What Are My Rights After a Houston Construction Accident?6 min read
Working at heights on scaffolding or below ground in trenches using potentially dangerous tools and equipment or heavy machinery makes construction jobs very dangerous. Even though you are surrounded by threats, you still have the right to expect your work environment to be reasonably safe and that you’ll be protected from unnecessary risks and injuries.
Unfortunately, injuries from construction accidents are very common and can range in severity from minor wounds to life-threatening conditions. Because of this, construction workers need to know their rights if they suffer a work-related injury. Besides initiating a workers’ compensation claim, you may be able to file a lawsuit for negligence or product liability.
If you need help asserting your rights after being injured in an accident, call our experienced Houston construction accident lawyer at (713) 999-6666 for a FREE case evaluation. Patrick Daniel Law is Strategic, Meticulous, and Merciless in the fight for justice. It’s in your best interest to have a skilled attorney in your corner when pursuing the compensation you deserve.
How Do I Claim Damages In a Construction Work Accident?
If you are a construction worker and have suffered a work-related injury in Texas, there may be options available to you when it comes to making a claim for compensation.
Can I Use Workers’ Compensation Insurance Coverage?
An employer who wishes to participate in workers’ compensation in Texas will purchase workers’ compensation insurance to cover employees. If an employee suffers any illness, injury, or death while on the job, this insurance will provide benefits to the worker or their family.
Workers’ compensation benefits may include medical coverage, lost wages, disability income, and death and burial benefits. You must report the accident to your employer within 30 days and to the Division of Workers’ Compensation within 1 year if you have a work-related injury or illness. Failing to report the incident to the above authorities within that time might affect your benefits adversely.
In this case, the employer cannot be sued, and workers’ compensation benefits are the sole source of compensation for an injured employee. You must ensure you get the full benefits you deserve and that your employer or carrier does not try to deny a legitimate claim or otherwise unfairly restrict your access to workers’ compensation.
What If My Employer Has Opted for “Non-Subscriber” Status?
Texas law does not require private businesses to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage to their workers. If they’ve declined the insurance or you’ve rejected coverage inclusion per Texas Labor Code §406.034(b), you have the right to sue your employer for a much more comprehensive range of damages, but you’ll be required to show fault on their part.
What Is a “Third-Party Lawsuit”?
If a construction worker’s injuries occurred as the result of a third party’s negligence, the worker may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against that third party. The third party may be a sub-contractor, property owner, or product manufacturer, among others.
When Should I Call a Houston Construction Accident Lawyer?
It is never too soon to seek representation in a construction accident claim. If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident, you may have options in your pursuit of just compensation. Our experienced Houston construction accident lawyer at Patrick Daniel Law can advise you.
We have a long and successful track record of helping injured workers secure compensation for their losses. We serve clients throughout Texas and the United States. Contact us to schedule a FREE consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’ve been injured in a construction site accident, you may be able to pursue compensation in various ways. Workers’ compensation claims or suing a negligent employer or third party may be options in your unique claim. Knowing which path is appropriate can be confusing.
When in doubt, working with a skilled Houston construction accident lawyer is always best. They can contribute legal expertise, keep you informed of your rights, negotiate on your behalf, and more—all while you save your energy for recovery. Hiring a knowledgeable attorney helps to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
When injured in a construction accident in Texas, you may have the option to collect workers’ compensation benefits. However, your employer could have opted out of workers’ compensation insurance. When pursuing compensation through the workers’ comp system, you may be eligible for the following damages:
- Any medical expenses you incur
- Partial replacement of lost wages
- Additional disability benefits
If you’ve lost a loved one in a construction accident and they are covered through workers’ compensation, you may be entitled to:
- Death benefits
- Burial expenses
If your employer is at-fault for your accident and they are a non-subscriber (or if a third-party is liable), you may be able to sue for:
- Medical expenses (current & future)
- Lost wages (current & future)
- Loss of earning capacity
- Travel costs to & from medical care appointments
- Pain & suffering
- Scarring & disfigurement
- Permanent injury & disability
- Loss of consortium
As the surviving spouse, child, or parent of someone who lost their life due to a construction accident, you may need to file a wrongful death claim if the at-fault party was a non-subscriber or if there was third-party liability. In those cases, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Funeral/burial expenses
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of financial contributions
- Loss of support & services
- Pain & suffering
- And more
To find out if you are entitled to compensation for your losses, contact an experienced Houston construction accident lawyer. They can evaluate your claim and help you navigate the process of pursuing fair compensation.
Due to the dangerous nature of the construction industry, when an accident occurs, it can be devastating. Injuries sustained can range from a scrape to a loss of life. Some common workplace injuries in the construction occupation are:
If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, don’t wait to pursue compensation for your injuries. You will have 30 days to report the incident to your employer and up to 1 year to file a completed Form-041 with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. Your benefits could be denied if you don’t abide by these deadlines.
When a negligent employer is a non-subscriber or a third party is responsible for your injury, it is in your best interest to consult a construction accident lawyer. An attorney will be able to guide you through the process, ensure you meet deadlines, negotiate on your behalf, and pursue just compensation.
The first action to take after a workplace injury is to seek medical care immediately. If it is an emergency, call 911. If you don’t need emergency care, you should still see a medical professional as soon as possible. Your health is the priority.
When you have received the medical care you need and are ready to begin the process of seeking appropriate compensation, you will need to do three things:
1. Notify Your Employer & Workers’ Compensation
Report the accident to your employer within 30 days. Even if you suspect your supervisor has reported the accident, you must also. Keep a copy of any documentation.
If your employer has workers’ comp insurance, you must notify the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation within 1 year of the accident.
2. Collect Evidence
Keep all records and correspondence related to your injury claim. This may include but is not limited to:
- Medical records
- Proof of work missed
- Photos of the accident scene
- Witness testimony
Also, start a journal to document your recollection of the accident, medical appointments, treatment plans, your pain levels day to day, etc. When it comes time to negotiate a claim or pursue compensation through a lawsuit, the more evidence, the better.
3. Consult a Houston Construction Accident Lawyer
When you are in pain and trying to heal so you can get back to work, there is little time to worry over paperwork and deadlines. A skilled and experienced attorney will help ensure you don’t miss an opportunity to pursue the compensation you deserve for your injury or the loss of a loved one in a construction accident.
Read More: What To Do After a Construction Accident
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) created a program to bring awareness to the Focus Four Hazards in construction. These hazards are more widely known as the Fatal Four. The four categories of hazards are:
- Caught-In or Caught-Between
In 2021, there were 985 fatal construction work injuries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The Focus/Fatal Four Hazards were found to be responsible for 62.5% of those fatalities. OSHA aims to raise awareness of these prevalent hazards and provide training to prevent further injury and death.