Working in the construction industry comes with challenges, hazards, and other dangerous situations that can cause injuries or death. If the hazardous conditions at your job caused your injury or illness, you might be entitled to benefits for your medical bills and other expenses. The Houston personal injury lawyers of Kherkher Garcia, LLP know the steps necessary to pursue workers’ compensation benefits from your employer to supplement your lost wages and pay for your medical treatment.
Workers have certain protections under state laws and federal guidelines. Unfortunately, not all employers follow these laws, resulting in injured employees. When you suffer an injury while performing your job, you face not only physical pain but also the financial implications of requiring medical care. If you can’t return to work and earn your usual wages, that could place you in debt. When you don’t have the means to support yourself and your family, it can lead to significant stress.
You should not be left with the burden of facing the long road to recovery alone. The Houston construction accident lawyers of Kherkher Garcia, LLP can represent you in your case and help you seek the workers’ compensation benefits you need or file a civil suit for compensation if your employer has no workers’ compensation insurance.
Paying out of pocket for your daily living expenses, doctor bills, and other costs can become expensive. It’s an unnecessary complication you shouldn’t face when the accident wasn’t your fault. You can depend on us to be your advocate during this challenging time and fight for your rights.
Do not hesitate to call Kherkher Garcia, LLP at (713) 333-1030 for a free consultation. One of our Houston construction site injury lawyers can meet with you to review your case and determine your available options.
- Why Hire a Construction Accident Attorney?
- Why Choose Kherkher Garcia, LLP?
- Common Types of Construction Accident Cases in Texas
- Common Causes of Construction Site Accidents
- Injuries Related to Construction Sites
- What to Do if You Get Hurt on a Construction Site
- Kherkher Garcia, LLP Can Investigate the Construction Accident
- Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Texas
- Construction Accidents Frequently Asked Questions
- Contact Kherkher Garcia, LLP Today
Why Hire a Construction Accident Attorney?
When you’re involved in an accident, you need to take the time to heal so you can make a full recovery. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to take it easy if you also need to handle a workers’ compensation claim or personal injury lawsuit. You face various stressful factors after suffering an injury on a construction site. You must attend your doctor’s appointments, pay those bills, speak to the insurance representative, submit evidence to the insurance company, and figure out how to replace your loss of income.
You might not realize the long legal and financial battle ahead in the immediate aftermath of a construction accident. An experienced and knowledgeable Houston construction accident lawyer can relieve you of your burden by taking on the responsibility for your claim. We can file your claim, communicate with the insurance representative, obtain necessary evidence, and aggressively pursue the maximum benefits you deserve. Without the help of a competent attorney, you could end up with a denied claim or much lower benefit payments than you need to compensate for the losses you suffered.
One of the most important steps after a construction accident is seeking legal representation. Kherkher Garcia, LLP is familiar with the legal process, deadlines, laws, and other circumstances surrounding workers’ compensation cases. We know what it takes to recover benefits for our clients and avoid common pitfalls injured employees make when they handle their cases themselves. You won’t have to worry about handling any of the process when you have us on your side. We can completely take over so you can focus on your recovery.
Why Choose Kherkher Garcia, LLP?
Our team of Houston construction site injury attorneys has over 100 years of combined legal experience. We have taken on insurance companies, defense attorneys, and large companies on behalf of our clients to get them the compensation they rightfully deserve. You should have the chance to seek justice against the wrongdoing of other people. No one should have to suffer the consequences of someone else’s actions or even just a work-related accident. You got hurt at work and deserve benefit payments, so you’re not forced to pay for anything.
Our track record of success speaks for itself. We have been able to recover billions of dollars for accident victims in Houston and the surrounding areas. We won’t place our interests above yours. Our goal is to reach a favorable outcome so you can move forward in a much better physical, financial, and mental state. We don’t rush through claims or lawsuits so we can collect our fees. We work efficiently but take the time to get to know you and your needs so we can meet them. You will be our top priority when you hire us.
Our legal professionals are available 24/7 to answer your call. You can contact us any time, day or night, for an update on your case status, answers to your questions, or support during this devastating experience. You don’t have to worry about waiting days or weeks for a callback. We take workers’ compensation cases seriously. We want you to feel confident knowing you’re in dedicated and capable hands at all times. You will always receive the personalized, one-on-one attention you need while we’re working towards your legal goals.
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Common Types of Construction Accident Cases in Texas
Unfortunately, negligence and acts of omission can lead to severe injuries and fatalities on construction sites. Workers face dangers whenever they’re performing their job-related tasks. It’s hard to avoid heavy machinery, toxic substances, and hazardous conditions. With all the risks you take as a construction worker, there’s an increased chance of getting hurt.
The most common types of construction accidents Kherkher Garcia, LLP handle are:
- Crane accidents – Working with a crane requires skill and attention. They must receive routine maintenance and prompt repairs. If you’re operating a crane, you could suffer injuries if it malfunctions or tips over. If you’re working near one, you could get hurt if it topples over in the wind or a loose part flies off and hits you.
- Defects – Construction site defects, such as unsafe buildings, faulty wiring, or recalled parts, could create dangers. Every piece of equipment construction workers use must function correctly and not contain defective parts. Using anything that malfunctions can cause severe injuries or fatalities.
- Vehicle accidents – As a construction worker, you must operate heavy equipment to transport gravel, dirt, machinery, and other cargo necessary for the job. If you’re involved in a work-related crash, you could seek workers’ compensation benefits from your employer.
- Ladder accidents – Working on a ladder can be dangerous if someone doesn’t position it properly or the ladder is damaged. You could fall off or get hit by a falling ladder that you’re walking near.
- Ceiling and roof collapse – Structural problems, water damage, and unstable roofs can cause an entire structure to collapse. If you’re on the roof or under it at the time of the accident, you’re likely to sustain catastrophic physical harm.
- Falling hazards – It’s crucial to secure all tools, ladders, scaffolding, and equipment when they’re not in use to prevent anything from falling to the ground below. Unfortunately, a lack of safety devices or restraints could lead to an unstable working area.
- Dangerous working conditions – It’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure a safe working environment for their employees. That means repairing defective equipment, removing hazards from walkways, providing safety gear, and hiring experienced workers. If there’s an accident and your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, your employer or a third party responsible for the conditions could be liable.
- Scaffolding accidents – Construction workers often use scaffolding to work on buildings or structures high off the ground. If it isn’t stable or lacks safety nets and guard rails, you could fall off easily.
These are the most common types of construction accidents that can occur. However, this isn’t a comprehensive list. If you were hurt on the job for any reason, you should contact Kherkher Garcia, LLP for a free consultation immediately. We can determine whether your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, whether your workplace injury is eligible for workers’ comp, and file a claim or on your behalf. If no workers’ comp is available, we can pursue compensation from the at-fault party.
Common Causes of Construction Site Accidents
Falling is the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry. Falls account for 36.4 percent of construction-related deaths in the country. In 2019, 991 construction workers died on the job, and 401 of those deaths were due to falling to a lower level. The second most common cause of construction site injuries is being struck by something, such as an object or equipment.
The most common factors associated with construction accidents are:
- Lack of fall protection
- Faulty electrical components and wiring
- Exposure to dangerous chemicals
- Unsafe working conditions
- Negligent hiring of employees
- Lack of adequate safety devices
- Defective machinery or equipment
- Repetitive motion
- Slip/trip and fall
- Working in cramped areas
- Encountering harsh conditions, such as heat or cold
- Working with live electrical wires
Companies should always provide construction workers with the appropriate safety gear. If there’s an issue with any equipment, they should repair it immediately to avoid malfunction. Routine maintenance is also necessary to keep everything in good working order. Negligent business owners will sometimes cut costs by skipping these crucial steps so their employees can work. Unfortunately, that puts people in harm’s way.
Injuries Related to Construction Sites
Working on a construction site often requires physical labor that can lead to injuries. Employees must climb, reach, lift, and bend consistently to get the job done. Some handle toxic substances or dangerous equipment that requires knowledge and experience to avoid hurting themselves or others. If they’re not qualified to perform the task or make an error, they could get hurt or cause injuries to someone else.
The most common construction site injuries include:
- Electric shock or electrocution
- Traumatic brain injury
- Crush injuries
- Psychological trauma
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal bleeding
- Repetitive motion injury
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Torn ligaments
- Dislocated joints
- Hearing or vision loss
- Broken bones
While some injuries heal, others can result in permanent damage. Disabilities are common among people who have worked in the construction industry. Spinal cord damage and traumatic brain injury can lead to physical or mental impairments that prevent workers from returning to their jobs. If they can’t work, they can’t earn the money they need to pay for their treatment and daily living costs. That can cause financial problems. Workers’ compensation benefits should supplement a person’s lost wages and pay for the necessary costs they need in everyday life.
What to Do if You Get Hurt on a Construction Site
If you suffered injuries or develop a disease from the working conditions at your job, it’s vital that you immediately notify your employer. You’ll have to complete an application for benefits that they should send to their insurance company to begin the claims process. You must inform your boss of the accident within 30 days. If you don’t submit your application by the deadline, you could lose your right to pursue the benefit payments you deserve.
Seeking medical care is also of the utmost importance. You’ll need evidence that you were injured at work. If you don’t have any proof, such as medical records, the insurance company could deny your claim. After your initial appointment or emergency room visit, you should follow up with all medical providers as they require until you recover. There needs to be proof of a continuous disability to qualify for workers’ compensation wage loss benefits. That means you need to regularly attend your appointments, such as physical therapy or chiropractic treatment. If you start treatment and decide to stop on your own, payments will likely stop.
You should also hire a Houston construction site injury attorney immediately after the accident. Kherkher Garcia, LLP can work on your case while you’re focusing on getting better. It can seem overwhelming trying to handle both at the same time. With us on your side, you won’t have to worry about the responsibility of doing both. We can file your claim, speak to the insurance representative, gather evidence, and pursue the maximum available benefits to cover your losses. You won’t have to face the intimidating process alone. You can depend on our legal team to be there for you every step of the way.
You might receive documents related to your case from time to time. For example, when you pick up a prescription to manage the pain your injury causes, you’ll get a receipt. You should keep a copy of the written prescription and the receipt for your records. You should also maintain records from your doctors, such as treatment notes and billing statements. We can investigate the accident and obtain evidence using our resources, but it’s also helpful if you forward any documentation you receive to us so that we can include that information to build a solid case.
There are also common mistakes workers make following a construction accident that you should avoid. Some of these errors can result in minimal benefits that don’t compensate for your losses. Others can delay your case for much longer than it should be. Under certain circumstances, you could even end up with a denied claim. The most common mistakes are:
- Posting about the accident on social media. It’s natural for people to want to share what’s happening in their life online. You might have a conversation with a friend about the accident or share photos of your injuries. Most people think it’s entirely innocent and won’t get them into trouble. However, you might not know that insurance companies and defense attorneys will look at the accident victim’s social media accounts for evidence they can use to deny benefits or compensation. To give you an example, let’s say you wrote on your workers’ compensation application that you broke your leg. If you post a picture of yourself engaging in vigorous physical activity a week later, the insurance company could deny your claim because it seems like you made up an injury.
- Talking to the insurance company. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance representative might try to contact you to discuss the claim. Although it may seem like they’re on your side, it’s critical to understand that their goal is to avoid providing benefits to save money for the insurance company they represent. If they can discover information about your case that they can use to deny your claim, they will. If they call you, inform them that you hired a lawyer and give them our contact information.
- Signing insurance company forms. If you receive paperwork from the insurance company, forward the documents to us right away. We’ll need to review them to determine whether it’s anything you must complete and send back to them. Most of the time, these forms aren’t legally required. For example, they might send you an authorization to release your medical records to them. If you have a Kherkher Garcia, LLP lawyer, we can send the insurance company your medical records after receiving everything from your doctor. If the insurance company has an authorization form from you, that gives them the ability to look into your past medical history to find a way to blame your injury on a prior medical condition. Other times, they’ll mail a document that, if you sign it, could waive your right to pursue the available benefits you’re owed. It’s best to never fill out anything before having your lawyer look at it.
Whether your injury is minor or severe, initiating your claim immediately after the construction accident is essential. If you wait too long, you could run out of time and lose the opportunity to recover the benefits you deserve.
Kherkher Garcia, LLP can walk you through each step so you understand what your rights are and the road ahead that you face. If you attempt to navigate it alone, you will likely lose your case or receive inadequate payments that leave you with expenses to pay on your own.
Kherkher Garcia, LLP Can Investigate the Construction Accident
Our Houston construction site injury lawyers can investigate what happened on the job site to determine the cause of your injury. We’ll need to collect relevant evidence to show that you got hurt while performing your work-related duties. If your doctors keep you off work because of a work-related disability or you can no longer perform your job as a result or your injury, we can pursue wage-replacement benefits. This requires specific knowledge of workers’ compensation laws and state laws.
When you hire us, we can request a copy of your employer’s workers’ compensation policy to determine the available coverage and if your injury or illness is eligible for benefits. We will also file a claim to begin the whole process. Then, we will start looking for the evidence we need to prove our case to the insurance company so you can receive timely payments for your medical treatment and lost wages.
Examples of evidence we might need includes:
- Video surveillance footage
- Copies of your medical records, prescriptions, bills, and other costs
- Incident report or police report
- Eyewitness statements
- Accident scene pictures
- Statements from experts, such as vocational experts or medical experts
At Kherkher Garcia, LLP, our team has decades of experience handling workers’ compensation claims. We are aggressive in our tactics to recover the necessary benefits for our clients. However, if the insurance company denies the claim, we can file an appeal. We could also pursue a lawsuit against a third party if they were responsible for the accident. There are various legal options available to you after getting hurt on a construction site. We will explore all of them and determine which would work best for your situation.
# of Construction Fatalities by Year
# of Nonfatal Injuries by Cause
Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Texas
You likely need immediate emergency medical care following a construction accident. These injuries are rarely minor and require a healthcare professional to perform the treatment. If you’re suffering from the physical or emotional effects of the accident, there are multiple benefits available that you can seek.
Income benefits replace a portion of your income if you can’t perform your job-related tasks due to an illness or injury. There are four types, depending on the type and extent of the injury: temporary income benefits, impairment income benefits, supplemental income benefits, and lifetime income benefits.
Temporary Income Benefits
You’re eligible for temporary income benefits (TIB) if your disabling condition prevents you from returning to your job for more than seven days. The payments you receive will be 70 percent of the difference between your average weekly wage before and after the accident. Benefits will end when one of the following factors exist:
- You can return to work and earn the same amount of money you made before you were disabled;
- A medical provider determines you reached maximum medical improvement, meaning further treatment likely won’t improve your condition; or
- You reached the maximum payout period, which is 104 weeks.
Impairment Income Benefits
Impairment income benefits (IIB) become effective the day after you reach maximum medical improvement. At that point, the doctor should give you an impairment rating based on how the illness or injury affects your body as a whole. This rating is a percentage that indicates the level of permanent damage from the accident.
The IIB payment you receive will be 70 percent of your average weekly wage. The number of weeks of benefits you receive will depend on your impairment rating. For every percentage point, you get three weeks of benefits. So if your rating is 10 percent, you would collect payments for up to thirty weeks. Coverage ends once you reach the maximum number of allowable weeks.
Supplemental Income Benefits
Once your IIBs end, you could begin collecting supplemental income benefits (SIB) as long as you meet these requirements:
- Prove that you’re actively looking for a job;
- Received an impairment rating of at least 15 percent;
- Won’t accept a lump sum payment for your benefits; and
- Have not gone back to work or only earning less than 80 percent of your average weekly wage if you did return to your job.
SIB payments are 80 percent of the difference between your average weekly wage and the income you make following the accident.
Lifetime Income Benefits
You might be entitled to lifetime income benefits (LIB) if your injury involves one of these:
- Traumatic brain injury causing insanity or imbecility that can’t be cured;
- Third-degree burns that cover most of both hands or the face and one hand;
- Total and permanent vision loss in both eyes;
- Loss of both hands at or above the wrists;
- Loss of both feet at or above the ankles;
- Spine injury resulting in complete and permanent paralysis of both arms, both legs, or one leg and one arm;
- Loss of one hand at or above the wrist and one foot at or above the ankle; or
- Third-degree burns covering at least 40 percent of the whole body and requires grafting.
LIB payments are 75 percent of your average weekly wage and increase by 3 percent every year. You should start receiving these benefits within fifteen days after the insurance company approves your claim. If they don’t approve it, you can request a Benefit Review Conference to discuss having the decision reversed.
Medical benefits provide coverage for all necessary and reasonable treatment related to the work-related injury or illness. The insurance company pays the doctors directly for each appointment you attend.
You must see a doctor on the approved list of treating physicians to receive these benefits. If you see someone outside the healthcare network, you might end up paying out of pocket for those visits.
Construction Accidents Frequently Asked Questions
Construction workers often have questions about pursuing benefits and what to do after sustaining an on-the-job injury. We want this process to be as easy as possible for you so you don’t face any challenges or roadblocks along the way. Kherkher Garcia, LLP answers some of the common questions we receive below, so you have a better understanding of how workers’ compensation cases work.
Contact Kherkher Garcia, LLP Today
The Houston constriction site injury attorneys of Kherkher Garcia, LLP are ready to take on your case and seek the maximum benefits you deserve. We don’t back down from insurance companies or defense attorneys. We will fight hard for your rights and seek justice for the negligent actions of others.
If you suffered injuries in a construction accident, call us at (713) 333-1030 for your free consultation, and let us help you get on the road to recovery.