McAllen Construction Accident Lawyers

Contstruction Accident Injury Attorneys in McAllen, TX

Construction accidents occur when construction workers build, repair, improve, demolish, clean, or generally construct a specific site or facility. These types of accidents result in property damages and personal injuries. A McAllen construction accident attorney at Patino Injury and Accident Attorneys can review your case and determine if you have a viable compensation claim.

Types of McAllen Construction Accidents

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that the most common potential hazards that can cause construction accidents include:

Falls from heights;

Trench collapses;

Scaffold collapses;

Electric shocks;

Repetitive motion injuries; and

The worker’s failure to use the proper personal protective equipment.

OSHA further reports that falls cause the most significant number of deaths in the construction industry each year. Scaffolding accidents cause around 4,500 injuries and 50 fatalities each year. In comparison, accidents on ladders and stairways cause nearly 25,000 injuries and more than 30 deaths each year. The operation of forklifts by construction workers leads to around 100 employee deaths and approximately 95,000 injuries annually.

How Common Are Construction Accidents?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that accidents occurring in construction occupations caused 316 deaths in Texas. The report also showed that 18 of the 608 total general fatal workplace injuries resulted from fires and explosions. Additionally, falls, slips, and trips caused 96 of the more than 600 fatal injuries. Exposure to harmful substances in workplace environments caused 60 fatal injuries, and contact with objects and equipment caused 63 fatal injuries. Since these types of events are common in construction accidents, it’s a possibility that construction accidents played a significant role in 38.9 percent of fatal occupational deaths in Texas.

Why Are Construction Accidents so Severe?

Construction accidents can be severe based on the nature of construction work. Construction workers often work on elevated structures called scaffolds with little to no fall protection. If ladders are defective, rain or paint causes slick surfaces, ledges are unguarded, or trenches are unmarked, falls are more likely to happen. Scaffolds support only a specific amount of weight. When one collapses from improper construction or excessive loads, or tips over due to a weak foundation or too much weight, the injuries can be fatal.

Also, construction sites often have many tripping hazards, such as building materials and debris. Falling objects can cause severe injuries as well. Unsecured tools can fall on a worker or damage property, and improperly rigged crane loads can drop materials. If workers stack materials unbalanced, objects are more likely to fall.

Power tools lack guards and other protections, which can cause electrocution accidents. The CDC reported that 77 percent of the 325 contract worker electrocutions from 2012-2016 involved workers in the construction industry. As of October 2020, in southeast Texas, records show that construction accidents caused 28 fatal incidents, 4 of which were related to electrocutions.

The most common cause of electrocution death is when a worker comes into direct contact with a power source, live equipment, or wiring. Often, construction site workers fail to clearly mark where overhead and underground power lines lie and regularly inspect power and extension cords for defects.

The misuse of cranes is another hazard in the construction industry, leading to severe injuries. Crane misuse can happen in a variety of ways and circumstances. When workers fail to inspect the crane daily, an accident is more likely to occur. Also, dangers can arise if workers fail to stay at least twenty feet away from active power lines when cranes are in use. Objects are more likely to fall if the items workers are lifting with the crane exceed the maximum lifting capacity. Lastly, if the operator’s line of sight is compromised or the operator does not know how to operate the crane properly, fatal accidents can occur.

Construction workers are also prone to injuries when falling objects or debris trap them between walls, materials, equipment, or other objects. Lastly, chemical burns and explosions are common occupational injuries in the construction industry that can have devastating consequences due to their extreme impact.

Types of Construction Accident Injuries in McAllen

Construction accidents can cause many different types of injuries, including:

Loss of limbs, fingers, and toes

Broken bones

Fractures

Burns

Cuts or lacerations

Eye injuries

Shoulder, ankle, and knee sprains

Hearing loss

Paralysis

Spinal cord injuries

Exposure to toxic substances leading to cancer or other diseases

PTSD

Traumatic brain injuries

Head injuries

Death

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Who Is Liable for McAllen Construction Accidents?

In 2019, OSHA investigated a deadly accident at a construction site when a worker fell from a forklift. The incident occurred in Las Palomas, a mixed-income development at 1900 Dove Avenue in McAllen, Texas. A subcontractor hired a crew including the construction worker to provide construction-related services, a commonplace occurrence in the construction industry.

This incident is one example of a serious construction accident that raises the question of who’s potentially liable for the worker’s death.

A construction worker injured while working on a construction site can potentially hold multiple parties liable for their injury or death. Often, the family of a worker who dies on the job can file a wrongful death lawsuit. A lawyer will evaluate several different factors to determine who’s liable in any potential lawsuit involving injuries or death resulting from a construction accident.

These factors can include:

  • Where the accident occurred
  • What the construction site conditions were at the time of the accident
  • If there was any equipment involved and whether the construction worker used the equipment properly
  • Whether there was a supervising or managing party at the site
  • Who the employer is
  • If you’re a subcontractor

In some cases, a third party can be liable for a construction accident. Third-party liability refers to a party who is not the worker or employer responsible for construction accident injuries resulting from negligence or recklessness. Third-party liability typically does not extend to a coworker.

Instead, the most common third parties that lawyers can find liable for injuries sustained in a construction accident include the construction site owners, contractors and subcontractors, engineers and architects, and equipment manufacturers.

Construction Site Owners

Construction site owners are sometimes charged with potential liability for injuries because they’re the parties who are responsible for controlling or monitoring the premises where the construction workers are completing tasks.

Contractors and Subcontractors

Additionally, if a property owner or design team hires a general contractor for a project, the contractor is likely the third-party legally obligated to warn the workers of existing or potential construction site hazards. The general contractor might also bring on a sub-contractor, adding another third-party with possible liability.

A general contractor and subcontractor can be liable if the general contractor hired an unqualified or incompetent subcontractor or if the general contractor gave improper instructions that led to the construction accident. If the general contractor fails to inquire about the subcontractor’s background or knows about safety violations that lead to a worker’s injuries, the general contractor might bear responsibility for damages.

Engineers and Architects

Engineers and architects can also be potentially liable because they are the parties responsible for designing the project and ensuring that workers can avoid construction accidents with functional, non-defective design plans.

Equipment Manufacturers

Manufacturers and suppliers of equipment, material, or machinery used at the construction site might share or hold all liability for injuries that result from defective or malfunctioning parts. The construction worker must demonstrate that the manufacturer designed the product dangerously, produced the product with a dangerous defect, or sold the product without providing adequate instructions or warnings about the product.

A lawyer can help you determine any potential third party liability to recover adequate compensation for your incurred damages. If you can prove third-party liability, you might receive a monetary award for your pain and suffering in addition to workers’ compensation payouts.

McAllen Construction Accident Compensation

There are different ways to receive compensation to help you with your recovery following a construction accident. Compensation can include:

Workers’ Compensation

If you incur injuries while on the job as a construction worker, you can likely receive workers’ compensation benefits. It can be challenging to file a workers’ compensation claim in Texas since Texas law does not require private employers to have workers’ compensation coverage. If your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, though, then the company policy will likely cover your injury. However, you must prove that the injury happened while actively providing work services for your employer. Workers’ compensation can provide you with payments for medical expenses incurred to treat the injury, lost income or wages for time off work for treatment and recovery, or death benefits for your family.

If your employer failed to carry workers’ compensation, you can sue your employer directly for damages.

File a Third-party Liability Lawsuit

If you decide with your attorney to file a third-party liability lawsuit, you need to prove:

  1. The third-party owed you a duty of care;
  2. The third-party breached that duty of care;
  3. That breach of duty caused your injury.

If you can prove the above elements, you can potentially receive compensation for your pain and suffering resulting from your injury. To demonstrate the extensiveness of your pain and suffering, you must be specific about your injuries. Ensure you have medical records and bills to support your injuries’ severity and show your conditions before and after the construction accident.

Unlike with workers’ compensation claims, with third-party liability claims you can seek non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

Filing a Construction Accident Lawsuit in Texas

In a lawsuit for damages, a court may consider your age, the severity of your injuries, and other economic harms. If you’re younger, a court might determine that you should be entitled to more compensation since you will likely have to manage your pain and suffering for a longer period. Additionally, your injury might affect your ability to work, attributing to lost income for an extended time.

If the injury is severe, it may make a more significant impact on your ability to work and earn a living. Finally, if you can’t work for a lengthy time, the court might rule to compensate you more to make up for your more significant monetary losses.

To obtain a fair settlement amount, you must prove that the party you’re suing was negligent or reckless, leading to your injuries. A law firm can help complete an investigation to gather all the evidence you might need to prove negligence. This evidence can include witness testimonies, your medical records, medical bills, the OSHA violation investigative report, citation records, the accident site examination report, and details of any equipment used.

Typically, the statute of limitations to bring a construction accident claim is two years from the date the incident and injury occurred. For workers’ compensation claims, the Texas Workforce Commission states, “injured workers must file the injury report within 30 days of the injury, must appeal the first impairment rating within 90 days of its issuance, and must file the formal paperwork for the workers’ compensation claim within one year of the injury.”

If the injury or illness does not appear immediately after the accident, the deadline will begin to toll on the date that the employee knew or should have known that the injury was work-related.

Texas laws regarding construction accidents can be confusing and complicated. A lawyer with knowledge relevant to construction accident injuries can help you through the process to get you the compensation you deserve for your recovery. Call Patino Injury and Accident Attorneys at (956) 255-0023 or contact us to discuss your case.

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Patino Law Firm
1802 N 10th St
McAllen, TX 78501
956-631-3535

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