Construction accidents are often responsible for workers and contractors having to take time off of work to recover from injuries. Lost time injuries can leave victims without the pay they need, and complex workers’ compensation laws in Texas might leave victims with lower compensation than they deserve. Victims who do not work at the site, such as passers-by, might also deserve justice for an injury.
After an accident on a construction site, contact the Odessa, TX construction accident injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm for help with your case. Our experienced attorneys work with injury victims and their families, seeking maximum compensation for their injuries, pain and suffering, and lost wages. For a free legal consultation, call us today at (817) 476-1797.
When Victims of Construction Accidents Can Sue for Injuries in Odessa, TX
Victims of accidents and injuries on a construction site can often sue for damages. Workers’ compensation rules usually prevent lawsuits, requiring employees to use insurance claims to pay for medical treatment and a portion of their lost wages. These rules also prevent workers from being able to get full compensation by blocking claims for pain and suffering and other “noneconomic” damages. Fortunately, Texas has laws that help injured workers file lawsuits, often allowing them to seek higher damages.
Pedestrians and Drivers Injured Near Construction Sites
If you do not work on a construction site, but you were injured walking by construction or driving through a construction zone, you could be entitled to sue the operators of the worksite. Negligent workers, foremen, and construction companies can often cause pedestrians to be injured by dropped tools, unsafe surfaces, and other issues. Construction vehicles pulling out into traffic or scaffolding or other equipment that falls onto cars could cause serious accidents for drivers near a construction site. More catastrophic injuries are even caused by negligent operation of cranes, demolition explosives, and wrecking balls.
If you were injured because someone on the job site negligently caused the accident that injured you, you could be entitled to sue the company in charge of the construction. A lawyer can help you determine whether you can sue the construction firm or whether your case is better directed at the individual worker or contractor that injured you. In any case, call a lawyer for help understanding how to file your case and what parties should pay damages in your case.
Suing as an Injured Worker or Contractor
If you were a worker on the construction site, you may need to get around Texas’ workers’ compensation rules to sue. Workers’ comp. does not limit independent contractors and subcontractors from suing, and these workers are usually allowed to sue anyone who was at fault for their injuries – even if that means suing their client. Of course, the terms of your contract might alter this, so talk to a lawyer about it.
Employees of a contractor or a construction firm are entitled to sue their employer for an accident if they opted out of workers’ comp. Alternatively, employers in Odessa may be allowed to opt out of workers’ comp., which means that they do not have insurance for you to file against in the first place, leaving a lawsuit as the primary option.
Injured employees on a construction site are also entitled to sue any third-party defendants who were responsible for their injuries. Even if you would be covered by workers’ comp., you can still sue any other parties, such as the following:
- A contractor that caused an accident on the job site
- A safety gear manufacturer that provided dangerous or defective gear
- A power tool manufacturer that supplied broken or defective tools
- A driver who crashed into you at your roadside worksite
- A coworker whose negligent actions/inaction caused your injuries
Proving Fault in a Construction Accident in Odessa, TX
One important requirement in a lawsuit is the requirement that the victim – the “plaintiff” – has to prove that the defendant was at fault in order to get payment. Courts, therefore, need to see evidence that the defendant did something wrong that caused the accident. If the accident cannot be linked to anyone’s actions or inactions, and it can be deemed a true “accident,” then you might not be able to sue anyone.
Fault is usually based on a violation of a law or regulation that leads to injuries. For example, OSHA requires that employers provide their workers with safety gear like gloves and hardhats. If an injury was caused by a lack of safety gear, that accident could be the employer’s fault.
Alternatively, fault can be based on unreasonable acts or omissions that the defendant should have avoided. For example, a utility worker who failed to mark a known gas line before digging could be liable for worker injuries in a fire or explosion when the gas line is damaged. Here, it is unreasonable for them to have failed to mark a line they knew about, knowing that people would be digging in the area. As another example, a construction worker stripping old roofing off a building and throwing it to the ground without looking could be responsible for injuries to anyone they hit with the falling debris. Here, it is unreasonable not to look before throwing debris around.
Talk to an attorney about the specific facts of your case for help identifying the at-fault parties and building a legal case against them.
Call the Odessa, TX Construction Injury Attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm
Our Odessa, TX construction accident injury lawyers work to help injured victims and their families get compensation for injuries on a construction site. Whether you were injured passing by a construction site or working at one, our attorneys can help. For a free case consultation, call The Queenan Law Firm at (817) 476-1797.