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Can I Sue If I Was Injured While Visiting or Walking By a Construction Site?

If you are injured while walking by or visiting a construction site, it can be difficult to determine who was at fault in your accident. In many cases, depending on the circumstances, multiple parties may be responsible for your accident and injuries.

A diligent investigation early on and throughout the claim process in extremely important in such accidents. That is why you should hire an attorney immediately.

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 a construction company 30% responsible, the actual damages awarded would be split 70/30 between the scaffolding company and the construction company, 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.

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 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 workers 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 the parties responsible and insurance companies who will attempt to have you sign away your rights as an injured individual. 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.

Thomas J. Henry Personal Injury Attorneys

Thomas J. Henry 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.

What is Comparative Fault and How Does it Affect My Texas Construction Accident Case?

Comparative fault is a concept by which multiple parties are assigned a percentage of fault for an accident or incident that has resulted in injury or death. In a construction accident, you may have three, four, or five parties that contributed to an accident. Comparative fault allows you to hold all of these parties responsible for the role they played in your accident and injuries.

What is an Example of Comparative Fault in a Texas Construction Accident?

The first thing to remember is that comparative fault varies from state to state. Texas, for example, 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 are determined to carry for an accident or injury. A simple example of this would be an accident in which two parties are determined to be at fault.

Let’s say you were injured in a scaffolding collapse. An investigation reveals that the scaffolding was not assembled to regulatory standards and that your employer failed to take due diligence to ensure the safety of its employees when contracting the company that built the scaffolding. 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.

What if I am Deemed Party At-Fault for My Construction Accident?

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 scaffolding 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 Do I Determine Who is At-Fault for My Construction Accident Injuries?

Construction sites can be hectic with several different contractors and employers operating on site at any given time. This can make it difficult to identify and determine who is liable for you injuries. Hiring an experienced construction accident attorney can not only help you identify all of the entities that contributed to your accident and injuries, they can also help you recover compensation from the entities – even if you are receiving workers’ compensation.

Thomas J. Henry has been representing construction accident victims for more than 20 years. 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 am 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.

Contact Thomas J. Henry for Your Construction Accident Case

Thomas J. Henry fights to protect the rights of workplace injury victims. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed on the job, contact Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys. The goal of our offices is to not only protect your rights, but to send a message so the same tragedy does not happen again. We represent clients/victims all over the country.

 

 

What Should I Do If I Have Been Exposed to Chemicals or Toxic Material as a Result of an Industrial Explosion?

There is no question that industrial explosions are catastrophic; still, the far-reaching effects of such an event are often underestimated. When an industrial explosion occurs, toxic material and chemicals may escape from the site, affecting workers and residents who were not in the immediate vicinity of the blast.

If you believe you have been exposed to chemicals or toxic materials as a result of an industrial accident or explosion, whether you were on the job or just happen to live near the site where the incident occurred, it is essential that you seek immediate medical attention.

How Do Chemicals and Toxic Materials Get Into the Body?

Chemicals and toxic materials come in a variety of forms, including solids, liquids, dusts, vapors, gases, fibers, mists, and fumes. The form a chemical or toxic material comes in has a lot to do with how it gets into your body. Typically, chemicals and toxic materials will enter the body through one of three main “routes of exposure.”

  • Inhalation – Breathing in chemical gases, mists, or dusts that are in the air.
  • Skin or eye contact – Getting chemicals on the skin or in the eyes. Chemicals can enter the body through damages skin or even be absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream.
  • Ingestion – This often occurs when a person eats food or drinks water which chemicals have spilled or settled into or onto. Toxic contamination may also be transferred to food from chemicals or materials left on the hands.

When an industrial explosion occurs, solid and liquid toxic materials and chemicals can be thrown far from the site of the blast, and vapors, gases, dusts, and mists can be carried miles by the wind. Further, the toxic materials and chemicals can settle into soil or water where it can stay for days, years, or even decades.

How Do I Know If I’ve Been Exposed to Toxic Chemicals or Materials?

The symptoms of chemical or toxic material exposure will vary depending on the material in question and the route of exposure. Further, the symptoms can be very non-specific and may be confused as a common illness, making exposure even more difficult to identify.

If an industrial explosion occurred at your workplace or at a site near your home, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

  • Head symptoms:
    • Dizziness
    • Headache
  • Eye symptoms:
    • Redness
    • Watery eyes
    • Irritation
    • Grainy feeling
  • Nose and throat symptoms:
    • Sneezing
    • Coughing
    • Sore throat
  • Chest and lung symptoms:
    • Chest pains
    • Wheezing
    • Coughing
    • Shortness of breath
    • Difficulty breathing
  • Stomach symptoms:
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Stomachache
    • Diarrhea
  • Skin symptoms:
    • Redness
    • Dryness
    • Rash
    • Itching
  • Nervous system symptoms:
    • Nervousness
    • Irritability
    • Sleeplessness
    • Tremors
    • Loss of balance
    • Loss of coordination
  • Reproductive system symptoms:
    • In men:
      • Low sperm count
      • Damages sperm
    • In women:
      • Irregular periods
      • Spotting
      • Miscarriage
      • Damage to egg or fetus

What Are the Dangers of Chemical or Toxic Exposure?

Both acute and chronic exposure to chemicals or toxic materials can result in serious and debilitating illnesses and injuries.

These may include:

  • Loss of vision and blindness
  • Lung disease
  • Brain injuries
  • Radiation illness
  • Burns
  • Cancer
  • Death

Contact an Experienced Chemical and Toxic Exposure Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured or developed an illness after being exposed to chemicals and toxins following an industrial accident or explosion, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will take immediate action on your case and ensure that is handled effectively and efficiently from the beginning. We understand how a chemical and toxic exposure can affect an individual physically, emotionally, and financially. At Thomas J. Henry, we don’t charge a fee unless we win your case.

With the backing of extensive legal and financial resources, our attorneys will develop your case to its greatest potential and put you in position to achieve the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free legal consultation. Our firm has offices in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide.

What Is Negligence and How Does it Affect My Texas Construction Accident Case?


Personal injury cases rely on an attorney’s ability to define, determine, and prove negligence. If you wish to make a financial recovery for injuries and damages caused by a Texas construction accident, you need an attorney who can prove negligence did in fact occur.

How is Negligence Determined in a Texas Construction Accident Case?

The Legal Information Institute defines negligence as a failure to behave with the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised under the same circumstances. While the behavior in question usually consists of actions, it can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act.

When attempting to ascertain whether a person’s conduct or behavior lacked reasonable care, lawyers will consider the four elements that are required to establish a prima facie case (a legally required rebuttable presumption). The elements are:

  • The existence of a legal duty that the defendant owed to the plaintiff
  • The defendant’s breach of that duty
  • The plaintiff’s sufferance of an injury
  • Proof that the defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff’s injury

When it comes to a construction site, your employer, contractor, and co-workers owe you a general duty of care and must conduct themselves in a reasonable and prudent manner. This duty of care can also extend to the owners of the property that is under construction, any transportation companies responsible for transporting materials to the site, as well as the manufacturers of machinery and products being used in the construction project.

If any of these parties acted in a way that contributed to your injuries, you may have a case for negligence.

How Will My Attorney Establish Negligence in My Texas Construction Accident Case?

When working to determine whether negligence resulted in your accident and injuries, your attorney will often apply what is commonly called the “but-for” test. In a statement, that would be “but for the actions of the defendant, my client would not have suffered his injuries.”

If the statement is true, your attorney will have established cause-in-fact or “actual cause.” This is then strengthened through investigation, the gathering of evidence, and interviewing witnesses. Your attorney may also incorporate the help of expert witnesses to help prove negligence and discover if the actions of the defendant violated federal or state regulations.

Expert witnesses often used in Texas construction accident cases 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

These experts can provide detailed information about a construction accident. Because of the experts Thomas J. Henry uses, we are able to bring in information that many other law firms lack. We use a multitude of expert witnesses, putting you in the best position possible to achieve the compensation they deserve.

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

There are certain steps you can take to help preserve your rights as a victim of a workplace accident. By following these guidelines, you can put yourself in a better position to achieve the compensation you deserve for your injuries. If you suffered a work injury, follow these steps:

  • Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries.
  • Report the injury to your supervisor as soon as possible.
  • Be sure your employer makes a written report of the accident.
  • Collect names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
  • Take photos of the accident area, including of any tools or equipment involved in the accident.
  • Write a detailed account of how the accident took place.
  • Contact an experienced work accident lawyer to discuss your rights as an injured worker.

Contact and Experienced Texas Construction 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. Our firm has offices in Corpus ChristiSan Antonio, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide.

 

 

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.

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