Construction jobs can be hazardous, with a high risk of serious injuries or fatalities. A construction site injury could mean costly medical bills and recovery time that keeps you from working. If you or someone you know has a potential construction injury claim, you should reach out to Southlake construction accident attorneys as soon as possible. The Hartley Law Firm can give you the necessary legal advice and guidance to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.
Workers’ Compensation in Texas
In Texas, private employers do not need to subscribe to the state workers’ compensation system. However, if they do, you cannot sue your employer for injuries that happened while working. Workers’ compensation benefits are available to injured employees even if they were at fault for their own accidents. You could be eligible for assistance by paying medical costs and income replacement benefits. In cases where the employee died, their family could receive assistance for funeral expenses and death benefits to replace their loved one’s lost income. However, workers’ compensation benefits probably will not cover all of the costs related to the accident.
The Division of Workers’ Compensation oversees the Texas workers’ compensation system. It provides a way for injured employees to make workers’ compensation claims and a dispute resolution process for contested claims. Private insurance companies pay benefits on workers’ compensation claims. You do not necessarily need a lawyer to handle a workers’ compensation claim. However, you also do not want to jeopardize your chance to recover the maximum amount of compensation possible. An attorney knows the system well and can help ensure that you do not leave any money on the table.
Personal Injury Claims
If your employer does not subscribe to the state workers’ compensation system, you can usually seek personal injury damages. In some cases, you might even be able to seek damages in addition to what you can get through a workers’ compensation claim. In either case, the statute of limitations in Texas is only two years from the date of your injuries. This means you must file your legal claim within that time, or you’ll likely lose your right to recovery. Unfortunately, there is no average settlement for a construction injury claim, whether through workers’ compensation or the courts. The possible compensation depends on the facts and circumstances of each individual case. However, unlike a workers’ compensation claim, you could pursue full recovery for all of your damages, including:
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Lost income;
- Future lost earning capacity;
- Loss of consortium; and
- Pain and suffering.
Furthermore, under the Texas law of “proportionate responsibility,” if you were more than 50% responsible for your injuries, you cannot recover any damages at all.
Claims Against Your Employer
In a legal claim for compensation against your employer, you must show that your employer was responsible for your injuries. You must prove they were negligent in something they did or did not do, and you must prove their negligence caused your injuries.
Claims Against Third Parties
If some party aside from your employer was responsible for your injuries, you could seek compensation from them as well. You have to prove their negligence as you would with your employer. However, you can seek compensation from third parties in addition to any benefits you receive from workers’ compensation.
What to Do After a Construction Accident
If you were injured in an accident in Texas, you should do the following:
- Seek medical attention immediately—your health is your first priority, and it’s important to have documented evidence of your injuries to support your claim;
- Report your injury as soon as possible—you must do so within 30 days to file a workers’ compensation claim, but it is important to do so as soon as possible to create a strong record;
- File your workers’ compensation claim—if your employer subscribes to the system; and
- Contact a construction injury lawyer.
It’s best to consult your attorney before you file a claim. Your lawyer can investigate your situation and determine whether you have any third-party claims or if you can sue your employer directly.
If your loved one died in a construction accident, you could be eligible for damages to help pay for burial expenses and to compensate financially for your loss. A construction injury attorney can help you figure out your options.
Contact the Hartley Law Firm to Speak to a Southlake Construction Accident Attorneys
Austin Hartley and the Hartley Law Firm know how to handle construction accident claims. We are a dedicated personal injury firm and experienced in all nuances of personal injury and workers’ compensation claims. We can help you get the compensation you need and deserve for your injuries and suffering. Contact us today to discuss how we can assist you.