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What if My Employer Isn’t the Only One At-Fault for My Construction Accident Injury?

When a construction accident occurs, it is not uncommon for multiple parties to be partially at fault for the incident. Texas law allows you to pursue compensation from each of these entities, whether they are your direct employer or not, based on the percentage of fault they share for your injuries.

How Do I Determine Who Is At-Fault for My Construction Injury?

Because a construction site will generally have several different contractors and employers on site at any given time, it can sometimes be difficult to determine who is liable for your injuries. In some situations, multiple entities may be at fault for an accident and your injuries, resulting in a case of shared liability. This is why it is a good idea to get in contact with an experienced construction accident attorney. Not only can an attorney help identify all the entities responsible for you accident and injuries, they can also help you recover compensation from the entities even if your employer has already begun paying out workers’ compensation.

Some instances in which liability may go beyond your employer are:

  • A commercial vehicle operator striking scaffolding, causing fall injuries.
  • Electrocution that occurred at an apartment complex with poorly maintained wires.
  • Injuries caused by a construction worker being exposed to asbestos at a job site.
  • Injuries caused by a defective piece of machinery or equipment.
  • Injuries caused by a co-worker who acted negligently while under the influence of a narcotic or alcohol.

How Does Shared Liability Work in a Texas Construction Accident?

When establishing fault in Texas, it is important to remember that Texas uses a modified comparative fault standard when apportioning fault and awarding damages. This is often referred to as “proportionate responsibility.”

Under this standard, the amount of damages a party is responsible for is proportionate to the percentage of fault they carry for an accident or injury. For example, if a scaffolding company is determined to be 70% responsible for your injuries and your employer 30% responsible, the actual damages awarded would be split 70/30 between the scaffolding company and your employer, respectively.

Proportionate responsibility also means that if you are found partly responsible for you injuries, the damages awarded to you could be reduced. For example, if you were ignoring proper safety procedures when the accident occurred, the court could determine that you were 30% at fault for the accident and therefore 30% at fault for your injuries. As such, if you were awarded $10,000 in damages, you would only be able to recover 70% of that amount or $7,000.

Additionally, Texas follows the 51% bar rule. This means that you may not collect damages for injuries if you are determined to be 51% or more at fault for your injuries.

If you have been involved in a construction accident, those responsible for your injuries will try to shift blame onto you in an attempt to limit their own liability. Consulting with an attorney prior to communicating with those responsible for your accident can help protect your rights and claim to compensation.

How Will an Attorney Help Me Determine Fault?

In addition to reviewing the evidence and facts of your case, Thomas J. Henry will employ an array of experts who are able to provide expert reports and testimony on how your accident occurred and who is at fault.

Finding the right expert for your unique situation is crucial in achieving positive results. As such, Thomas J. Henry has spent years finding and building professional relationships with the best expert witnesses from across the country. Each witness undergoes a thorough examination and questioning process before ever taking part in any aspect of a case. In a construction accident lawsuit, we may employ the services of the following experts:

  • Workplace safety compliance experts
  • Industrial accident reconstruction experts
  • Premises maintenance experts
  • OSHA consultants
  • Safety equipment experts
  • Ladder experts
  • Occupational and environmental health experts
  • Hazardous chemicals experts
  • Process safety management experts
  • Physicians, psychical therapists, and other healthcare professionals
  • Fire and explosion investigators

Expert witnesses can provide detailed information regarding your construction site injury. Our construction job injury lawyers are always looking for intuitive ways to use experts in construction accident cases.

What Should I Do If I’ve Been Involved in a Construction Accident?

The aftermath of a construction accident can seem overwhelming – you have likely sustained a serious injuries along with severe pain and uncertainty, but you have options. By following these simple steps, you can put yourself in a better position to achieve physical and financial recovery.

  1. Seek medical attention immediately
  2. File a report with your employer as soon as possible and receive copies of all documentation
  3. If possible, take photographs of the work site and any tools or equipment involved in the accident
  4. Collect names and contact information of witnesses to the accident, including coworkers and bystanders
  5. Document any changes in your health due to the construction accident as well as any visits with a doctor
  6. Contact an experienced construction injury attorney

You will likely be approached by your employer and insurance companies who will attempt to have you sign away your rights as an injured worker. Do not sign any documents or provide any written or recorded statements until you have consulted with an attorney.

 

My Injuries Are My Employer’s Fault, but He Does Not Carry Workers’ Compensation

Texas is unique in that employers are allowed to opt out of offering workers’ compensation; however, a caveat is that if an employer who does not offer workers’ compensation is determined to be even 1% at fault for an employee’s injuries, they are liable for any and all resulting damages.

How Does Workers’ Compensation Generally Work?

Workers’ compensation is a benefit offered by some employers which helps pay for hospital and medical expenses associated with an injury that was sustained on the job. Workers’ compensation may also provide disability payments if you are unable to work following you injury.

While workers’ compensation does cover most injuries, even those caused by the employee’s negligence, it is important to note that there are exclusions. For example, injuries that occur while an employee is intoxicated or under the influence of illegal drugs are not covered by workers’ compensation.

Other instances in which workers’ compensation may not imply include:

  • Self-inflicted injuries
  • Injuries suffered while an employee is committing a crime
  • Injuries sustained by an employee while not on a job
  • Injuries suffered by an employee acting in a manner that violates company policy.

Employers often benefit from offering workers’ compensation because it preempts them from being held liable for most on the job injuries. As such, a worker who receives workers’ compensation cannot sue their employer for the injuries they suffered in the workplace.

What Should I Do If My Employer Does Not Offer Workers’ Compensation?

If you are injured on the job and your employer does not offer workers’ compensation, contact a personal injury attorney immediately.

State law says that any employer who fails to provide workers’ compensation can be held liable for all damages sustained by the employee even if they are only determined to be 1% responsible for causing that employee’s injuries.

Most employers who have opted out of providing workers’ compensation understand this law. Because of that, they may scramble to offer something like workers’ compensation to mitigate their liability. Do not be fooled into signing your rights away. You have no obligation to accept their offer or to see a company-selected doctor, and any offer that comes from such an employer after an injury occurs will be well below what they are actually liable for.

Resources and Experts to Prove Your Workplace Injury Claim

Do not speak to your employer about your accident, injuries, or potential settlements without contacting Thomas J. Henry first. Thomas J. Henry has the resources and experience to help prove your workplace accident case. Our workplace injury lawyers will begin handling your claim immediately and request a temporary restraining order (TRO) to ensure any evidence is preserved. Thomas J. Henry also has access to leading industry experts who can help analyze evidence, inspect possible workplace violations, and provide compelling testimony to a judge or jury.

Some industry experts that may be called to review your case are:

  • Workplace Safety Compliance Experts
  • OSHA Consultants
  • Hazardous Chemicals Experts
  • Ladder Experts
  • Process Safety Management Experts
  • Occupational and Environmental Health Experts
  • Safety Equipment Experts
  • Industrial Engineers
  • Industrial Accident Re-constructionist

Contact an Experienced On the Job Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one were injured on the job, contact Thomas J. Henry. Workplace accident victims deserve quality, dynamic representation from attorneys with the experience and legal resources to properly develop their case. Oftentimes, workplace injuries are severe and debilitating and put individuals out of work for an extended period of time. Our work accident lawyers will take immediate action on your case and make sure you are comfortable and informed throughout the entire legal process. Contact us today for a free case review.

 

What Are Some Examples of Construction Accident Cases?

Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in America with construction works accounting for roughly one out of every five workplace fatalities. When employers fail to follow federal and state safety regulations or fail to implement proper safety programs, construction workers are put in even more danger.

What are the Most Common Causes of Construction Accidents?

The “Fatal Four” causes of construction accidents — falls, struck by an object, electrocutions, and caught-in/between — accounted for 64.2 percent of all construction industry fatal injuries in 2015. Eliminating the “Fatal Four” would save approximately 602 workers’ lives every year.

  • Falls  The leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry, falls claim the lives of 362 workers on average each year. Hazards that cause the most fall-related injuries and deaths include:
    • Unprotected sides, wall openings, and floor holes
      • Many work sites have unprotected sides, edges, and uncovered holes in the floor and wall at some point during construction. Unprotected openings can cause injuries due to falls and falling objects.
    • Improper scaffold construction
      • When heavy equipment and building materials are present on a scaffold with limited space, falls can occur. Without properly installed guardrail systems or the use of fall protection, serious injuries and death can be a result of a fall.
    • Unguarded exposed steel rebars
      • Protruding steel reinforcing bars are extremely hazardous. Stumbling onto an unprotected/unguarded steel rebar can cause impalement, serious injuries, and death.
    • Misuse of portable ladders
      • Ladders that are positioned improperly create a big fall risk. If a ladder is on uneven ground, is unsteady, or defective, falls can cause injuries or death.
  • Struck-by — These injuries can be caused by vehicles, falling objects, or in the process of building walls. In 2015, 83 construction workers were killed after being struck by a non-vehicle object.
    • Vehicles
      • Approximately 75 percent of struck-by fatalities involve heavy equipment such as trucks or cranes
    • Falling or flying objects
      • Objects can fall from construction machinery, scaffolding, or anywhere that overhead work is happening.
    • Falling masonry walls
      • Most incidents occur when jacks or lifting equipment are used to position slabs and walls, or when shoring is required until structures can support themselves
  • Electrocutions — In 2015, there were 81 electrocution deaths in the construction industry. Electrocutions can be caused by several different accidents, including:
    • Contact with power lines
      • Fatal electrocution is the main risk, but burns and falls from elevations are also hazards.
    • Issues with ground-fault protection
      • This can cause electrical burns, explosions, fire, or death.
    • Improper use of equipment
      • Human error can cause severe injury or death.
  • Caught in-between (Trenching)  In 2015, 67 deaths in the construction industry were a result of a caught-in or caught-between, trenching, or excavation injury. Lack of oxygen or exposure to harmful chemicals can be deadly in some instances. Causes of these injuries include:
    • No protective system
    • Failure to inspect trench and protective systems
    • Unsafe spoil-pile placement
    • Unsafe access/egress

Top Ten Most Frequently Cite OSHA Violations

Every year, OSHA releases the top ten most frequently cited safety and health violations from across the country. Approximately 32,000 workplace inspections take place each year, and the top ten list of violations rarely change.

  1. Fall protection
  2. Hazard communication
  3. Scaffolds
  4. Respiratory protection
  5. Lockout/tagout (Proper lockout and tagout procedures can protect workers from unexpected machinery startups or release of stored energy)
  6. Powered industrial trucks
  7. Ladders
  8. Machine guarding
  9. Electrical wiring
  10. Electrical, general requirements

Other causes of construction accidents and injuries include:

  • Unsafe working conditions
    • Safety code violations
    • OSHA violations
    • Improper site design or inspection
  • Dangerous work areas
    • Roadway safety defects
    • Faulty stairs
    • Ceiling tile failures and wall tile failures
  • Explosions
  • Defective equipment
    • Anchor bolt failures
    • Defective power tools
    • Improperly stored materials

How Do I Determine Who Is At-Fault for My Construction Injury?

Generally, a construction site will have several different contractors and employers on site at any given time. Because of this, it can sometimes be difficult to determine who is liable for your injuries. This is why it is a good idea to get in contact with an experienced construction accident attorney. Not only can an attorney help identify all the entities responsible for you accident and injuries, they can also help you recover compensation from the entities even if your employer has already begun paying out workers’ compensation.

Some instances in which liability may go beyond your employer are:

  • A commercial vehicle operator striking scaffolding, causing fall injuries.
  • Electrocution that occurred at an apartment complex with poorly maintained wires.
  • Injuries caused by a construction worker being exposed to asbestos at a job site.
  • Injuries caused by a defective piece of machinery or equipment.
  • Injuries caused by a co-worker who acted negligently while under the influence of a narcotic or alcohol.

What Should I Do if I’ve Been Injured in a Construction Accident?

If you have been injured in a workplace accident, there are a few things you can do to help secure workplace compensation as well as strengthen any claim to additional recoveries you may have.

  1. Seek medical attention. First and foremost, you should seek treatment for you injuries. Understanding the extent of you injuries is not only important to making a full recovery, but will also help you gauge how much that recovery is going to cost you. If you do not feel completely comfortable with the company doctor, go to your own physician for a second opinion.
  2. Report your injury. Workplace injuries need to be reported in a timely manner. Also, keep you supervisor or manager up-to-date on any subsequent developments. If your doctor has diagnosed an injury that was not immediately evident at the time of your initial report, let your supervisor know.
  3. Get a written repot of the accident. Your employer must take a report of the accident. You are entitled to a copy as well. Do not let your employer deny you a physical copy of your report for your own records.
  4. Identify witnesses. If someone witnessed your accident, get their information. You may need to refer back to their account of the incident later.
  5. Take photos. Take photos of the area, including any tools or equipment that may have played a role in the accident.
  6. Write an account. You will likely be asked to make statements about you claim multiple times. Having a detailed account that was written while the accident was still fresh in your mind can help keep your statements concise and accurate.
  7. Contact an attorney. Even if you plan on going through workers’ compensation, contacting an experienced attorney can help ensure you are receiving a fair amount. Thomas J. Henry offers free consultations to all injured victims. Our attorneys are available 24/7 – seven days a week.

 

Can An Attorney Help Me Determine Who Was at Fault for My Construction Accident?

Construction sites are often busy and hectic with several different contractors and employers on a job site at any given time. With that, it may not be immediately clear who was at fault for a construction accident. At Thomas J. Henry, we are able to investigate your accident and injuries to determine where the fault lies.

What Should I Do If I’ve Been Involved in a Construction Accident?

The aftermath of a construction accident can seem overwhelming – you have likely sustained a serious injuries along with severe pain and uncertainty, but you have options. By following these simple steps, you can put yourself in a better position to achieve physical and financial recovery.

  1. Seek medical attention immediately
  2. File a report with your employer as soon as possible and receive copies of all documentation
  3. If possible, take photographs of the work site and any tools or equipment involved in the accident
  4. Collect names and contact information of witnesses to the accident, including coworkers and bystanders
  5. Document any changes in your health due to the construction accident as well as any visits with a doctor
  6. Contact an experienced construction injury attorney

You will likely be approached by your employer and insurance companies who will attempt to have you sign away your rights as an injured worker. Do not sign any documents or provide any written or recorded statements until you have consulted with an attorney.

How Will an Attorney Help Me Determine Fault?

In addition to reviewing the evidence and facts of your case, Thomas J. Henry will employ an array of experts who are able to provide expert reports and testimony on how your accident occurred and who is at fault.

Finding the right expert for your unique situation is crucial in achieving positive results. As such, Thomas J. Henry has spent years finding and building professional relationships with the best expert witnesses from across the country. Each witness undergoes a thorough examination and questioning process before ever taking part in any aspect of a case. In a construction accident lawsuit, we may employ the services of the following experts:

  • Workplace safety compliance experts
  • Industrial accident reconstruction experts
  • Premises maintenance experts
  • OSHA consultants
  • Safety equipment experts
  • Ladder experts
  • Occupational and environmental health experts
  • Hazardous chemicals experts
  • Process safety management experts
  • Physicians, psychical therapists, and other healthcare professionals
  • Fire and explosion investigators

Expert witnesses can provide detailed information regarding your construction site injury. Our construction job injury lawyers are always looking for intuitive ways to use experts in construction accident cases.

What are the Most Common Causes of Construction Accidents?

The “Fatal Four” causes of construction accidents — falls, struck by an object, electrocutions, and caught-in/between — accounted for 64.2 percent of all construction industry fatal injuries in 2015. Eliminating the “Fatal Four” would save approximately 602 workers’ lives every year.

  • Falls  The leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry, falls claim the lives of 362 workers on average each year. Hazards that cause the most fall-related injuries and deaths include:
    • Unprotected sides, wall openings, and floor holes
      • Many work sites have unprotected sides, edges, and uncovered holes in the floor and wall at some point during construction. Unprotected openings can cause injuries due to falls and falling objects.
    • Improper scaffold construction
      • When heavy equipment and building materials are present on a scaffold with limited space, falls can occur. Without properly installed guardrail systems or the use of fall protection, serious injuries and death can be a result of a fall.
    • Unguarded exposed steel rebars
      • Protruding steel reinforcing bars are extremely hazardous. Stumbling onto an unprotected/unguarded steel rebar can cause impalement, serious injuries, and death.
    • Misuse of portable ladders
      • Ladders that are positioned improperly create a big fall risk. If a ladder is on uneven ground, is unsteady, or defective, falls can cause injuries or death.
  • Struck-by — These injuries can be caused by vehicles, falling objects, or in the process of building walls. In 2015, 83 construction workers were killed after being struck by a non-vehicle object.
    • Vehicles
      • Approximately 75 percent of struck-by fatalities involve heavy equipment such as trucks or cranes
    • Falling or flying objects
      • Objects can fall from construction machinery, scaffolding, or anywhere that overhead work is happening.
    • Falling masonry walls
      • Most incidents occur when jacks or lifting equipment are used to position slabs and walls, or when shoring is required until structures can support themselves
  • Electrocutions — In 2015, there were 81 electrocution deaths in the construction industry. Electrocutions can be caused by several different accidents, including:
    • Contact with power lines
      • Fatal electrocution is the main risk, but burns and falls from elevations are also hazards.
    • Issues with ground-fault protection
      • This can cause electrical burns, explosions, fire, or death.
    • Improper use of equipment
      • Human error can cause severe injury or death.
  • Caught in-between (Trenching)  In 2015, 67 deaths in the construction industry were a result of a caught-in or caught-between, trenching, or excavation injury. Lack of oxygen or exposure to harmful chemicals can be deadly in some instances. Causes of these injuries include:
    • No protective system
    • Failure to inspect trench and protective systems
    • Unsafe spoil-pile placement
    • Unsafe access/egress

Contact an Experienced Construction Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one sustained a serious injury in a construction accident, contact Thomas J. Henry. Accidents that occur on construction sites can cause severe, life-altering injuries, causing physical, emotional, and financial pain. Our experienced construction injury attorneys work diligently to make sure our clients are comfortable and informed throughout the entire process. At Thomas J. Henry, we have a record of achieving real results for our clients. Let us assist you with your construction accident injury. Contact us today for a free case review.

Can I Sue if My Spouse Was Injured in an Industrial Accident or Explosion?

If you have lost your spouse to an industrial accident or an explosion, you absolutely have a claim in Texas. Texas recognizes that spouses can bring wrongful death claims for the loss of their loved ones. Additionally, you may also bring, on behalf of your spouse’s estate, a claim for your children and even themselves.

What Kinds of Industrial Accidents Can Result in Lawsuits?

When it comes to industrial accidents and explosions, it is best to hire an attorney as soon as possible.

Industrial accident litigation is extremely complex, and the jobsites involved are often hectic. Hiring an attorney as soon as an injury or death occurs will help ensure that important material evidence is secured.

Not only will industrial accident attorney file a temporary restraining order to preserve evidence, your attorney will also hire industry and Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) experts to investigate the jobsite for any potential safety violations.

Safety violations often include:

  • Poorly maintained equipment
  • Failure to provide adequate fall protection
  • Failure to meet hazard communication standards
  • Failure to provide adequate respiratory protection
  • General transportation safety violations
  • Failure to meet general machinery and machine guard requirements
  • Failure to control hazardous energy

How Can an Expert Witness Help in My Industrial Accident Lawsuit?

Not only are experts essential in finding and retaining evidence at the scene, they can also provide expert analysis of their findings and expert testimony during trial and arbitration.

Thomas J. Henry has spent years finding and building professional relationships with the best expert witnesses from all across the country. Expert witnesses that could benefit your oilfield lawsuit include:

  • OSHA consultants
  • Accident reconstructionists
  • Welding experts
  • Confined space permit experts
  • Engineering experts
  • Safety equipment experts
  • Occupational and environmental health experts
  • Hazardous chemical experts
  • Process safety management experts

What Damages Can I Recover if My Spouse Was Killed in an Industrial Accident?

If you have lost a loved one in an industrial accident caused by the negligence of another, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

One option is to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In a wrongful death action, the family is not actually suing for harm caused to their loved one – instead, they are suing for the harm that was caused to them as a result of the loss of the deceased person. Among the damages a family can seek in a wrongful death lawsuit are:

  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of love and emotional support
  • Loss of financial support

A second option is to file a survivor claim. In a survivor action, the family is asserting that:

  • The worker died because of the defendant’s negligence.
  • This negligence caused pain and suffering to the worker before the worker died.
  • Had the worker survived, he or she would have been able to pursue legal action against the defendant to recover compensation for pain and suffering.
  • The defendant should not be able to avoid liability for pain and suffering just because the worker died.
  • The pain and suffering damages should be paid to the deceased worker’s estate.

Contact an Experienced Industrial Accident Attorney?

If you or a loved one were injured on the job, contact Thomas J. Henry. Workplace accident victims deserve quality, dynamic representation from attorneys with the experience and legal resources to properly develop their case. Oftentimes, workplace injuries are severe and debilitating and put individuals out of work for an extended period of time. Our work accident lawyers will take immediate action on your case and make sure you are comfortable and informed throughout the entire legal process. Contact us today for a free case review.

What Factors Make an Unsafe Construction Workplace?

Injuries occur in every type of workplace across all sectors and occupations. One of the most dangerous industries in America is construction. Approximately one out of every five on-the-job fatal injuries are construction workers. What hazards and factors make construction workplaces especially dangerous and unsafe?

Hazards on a Construction Site

Construction accidents occur at a higher rate than other industries due to the sheer number of potential hazards that can be found on a construction site. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), here are some of the most common factors that lead to workplace injuries in the construction industry:

  • Falls from height

Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. On a construction site, there are many situations in which a worker can sustain serious injuries from a fall. Falls from scaffolding, ladders, metal beams, unprotected holes in the floor or wall openings can contribute to a worker’s fall. According to OSHA, fall protection violations are one of the most common citations issued in the construction industry. Body harnesses, guardrails, and safety nets can be used to reduce the risk of serious injury.

  • Scaffolding collapses

Improper erection of scaffolding leads to thousands of injuries and dozens of deaths each year in the construction industry. Not only can workers be severely injured from falls, but workers (or pedestrians) on the ground can be struck by falling scaffolds, scaffolding accessories, or equipment. Scaffolding can cause a variety of hazards if used incorrectly, such as in inclement weather, near electrical power lines, or overburdened with gear and equipment.

  • Trench collapses

OSHA recognizes trench collapses as one of the most dangerous hazards for construction workers. When an unprotected trench collapses on top of a worker, injuries are often fatal. Deep trenches require specific protective systems to keep workers safe, including proper sloping ratios and soil supports to prevent collapses. Placing spoil piles too close to the trench can also cause a cave-in. Ladders or stairway exits in close proximity to workers in the trench should always be present.

  • Poorly maintained or defective equipment

Construction tools and equipment are often dangerous by nature when operating normally. When these tools are defective, damaged, aged, or missing parts, the construction workers that use them are put in danger. Tools and equipment should be inspected for flaws, worn cords, broken pieces, and any other defects that could cause it to malfunction in use. In some cases, when construction equipment malfunctions due to a manufacturer’s defect that occurs on the assembly line or during the shipping process, a claim can be brought against that company.

  • Crane accidents

A common sight on a construction site, cranes can create a significant number of hazards to operators and other workers alike. Many injuries caused by cranes are from workers being struck by or crushed by the crane’s load. Damaged wires, chains, and hooks could lead to unsecured loads and catastrophic failure. In addition, there have been many cases of crane booms striking overhead power wires, causing deadly electrocutions.

  • Chemical exposure

There are a host of materials and chemicals used in the construction industry that can cause injuries and health issues if handled properly. Burns, respiratory problems, explosions, and fires can occur if harmful chemicals are mishandled. Workers that are tasked to use these potentially dangerous materials should be trained on their uses and their risks and know how to protect themselves and other workers if a spill or misuse occurs. Oftentimes hazardous or toxic chemicals are stored incorrectly or used without protective equipment.

  • Transportation accidents

Some construction sites in the United States could be mistaken for a busy city intersection. Large trucks, dump trucks, cement trucks, cranes, forklifts, and other vehicles often traverse work sites. Unfortunately one of the leading causes of workplace accidents is due to a transportation-related accident involving a pedestrian worker. The large size of vehicles and machinery used on construction sites can make it difficult to see where other workers are on the ground.

What can be done to Protect Workers?

Employers in the construction industry are aware of the various hazards present on a work site. Most work injuries and fatalities could be avoided if the appropriate safety measures are followed. It is the responsibility of the employer to provide a save work environment for their employees, which includes hiring qualified workers, providing supervision, keeping the work site free of hazards, and training employees to use safety equipment and procedures.

Violations of OSHA guidelines put workers at risk for injury. These rules and procedures are put in place to keep workers safe on the job, and when they are not closely adhered to by employers and employees alike, catastrophic accidents can occur. Companies and businesses that fail to follow OSHA guidelines can receive steep monetary fines.

To learn more about construction accident injuries and fatalities, view our U.S. Construction Accidents Statistics infographic.

Contact an Experienced Construction Injury Attorney

If you have been hurt in a construction accident, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our construction injury lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to take your call and evaluate your claim. We have experience handling a variety of complex work accident cases. Because there are many types of safety problems that can occur in a construction accident, it is vital to speak with an attorney right away so they can examine and investigate the causes of your injuries. Thomas J. Henry has a proven record of achieving record-breaking, multi-million dollar results for injured clients. Don’t wait — call us today for your free case review.

I Fell From a Scaffolding While on the Job. Can I Sue?

If you fell from scaffolding while on the job, depending on the circumstances under which your accident occurred and whether or not your employer offers worker’s compensation, you may be able to sue your employer or a third party who was involved in your accident.

What if My Employer Does Not Offer Workers’ Compensation?

If your employer does not offer workers’ compensation, you should contact an experienced workplace injury attorney to handle your claim. If you are badly injured on the job, you employer may scramble to offer something like workers’ compensation and demand that you see a company doctor. You have no obligation accept their offer of compensation or see their doctor.

Texas is unique in that it does not require employers offer workers’ compensation. The caveat is that if an employer who does not offer workers’ compensation is determined to be even 1% at fault for an employee’s injuries, they are liable for any and all resulting damages.

Thomas J. Henry has the resources and experience to help prove your construction accident case. Our workplace injury lawyers will begin handling your claim immediately and request a temporary restraining order (TRO) to ensure any evidence is preserved. Thomas J. Henry also has access to leading industry experts who can help analyze evidence, inspect possible workplace violations, and provide compelling testimony to a judge or jury.

Our construction accident experts include:

  • Workplace safety compliance experts
  • Industrial accident reconstruction experts
  • Premises maintenance experts
  • OSHA consultants
  • Safety equipment experts
  • Ladder experts
  • Occupational and environmental health experts
  • Hazardous chemicals experts
  • Process safety management experts
  • Physicians, psychical therapists, and other healthcare professionals
  • Fire and explosion investigators

What If I’m Already Receiving Workers’ Compensation? Can I Still Seek Additional Damages?

Workers’ compensation is a benefits program employers provide to workers to pay for hospital and medical expenses associated with on the job injuries. Workers’ compensation also provides disability payments while an employee is unable to work. Workers’ compensation covers most injuries, even those caused by the employee’s own negligence, but there or instances in which a workers’ compensation claim can be denied. These include:

  • Self-inflicted injuries
  • Injuries suffered while an employee is committing a crime
  • Injuries sustained by an employee while not on a job
  • Injuries suffered by an employee acting in a manner that violates company policy.

While workers’ compensation typically precludes an employee from filing an personal injury lawsuit, Texas law does allow the employee to sue any other parties involved in the accident. In the instance of a scaffolding-related injury, this can include manufacturers of potentially defective products, a co-worker who committed a negligent or reckless act, or a non-employee who contributed to your injuries.

Are Scaffolding and Fall Injuries Common?

Roughly 4,836 worker deaths and 2.9 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses are recorded in the United States every year. Among the most common causes of death and injury in the workplace are falls, slips, and trips.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that falls, slips, and trips result in 16.5% of all recorded fatal workplace injuries. This makes falls the second most common cause of death in the workplace, exceeded only by transportation accidents.

Additionally, fall protection and Scaffolding are consistently among the top three most frequently cited standards by Federal OSHA.

What Should I Do if I’ve Been Injured in a Scaffolding Accident?

If you have been injured in a scaffolding accident, there are a few things you can do to help secure workers’ compensation as well as strengthen any claim to additional recoveries you may have.

  1. Seek medical attention. Before anything else, you should seek treatment for you injuries. Understanding the extent of you injuries is not only important to making a full recovery, but will also help you gauge how much that recovery is going to cost you. If you do not feel completely comfortable with the company doctor, go to your own physician for a second opinion.
  2. Report your injury. Workplace injuries need to be reported in a timely manner. Also, keep you supervisor or manager up-to-date on any subsequent developments. If your doctor has diagnosed an injury that was not immediately evident at the time of your initial report, let your supervisor know.
  3. Get a written repot of the accident. Your employer must take a report of the accident. You are entitled to a copy as well. Do not let your employer deny you a physical copy of your report for your own records.
  4. Identify witnesses. If someone witnessed your accident, get their information. You may need to refer back to their account of the incident later.
  5. Take photos. Take photos of the area, including any tools or equipment that may have played a role in the accident.
  6. Write an account. You will likely be asked to make statements about you claim multiple times. Having a detailed account that was written while the accident was still fresh in your mind can help keep your statements concise and accurate.
  7. Contact an attorney. Even if you plan on going through workers’ compensation, contacting an experienced attorney can help ensure you are receiving a fair amount. Thomas J. Henry offers free consultations to all injured victims. Our attorneys are available 24/7 – seven days a wee

What if an Investigation Shows My Employer Violated OSHA Regulations?

If an investigation of your workplace injuries reveals that your employer violated regulations put in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, then your employer can be sanctioned by OSHA and forced to pay a fine to the federal government. Such a revelation can also benefit your claim to recovery whether it is sought through workers’ compensation or a personal injury lawsuit.

How Can an Attorney Determine if a Workplace Safety Violation Occurred?

Federal and state regulations like those enforced by OSHA help ensure employers are taking appropriate measures to protect their employees and contracted workers from on the job accidents. Unfortunately, some employers forego these regulations and put profit and reduced cost above worker safety.

Thomas J. Henry has represented injured workers for more than 30 years and is familiar with the short cuts some employers take to drive down costs. He is also familiar with the tactics a less-than-honest employer will utilize to try to limit their liability, including destroying evidence, falsifying records, and altering the scene of the accident. When you hire Thomas J. Henry, our attorneys and dedicated staff will take immediate action to preserve evidence and the integrity of the site of the accident.

Thomas J. Henry has also built professional relationships with leading industry experts who can serve as expert witnesses in your case. These highly specialized individuals can help us better understand how your accident occurred and what violations your employer or contractor may have committed. They can also provide compelling testimony should your case go to trial.

Expert witnesses often utilized by Thomas J. Henry in workplace injury cases include:

  • Workplace Safety Compliance Experts
  • OSHA Consultants
  • Hazardous Chemicals Experts
  • Ladder Experts
  • Process Safety Management Experts
  • Occupational and Environmental Health Experts
  • Safety Equipment Experts
  • Industrial Engineers
  • Industrial Accident Re-constructionist

What If I am Seeking Recovery Through Workers’ Compensation?

Even if you are pursuing recovery through workers’ compensation, it is important that you reach out to an experienced workplace injury attorney. This is because parties other than your employer may have contributed to your injury.

Texas law recognizes that workplace accidents are not always the result of a single entity’s actions. As such, you may take legal action against other parties even if you are receiving workers’ compensation. Other parties that may have contributed to your accident include manufacturers of potentially defective products or toxic substances, a co-worker who committed a negligent or reckless act, or a non-employee who contributed to your injuries.

Examples of such lawsuits include:

  • A delivery truck driver suing a drunk driver who struck his company vehicle.
  • A cable company installations employee suing an apartment complex after being electrocuted by poorly maintained wires.
  • A truck driver suing the manufacturer of a defective tire following a blowout.
  • A construction worker suing a property owner after being exposed to asbestos at a job site.
  • A factory worker suing a co-worker who acted negligently while under the influence of a narcotic.

What Should I Do if I’ve Been Injured in a Workplace Accident?

If you have been injured in a workplace accident, there are a few things you can do to help secure workplace compensation as well as strengthen any claim to additional recoveries you may have.

  1. Seek medical attention. First and foremost, you should seek treatment for you injuries. Understanding the extent of you injuries is not only important to making a full recovery, but will also help you gauge how much that recovery is going to cost you. If you do not feel completely comfortable with the company doctor, go to your own physician for a second opinion.
  2. Report your injury. Workplace injuries need to be reported in a timely manner. Also, keep you supervisor or manager up-to-date on any subsequent developments. If your doctor has diagnosed an injury that was not immediately evident at the time of your initial report, let your supervisor know.
  3. Get a written repot of the accident. Your employer must take a report of the accident. You are entitled to a copy as well. Do not let your employer deny you a physical copy of your report for your own records.
  4. Identify witnesses. If someone witnessed your accident, get their information. You may need to refer back to their account of the incident later.
  5. Take photos. Take photos of the area, including any tools or equipment that may have played a role in the accident.
  6. Write an account. You will likely be asked to make statements about you claim multiple times. Having a detailed account that was written while the accident was still fresh in your mind can help keep your statements concise and accurate.
  7. Contact an attorney. Even if you plan on going through workers’ compensation, contacting an experienced attorney can help ensure you are receiving a fair amount. Thomas J. Henry offers free consultations to all injured victims. Our attorneys are available 24/7 – seven days a week.

 

What to Consider Before Returning to Work after an Accident?

How long you should wait after a personal injury accident before returning to work may vary depending on the extent of your injuries and your unique situation. However, there are several questions you should ask yourself prior to returning to work regardless of circumstances surrounding your accident and injuries.

  1. Does Returning to Work Mean I’m Okay?

Returning to work does not mean you have fully recovered or that the symptoms of your injuries have disappeared. In fact, may injured persons are forced to return to work in order to keep up with their medical bills and the costs of their injury.

Still, if you are considering returning to work, it is essential that you do not push yourself to hard. Many people who return to work following an accident put all their energy into their job with the goal of being as productive as they were prior to their accident. Such an approach can exacerbate existing injuries and result in more pain and potentially permanent damage.

Allow yourself ample time to heal and do not attempt to push yourself beyond your capabilities.

  1. Will Returning to Work Hurt my Lawsuit?

You may be under the impression that returning to work signifies to the opposition that your injuries are not as severe as previously thought. However, this is not true.

Plaintiffs who have a personal injury claim must be able to take reasonable steps to minimize their losses, and missing work can do more harm than good. If you are struggling financially due to loss wages, consult with your attorney. They will work with your doctor to determine whether it is safe for you to return to work.

  1. Has My Doctor Cleared Me for Work?

If you wish to recover economic losses for lost wages or loss of earning potential, there will need to be a medical basis for your inability to work. Simply being in an accident does not entitle you to compensation for being off work.

If you doctor has cleared you for work, then it is unlikely that you will recover loss wages. However, if your doctor has advised you to not go to work, listen to their advice! Returning to work before you are physically able to will only worsen your condition.

  1. Will Going Back to Work Hamper or be Detrimental to my Physical Recovery?

If you rush back to work before you have made a fully recovery, your symptoms may worsen. If you believe returning to work will hamper your recovery or if you have returned to work only to have your symptoms reappear, consult with your attorney. They will advise you on the best course of action.

Contact Thomas J. Henry Today for a Free Case Review

If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, call Thomas J. Henry today. Our experienced accident lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to hear your claim. Accidents can cause great physical and financial harm to an individual and their family. We can help you address medical bills and living costs, letting you focus on healing while we take care of the ongoing legal processes. It is our goal to ensure our clients are taken care of while our injury attorneys fight relentless to obtain the real result you need. Don’t wait — contact Thomas J. Henry today for a free legal consultation.

Do My Children Have a Claim If I Was Permanently Disabled in an Industrial Accident?

If you were severely injured in an industrial accident and that injury has left you with permanent disability, then your children may have a claim for loss of consortium. Whether such a claim is available is dependent on the severity of the injuries you have suffered.

What Is Loss of Consortium?

Loss of consortium is a cause of action available to the spouse and family members of a person who has been severely injured or killed due to the wrongful acts of another. The concept of loss of consortium is that the person who was killed or injured cannot provide his or her family members with the same love, affection, companionship, or comfort that were provided before the accident.

Typically, injuries which may result in loss of consortium damages can included those that result in paralysis, amputation, significant brain damage, or incontinence.

How is Loss of Consortium Measured?

Loss of consortium falls in the realm of general damages, also called non-economic damages, meaning that the loss is not purely financial. In these situations, money is considered to be a rough substitute for the loss suffered. More common examples of general damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss or reputation
  • Humiliation and embarrassment
  • Loss of companionship

Because there is no clear financial loss to be considered, it falls on the judge or jury to quantify the damages in terms of monetary value. It is the job of your attorney to demonstrate loss of consortium in a way that helps the judge or jury provide an accurate financial awarded.

How Does Loss of Consortium Relate to Children?

In Texas, children are allowed to recover damages that result from loss of consortium. In such circumstances, a judge or jury may consider the following:

  • Is the injured parent able to provide the same level of care as he or she was prior to his or her injury?
  • Is the injured parent able to provide the same level of nurturing as he or she was prior to his or her injury?
  • Is the injured parent able to provide the same level of affection as he or she was prior to his or her injury?
  • Was the relationship shared by the child and the parent irrevocably altered by the parent’s injury?

What Should I Consider Before Bringing a Loss of Consortium Claim?

Every state has its own unique limitations on when a loss of consortium claim is available and what damages can be recover. For example, you must be able to prove the extent of your relationship to your children or spouse prior to your injury in order to receive compensation.

Further, when bringing a loss of consortium claim, be prepared for private and even intimate aspects of your relationship to the claimant to be put at issue.  You will have to withstand hard questioning during deposition and trial as the defense attorney tries to mitigate your claim.

Additionally, any negative aspects of your relationship, including infidelity, separation, criminal charges, or abuse, will be discussed in font of the judge and jury and will become part of the public record.

Contact and Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys is a personal injury law firm with offices in Corpus Christi, Texas, San Antonio, Texas, and Houston, Texas representing accident victims nationwide. Our priority is to provide our clients with the best legal representation. Our experienced trial attorneys are committed to defending your rights in personal injury matters including defective products, recalled drugs, child injuries, and auto accidents.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact our offices immediately – we are available 24/7, nights and weekends.

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