Austin Construction Accident Lawyer
Have you suffered injuries in a construction accident in Texas because of someone’s negligence? You should not have to bear the burden alone. You have the right to seek compensation, but doing so on your own may feel overwhelming.
An Austin construction accident lawyer can evaluate your case and answer any questions you have about your claim. They can also determine a case strategy and pursue compensation through the Texas workers’ compensation system or by filing a lawsuit on your behalf.
Types of Construction Accidents
Construction accidents occur for many reasons. An employer’s failure to meet a safety standard can cause a dangerous condition resulting in a construction accident. Accidents can also occur because of employee error or negligence. A third party working on the job site, such as an independent contractor, can be responsible for a construction accident.
When an employer’s actions or failure to act cause an accident, it is possible that the employer violated an OSHA safety standard. These standards provide necessary guidance to employers about maintaining a safe workplace for employees.
The top ten standards violated by employers include:
- Fall Protection–General Requirements – 5,260 citations
- Hazard Communication – 2,424 citations
- Respiratory Protection – 2,185 citations
- Ladders – 2,143 citations
- Scaffolding – 2,058 citations
- Lockout/Tagout – 1,977 citations
- Powered Industrial Trucks – 1,749 citations
- Fall Protection–Training Requirements – 1,556 citations
- Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment–Eye and Face Protection – 1,401 citations
- Machine Guarding – 1,370 citations
It is no surprise that the violation of these standards is related to the most common types of accidents in the construction industry.
According to OSHA, there are four primary causes of construction accidents. Known as the “fatal four,” these accidents include:
- Getting caught in equipment or machinery
- Being struck by an object
Here is a look at some of these construction accidents and other types of construction accidents in more detail:
The OSHA Standard intended to protect workers from workplace falls tops the list of most frequently cited OSHA standards violations. Violation of this standard can cause falls from heights and site defects that lead to accidents.
Many OSHA requirements require employers to provide proper employee training and education to meet the applicable OSHA standard. Employers often fail to provide employees with mandatory training and education to prevent falls. Inadequate training can lead to poor performance of a work function that results in a fall.
Chemical Accidents, Fires, or Explosions
Employers must provide information about the classification and labeling of workplace chemicals. They should also keep a written workplace hazard communication plan. An employer’s failure to label chemicals properly can result in chemical fires, explosions, and site defects or hazards that cause construction accidents.
Exposure to Hazardous Irritants
Employers must provide personal protective equipment for the eyes and face whenever necessary to protect against chemical, environmental, mechanical, or radiological irritants. When necessary, they must also provide employees with respirators to purify the air in the vicinity and protect the employee’s health. Failure to provide any of this equipment and the training associated with using it can cause exposure to harmful irritants that result in respiratory disease and other illnesses.
Employers must follow requirements for the safe use of ladders, step ladders, extension ladders, and self-made wooden ladders. Any failure to follow these requirements can result in falls and site defects or hazards that cause ladder accidents.
Employers must follow safety requirements for all types of scaffolds, including suspended scaffolds, airlifts, and supported scaffolds. An employer’s failure to meet safety requirements can result in falls from scaffolding and scaffold site hazards, including falling tools and flying debris, that can cause serious injuries. A failure to follow scaffolding safety regulations can also result in a fatal injury such as electrocution. Scaffolding accidents can be avoided when using the proper OSHA regulations.
Lockout/Tagout accidents (stuck in machinery or equipment)
These accidents arise from the unexpected startup and cycling of a machine or the release of stored energy from a machine while in a state of repair. A lockout/tagout malfunction can result in blunt force accidents, crushing accidents, and burns.
Forklift, Truck, and Crane Accidents
Forklift accidents can occur when vehicles are raising, lowering, or removing large objects from a construction site. Construction site vehicles may also accidentally crush employees. Crane accidents can occur easily if workers are careless on their job sites.
Machine Guard Accidents
Employers must use safeguards to protect employees from rotating parts, flying chips, sparks, and other hazards caused by machinery. A machine guard malfunction can cause rotating parts, falling tools, and flying debris to strike workers, resulting in severe injuries.
What to Do If You Are Involved in a Construction Accident
If you suffer an injury while working on a construction site, you must take immediate steps to preserve your health and well-being. If you think that you have suffered a serious injury, seek emergency medical treatment. Even if you have non-life-threatening injuries, you should seek medical care. Don’t try to “tough it out.” It serves no purpose to think you can overcome any pain or discomfort associated with the accident. Also, symptoms of an injury may not have appeared yet. You may have a “hidden” condition, such as internal bleeding.
You can also take specific actions to preserve evidence of the accident that may prove valuable down the road if you suffer losses and need to seek compensation.
Observe and take notes about the circumstances of the accident. Determine who else was also present and if any of these persons witnessed the accident. Take photos of your injuries and the equipment, machinery, object, or debris that caused your injuries.
Immediately report the accident to your supervisor. Make sure you don’t give anything other than a brief but adequate description of the circumstances of the accident.
Who Is Responsible for a Construction Accident?
An Austin construction accident lawyer can help pinpoint the party at fault for causing your injuries. This analysis requires assessing whether other parties also share legal responsibility for your losses. A detailed evaluation of the cause of your construction accident will reveal all potentially liable parties. This will help you pursue fair compensation.
Examples of third parties who may share liability for a construction accident include:
- Independent contractors
- Equipment manufacturers
- Equipment distributors
- Equipment rental companies
- Construction site property owners
- Maintenance companies
- Safety inspectors
You can sue any negligent third parties whose wrongful actions and behavior caused you to sustain injuries.
Compensation Available for a Construction Accident
If you suffered an injury in an accident at work and your employer has chosen to opt-in to the Texas workers’ compensation system, you can file a workers’ compensation claim. The Texas workers’ compensation system does not consider fault by employers or employees when paying workers’ compensation benefits.
The Austin construction accident lawyer at the Loewy Law Firm is an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can file a claim seeking workers’ compensation benefits on your behalf. These benefits may include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Disability income for reduced earning potential or a temporary or permanent inability to work
- Death benefits for family members and dependents of workers who suffer fatal injuries in construction accidents
However, the workers’ compensation system does not provide any benefits for non-financial losses like the loss of companionship or the pain associated with an injury. If these circumstances apply to your situation, you can seek compensation outside the workers’ comp system by filing a personal injury lawsuit in a Texas civil court.
You can also sue your employer for any negligent acts if your employer chooses to opt out of the Texas workers’ compensation system.
An Austin Construction Accident Lawyer Can Help
A construction accident lawyer at your side helping you with your construction accident case can make a difference.
A construction accident attorney will:
- Make sure to file your personal injury lawsuit and/or workers’ compensation claim before the expiration of the applicable time period
- Establish all parties who are responsible for causing the construction accident that resulted in your injuries
- Obtain the evidence necessary to prove liability
- Interview witnesses
- Utilize the assistance of experts when necessary
- Negotiate with opposing attorneys and insurance companies
- File a lawsuit to assert your non-subscriber or third-party claims
- Go to trial to fight for your rights
Contact an Austin Construction Accident Lawyer Today
The Loewy Law Firm’s accomplished personal injury lawyer has helped countless clients, including those who have suffered injuries in construction accidents, to recover millions of dollars in compensation. Since 2005, our team has sought justice for clients injured in accidents.
Put our knowledge and experience to work for you. To learn more about construction accident claims, call a local construction accident lawyer in Austin from the Loewy Law Firm at (512) 957-9858 to schedule a free consultation. At this no-risk consultation, we will provide you with an evaluation of your case so you can make the choices that are right for you.