If you or a loved one was injured in an construction accident involving a vehicle, Loewy Law Firm can help. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you could be entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits or to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the person responsible for your injuries. We can review the accident, determine your legal options, and help you pursue the financial peace of mind you need during a challenging time.
Contact Loewy Law Firm today to speak with an experienced, compassionate Austin construction vehicle accident lawyer. Initial consultations are free and we work on a contingency basis, which means we’ll only charge you a fee if we recover compensation for you first.
Types of Construction Vehicle Accidents
Construction work is inherently dangerous. In addition to slip and falls, falling object incidents, and equipment malfunction, workers and passersby are also commonly injured in construction vehicle accidents. While these vehicles provide critical support to both small- and large-scale projects, they can also be extremely dangerous, particularly given their large size and weight.
Some of the most common types of construction vehicle accidents include:
- Rollovers and collisions – Construction vehicles such as forklifts are difficult to handle and prone to overturning without proper training and supervision, which means that construction workers are more vulnerable to being harmed by the force of a collision or when a vehicle rolls over.
- Back-up accidents – When the driver of a construction vehicle is careless or does not check their blind spots before backing up, they risk striking workers and others behind them.
- Pinning accidents – A driver who is distracted or not paying attention risks colliding with other workers and pinning them against a wall or an object by a moving construction vehicle. Pinning can lead to devastating crush injuries.
- Unsecured cargo spills – If cargo is not properly secured during the loading process, it can spill from a construction vehicle and injure anyone nearby.
The term “construction vehicle” describes a wide range of motor vehicles that perform various functions. Common examples include forklifts, bulldozers, dump trucks, backhoes, compactors, front loaders, bucket trucks, trenchers, excavators, and cranes. Construction vehicles can be difficult to operate due to their size, weight, and poor handling. That’s why construction companies have a responsibility to ensure that their employees have the necessary training and experience to drive these vehicles safely.
Most Common Causes of Construction Vehicle Accidents
Some of the most common causes of accidents involving construction vehicles include:
- Driver inexperience – If a construction company doesn’t properly vet its new hires or sufficiently train them in the operation of construction vehicles, they put employees, contractors, and even passersby at risk of injury.
- Unsafe working conditions – Construction sites can become chaotic if they’re not properly supervised or become dangerously cluttered. Those working or passing through an unsafe work zone are at higher risk of being hurt in vehicle accidents.
- Maintenance issues – Construction vehicles have to be properly maintained due to the heavy loads they carry and the wear and tear put on them by frequent use. These vehicles can break down over time if they’re not properly inspected and maintained, leading to preventable accidents and injuries.
- Vehicle or part defect – Construction vehicles can develop mechanical problems over time due to poor maintenance. But if a construction vehicle contains inherent design or manufacturing flaws, the vehicle’s manufacturer could inadvertently contribute to a catastrophic accident.
If you were injured in an accident involving a construction vehicle, you should seek immediate medical treatment. Not only is this important for your long-term prognosis, but it establishes that you sought medical attention immediately after an accident, showing that the accident likely led to your injuries.
While employees are often required to see company-approved doctors as a prerequisite for receiving workers’ compensation benefits, they can receive necessary emergency care from a non-approved provider without jeopardizing their eligibility for benefits.
Pursuing Compensation After a Construction Vehicle Accident
If you were injured in a construction vehicle accident on the job and your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, you should be able to recover benefits regardless of who was at fault for your injuries. You’ll need to report your injury to your employer within 30 days of the date of the accident. You may not be able to acquire benefits if you fail to report the accident within this window of time – and the longer you wait to do so, the more difficult it could be to get the benefits you deserve.
Workers’ comp provides workers with coverage for:
- Medical expenses – Serious injuries can be expensive. Fortunately, workers’ comp covers all reasonable and necessary medical care, which can include surgeries, hospital stays, diagnostic tests, physical therapy, and pharmaceuticals.
- Lost income – Workers’ compensation will make up a portion of your lost income if your injuries prevent you from working in your previous position or from working at all.
There are also circumstances when you could pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the party who caused your injuries. Worker’s compensation shields employers from lawsuits in most circumstances. However, Texas does not require employers to carry this insurance. If your employer is not covered by workers’ comp insurance, you can sue them if they were responsible for your injuries. You could also file a lawsuit if your injuries were caused by a party other than your employer or a coworker or if you were simply passing by a construction zone when the accident occurred. Why file a lawsuit? Because it could provide you with money for losses not covered by workers’ comp, such as physical pain, emotional trauma, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Contact Loewy Law Firm
If you’ve been injured in a construction vehicle accident in Austin, Loewy Law Firm can help. Attorney Adam Loewy has been helping injured Austinites for nearly 20 years and has recovered more than $40 million in fair compensation for them in that time. He is committed to helping construction workers and others who have been hurt in job-site vehicle accidents and wants to help them get the financial security they need during a difficult time. Contact him today to speak with an Austin construction vehicle accident lawyer about your case.