Texas Construction Accident Attorneys in Tyler and Longview
Construction sites can be dangerous to both construction workers and the general public. Equipment may fall and hit bystanders. Employees may fall or be electrocuted. Chemical exposure may harm those in and around construction zones. And construction equipment and vehicles may be involved in auto accidents.
Unfortunately, injury victims often face difficulties when they attempt to recover compensation. Construction accident cases are rarely simple or straightforward, and insurance companies frequently deny legitimate claims and defend construction accident lawsuits aggressively. Far too many workers end up walking away with far less than they deserve.
If you or a loved one were injured on the job, the construction site accident lawyers and staff at Roberts & Roberts can help you recover money for lost wages, medical treatment you need, and possibly other damages depending on your circumstances.
Roberts & Roberts: Nationally Recognized Texas Construction Accident Lawyers
For more than 40 years, the construction injury lawyers of Roberts & Roberts have been representing people in Texas and across the nation who have been injured in construction site accidents.
We have established a national reputation for representing clients in significant personal injury matters. The firm has been featured on dozens of television programs, including Fox and Friends, ABC Good Morning America, CNN, MSNBC, Fox Business News, CNBC, and NBC’s Dateline. They have also been featured in national magazines, including Time and Newsweek.
Contact us now at 903-467-5757 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation. The call costs you nothing, and it could mean everything. We serve clients in Tyler, Longview, Waco, Beaumont, Lufkin, and Texarkana, as well as throughout East Texas and across the state.
Injured in a Construction Site Accident? Texas Law Is Complicated
If you’re injured on the job in a construction accident that wasn’t your fault, you should be entitled to seek fair compensation for medical bills, wage losses, and sometimes non-economic losses like pain and suffering.
However, construction accident cases get complicated quickly. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, as well as the insurance policies that are in place, you may need to file multiple different claims to get all the compensation you’re entitled to.
Who Is Responsible for My Construction Accident Injury?
Every individual and organization represented on a job site has a duty of care to construction workers, and must take reasonable steps to ensure safety.
In most other industries, the list of potential liable parties after a workplace accident is short—you or your direct employer. However, on a bustling construction site, the fault for your accident could include any of the following (or even others), depending on the specific circumstances:
- Your direct employer
- The general contractor
- The owner of the construction site where the accident occurred
- An equipment manufacturer
- Maintenance workers
For example, if your injury was caused by a malfunctioning piece of heavy equipment and it’s later determined that the cause of the malfunction was a manufacturing defect, the equipment manufacturer could be held at fault.
What Are My Legal Options Following a Construction Accident?
After an accident, an injured worker may have one or more potential sources of benefits available to them, depending on the circumstances of accident.
Workers’ Compensation Claim
Most, although not all, Texas construction workers are covered by workers’ compensation insurance through their direct employer. Texas is the only state in the U.S. that allows employers to opt out of the workers compensation system.
Workers’ compensation helps injured workers by providing them with financial support for medical bills and lost wages suffered as a result of an on-the-job injury.
The advantage is that most employees are eligible for workers’ comp benefits no matter who was at fault for the accident. That means that, in most cases, instead of spending time pinpointing the at-fault parties, you and your lawyer can focus on calculating your damages and documenting other elements of your case.
The disadvantage, however, is that workers’ compensation is your “exclusive remedy” against your employer. That means you cannot sue your employer for any non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, or loss of enjoyment of life) even if they caused your injuries.
RELATED: What Are Your Rights if You’re Hurt on the Job?
Personal Injury Claim
Unlike in a workers’ comp claim, you can demand compensation for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages in a personal injury case.
If your construction injury was caused, at least in part, by the negligence of a third party other than your direct employer (such as a subcontractor, job site owner, or equipment manufacturer), you can make a personal injury claim against those responsible. These personal injury claims may be filed alongside a workers’ compensation claim against your employer.
Furthermore, if your direct employer has opted out of the workers’ compensation system, you make an injury claim against them as well. In Texas, this is called a non-subscriber claim.
Given the nature of the typical job site, personal injury construction accident claims are extremely common. They are also the only way for injured construction workers to obtain benefits other than medical expenses and wage losses.
RELATED: How Do I Choose a Personal Injury Attorney?
What Should I Do After a Construction Accident Injury?
As soon as possible after your injury, you should:
- Seek immediate medical attention, even if your injuries don’t seem that serious. (They may worsen.)
- Take photos of the area where the accident occurred, as well as your injuries, if you are able to do so safely.
- Identify any eyewitnesses who may have seen the accident.
- Report your injury to your supervisor, and request a copy of the written report once it is available.
- Contact an attorney at a construction accident law firm, such as Roberts & Roberts
Taking these simple steps can help protect your legal rights and improve your chances of making successful workers’ compensation and personal injury claims.
How an East Texas Construction Accident Attorney Can Help
Everyone knows that construction sites are dangerous. But the unfortunate truth is that navigating the legal challenges after an accident can be nearly as treacherous.
Construction accidents may have many contributing causes, including those that might not be apparent without a full investigation. Furthermore, insurance companies reject legitimate claims all the time. For example, your workers’ compensation insurer may try to get out of providing coverage by claiming your accident was the result of “horseplay” or reckless behavior that would allow them to deny benefits.
Getting fair compensation for your construction site injury may require you to sue multiple insurance companies, provide mountains of evidence, and navigate a tricky legal system.
After an injury, the only thing you should have to worry about is getting better. An experienced construction accident attorney can help you:
- Conduct a thorough investigation of the accident to determine the true cause of the accident and those responsible (for example, an equipment failure due to substandard maintenance).
- Identify all possible sources of insurance coverage and other assets you are entitled to make a claim against.
- Review your medical records and speak with doctors, economists, life care planners, and other experts who can help us estimate the true value of your personal injury claim.
- Handle negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf, and protect you against any tricks they might use to suggest you were at fault for the accident.
- File a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf, if necessary.
- Help you get the quality medical care you deserve while eliminating harassing phone calls from bill collectors.
- Be available 24/7 to answer your questions and update you on the status of your claim.
A skilled Tyler construction accident lawyer, like those at Roberts & Roberts, can thoroughly analyze your case and find any potential source of recovery to ensure you get the full compensation you deserve.
Trades Frequently Involved in Texas Construction Accidents
There are roughly 570,000 construction industry workers in Texas alone, including more than 100,000 construction laborers, according to 2021 estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many of these employees regularly perform dangerous work on difficult job sites.
According to National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), workers in the following trades are particularly susceptible to construction site accidents:
- Truck drivers
- Welders and cutters
- Construction laborers
- Iron workers
- Drywall installers
- Brick and block masons
- Plasterers and stucco masons
Certain trades are unquestionably more dangerous than others, but a severe construction accident can happen to anyone on the work site—even people who don’t usually perform manual labor, like supervisors, architects and project managers. Visitors and even people passing by a construction site can suffer an injury when something goes wrong.
Common Construction Accident Injuries in Texas
Listed below are some of the more common construction injuries that could entitle you to Texas workers’ compensation benefits or damages in a lawsuit against a negligent third party.
- Falls: Whether workers are building a two-story home or a downtown high-rise, heights pose a constant threat to most people who work construction. Regulations require companies to take steps to prevent falls from happening and reduce their severity if they do. At any time when workers are exposed to falls of six feet or more, OSHA requires contractors to provide one of the following forms of protection: guardrails; safety nets; or personal fall-arrest systems such as harnesses and lifelines. Fall accidents frequently result when management fails to make sure the required safety devices are properly installed, inspected and maintained.
- Scaffold collapses: Workers rely on scaffolds to allow them to perform tasks on walls, windows and other building components above ground level. According to OSHA figures, scaffold accidents injure about 4,500 American construction workers each year and result in the death of 50 more. Improperly constructed and maintained scaffolds can injure workers due to unsteady footings, inability to bear the load, weak or damaged hardware and loosely connected parts.
- Excavation and trench collapses: In order to prevent workers from being buried alive in a trench or excavation collapse, regulations set strict mandates for companies to prevent catastrophic earthen support failures. Tragically, contractors don’t always follow those rules like they should. The fatality rate for excavation work is more than double the rate for general construction, according to OSHA figures.
- Falling objects: People working in trenches and excavations also face the danger of tools, materials and other objects falling onto them from above. In fact, all workers face these risks whenever other employees are working overhead. One way to prevent materials from falling onto workers is to install toe boards on scaffolds. Contractors all too frequently neglect this safety step. In situations where there is a high risk of objects falling from heights, it could also be advisable for the contractor to set up a net to catch them. Workers should never be allowed to walk under a load that is being lifted by a crane or other type of hoist. Simple housekeeping can also go a long way toward preventing injuries from falling objects. If worksites are not free of debris, there is a high likelihood that objects could be knocked onto lower levels, striking workers.
- Unsafe equipment: All construction sites are home to a variety of heavy equipment that can include cranes, trucks, pneumatic tools, jackhammers, welding rigs and more. It is the contractors’ responsibility to inspect and maintain all equipment, including their safeguards. OSHA requires all saws, drills, nail guns and other dangerous tools to be equipped with guards and safeties, and contractors must not permit safety features to be bypassed. OSHA regulations require contractors to retrofit appropriate guards and safety devices to older equipment.
- Insufficient inspection and maintenance: OSHA regulations bar contractors from allowing employees to work in conditions that are unsanitary, hazardous or dangerous to their health or safety. It is the contractor’s duty to make sure a worksite meets OSHA standards and is safe. The defense that workers “consented” to such conditions is not effective. Electrocutions can result from sub-standard maintenance of power tools and failure to properly mark live electric lines. Improperly marked gas lines or failure to monitor the presence of combustible gases can set the stage for deadly explosions or fires. Improper handling of toxic substances like asbestos can also create health hazards for workers.
- Improper training: Contractors have a duty to ensure that workers are properly trained on how to use the equipment on the site, that they understand how to use safety features and that they know how to effectively avoid or minimize workplace injuries. When contractors fail to train their workers, everyone on the job site is in danger.
Don’t Delay Getting Solid Legal Advice
While not every construction accident will ultimately require the help of an attorney, you should always seek out a free consultation from an experienced construction injury lawyer as soon as possible if you’re hurt on a job site. These cases are not always as simple as they might first appear, and waiting too long to contact a lawyer could result in critical evidence being lost forever.
An attorney can thoroughly analyze your case to ensure those responsible are held accountable, and you don’t miss out on any benefits you’re entitled to receive. The sooner you reach out, the more we may be able to do to help.
Contact an Experienced Construction Site Accident Lawyer Today
At Roberts & Roberts, the initial consultation is always free, and there is never a charge unless we are successful and obtain compensation for you. If you win nothing, you owe us nothing. To get started, contact us now at 903-493-9768 or fill out our online contact form.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.