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 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 hold the liable parties accountable 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.
We Fight Tirelessly for Our Clients
Our Houston construction accident attorneys can represent you in a Non-Subscriber workplace case against your employer or a third party case against a general contractor, another responsible contractor, or other responsible third-party in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of you or your loved ones.
We will fight for fair financial recovery for your injuries and damages so that your accident does not jeopardize your family’s financial future.
For a free legal consultation with a construction accidents lawyer serving Houston, call (713) 349-1500
The Construction Industry Has the Highest Rate of Fatal Accidents in Texas
Those working construction or visiting a job site may get exposed to hazardous substances, loud noises, specialized equipment, electricity, large vehicles, and heights. All these factors make construction one of the most dangerous industries for workers across the United States and in Texas.
In fact, according to theTexas Department of Insurance (TDI) 2020 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, the construction industry had the highest fatality rate across the public and private sectors in Texas. That year, Texas had 469 fatal occupational injuries, with 127 (about 27 percent) arising from construction accidents.
Houston Construction Accident Lawyer Near Me (713) 349-1500
Leading Causes of Severe and Fatal Construction Accident Injuries
According to theOccupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), falls are the leading cause of construction accident deaths nationwide. In 2020, out of 1,008 construction fatalities in the U.S., 351 resulted from a fall from another level, often the result of:
- Lack of proper safety equipment like harnesses and lanyards
- Lack of fall protection training or proper safety protocols
- Lack or improperly maintained guardrails
- Unsafe or faulty scaffolds (or other types of scaffolding accidents)
- Unguarded or uncovered holes or openings in the floor or wall
In addition to falls, OSHA names three other leading causes of construction accident injuries and fatalities:
- Struck-by accidents:Struck-by accidents occur when a vehicle, piece of machinery or falling/flying object hits a worker or construction site bystander. According toOSHA, about three-fourths of struck-by fatalities involve heavy equipment, like forklifts, trucks or cranes.
- Caught in or between accidents:This type of accident happens when a worker or individual is caught in a cave-in, caught by machinery, or becomes compressed between shifting, sliding, or rolling objects, such as between a semi-truck trailer and a loading dock wall.
- Electrocutions:According to theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 80 percent of contract worker electrocutions happen in the construction industry. Furthermore, around 60 percent of accidental electrocution injuries or deaths occur due to direct contact with electricity.
Other types of construction accidents include…
- Forklift accidents
- Crane accidents
- Heavy machinery accidents
- Defective equipment
- Unsafe demolition operations
- Trench collapse
- Hazardous gasses like sewer gas, carbon monoxide or other dangerous fumes
However your injury occurred, our Houston construction site accident lawyers can investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident and determine who is responsible. We will help you build a case proving liability and seek the financial compensation owed to you.
Construction Accidents Can Cause Catastrophic Injuries
Construction accidents can result in permanent and disabling injuries that can change a victim’s way of life. A catastrophic injury can affect mobility, cognitive functioning, mental and emotional well-being, and change how you live, work, and interact with loved ones.
Common injuries that result from life-altering construction accidents include…
- Back and spinal cord injuries – Construction-related back injuries can occur due to falls, struck-by accidents, and heavy lifting. Back injuries can affect bones, discs, ligaments, and the spinal cord. While all back injuries have the potential to limit your mobility, those involving the spinal cord can result in complete or partial paralysis below the injury site, according toMayo Clinic.
- Head injuries – According toJohns Hopkins Medicine, falls andvehicle accidents (both of which commonly occur on construction sites) are among the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Head injuries can lead to severe and disabling symptoms, including problems with balance and coordination, speech problems, reduced cognitive functioning, behavioral changes, or even a coma or vegetative state.
- Broken bones – Broken bones can be severe, and complex fractures can take weeks or months to heal. If you suffered an open fracture in which the bone protrudes through the skin, you may also face the risk of infection and scarring. In addition, broken bones can result in expensive medical treatment, time lost at work while you heal, and may cause permanent complications, such as pain and stiffness at the injury site.
- Severe injury and illness due to harmful chemical exposure – Hazardous substances are common on construction sites. Sewer gas, carbon monoxide, benzene and natural gas are a few of the chemicals and compounds that construction workers may encounter daily on the job. These and other chemicals can cause burns, rashes, respiratory problems, and other illnesses. Some gasses like sewer gas can overcome and kill a utility worker within seconds when they entire a manhole or pipe. Because of this,OSHA has established standards to regulate workers’ exposure to harmful substances and working in confined spaces (need a link to the confined space regulations in Section 1926 of OSHA
If you sustained these or any other construction site injury, you may qualify for compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost earnings and more. Our Houston construction accident attorneys can help you prove your injury is work-related or resulted from the negligent actions of an involved party.
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Our Attorneys Can Help You Seek Compensation for Your Harris County Construction Accident Damages
You may have several options for recovering your construction accident-related damages:
If you are a construction worker and sustained your injury while on the job, you may qualify for awards through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. However, according to theTexas Workforce Commission (TWC), Texas does not require employers to carry workers’ compensation. Although, those who opt out of providing coverage leave themselves open to civil lawsuits.
Under workers’ compensation, you do not need to prove your employer or anyone else behaved negligently to receive payments. Instead, you need only show that your injury occurred during the “course and scope” of your employment. According toTexas Labor Code § 401.011, workers’ compensation includes:
- Medical benefits – Medical payments cover all your necessary job injury-related treatment. This includes emergency transportation and treatment, diagnostic testing, medical procedures, prescription medications, doctor bills, hospital fees, physical and occupational therapy and rehabilitation, mobility aids and medical devices, long-term care services, and medical care travel expenses.
- Partial wage replacement benefits – Workers’ compensation provides partial replacement for wages lost due to yourwork injury. How much you can receive and for how long depends on several factors, including whether you can work in any capacity during your recovery, whether your injury is temporary or permanent, and your impairment rating.Our experienced attorneys can tell you more about specific income benefits available in your case.
- Vocational rehabilitation – If you cannot return to your previous job, even after reaching your maximum recovery, you may qualify for a vocational rehabilitation program to assist with job training and finding new employment.
- Death benefits – If your loved one suffered a fatal workplace injury, surviving dependents are eligible for death benefits of up to 75 percent of the deceased’s pre-injury weekly wage and up to $10,000 in funeral and burial costs.
According to the TWC, you must notify your employer and file an injury report within 30 days of sustaining your construction accident injury. You must file your workers’ compensation claim within one year. If you disagree with your impairment rating, you have 90 days to appeal.
The team at Domingo Garcia can help you file your workers’ compensation claim before time runs out. We will fight for the maximum available benefits and assist with necessary appeals.
Texas is a unique state for employers. Employers are not required to carry workers compensation. When an employer does not carry workers compensation, they are referred to as a non-subscriber. In Texas, non-subscriber employers who negligently cause an injury, either through the employer’s acts or a co-employee’s acts, may be sued for all damages, including pain and suffering and physical impairment.
Moreover, a non-subscriber employer may not blame the employee for any or part of the accident–even when there is some fault on the employee. Many employees do not know that their employers are “non-subscribers” after an accident or injury because they may be receiving income and medical benefits that look identical to workers compensation.
It is important to seek legal advice as to whether your employer is a subscriber or non-subscriber to workers compensation after an on-the-job accident, because your rights to recovery of money damages will be very different, if they are non-subscribers.
Lawsuits and Liability Insurance Claims
In most cases, you cannot sue your employer if they provide workers’ compensation. However, you may pursue a liability insurance claim or civil lawsuit against your employer if they do not have coverage in a “non-subscriber” case. You may also be able to pursue a lawsuit against a negligent third party if they are a cause or contribute to your injury, such as:
- A general contractor or other subcontractor on the job site
- An architect, engineer, or designer
- An electrician
- A job-site supplier
- A property owner or manager
- An equipment manufacturer
- An equipment rental company
- The entity in charge of equipment or vehicle maintenance
- The driver of a private vehicle that is visiting or traveling through a construction site
- A reckless or negligent coworker
You can also pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit if you suffered injuries as a construction site visitor or bystander. As with workers’ compensation, you can recover all your injury-related medical expenses. You can also seek additional damages not available through workers’ compensation, including:
- Complete wage replacement:While workers’ compensation provides only a portion of your pre-injury wages, a lawsuit allows you to recover the entirety of your lost income, including wages, benefits, bonuses, and retirement contributions. You can also seek awards for the loss of your future earning potential if your construction injury forces you to change jobs, reduce your workload, or leave the workforce. And if your employer does not have workers compensation, the only way to recover your loss of past and future income is through a lawsuit or claim against a third party
- Pain and suffering:If you suffered a catastrophic injury, your pain and suffering damages (also known as non-economic compensation) may be significant. You can seek pain and suffering awards for physical, mental, and emotional distress. You can also receive awards for quality-of-life reductions, including stress, depression, anxiety, loss of mobility or paralysis, mental anguish, chronic pain, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Physical disability: If your injury has left you with future impairment you are entitled to recover for this loss. If you are limited in how much you can walk, move, stand or use any part of your body, these limitations are the basis for recovery.
- Medical bills: If you have suffered past medical bills (regardless of whether they were covered by workers compensation) or will suffer future medical, therapy, surgery or life care bills you may recover these in a construction accident lawsuit
- Disfigurement–if your construction accident has left you with any disfiguring scars or you have lost a finger, arm or leg Texas law allows you to receive full compensation for this disfigurement.
- Miscellaneous damages:Our Houston injury lawyers can help you identify fair compensation for various other expenses, including the value of household services you cannot perform due to your injury (cleaning, cooking, driving, etc.) and medically necessary home and vehicle modifications.
According toTexas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, you have two years from when you suffered your injury or discovered your injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. The court will likely bar you from pursuing compensation if the statute of limitations expires.
The statute of limitations will also affect your personal injury claim. Insurance adjusters may use an expired time limit as a reason to reduce or deny your settlement. In general, it is a good idea to get started on your case as soon as possible.
Our Construction Site Accident Lawyers Can Pursue Awards for the Wrongful Death of a Loved One
As mentioned, workers’ compensation provides death benefits. However, if you qualify to step outside the workers’ compensation system, we can help you seek additional awards with a wrongful death claim or lawsuit.
According toTexas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71, a deceased’s surviving family members can seek the compensation they could have pursued with a personal injury claimed had they lived. Wrongful death compensation may include:
- The deceased’s accident-related medical expenses
- Funeral and burial costs
- The deceased’s lost wages, earnings, and benefits
- Lost inheritance, including savings the deceased would likely have earned and left had they lived
- Loss of the deceased’s love, comfort, society, and companionship
- Surviving family members’ mental pain and suffering
The deceased’s surviving spouse, children, and parents can pursue a wrongful death accident claim. If a qualified family member does not bring a case within three months of the deceased’s death, the deceased’s personal representative (executor) can take action.
According to the statute of limitations, you have two years from the date of the incident that caused your loved one’s fatal injury to file suit.
If your spouse’s or parent’s employer carried workers compensation but is found guilty of gross negligence in causing their death, they may be sued in Texas for punitive damages. This right is protected by Texas’ Constitution and is in the Texas Labor Code.
Proving Liability for Your Construction Accident Damages
To collect workers’ compensation benefits, you must prove that your injury occurred in the workplace or is work-related. You do not need to prove that your employer, the construction company, or any other party acted negligently. However, you may need to defend yourself against allegations that could lower your injury settlement or disqualify you from receiving payment, including:
- Your injury is not work-related
- Your injury is not as severe as you claim
- Your medical treatment is deemed unnecessary or not approved
- Your injury occurred because you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- You caused your injury due to horseplay or gross personal negligence
- Your injury resulted from a willful criminal act or self-injury
- Your injury was due to an “act of God”
If you are seeking compensation through a liability insurance claim or lawsuit, you will need to show that your injury resulted from an at-fault party’s negligent, wrongful, or reckless behavior. Examples of construction accident negligence include but are not limited to:
- Failure to provide workers with proper job and safety training
- Failure to correct a dangerous condition or allow a dangerous activity to occur
- Failure to ensure subcontractors have the appropriate safety experience and record
- Failure to inspect or maintain equipment like scaffolding and guardrails
- Failure to provide safety equipment or adhere to safety regulations including OSHA regulations
- Manufacturing defects in tools, equipment, or vehicles
- Failure operate equipment in a safe manner including forklifts, cranes and job vehicles
How Can Our Houston Attorneys Help with Your Case?
You have enough on your plate dealing with your injuries. The team at Domingo Garcia will use our investigative resources, expert relationships, and 35 years of legal experience to help you secure the money you need to get back on your feet. We will:
- Gather evidence:We will collect physical data, medical records, accident reports, witness statements, photographs, video, and other evidence needed to prove that your injury happened on the job and was not your fault. We will use this information to build a robust case proving that another party is financially liable for your damages and pain and suffering.
- Calculate your losses:We will review your wage records, medical bills, receipts, and other proof of expenses to calculate and pursue every dollar owed to you. We will also fight for a fair sum for your non-economic damages including pain and suffering and impairment.
- Consult with experts:We may speak with your doctors (with permission) to understand the extent of your injuries and the cost of your treatment (including future medical needs). We may also speak with vocational experts and economists to understand how your injuries impact your finances and your ability to work. Additionally, we may enlist the help of an accident reconstruction specialist to prove how and why your injury happened.
- Communicate with involved parties:We will handle all phone calls, emails, and meetings with insurance representatives and opposing attorneys. This saves you the headache and protects you from accidentally saying or doing something that could hurt your case.
- Fight for you during negotiations:Our goal is to secure the maximum compensation possible in your case. Therefore, we will aggressively represent you and your best interests and work tirelessly to recover the awards you deserve.
- Represent you at trial:We do not back down from tough cases and will not shy away from taking your case to trial if necessary.
Throughout the process of seeking compensation, our team will stand by your side and defend your rights. We are here to handle issues as they arise, keep you informed, and answer your questions. We can shoulder your insurance or legal burden so you can save your time and energy for healing. We will even provide free medical treatment and consultations until we win your case.
What Can You Do?
There are several things you can do to increase the chances of a successful case outcome, including:
- Seek medical treatment immediately if you have not done so already. This is important for your health and for creating a case record.
- Follow your doctor’s orders. Failure to do so could result in the denial of your claim.
- Do not speak to the insurance company. If an agent contacts you, be polite, but do not go into detail about your accident, injury, treatment, or damages, and do not agree to give a recorded statement. Instead, direct the insurance company to our construction injury attorneys.
- Do not discuss your accident or injury with anyone other than your attorney and your family. Likewise, do not post about your accident on social media.
- Keep a daily diary detailing your physical health, pain levels, and emotional and mental well-being. You may also note ways you notice your injury interfering with your day-to-day life. This record may be helpful in recovering pain and suffering compensation.
Domingo Garcia Has Helped Clients Secure Multi-Million Dollar Awards at No Upfront Cost
Justice is for everyone, not just the wealthy. We want to ensure all Texans have access to legal representation, and we do not want the cost of an experienced construction accident lawyer to stand in the way. Therefore, we take cases on contingency. This means our fee comes from a percentage of your insurance settlement or verdict, and we do not get paid unless we win your case.
We charge nothing upfront or out-of-pocket, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Our successful construction accidentsettlements include:
- $4.35 million for an injured worker caused by failure to maintain guardrails
- A $3.83 million settlement for the family of a man killed due to a boom collapse on a concrete pump
- $5.00 million for a victim paralyzed when scaffolding collapsed
- $3.0 million for a worker that suffered severe fractures after being struck by a forklift
- $4.5 million settlement for a young worker killed by an improperly constructed door
- $5.5 million dollars for construction worker injured due to an improperly covered roof opening
Call Domingo Garcia for Assistance with Your Houston Construction Accident Case
You should not have to suffer further for an accident you did not cause. If you sustained injuries on the job or due to another party’s negligence, you deserve compensation. Your medical treatment, needed recovery time, and other losses should not come at the expense of your or your family’s comfort or financial stability. The same is true if you lost a loved one in a fatal construction accident.
Our Houston construction accident lawyers will represent you with compassion, respect, and tenacity. Let us handle your case so you can focus on your health and your family. To learn more about our services and the potential value of your case, contact us today for a free consultation.