The construction industry continues to make great strides in Texas and throughout the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), over 11 million U.S. workers were employed in construction during the last reporting year. This industry is integral to improving communities by providing jobs, commodities, and access to businesses. However, despite its importance, it has long been considered one of the most dangerous industries for workers and those around construction projects.
The fundamental characteristics of construction sites make these places ripe for accidents. In conjunction with their complexity, the temporary and transitory nature of these sites makes them dangerous. Construction crews are at a greater risk for occupational accidents because of their exposure to hazardous machinery and precarious working conditions. Similarly, those around construction sites are often prone to tripping, falling, or experiencing injuries related to falling debris.
Construction site accident claims can be challenging because of the interplay of various industries and complex rules surrounding liability. A Frisco construction accident lawyer can help accident victims understand their rights after a construction site injury.
Construction Site Injury Causes
The CDC reports that construction is one of the most dangerous and high-risk industries compared to other occupations. The fatality rate in construction has recorded a 6% increase in the last reporting year, the highest it has been in over 10 years.
The dynamic and complex nature of construction sites creates various risks that can lead to injuries. However, most of the injuries stem from what is commonly referred to as the “Fatal Four,” which include:
- Equipment entanglements, and
These incidents can lead to life-threatening situations that may require significant medical treatment. In addition, other common accidents can lead to broken bones, burns, traumatic brain injuries, and amputations.
Filing a Construction Injury Claim After an Accident
Those who suffer injuries at a construction site should contact a lawyer to discuss filing a construction injury claim. These cases are unique and challenging because they require a thorough understanding of Texas’s workers’ compensation laws and common negligence principles.
There are three primary ways for an injured victim or their loved one to secure compensation after a construction site accident. The type of claim available to a victim depends on the relationship between the victim and the site and the cause of the accident. Potential avenues to recovery include:
- Workers compensation claim: Under workers’ compensation law, a qualifying employee may recover compensation if the injury was sustained in the course and scope of employment. However, there are limitations to recovery, and claimants can generally only recover medical benefits, income benefits, and death benefits.
- Non-subscriber claim: Unlike other states, Texas does not require employers to have workers’ compensation coverage—but if an employer is a non-subscriber, they leave themselves open to personal injury lawsuits from injured employees. Further, certain common personal injury defenses may not be available to non-subscribers.
- Third-party claim: These claims may be available in cases where an injury victim cannot directly sue their employer, but they can sue another party that was also liable for the accident. These claims are common in construction injury lawsuits because multiple organizations are often involved in a single project or worksite.
In addition, non-worker bystanders who suffer injuries at a worksite may be able to recover damages from a negligent business owner, construction site manager, or another responsible party.
Construction Site Accident Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the amount of time an individual has to file a lawsuit for their injuries. Texas workers’ compensation claimants generally have one year from the date of the accident to file a workers’ compensation claim. In contrast, under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, personal injury claimants generally have two years to file an accident. However, there may be other limitations depending on specific deadlines set by insurance companies. Promptly contacting a Frisco construction accident attorney after an accident can avoid encountering issues with the statute of limitations.
Average Settlement for Construction Site Accidents
The inherent complexity of Texas construction site accidents makes the average settlement difficult to ascertain accurately. Many variables go into calculating settlements, and each case presents unique facts and challenges. However, generally, the severity of the injury, prognosis and treatment, and ongoing pain and suffering all go into calculating a settlement.
In contrast, an employee’s average weekly wage (AWW) determines the workers’ compensation rate. The AWW is generally the average sum that the employer paid the worker in the 13 weeks before the employee’s injury or illness.
Contact the Frisco Construction Accident Attorneys at the Hartley Law Firm
If you suffered serious injuries in a construction accident, reach out to the Hartley Law Firm to discuss filing a construction injury claim. We proudly represent construction workers and passersby who were injured as a result of another’s negligence. We can help you pursue the compensation they need to get your life back on track as quickly as possible. Attorney Hartley is a lifelong Texas who enjoys fostering lifelong relationships with his clients.
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To learn more and schedule a free consultation, reach out to the Hartley Law Firm. You can also reach us through our online contact form.