If you are interested in pursuing a personal injury lawsuit for your construction accident injuries, you will need to do so before the Texas statute of limitations for personal injury claims expires. Under the law, injury victims only have a maximum of two years to get their claims filed before the deadline runs out.
However, you may not be clear when the statute of limitations will run out in your case. Many people assume the statute of limitations will expire two years from the date of the accident. This may be true in many construction accident cases. However, for others, the statute of limitation could be extended. This is particularly true in cases where injury victims may not have been diagnosed with construction accident related injuries until days, weeks, or even months after the accident.
If you hope to avoid having your case barred from the Houston civil
court system, it is critical that your claim be filed before the statute of limitations expires. Fortunately, when you retain a Houston construction accident attorney to advocate for your rights, you can be sure the statute of limitations will not negatively impact the outcome of your case.
Houston Construction Accident FAQ
Construction accident insurance and civil claims are often particularly complex. This is, in part, due to the fact that there are so many individuals and entities who share liability or are otherwise involved in the case.
We understand how intimidated you might be feeling and hope to help you feel more confident in your decision to seek maximum compensation for your suffering.
With that being said, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions regarding construction accident cases in Houston below. If you have additional questions we did not answer on this page, be sure to contact our office to discuss your concerns further.
What Is the Cost of Hiring an Attorney?
If the cost of hiring a construction accident lawyer was holding you back, you will be pleased to learn that most respected construction accident attorneys will be willing to work with you on contingency. This means you will not be expected to cover any out-of-pocket expenses when building your case.
In fact, you only need to cover attorneys fees if your lawyer wins your case. Your construction accident lawyer assumes all the risk of pursuing your case. This includes court fees, costs of analyzing evidence, and hiring expert witnesses to support your case.
What Should I Do If My Child Was Injured in a Construction Accident?
Children suffer construction accident injuries far more frequently than you might think. Fortunately, a person’s age does not determine their right to financial compensation. If someone else is responsible for causing your child’s injury through misconduct or negligence, that party should be compelled to cover your child’s damages in their entirety.
You do not have to let the liable party get away with it. Make them pay and set your child’s future up for success despite their debilitating injuries when you contact a construction accident attorney for help.
Do I Have a Case If I Was Walking by a Construction Site and Suffered Injuries?
You might have grounds for a construction accident claim if you are walking by construction site and suffered injuries. It depends on whether someone else’s negligence or misconduct contributed to the circumstances that caused your injuries. If you are interested in learning more about what legal options may be available to you, be sure to contact a construction accident attorney in Houston for legal guidance and support.
Can I File a Lawsuit and Collect Worker’s Compensation Benefits?
There are many instances in which construction accident victims have the ability to collect worker’s compensation benefits and recover compensation through a civil construction accident lawsuit against the liable party. Your attorney can examine the details of your case to determine whether this is an option for you.
In many cases, worker’s compensation benefits are not enough to adequately need the needs of the construction accident victim. If someone else is at fault for their injuries, they have the right to hold the culpable party accountable.
What Are My Options If My Employer did Not Carry Workers Compensation Coverage?
Texas law does not require employers to provide their employees with worker’s compensation coverage. However, if your employer does not purchase such coverage, you have the opportunity to file a lawsuit against them to recover your damages. This also means you have an increased opportunity to recover maximum compensation for your suffering, as you will not be limited by the benefits provided by the worker’s compensation insurance company.
Contact Our Top-Rated Construction Accident Attorneys in Houston, Texas
Attorney Domingo Garcia’s Houston office is located at 6200 Gulf Freeway, Suite #410, Houston, TX 77023. The office provides legal help to those in Houston, Pasadena, Pearland, Deerpark, Aldine, Fresno, and surrounding areas.
If you would like to request a free case evaluation with an experienced Houston construction accident lawyer at Domingo Garcia Law Office, please complete this form. A member of our team will get back to you right away. In the alternative, you can also call us anytime, 24 hours a day 7 days a week.