If you are a Texas construction worker and you’re injured on-the-job, what is your recourse? Can you recover compensation for your injuries? Your first step after obtaining medical treatment should be scheduling a consultation with a San Antonio construction accident attorney.
Keep reading, and you’ll find out how an injured Texas construction worker can be compensated for medical costs and lost income after a construction site accident. You will also learn how and where to obtain the legal help you may need if you’ve been injured as a construction worker.
What Are an Employer’s Obligations at a Construction Site?
Most employers in the construction industry take steps to make sure that construction sites, machinery, and equipment are as safe as possible. Other employers in the construction industry, however, may be less conscientious.
But even with excellent safety training, the right safety practices, and the best safety equipment, construction is hazardous work. Any negligence or carelessness, lack of training, or defective equipment can make a construction site even more dangerous.
Employers in the construction industry must have procedures in place for handling accidents and injuries. When accidents happen, having a plan already established ensures prompt medical care, a smoother claims process, and a quicker return to the job for an injured construction worker.
Are You Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
If you are injured while working at a Texas construction site, you may or may not be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Most construction workers in Texas are covered, but employers in Texas are not required to carry workers’ compensation coverage.
In most cases, employers who provide workers’ comp insurance coverage cannot be sued by an employee for negligence. In return, construction workers are compensated for their injuries without having to file a lawsuit or prove an employer was negligent or responsible for an injury.
A Texas construction accident attorney can review your workers’ comp claim or help you complete it. Your attorney will make sure that your paperwork is accurate and comprehensive so that your claim is processed as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Independent contractors in the construction industry are not legally considered employees and are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance. However, undocumented employees in Texas have full coverage when they work for employers who carry workers’ comp insurance.
If Your Workers’ Comp Claim Is Rejected
Your workers’ comp claim will be approved if your employer and your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier agree that your injury or illness is job-related. If the employer or the insurance company disputes your claim, you’ll need a construction accident attorney’s help.
Your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company has fifteen days from the time you file a claim to either start paying your benefits or give you written notice that it has denied your claim. The notice must spell out the reason why your claim has been denied.
Your workers’ comp claim could be denied, for instance, if the insurance company suspects your injury did not happen at work or if the company suspects that your injury is related to a preexisting medical condition that has nothing to do with your work.
Have a San Antonio workers’ compensation attorney handle your appeal if your employer’s insurance company rejects your claim. The workers’ comp appeals process can be difficult and lengthy, and a successful appeal requires extensive knowledge of workers’ compensation law.
Do Injured Construction Workers Have Other Options?
When an employee is injured at a construction site and the employer does not provide workers’ compensation insurance, the employer may be targeted with a personal injury lawsuit, found negligent, held liable, and ordered by a Texas court to compensate the injured employee.
Such cases, however, rarely go to court. More often, claims against employers are resolved when the lawyers for both sides negotiate an out-of-court settlement. That’s also how most “third-party” personal injury claims arising from construction site accidents are settled.
What Is a Third-Party Personal Injury Claim?
In construction site accident cases, a third party may have liability for a construction worker’s injuries. If any party apart from your employer was negligent, and if that negligence caused the accident that injured you, that party can be targeted with a personal injury lawsuit.
That third party could be a contractor, a business, an equipment manufacturer, a property owner, or even an engineer, architect, or a government agency. A product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer is the proper response to a construction accident caused by defective equipment.
In another scenario, if you are injured by a negligent motorist in a traffic accident while you’re “on the clock” and driving a vehicle that’s owned by your employer, that motorist can be held liable with a personal injury claim.
When Should You Speak to a Texas Injury Attorney?
A personal injury attorney will review your case without cost or obligation and provide the frank, personalized advice that you will need. Your attorney will explain your options for recovering compensation and help you determine the best way to proceed with your workplace injury claim.
If you pursue a personal injury lawsuit against a third party or against an employer who does not have workers’ comp insurance, the statute of limitations gives you two years to initiate legal action. Do not wait two years. Don’t even wait two weeks to arrange a meeting with an attorney.
If you are injured doing construction work in or near the San Antonio area, schedule a consultation with a San Antonio construction accident attorney immediately after you’ve obtained medical treatment for your construction injury. Make it your top priority.
You Pay No Attorney’s Fee Until You Are Compensated
Do not let financial concerns stand in your way. Personal injury lawyers in Texas understand that their injured clients may not be able to work – for weeks, months, or sometimes permanently – after a construction site accident, so these lawyers provide services on a contingent fee basis.
In other words, your first consultation is provided without cost or obligation, and if you and your attorney move forward with a personal injury claim, you will pay no attorney’s fee until and unless your attorney recovers an out-of-court settlement or a jury verdict on your behalf.
Construction injuries can be catastrophic or permanently disabling injuries that require the maximum available amount of compensation. If you are injured doing construction work, you must arrange to speak with a Texas construction accident attorney at once. That is your right.