The Houston construction accident attorneys at Dax F. Garza, P.C. have years of experience helping injured construction workers recover the compensation they deserve.
If you or a loved one has been injured or died on a construction job, our skilled Houston construction accident lawyers can and will hold the negligent parties accountable. Contact us for a Free Consultation and Free Case Evaluation Today.
Work Injury Case Result
Work Injury Case Result
Causes of Construction Accidents
Construction work is one of the most physically demanding and inherently dangerous careers in Texas. Construction work continues to top lists of the most dangerous jobs in America. Several studies have revealed widespread negligence by employers and other responsible parties that have resulted in thousands of preventable deaths. Negligent actions from employers, contractors, and other workers can have catastrophic consequences. Hurt workers and their families often feel overwhelmed. A experienced construction accident attorney can help injured workers take steps to protect their legal rights and best interests.
Common Construction Accidents
The most common causes of injury or death for construction workers are accidents that include:
- fall hazards
- being struck by an object
- crush injuries
- scaffolding accidents
- motor vehicle accidents and,
- exposure to toxic chemicals.
Fall hazards pose the greatest threat to construction workers. Serious injuries and death can occur at any height and for a variety of reasons. Construction workers often perform their work at elevated heights. Even at minimal heights, workers rely on safety reinforcements to ensure their well-being. Some of the most common fall hazards include:
- Unsecured scaffolding
- Inadequate or missing railing
- Unprotected or unmarked wall openings and floor holes
- Unsafe portable ladders
- Unprotected roof edges
- Leading edges on structural steel beams
Businesses that fail to implement safety procedures in daily routines knowingly put construction workers at risk.
Businesses that fail to implement safety procedures in daily routines knowingly put construction workers at risk. In addition, companies that do not regularly inspect and maintain their tools and equipment also create unnecessary workplace dangers.
Being Struck by an Object
Construction workers are surrounded by heavy equipment and building materials every day. Considering how often equipment and materials are transported throughout a construction site daily, the risk of being hit by a falling object, loose materials, or equipment is high. Jobsite owners and operators have a duty to provide workers with a safe environment, including:
- Equipment that can transport materials safely
- Proper barriers and railing to protect from debris
- Helmets and other safety gear
- Proper warning signage
In addition, construction sites should implement safety procedures and protocols to prevent workers from being struck by an object.
Electrocution injuries and fatalities can occur when employees come into contact with live wires. Construction sites often have multiple parties working to complete a task. Without proper planning and safety procedures, workers can come into contact with live wires that should have been diverted or temporarily shut off. Each year, workers are seriously injured from a lack of electrical and safety training as well as lax safety standards on jobsites.
When Workers are Caught In-Between Objects
When workers are caught in between objects, work vehicles, or equipment, they can sustain catastrophic injuries. Construction accidents can happen when workers are caught in or between:
- Heavy machinery
- Motor vehicles
- Collapsed scaffolding or other structures
Numerous objects and debris can quickly engulf a vulnerable worker. All heavy machinery and equipment should be properly guarded to prevent workers from being trapped or pinned. Mines and ditches also require guards, rails, and other safety support systems.
Scaffolds are built to help workers access higher points. Tools, equipment, and other objects can fall from scaffolding. Workers can be seriously hurt by falling objects when the scaffolding lacks safety guards.
Many scaffolds are built with metal. When live wires come into contact with the metal structure, workers can sustain life-threatening electrocution injuries.
Chemical and Toxic Exposure
Construction workers often handle hazardous materials. Chemical and toxic exposure can lead to life-long diseases, serious burns, and other injuries.
Chemicals can be breathed in, absorbed by the skin, and/or swallowed. Some examples of chemical exposure can include:
- Rust-protective coating on steel
- Asbestos exposure in building and safety gear
- Metal fumes from brass, zinc, and other alloys
- Lead poisoning
- Toxic paints and glues
There are strict safety procedures to follow to prevent exposure to chemicals or toxins. However, faulty valves or coverings can lead to negligent chemical exposure. Older buildings may also have asbestos insulation or lead paint on the walls.
Being Crushed by Vehicles, Equipment, or Machinery
Unfortunately, crush injuries are common in construction accidents. Workers can become engulfed in heavy machinery or equipment. In addition, heavy equipment is often transported to or from a construction site. If the equipment is dropped or swung the wrong way, workers can be crushed.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Many construction sites have various motor vehicles coming and going. In addition, some construction zones happen near and on roadways. Some examples of motor vehicle accidents in construction zones include:
- Striking workers on the side of the road
- Backing into or over workers
- Knocking workers into ditches or holes
- Crushing workers between the vehicle and wall, other vehicles, or objects
Employers who fail to meet OSHA and other safety standards put their workers in danger and are liable for the damages caused by their corporate negligence. Construction injuries often have long recovery times and come with the huge financial impact of medical bills, rehabilitation, and lost wages.
Injuries Common on Job Sites
Construction accidents can cause a wide range of serious and life-threatening injuries. Some workers may be permanently disabled, resulting in an extensive financial burden. The most common injuries suffered by construction workers include but are not limited to the following:
Head Injuries and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Most head injuries are attributed to falling debris or a severe fall. Brain injuries often require surgery and rigorous rehabilitation. If a tool is left carelessly on the edge of scaffolding, it can drop and hit someone on the ground. In addition, construction sites are full of slippery surfaces and uneven ground. Work zones can be cluttered with cables and wiring, creating hazardous walkways. Construction workers can sustain serious head trauma from slipping or falling.
Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis
Slips, trips, and falls can also cause serious spinal cord injuries that may lead to paralysis. If a construction worker falls from a great height or slips on a hard surface, they may land in a position that permanently damages their spinal cord. These types of injuries are incredibly severe and require immediate treatment to mitigate the damage. To prevent construction accidents, employers must minimize slipping and tripping hazards at the job site.
Broken Bones and Fractures
Broken bones and fractures are a major concern for construction workers. Breaks and fractures can range from minor to serious. In some cases, the bones can be set in the emergency room. However, more complex breaks and fractures may require surgery. Complex bone injuries are vulnerable to complications, especially infection. Construction workers who have suffered from broken bones or fractures may be left with chronic pain and partial paralysis.
Burns are a common injury in construction. Machinery and equipment can become hot enough to burn after hours of use. Workers can sustain chemical burns if their safety gear fails. Live wires that are left exposed can burn construction workers, as well. Burns can be incredibly painful and may require extensive treatment. Sometimes, skin grafting is required to help a burn victim recover. Burns can damage nerves and cause disfiguring scars. Workers can be left with chronic pain and never fully recover.
Construction workers are electrocuted more often than those who work in any other industry. They frequently work around live wires, generators, and exposed power lines. Construction workers can sustain serious nerve damage, burns, cardiac arrest, and even death.
Amputation or the Loss of a Limb
When working on a construction site, there are many tools and pieces of heavy machinery that can potentially sever a limb. For example, most industrial machinery is required to have safety guards. However, if a machine is malfunctioning or its safety guards are not working properly, an arm or finger may be cut off or crushed.
Amputations are incredibly traumatizing. A construction worker may suffer post-traumatic stress disorder after losing a limb along with many physical limitations. In severe cases, a worker may never find gainful employment again.
When construction accidents happen, liable parties may deny culpability, offer low settlements, or refuse to cooperate at all. However, a construction accident lawyer can establish fault and fight for the financial compensation you need and deserve.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Construction Accident?
There are many parties that can be held liable in a construction accident, including:
- Property owners: Unlike people who work in offices, hospitals, or retail outlets, construction workers do not have a consistent place of business. Construction can happen anywhere. The owner of the property may be held liable if they failed to warn workers of potential hazards or failed to prevent an avoidable danger.
- Motorists: In some cases, people outside the construction industry may interfere and cause an accident. When construction happens near a road, a negligent motorist may speed through the site and strike a worker.
- Contractors and subcontractors: Many different companies and independent contractors can be involved in a single project. For example, an electrician may be subcontracted to wire a new building. If the electrician leaves live wires exposed, they can be held responsible for electrocuting a worker.
- Manufacturers: Construction work requires tools, equipment, machinery, and other materials. When defective tools or machinery parts cause serious injuries, the manufacturer and others involved in the supply chain and servicing the equipment may be held liable.
Employers who fail to meet OSHA and other safety standards and negligent third parties put construction workers in danger. Depending on the circumstances, there is often more than one liable party in a construction accident.
Establishing Liability in a Construction Accident Lawsuit
Establishing liability in a construction accident can be challenging. Construction sites are unique compared to other places of employment. Work zones are constantly changing. A construction project usually involves various companies, contractors, and laborers. In addition, workers rely heavily on the integrity of the machines and equipment they work with.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Construction Accident Attorney Dax F. Garza Today
At Dax F. Garza, P.C., our legal team believes all workers have the right to a safe working environment. Employers, contractors, and other parties have a responsibility to maintain certain safety standards. When someone willfully disregards the safety of others, workers can be severely hurt.If you or a loved one have been injured in a construction accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to recover the following damages and more:
- Lost wages if you are unable to work
- Loss of future income
- Compensation for medical expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
- Emotional distress damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
Our construction accident attorneys in Houston have successfully recovered settlements and verdicts for injured workers in need. Schedule a free consultation today to discuss the details of your case and the best way to protect your legal rights.