Dallas Construction Accident Attorney
If you were injured at a construction site in Dallas, Texas, the party who caused your injury may be liable for compensating for your medical bills and other expenses. But when you are recovering from a serious injury, all you want to do is rest and spend time with your loved ones – not sort through heaps of complicated insurance paperwork and jargon-filled statutes.
When you face any kind of injuries at a construction site, you should call a lawyer right away. An attorney can help you collect evidence and build a case. They can also advise you on your rights and work to get you the compensation you deserve.
The Dallas construction accident attorneys at The Queenan Law will handle all of the legal work for you, so that all you need to worry about is getting rest and recuperating from your accident. We understand that you and your family are going through a difficult time right now, so we want to do all that we can to lighten your burden and make the process of fighting for compensation as simple and easy for you as possible.
Common Construction Accidents in Dallas
Our skilled, knowledgeable team of Dallas construction accident lawyers has more than 20 years of legal experience helping injured construction workers recover compensation. As a former crane operator and construction company owner, attorney Kevin Queenan has unique personal insight into how and why construction site accidents occur. Our attorneys have experience handling claims involving a wide range of accident types, including the following:
- Crane Accidents
- Defective Industrial Machinery
- Electrical Burns
- Falls from Heights
- Object Strikes
- Power Tool Accidents
- Scaffolding Accidents
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Trench Collapse Accidents
- Wrongful Death/Fatal Accidents
Sometimes it is difficult to determine who caused these kinds of accidents. Accidents caused by malfunctioning safety equipment or power tools could be blamed on the manufacturer of that equipment. Other injuries are clearly caused by negligent property owners and site operators who allow unsafe materials on their sites, such as unstable scaffolding or dangerously stacked lumber. Other workers could also be responsible for injuries, but many times their employers are ultimately responsible because of deficient training. Employers who fail to provide safety gear for their workers could also be at fault for these injuries.
The Queenan Law Firm is proud to represent construction workers in the Dallas area of Texas. Call our law offices at (817) 476-1797 for a free, completely confidential legal case review. Our Texas construction site injury attorneys are on standby 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help you and your loved ones understand your legal options and fight for compensation.
Common Construction Injuries in Dallas
While all occupations involve some degree of danger, the construction industry has an exceptionally high rate of accidental deaths and injuries – most of which, sadly, are preventable. While many construction companies hold themselves to the highest ethical and safety standards, many others sacrifice worker safety in the interest of slashing costs and maximizing profits. When corners are cut, it’s only a matter of time before hard-working employees are injured or lose their lives in an avoidable accident.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) tracks fatalities and injuries by industry and occupation. According to OSHA records, there were 874 construction deaths in 2014. OSHA has also identified construction’s “Fatal Four”: the four types of accidents that cause the most construction deaths. The Fatal Four are as follows:
- Falls caused 349 deaths in 2014 (39.9%)
- Electrocution caused 74 deaths (8.4%)
- Workers were struck by an object in 73 death cases (8.3%)
- Being caught in or caught between objects caused 12 deaths (1.4%)
These and other types of accidents can also cause devastating non-fatal injuries. The Queenan Law Firm has handled many construction accident injury claims involving injuries such as:
- Back Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Broken Arm (Fractured Radius, Ulna, Humerus)
- Broken Collarbone (Fractured Clavicle)
- Broken Jaw
- Broken Kneecap (Fractured Patella)
- Broken Leg (Fractured Femur, Tibia, Fibula)
- Broken Nose
- Broken Rib
- Fractured Wrist
- Pelvic Fracture
- Vertebral Fracture (Broken Backbone)
- Bruises and Lacerations
- Bulging and Herniated Discs
- Burn Injuries
- Cracked/Chipped Tooth
- Crush Injuries
- Crushed Hand
- Crushed Fingers/Thumbs
- Crushed Foot
- Crushed Toes
- Eye Injuries
- Hearing Loss
- Facial Injuries
- Scarring and Disfigurement
- Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
- Sprains (Stretched/Torn Ligaments)
- Strains (Stretched/Torn Muscles)
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Vision Loss
Filing a Lawsuit or Workers’ Compensation Claim for a Construction Accident
When a person is injured because of another person’s negligent actions, the injury victim may be entitled to compensation. Negligence – which the injury victim may prove using evidence such as photos, video footage, eyewitness and expert testimony, lab analysis, equipment maintenance records, and medical records – means failing to exercise an adequate, reasonable level of care to avoid a preventable death or injury. Some examples of ways negligence can lead to avoidable construction site injuries include the following:
- Failing to maintain power tools or other industrial equipment.
- Failing to supervise employees properly.
- Forcing employees to work in hazardous conditions (e.g. working on scaffolding in high winds).
- Hazardous and unsafe job site conditions (e.g. leaks, fraying wires, broken ladders, damaged walkways).
- Improperly delegating complex tasks to inexperienced workers.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Injured construction workers in Texas have a few options for seeking compensation. One option is to file a workers’ compensation claim with the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDI-DWC). If you intend to file for workers’ comp, you must report the injury to your employer within 30 days of being injured – otherwise, you could lose your ability to obtain the benefits to which you are entitled.
Filing a Lawsuit
Another option, in some circumstances, is to file a personal injury lawsuit against the individual or business that caused the accident to occur. While it is generally not possible to sue an employer who has purchased workers’ compensation coverage, you may be able to sue a third party where applicable, such as the manufacturer of the defective power tool that caused your injury. If your employer does not provide workers’ compensation, you may want to consider litigation as a means of seeking fair compensation for your losses.
Workers in Texas are also able to opt out of workers’ compensation when they start a new job. This means that if you start a job on a construction site, you usually have five days to make the decision of whether injuries will be handled through workers’ compensation or whether you retain your right to sue. If you chose to keep your right to sue, then you should be able to file a lawsuit against your employer to seek compensation.
Many construction workers are not employees of any company, and they are not covered by workers’ compensation anyway. Independent contractors do not have an “employer,” so they can always sue their clients, general contractors that hired them, or other parties responsible for their injuries (unless their contracts say otherwise). Keep in mind that subcontractors are independent contractors, but many construction workers are employees of a contractor rather than independent contractors or subcontractors themselves. A Dallas construction accident lawyer can help you determine which category you fit into and how that affects your right to sue.
Lawsuits can also be filed against third parties, even if workers’ compensation rules would otherwise block a lawsuit against an employer. This means, for example, that if you were hit by a car on a roadside construction site, you can sue the driver. As another example, construction workers injured by faulty safety gear or malfunctioning power tools can typically sue the manufacturers of those items for their injuries.
Damages for Injured Construction Workers in Dallas, TX
As mentioned, workers can often seek compensation for their injuries through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, or they can file a lawsuit. Often, lawsuits provide better coverage for the damages you face, opening access to additional areas of damages that workers’ compensation does not cover.
Injuries often involve three major areas of compensation: medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Workers who need medical treatment should have it paid by the people responsible for their injuries. Those people should also pay for any wages the workers lose while recovering from their injuries. Throughout the course of your injuries, you may also experience severe pain and mental/emotional distress.
Workers’ compensation plans do not pay pain and suffering damages, and they reimburse lost wages at only a percentage of the amount of pay that you might have lost. Lawsuits can often pay these damages in full, potentially making your overall compensation higher through a lawsuit.
A Dallas construction accident lawyer can help you calculate damages and determine how much your case is worth. Whether filing through insurance or filing a lawsuit, representatives from the construction company may seek to try to underpay you for your injuries. Low-dollar offers are often used to end cases quickly, but they do not reimburse the injured construction worker for everything they are owed. An attorney can help negotiate your case and work to get your damages paid at their full value.
When to Contact a Construction Accident Attorney in Dallas
As soon as you are injured, there are two things you should do: get medical attention and call a lawyer. Construction firms and contractors are often reluctant to let injured workers go to the hospital because they do not want to have to pay for any of their medical care. However, it is important to get medical treatment right away, especially for severe injuries. From there, it is important to have a lawyer on your side to protect your rights and interests.
When you get an attorney on your side, your Dallas construction accident lawyer can act as a go-between between you and the parties that injured you. This allows you to recover in peace while your lawyer focuses on collecting evidence, getting statements and depositions, and filing any necessary paperwork for a lawsuit.
If you speak to a lawyer early on in your construction injury case, this can also prevent you from saying anything to the other side that might hurt your case. Any information you give the other side could hurt your case if it appears to do one of the following:
- Minimize how bad your injuries actually are
- Admit that you were partly at fault for your own injuries
- Put the blame on a different party
Statute of Limitations for Construction Accident Cases in Dallas, TX
It is also important to call a Dallas construction accident lawyer early on in your case to avoid running afoul of the statute of limitations. Injury victims typically have only two years from the date of the injury to file their lawsuit. Talk to a lawyer well before that point to make sure they have time to build the case, draft up paperwork, and file the claim in court. If you file your case too late, it could be impossible to get the case prepared in time to meet the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations is only the filing deadline for your case; it can take longer to actually finish your case. Since you usually cannot get paid until your case is over, filing sooner also means getting paid sooner.
Dallas, TX Construction Accident Injury Lawyers Offering Free Case Reviews
If you were hurt while performing your job at a construction site because another person made a careless mistake, you could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other hardships. Call the Dallas construction accident attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. at (817) 476-1797 to learn more about your family’s legal options in a free legal case review.