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Construction sites are a dangerous place for Texans to earn a living. Every year in Texas, over a hundred workers are killed and thousands are injured on unsafe building sites and oilfields, leaving victims with terrible emotional and financial consequences.
Roughly 20 percent of all occupational workplace fatalities occurred in the construction sector. Construction worker conditions are especially dangerous in Texas. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration Chief David Michaels said that more construction workers die in Texas than in any other state, emphasizing the fact that “workers are not being given adequate protection.” Michaels’s comments came after a fatal Texas trench collapse in February of 2015.
OSHA has labeled four causes of fatal construction accidents as the “Fatal Four.” Falls, electrocutions, being struck/by against an object and being caught in between objects were collectively responsible for over half of all construction worker fatalities in 2014. Dallas construction accidents can include scaffolding collapses, equipment malfunctions and crane failures, to name just a few.
A Dallas crane failure made headlines in 2015 when the incident was captured on video. While no one was seriously injured in that accident, two construction workers died in 2012 after a crane collapse at the University of Texas Dallas. In October of 2015, six construction workers were injured after a Texas scaffolding collapse at a residential construction site. Another fatality occurred in May of 2015 when a worker fell from a higher floor at a Dallas apartment complex that was under construction.
Like many other workplace accidents, construction worker fatalities and injuries are too often the result of dangerous work conditions. It is an employer’s job to ensure a safe work environment for all workers.
After an accident on the job, workers and their families are left wondering:
Injuries sustained on the job are not easily resolved in Texas. There are several possible situations, each dictating a different approach. A dedicated Texas work injury firm, like Guajardo & Marks, with a team of knowledgeable and experienced Dallas construction accident attorneys, can make a huge difference in the way you are treated and compensated. Let’s go over what we can do to help you:
If your employer subscribed to the Texas Workers’ Compensation coverage, then your medical bills and lost wages are reimbursed according to strict rules, and you cannot hold your employer liable for the accident. There are exceptions if the accident was fatal and the employer grossly negligent, or if a third party was in part responsible for the accident.
If your employer did not subscribe to Workers’ Compensation, then you can file a claim for medical expenses, lost revenue, and possibly more if gross negligence was involved. Without an agreement on the settlement, you will have to file a lawsuit.
We can quickly find out what rules apply and who can be held liable. In most cases, the employer and insurer are well defended and will try to convince you to accept a settlement that is worth much less than what you are entitled. Taking on powerful defendants in court requires experience, skills, and persistence. You don’t want to handle this on your own.
At the time of the accident, were you self-employed, an employee of the general contractor, or working for a subcontractor? Do you have a signed contract or a past history of work and pay to show for it? Oftentimes, self-employed workers on a site are under the authority of the general contractor, making the worker more an employee than what is written on paper. Here again, an experienced Dallas work injury lawyer can help you sort out your real status and find out how and by whom you will be compensated.
In most cases, getting compensation involves a long fight and thorough preparation. It starts with the investigation of the accident. This is a critical step, and needs to be done as soon as possible. You also will need expert advice while preparing your medical file so you can request compensation for serious injuries, rehabilitation treatment, long-term disability, and adaptive services. Claims for lost earnings and compensation for the complete or partial loss of your professional activity also require special skills. Finally, many work accidents can be attributed, at least partially, to the gross negligence of a contractor or third party. Knowing the legal aspects and the details of occupational safety rules will be invaluable to building a strong case and holding the negligent party liable.
Dallas construction accident lawyers Greg Marks and Michael Guajardo are the legal advisers who will do everything they can to make sure that you get the highest possible compensation your work accident deserves. Do not allow anybody to trample on your rights if you have been injured at work. Call the Dallas personal injury law firm of Guajardo and Marks at (972)774-9800, or send us an email for a FREE discussion of your case today.