A Houston area construction accident lawyer is an ally to all those working in this dangerous industry. People who work at building sites face some of the greatest dangers that workers face in any industry. In fact, nearly 4,700 people were killed in 2014 while working on building sites, which comes out to about 13 people in the U.S. every day. While some of these injuries are part of the job’s risky nature, most of them are preventable to some degree. However, a worker’s legal options are occasionally limited, depending on what party is responsible for their injury.
The Bayou City is constantly being improved upon, and there are dozens of projects active at any one time. Because the city is such a spread out metropolis, freeway and building construction sites are a constant presence throughout the area. And this means the city requires thousands of workers to keep the projects moving. It’s no surprise, then, that attorneys in the city are constantly helping hurt workers take on employers and other responsible parties.
The first option a worker has is normally filing a claim through the company’s worker’s compensation program. Worker’s compensation usually compensates the hurt worker for their medical expenses, any lost wages, and expenditures related to permanent injury. However, while an employer is required to reimburse a worker who can prove their injury, this means that the hurt worker cannot sue an employer for negligence, unless that negligence was intentional. And because a worker gets guaranteed benefits in the event of an injury, the potential claim award is much less than a worker would receive if they executed a successful negligence claim.
Texas is unique in the U.S. in that companies are not required to pay into the state’s worker’s compensation program. This is a double-edged issue for workers, because it means they won’t receive guaranteed benefits through the state compensation program. However, it also mean that workers can sue their employer for negligence if they haven’t paid into the compensation program. A negligence claim against an employer has much greater settlement potential, and is something a Houston area construction accident lawyer can organize.
In many cases, an injury is caused by third parties operating at the work site. Drivers, equipment operators, safety personnel, site managers, architects, engineers, and any subcontractors responsible for equipment at the worksite can all put a worker in harm’s way if they are not careful. For example, a subcontractor may be responsible for the building and erection of scaffolding. If this scaffolding collapses while it is in use, the subcontractor may be responsible for any injuries. If a worker is hit by a vehicle, the driver and their employer will take on liability. If equipment malfunctions and electrocutes a worker, the equipment manufacturer will probably be responsible for damages.
A Houston area construction accident lawyer can help a victim consider these options, and ensure they can take full advantage of their legal rights.