Construction sites are inherently dangerous places due to the nature of the work being performed and the equipment being used. Some common causes of danger on construction sites are as follows:
- Falls: This is often the leading cause of fatal injuries on construction sites. It includes falls from heights (like roofs, ladders, or scaffolding), as well as slips or trips at ground level.
- Struck-by Objects: These are incidents where a worker is hit by an object, such as a falling tool, equipment, or construction material.
- Electrocutions: Construction sites often involve electrical work, which can cause electrocution if not done properly. In addition, equipment can accidentally come into contact with power lines.
- Caught-In/Between: Workers can be injured or killed when they are caught in or between equipment or structures.
- Hazardous Materials: Construction sites often involve the use of chemicals or other hazardous substances, which can cause injuries or illnesses if not handled correctly.
- Heavy Equipment Accidents: Malfunctions of heavy machinery like cranes, forklifts, and excavators can lead to severe accidents.
- Noise and Vibration: Prolonged exposure to loud noise or vibrations from machinery can cause hearing loss and other health problems.
- Ergonomic Hazards: These involve physical factors from the environment which can do damage to the musculoskeletal system, such as repetitive motion, manual lifting, awkward postures, or tasks that require a significant amount of force.
- Fire and Explosions: Flammable materials, leaking gasses, and electrical malfunctions can cause fires or explosions.
- Poor Safety Practices: This includes lack of proper training, inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE), and disregard for safety regulations.
In Texas, construction site injuries typically fall under the jurisdiction of workers’ compensation laws or personal injury laws, depending on the circumstances of the accident. Here are some key points to consider:
- Workers’ Compensation: Texas law requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If a construction worker is injured on the job, they may be entitled to benefits such as medical treatment, disability payments, and vocational rehabilitation. Workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system, meaning that injured workers generally do not need to prove fault to receive benefits. However, in exchange for these benefits, workers typically give up the right to sue their employer for additional damages.
- Third-Party Liability: In some cases, a construction worker may be injured due to the negligence of a third party who is not their employer or co-worker. For example, if a worker is injured due to a defective product or the negligence of a subcontractor, they may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. Unlike workers’ compensation claims, personal injury lawsuits require the injured worker to establish negligence and may receive additional compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.
- Statute of Limitations: It is crucial to be aware of the statute of limitations, which is the time limit within which a legal action must be initiated. In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years from the date of the injury. However, certain circumstances could affect the time limit, so having an attorney review your case is important to make sure you file your claim within the applicable time period.
- Comparative Negligence: Texas follows a modified comparative negligence rule. Under this rule, if the injured worker is found partially at fault for the accident, their compensation may be reduced proportionately to their degree of fault. If the worker is found to be 51% or more at fault, they may be barred from recovering any damages.
It’s important to remember that each construction site injury case is unique, and the legal implications can vary based on specific details. If you or someone you know has been injured on a construction site in Texas, the attorneys at Ceja Law Firm, PLLC can help. We will evaluate the circumstances, provide legal guidance, and help protect your rights. We will work to get you the compensation that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today.