Work Injury Lawyers Providing Legal Counsel to Houston, TX, Construction Accident Victims
The construction industry is statistically one of the most dangerous industries in which anyone can work. If you are a construction industry employee of any kind, you likely encounter serious safety hazards routinely every day at work. In Houston or Sugar Land, you might work on unfinished buildings that may not have the safety features of finished structures, work in high places using specialized safety equipment, or operate dangerous machinery that requires careful maintenance and usage. Ultimately, every construction industry employee faces significant risks on virtually every job site. When construction accidents occur, you may not know where to turn for assistance during your recovery.
The construction accident lawyers at Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, offer construction industry employees a full range of legal services. We understand the hazards and risks facing construction workers every day, and we know that accidents can occur with little to no warning. If you or a loved one recently experienced any type of construction accident that you believe occurred due to another party’s negligence, our Houston work injury lawyers can help you determine the best available path toward recovery. As your Houston construction accident lawyers, we will work tirelessly to ensure you maximize the compensation you receive from the workers’ compensation system and additional personal injury action against the party responsible for your accident, if necessary.
How Do Construction Accidents Happen?
The construction industry is inherently dangerous for many reasons. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the government agency tasked with ensuring all employers adhere to applicable safety regulations and uphold reasonable workplace safety policies. OSHA data indicates that some of the most common types of construction injuries that occur in the United States include:
- Falls. Fall-related injuries are the most commonly reported construction industry injuries. When a construction worker falls from any height, they could suffer catastrophic or even fatal injuries. Falls can be damaging in several ways, from causing broken bones and spinal injuries to causing traumatic brain injuries and damage to internal organs.
- Crushing injuries. When construction workers are caught between complex objects and surfaces, they can sustain crushing injuries, often resulting in permanent disabilities. For example, if an arm or leg is crushed beyond the scope of surgical treatment, the victim may require amputation to survive.
- “Struck by” injuries. Falling objects such as tools, building materials, and debris can easily cause devastating injuries, even when the victim wears an OSHA-approved hardhat and other safety equipment. It’s also possible for tools or equipment to malfunction and fling small pieces of building materials and other debris, causing penetrating injuries that will require immediate medical attention.
- Electrocutions. Construction work inside an unfinished building could mean exposure to live electrical systems that do not have the safety features of finished electrical systems. Electrocution may be fatal, or it may cause severe burns as well as cardiovascular problems.
- Toxic exposure. Construction may require working around hazardous chemicals such as cleaning agents, solvents, adhesives, and paint thinners. Exposure to these substances can cause acute injuries like chemical burns, but they may also cause medical conditions such as cancer due to consistent exposure over time.
- Vehicle and heavy equipment injuries. Construction often requires the use of specialized vehicles and machinery, many of which are capable of inflicting severe injuries if left in disrepair or mishandled.
These are just a few examples of how the construction industry can present very serious safety issues. If you or a loved one recently suffered any type of construction-related injury, you need a Houston construction accident lawyer who can guide you through the legal proceedings that will follow the incident.
Construction Worker Injuries by Defective Equipment
Construction workers are exposed to many potential dangers on a daily basis, from power tools and equipment that can malfunction to faulty scaffolds and poor weather conditions. Construction worker injuries have been linked to falls and defective or malfunctioning equipment. In some cases, construction workers have been injured when the equipment they were using failed to function properly. In other instances, the equipment itself lacked safeguards to ensure worker safety. Some examples include:
Power Tools and Equipment Defects
Construction sites are often equipped with various power tools, equipment and vehicles. These tools and equipment are used to do tasks such as digging, cutting, lifting, hammering and removing debris. While the proper use of power tools and equipment is vital to worker safety, defective or improperly maintained power tools can pose a greater safety risk.
Many construction worker injuries and fatalities have been linked to power tools or equipment that lacks proper guarding, has faulty switches or other malfunctioning parts. For example, unguarded blades on saws can result in injuries to the face and eyes. A lack of safeguards on electrical cords can cause an electrical shock or electrical arc burn. Flammable liquids and fuels stored too close to heat-producing equipment can result in a fire or explosion.
Construction sites are often full of tools, debris and other objects that can become loose or fall, posing a significant safety risk to workers below. Falls are one of the top causes of death for construction workers. The most common type of incident involves falling from roofs, followed by falls from ladders or scaffolding.
In some cases, a construction worker will experience a fall due to faulty equipment or defective scaffolding. Other times, a worker will fall from a height because he or she does not have proper safety equipment, such as a harness and lifeline.
Scissor lifts are often used to reach high levels or to work on elevated structures. These lifts are usually equipped with hydraulic power, which is operated by either the worker or an electric motor. When the hydraulics fail, the platform can fall suddenly and without warning. Scissor lifts should not be used when maintenance is required and all hydraulic power should be turned off before a worker leaves the platform.
Defective Scaffolds and Temporary Structures
Construction sites are often filled with scaffolding and temporary structures that are erected to allow workers to reach high levels. These structures can either be mobile or set in place for an extended period of time. Defective scaffolds and structures can pose a serious safety risk for construction workers.
Faulty scaffolds and structures can collapse or shift, often resulting in construction worker injuries. For example, a weak or defective base can present a safety hazard, as it may collapse under the weight of a worker. The use of a ladder in place of a scaffold may be a violation of safety standards.
An experienced Houston work injury lawyer can help you to understand your rights and options if you have been injured on a construction site. They can also provide guidance in recovering the compensation to which you may be entitled if a defective or malfunctioning power tool or equipment was responsible for your injury.
Damages and Recovery From a Construction Accident
Your construction accident likely resulted in several types of damages, including medical expenses, lost income, and lost earning capacity. Texas state law allows anyone injured by the negligence of another party to file a personal injury claim against that party to secure compensation for their losses. Texas is also unique in the US when it comes to workers’ compensation.
While workers’ compensation is a requirement in all other states, it is optional for Texas-based employers. This means you can only depend on workers’ compensation coverage if your employer has a workers’ compensation insurance policy, and even if they do, there is no promise that their coverage will fully cover your losses.
Your Houston construction accident lawyer will help you assess the full scope of your damages resulting from your construction accident and assist you in determining the best path toward securing compensation for your damages. In the event you cannot file for workers’ compensation benefits, or if you have grounds for a personal injury claim, your Houston work injury lawyer can help you recover several types of damages, including:
- Immediate and anticipated future medical expenses. You have the right to claim compensation for all medical expenses resulting from your construction accident, including those that manifest immediately after your incident, as well as any long-term medical costs your condition will incur.
- Lost income, including lost future earning potential if you are left disabled and unable to work. If you are forced to stay home to recover, you can claim the wages lost until you can return to work. If you are left permanently unable to work due to your injury, your Houston work injury lawyer can help you determine how much you would have reasonably expected to earn in the future until retirement.
- Pain and suffering. Texas law allows a personal injury plaintiff to recover compensation for their physical pain and psychological suffering resulting from a construction accident. Your Houston work injury lawyer will help you determine an appropriate figure to add to your claim.
Contact our Team of Experienced Houston Construction Accident Lawyers
When you choose the right Houston construction accident lawyer to represent you, you may be surprised to discover your claim is worth much more than you originally anticipated. Our Houston work injury lawyers strive to maximize our clients’ recoveries in every case we accept. We know how distressed and uncertain you may feel after sustaining an injury while working in construction. We want to provide you with clarity and understanding as we help you navigate your case proceedings. If you are ready to discuss your options for legal recourse with a compassionate team of Houston construction accident lawyers, contact Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, today and schedule your free case review.