Construction accidents are common causes of workplace injury. If you were hurt on a construction site in Texas or New Mexico, do you need a construction injury attorney? What are your rights as an injured employee?
Learn what action you can pursue and what to do if your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance or you are injured by someone other than your direct employer.
Types of Construction Accidents
Construction sites contain many potential dangers. Common accidents at construction sites include:
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Struck-by accidents by equipment or falling objects
- Electric shock or electrocution
- Defective equipment accidents
- Building or trench collapses
- Roadside construction vehicular accidents
- Fire or explosion accidents
Common Construction Injuries
What are some of the most common injuries construction workers experience in on-the-job accidents? Construction accidents can lead to:
- Broken bones
- Crushing injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Burns due to shock or fire
- Chemical exposure that affects the lungs, skin, eyes, and other systems
- Hearing loss due to loud equipment noises
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Limb amputation
If you sustain any of these injuries, you need to know what to do in the aftermath of the accident to protect your rights and pursue compensation for your injuries.
Understand Your Rights Under Texas Workers’ Compensation Law
While New Mexico requires workers’ compensation, Texas does not require employers to have workers’ compensation insurance, although most employers choose to purchase a policy. If your employer carries workers’ compensation, you can file an injury claim through workers’ comp. However, if you pursue compensation through workers’ comp, you cannot also file a lawsuit against your employer.
If you file a claim with workers’ compensation for your injuries, you must report your injury to your employer within 30 days from the date of your injury or the date of discovery. You must then complete a claim form, DWC Form-041, and submit it to the TDI-DWC, or the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation.
Pursue Compensation from Third Parties
Your employer may not be the only party responsible for your injuries. Subcontractors, the site property owner, a reckless driver, architects or engineers who planned the job, and other parties may share in liability for your accident. Workers’ compensation only protects your employer from lawsuits. You may be able to pursue a personal injury claim for your injuries against a third party.
You have the right to hire a construction injury attorney at any stage of the claims process. An attorney can help you submit appeals for denied claims, represent your interests when speaking with the insurance company’s claims adjusters, and ensure that you file all necessary forms and evidence for medical bills and time off from work before the deadlines.
File a Claim in Court for a Construction Accident
If your employer does not have workers’ comp insurance or a third party contributed to your accident, you must prove negligence in court. As the plaintiff, you must demonstrate negligence “with a preponderance of the evidence.”
Evidence that can support your claim includes:
- Pictures or video from the accident scene
- Witness statements
- Reports about safety hazards on the job site
- Equipment maintenance reports
- Lockout/tagout procedure logs for equipment involved in the accident
- Medical records from before and after the accident
You may also need to take legal action against your employer if they carry workers’ compensation insurance but interfere with your claim or retaliate against you for making a claim.
Contact an Experienced Construction Injury Attorney in Texas and New Mexico
Construction accidents are a complex area of employment and injury law. For help with a claim, contact us at Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. Call us at 800.433.2408 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a construction injury attorney at our offices in Lubbock or Odessa, TX or Albuquerque or Hobbs, NM