Suffering an injury on a job site can be frightening. The Texas Construction Accident Guide was created by Austin personal injury attorney Daniel R. Smith to help residents earn full compensation.
If you have been seriously injured on a construction site, you are probably seriously injured and missing time from work which can make it really hard to pay your medical bills. You also face the reality that you may not be able to return to the same job after your treatment is done. Our Texas construction accident lawyer takes all of this into consideration when you come in for a free consultation. We will work very hard to get you full and fair compensation.
Types of Injuries
You probably already know how dangerous a construction site is due to the nature of the workplace. There is a lot of heavy machinery and raw material that pose safety hazards for workers and bystanders. There is a variety of possible accidents that may happen which include:
- Falling from heights
- Collapsing structures
- Explosions and fires
- Objects falling
- Negligent workers
- Defective tools
- Auto accidents
- Heavy machinery accidents
These all have the potential to be disastrous accidents and can cause some life-long injuries. The possible types of injuries you may be suffering from include:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries; concussion and traumatic brain injury
- Cuts and lacerations
- Spinal cord injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
If you are suffering from an injury, do not delay medical treatment. You should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible so that you don’t worsen your condition.
First Steps After the Accident
As mentioned, you need to get to a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. It not only ensures that you’re taking care of yourself, but you’re taking care of your case. If you avoid getting to a doctor, then the insurance company will think that you don’t have a strong need for compensation. You don’t want to regret not seeing a doctor when you needed one.
If you are able to stay on the scene after the accident, it’s important for you to collect some evidence. You should try to get as much as you can. Take pictures and videos of the scene as well as your injuries and what you think caused the injuries.
A vital step would be to report this incident to your boss or supervisor. It’s not something that you should just tell a coworker before you head to the emergency room. You want to file an official report on paper with someone in charge. It will strengthen your case later on. You can’t really have a case without having a report because it becomes your word against theirs when you get down to it.
Texas Compensation Rules
Texas law is different than most other states. Usually you are limited to worker’s compensation through your employer unless you have extenuating circumstances. In Texas, construction workers aren’t necessarily going to be protected under worker’s compensation. Your employer doesn’t have to offer you worker’s compensation, so if they do not, you can bring a personal injury claim. When you come to us after your accident, we will look into your employer to see if they have worker’s compensation available to you. Are goal is to be able to get you the most compensation available to you through an injury claim. If you’re going after a personal injury claim, you’re going to need to figure out who the liable party is and prove that there was negligence that caused your accident. An example of this is if your employer did not provide you with satisfactory safety equipment and that resulted in your injury. If you are deemed to be at fault for the accident, that will be reflected in your compensation. We will work to make sure you get the fullest and fairest amount.
Statute of Limitations
If you are filing a third-party personal injury claim, you don’t have an unlimited amount of time to file your claim or settle your case. You have just two years from the date of your accident before you are barred from receiving compensation. You do not want to wait until the week before this time limit runs out to talk to an attorney. There is precious evidence to be collected as you know, and it will disappear over time. Witnesses to the accident will forget the important fine details. You need to call and schedule a free consultation with an experienced Texas construction accident lawyer right away so that you know you are getting everything done on time for this to be a successful case.
Frequently Asked Questions | Texas Construction Accident Guide
What Do I Do After My Accident?
Recently I got a call from someone who had been injured at a job site, and they asked me what they should do after a construction accident. The first thing they should do is seek medical treatment immediately and let their employer know that they were hurt on the job. Those things need to happen at the same time. Sometimes employers will claim that someone wasn’t actually hurt at the job. Beyond that, you need to seek medical treatment immediately to give you the best chance of recovery. Also, you need to follow the doctor’s orders. That gives you the best chance at making a complete recovery.
Another thing you need to do is hire an attorney immediately. The sooner you hire an attorney, the sooner that attorney can investigate what happened. Evidence gets lost and people can forget things. The attorney is there to ensure that all the evidence that can be gathered is gathered immediately. Also, you need to hire the right attorney. The right attorney is someone who has a large part of their practice devoted to personal injury law, and not just personal injury law but workplace accidents. Workplace accidents are very different than other personal injury claims in Texas. The attorney you hire needs to be a trial attorney. Trial attorneys work every case as if they are going to trial. If, for whatever reason, you are unable to get your case resolved, they’re always ready for trial.
If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, please don’t hesitate to give my office a call. We’ll be happy to answer any questions for you.
How Do I Find the Right Attorney?
Clients will often ask me, “How do I choose the right attorney to represent me after I was injured in a construction accident?” The first thing is you need to hire someone that you’re comfortable with. That comfort level should be established in that first meeting, whether it be through phone call or free consultation in our office.
Next, you need to hire someone that has experience in construction accidents. This isn’t a case where you want to hire someone that dabbles in all sorts of areas of law. You need to hire someone that has a large part of their practice focused on personal injury and construct accidents specifically.
Lastly, you need to hire a trial attorney. You need to hire a trial attorney because trial attorneys are treated differently by insurance companies and employers on the other side. They know who the trial attorneys are, and that means they’re more likely to give you a fair offer earlier. If they don’t give us a fair offer, we’re ready to go to trial. Please don’t hesitate to give our office a call if you have any questions.
How Much is My Case Worth?
Recently I was contacted by a client who had been seriously injured in a worksite accident in Texas. One of the first questions he had for me was, “How much is my case worth?” Unfortunately, early on, there is no clear answer to that question. We have to know the extent of your injuries to have an idea on how much your case is worth. It’s a good rule of thumb that the more serious your injuries, the more your case is worth.
As a plaintiff, the types of compensation that you’re entitled to are for all your past and future medical bills, past and future pain and suffering, and past and future lost wages. There are a few other types of compensation you can receive on top of that.
How Long Will This Case Take?
The other day I got a call from someone who was seriously injured at a construction site. One of their chief concerns was, “How long is it going to take for my case to get resolved?” Unfortunately, in the beginning, there isn’t a clear answer.
The first thing that needs to happen for your personal injury case is we have to know the extent of your injuries. What that means is you either need to finish medical treatment, or there needs to be a clear end to your medical treatment in sight.. If we submit a demand package to an insurance company before you’ve finished treatment, and it turns out your injuries are actually worse, then you’re definitely not going to be compensated fairly for the extent of your injuries.
After we have a very good idea of what your injuries are, we submit that demand package to the insurance company and we give them, depending on the case, around three weeks to respond. If they respond with an offer that looks like something we might be able to negotiate a fair settlement out of, we negotiate. Unfortunately, that’s a rarity; normally we have to file a lawsuit. After we file the lawsuit, we have to serve the defendants. After each defendant is served, they have 30 days to respond. Once they respond with an attorney on file, we immediately contact that attorney and try to get a trial date on the books.
Should I Talk to the Insurance Company?
The other day I got a phone call from someone who was injured in a construction accident and wanted to know what some of the common mistakes are that people make when they’re injured on a job site and are dealing with insurance companies. The two most common mistakes are, first, giving a recorded statement and, second, giving that recorded statement before hiring an attorney.
Insurance companies are there to try to limit their exposure. Beyond limiting their exposure, they’re also there to trick you. If they were there to fairly compensate you and your claims, I’d be out of business. Whether it is for a workers compensation claim or to an OSHA representative that’s investigating what occurred, never give a statement without first hiring an attorney.
The last mistake is taking the insurance company’s first offer. They’re just trying to get it done as quickly as possible, and they start with a low offer to try to get it resolved for as little as possible. If you’ve been injured on a work site and you have questions about your claim, please don’t hesitate to contact our office and we’ll be happy to answer any questions that you have.
What Mistakes Should I Avoid?
Recently I was contacted by someone who was seriously hurt in a construction accident that wanted to know what some of the common mistakes are that people make. The first mistake is not seeking medical treatment right away. Sometimes people are afraid of the ramifications that could happen with their employer if they leave and go to the hospital. You need to seek medical treatment right away to give yourself the best chance to fully recover. Closely related to that is people sometimes don’t follow the doctor’s orders. You need to follow up with the doctor, and you need to do the things that the doctor says, to give you the best chance at a full recover.
Another mistake is that people sometimes give statements, whether it be to an insurance company or someone who’s investigating the accident. When it’s an insurance adjuster, they’re trying to limit the exposure. If it’s an investigator, you need to give a statement, but you need to be prepared to give that statement. That’s related to the next mistake, which is people delaying in hiring representation.
It’s important to hire an attorney early on so that attorney can help you prepare to give that statement to OSHA or someone else who’s investigating the workplace injury. Beyond that, it’s also important to give the attorney enough time to investigate on their own. People also make the mistake of choosing the wrong attorney. You need to hire an attorney who has a large part of their focus devoted to personal injury law and workplace injuries, specifically, because workplace injuries are different than other injuries in Texas.
What If I Have a Preexisting Condition?
Recently I had a person ask me if their preexisting condition would negatively affect their construction accident case. The answer to that is complicated. In Texas, responsible parties are legally responsible for any change in your condition. For example, if you had a back injury and your pain was between a two and a four, but then after the construction accident occurred your pain became between a five and a seven, then the responsible parties would be responsible for that change.
Will My Construction Accident Case Go to Trial?
Recently I was contacted by someone who’d been seriously injured in a construction accident and he asked me if we were going to have to go to trial. The answer to that, first and foremost, is most cases don’t go to trial, but there isn’t a clear answer right away. That decision is going to be up to him. As the client, he is the boss on whether or not we take a settlement offer.
We will always advise our clients on whether we think an offer is fair or if we think that it’s better to go to trial, but the client always gets to make that final decision. Beyond that, if, for whatever reason, we are forced to go to trial because the insurance company on the other side won’t make a fair settlement offer, then that’s an opportunity for you to tell your story to a jury of your peers and ask for fair and just compensation because of how your life has been affected. Beyond that, we’ll always make sure you’re extremely prepared.
Call Our Office Today
If your construction accident left you in a rough spot, please call experienced Austin construction accident lawyer Daniel Smith today for a free confidential consultation. We will make sure that your case is on track, the insurance company isn’t hassling you into a low settlement, and that your rights are well protected. We will work hard to get you the compensation that you deserve.