Dallas Law Firm Blog

One Killed and Three Injured in Dallas Construction Accident

Dallas Construction AccidentOn April 2, 2015, one worker was killed and three were injured in a Dallas construction accident. A steel frame collapsed during the construction of a Dallas-area athletic center for a high school. Thankfully, there were no students near the scene at the time of the accident. The cause of the collapse is still being investigated.

Injuries that Occur at Construction Sites

Construction sites are inherently dangerous, so accidents and injuries are unfortunately very common. In fact, statistics show that one construction worker dies roughly every three days in the United States. In addition, about 20 percent of all construction workers will be injured on the job. That is why construction workers are required to wear protective gear in most construction zones, such as helmets and steel-toed boots. However, in situations like the collapse in this case, even safety gear would not have helped the workers.

Regardless of the nature or severity of the accident, the employer, site owner, or contractors are likely responsible for this accident, and they will be legally liable for the death of this worker and the injuries of the other workers. Depending which party is legally responsible, this could be a worker’s compensation case or a general personal injury or wrongful death case. The employment status of the injured worker is very important in determining how a personal injury case from a construction accident should proceed.

OSHA Regulations

This accident could have been caused by any number of factors, but it may have been that safety precautions were not followed correctly or that procedure for weak buildings was not used. Construction sites must use very specific safety rules in an effort to prevent injury. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) requires all employers to meet certain safety regulation requirements, including construction employers. Construction employers must maintain the construction site in a certain way in order to comply with this Act. However, it is sometimes difficult to determine who should be responsible for making sure that these rules are followed. It will usually depend on who was actually “in control” of the construction site at the time of the accident.

In Texas, a violation of an OSHA regulation alone is not enough to prove legal liability. The victim (or the victim’s family in a wrongful death case) must prove that the employer or person in control of the site was careless or negligent in maintaining the construction site. However, this rule does not apply to workers’ compensation claims because fault is usually not a factor in determining the amount of compensation awarded.

Actions Following a Construction Injury

If you or a loved one has been injured on the job at a construction site, the victim should complete several steps. First, notify your supervisor as soon as possible. Sometimes this cannot be done right away. Use good judgment and take care of your own safety first. Second, make a list of anyone who may have witnessed the accident. Three, preserve evidence related to the construction accident, including keeping the tool involved, photographs of the area or your injuries, and photographs of the scene of the accident. This is not always possible, but it will be very helpful later. Fourth, contact an experienced Dallas construction accident attorney for your free consultation. Call 972-774-9800 or contact us online to discuss your case today.