Accidents at and around construction sites can cause severe injuries to workers, visitors, and people nearby. Extensive laws and regulations govern the construction industry, but project managers and contractors sometimes ignore safety procedures to finish a job on time or under budget.

Contact a seasoned attorney at Roberts Markland LLP as soon as possible if you were hurt in a construction accident. A Houston construction accident lawyer could help you present a robust case against the negligent parties whose conduct caused the incident and work to get you compensation for your losses.

Common Types of Construction Accidents

Managing a safe construction project requires many people, and often many companies, to follow safety rules and do their part of the work competently. That said, a deviation from best practices or Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations could indicate that someone at the site was negligent.

Scheduling and financial pressures often cause project managers, contractors, or individual workers to rush or cut corners. Doing so could lead to accidents, including:

  • Falls from heights
  • Bring struck by a heavy object
  • Electrocution
  • Construction vehicle crashes
  • Falling over tripping hazards
  • Exposure to dangerous or toxic substances
  • Fires

Any of these incidents could result from another person’s carelessness. Incident reports, police reports, OSHA evaluations, and similar official documents could provide an attorney in Houston with clues indicating whose negligence caused an accident on a construction site. In many cases, the evidence reveals that several negligent acts resulted in an injury.

Legal Options for Workers After a Construction Accident

Most states make it mandatory for employers to participate in the workers’ compensation program, but Texas does not. Many local companies choose not to offer these benefits to their workers. Therefore, if an employee suffers an injury at a construction site, their legal options depend on whether their employer provides Workers’ Compensation coverage.

Non-Subscribing Employer

Texas employers that opt out of the workers’ compensation program are called non-subscribers. When workers get hurt due to their non-subscribing employer’s recklessness, they can sue their employer. A non-subscribing employer cannot attempt to reduce their liability by ascribing fault to the injured worker. A worker filing a civil claim could receive payments for their medical expenses, diminished income, pain and suffering, and future injury-related costs, if applicable.

Subscribing Employer

If an injured construction worker’s employer elects to provide workers’ comp to their employees, they are entitled to free medical treatment and a partial wage supplement for as long as the injury prevents them from working. However, if the employer or a co-worker caused the injury, the worker cannot sue their place of employment.

Third-Party Claims

An injured construction worker could sue a third party, such as a property owner or another contractor at the site, if the third party contributed to the situation that resulted in the injury. This option is available to injured workers regardless of whether their employer subscribes to Workers’ Compensation. A lawyer in Houston could investigate a construction-related accident to identify third parties that could be partially or fully responsible.

Legal Remedies for Bystanders

If negligence at a construction site causes an injury to a bystander, passerby, or someone in the neighborhood, the injured plaintiff could bring a claim against the negligent defendant. Additionally, if an injured person can prove that a defendant’s carelessness caused harm, the negligent party must compensate the plaintiff.

A plaintiff in Houston could include any injury-related loss in their claim for damages. In most cases, the defendants’ insurance companies strive to settle cases rather than absorb the expense of a trial and risk a jury verdict. Often, cases settle before the plaintiff files a lawsuit.

However, sometimes the plaintiff’s conduct impacts the compensation they receive. For example, Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §33.001 establishes comparative fault, preventing a person who was more than 50% responsible for an accident from collecting damages. Insurance companies use this principle to discount damages if the plaintiff has partial responsibility. An attorney could explain how comparative fault might impact available compensation in a specific case.

Pursue a Construction Accident Claim with a Houston Attorney

Construction accident injuries can cause pain, inconvenience, and emotional stress, preventing you from fully participating in the activities you enjoy. Likewise, an injury also could lead to significant financial strain for you and your family.

However, a Houston construction accident lawyer could hold the parties responsible for your injuries accountable. Discuss your situation with a skilled legal representative today.