If you have been involved in a construction accident in Pharr, Texas, and have been injured extensively, filing a claim might not be the first thing on your mind.
However, it’s important to know what to do in this situation to get the compensation you deserve.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 150,000 construction accidents in the US every year. If you are one of them, you need to know your rights and what steps to take.
In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about filing a claim against your employer. Read on to find out more.
Main Types of Construction Injuries
There are four main types of injuries on construction sites. They are as follows:
An employee who may not have received the right training is stuck between a fixed object and a moving object. When this occurs it can cause severe injuries to the person trapped. If an employee is not mandated to wear high visibility clothing, this increases the likelihood of a struck-by happening.
There are a number of hazards on a construction site that can cause electrocutions. For example, crews might be working too close to elevated power lines or an unprotected GFCI outlet. Or a crew might not identify that an underground cable or power line is already in place and live.
Electrocution accidents can be severe and deadly in some cases.
By law, companies must provide perimeter protection, secure floor opening, and provide ladders and equipment that are OSHA-approved. Failure to provide a safe environment that protects workers from falls can result in disastrous injuries.
This is an accident that involves a construction site worker entering an unprotected trench without a proper protective system in place. If they can’t leave the area, due to improper protection they can’t escape the area and may get trapped inside.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of accidents that can happen on the construction site. Other accidents can involve things such as cranes, welding, power tools, fires, explosions, and toxic chemicals.
Texas Law and Construction Site Accidents
It’s important to know that if you are involved in a construction accident in Texas there are a couple of options you can consider.
If your accident happened on-site and within the working hours of your role, you can file a claim under the Texas Worker’s Compensation Act. This law has been active since 1993.
This is a type of insurance that employers can purchase which is used to compensate the employees that are injured during work. However, Texas law is different in comparison to other states. It’s not a legal requirement for the employer to have worker’s compensation insurance.
If your employer does not have worker’s compensation insurance, your only option is to file a claim or a third-party lawsuit against your employer.
To win your case against your employer you must be able to prove that they were negligent in their responsibilities. This means that you need to prove they either owed you a duty of care, they breached their duty of care, or was the legal cause of your injury.
What to Do First When You’re Involved in a Construction Accident in Texas
When filing a personal injury claim or third party-lawsuit, employing the services of an experienced lawyer can drastically help you with the process. They will be able to advise you on the viability of your claim and help with the investigation and trial process.
When you are first injured, it’s essential to seek out medical attention and assess your injuries. If possible you will also want to take photographs of your injuries and the worksite to demonstrate any unsafe practices.
You then will need to try and collect any witness statements from bystanders, medical staff, or work colleagues who can attest to any employer negligence. It’s important to try and gather as much evidence and testimonies as possible to strengthen your overall case.
When speaking with your lawyer they will also be able to advise you on the best course of action in terms of your claim options.
A worker’s compensation claim might be viable but this will only cover economic damages. A third-party lawsuit can extend to emotional and mental distress damages also, however, this will involve a lot more litigation and evidence.
It’s important that you seek out advice and file your claim as soon as possible, due to Texas law concerning workplace accidents. You only have 30 working days after your construction site injury to report your worker’s compensation claim in writing to your employer for it to be legally recognized.
Time is of the essence when filing claims for any construction site injuries. Do not put the process on the back burner, as you might find your time has run out and you aren’t eligible for compensation.
Hiring a Construction Accident Lawyer: Where Can I Find Out More?
If you have been involved in a construction accident, you should always seek out the legal counsel of a lawyer to help you understand the steps to take.
They will be able to recommend all of your available options and what they would advise as to your most viable option.
It’s important to note that in Texas the Occupational Saftey and Health Administration (OSHA) will send out an employee to investigate the accident, file a report, and make recommendations.
However, this isn’t something you should rely on as your only source of evidence. They won’t necessarily force your company into compensating you for your injuries. Always have your own evidence and testimonies gathered if you need to take it to trial.
If you would like to discuss your potential case with an expert, contact us directly!