A construction accident in Texas can be an expensive experience for the unfortunate victim. A worker on a job site can be harmed by a fall, faulty equipment, crush of limbs with equipment, electrocution, structural failure, scaffolding collapse, explosions, exposure to hazardous materials, electrocution, and even adverse encounters with native wildlife. These are some examples of construction accidents to which victims are exposed. Adding to sudden accidents, there is also the harm that comes with a lifetime career of lifting at difficult angles, carrying heavy weights, working hard, and not having enough time off to rest and heal properly. Taken as a sum, these construction accidents and injuries have the potential to be devastating without practical limit. We will discuss some of the real costs that can be expected by a victim of this type of accident.
A severe construction accident can result in nothing less than the complete obliteration of life or limb. Unfortunately, the statistics speak for themselves regarding the frequency of these instances: 1 construction worker in 50 will get seriously hurt every year. More than 100 Texas construction workers will die. Recuperating from these devastating accidents as a construction worker can be challenging, especially in Texas. Texas is the only state in the U.S. where an employer can opt out of offering workers compensation benefits for its employees. Worker’s Compensation benefits (commonly referred to as “Worker’s Comp”) generally includes covering medical bills, lost wages, and disability which occurs during an on-the-job accident or illness. Even when workers do receive workers compensation benefits, approval of all needed medical treatment is not certain. What is certain is that medical treatment, medication, and rehabilitation is extremely costly in Texas, and everything that is not paid for by the responsible employer or their workers compensation benefits must be covered by the injured person and their insurance, if they even have any. A life-long construction worker who suffers the ordinary debilities and back injuries common to the job will have a difficult time when they wish to legally assign blame to the employer who caused the trauma. That is because if the employer does offer Worker’s Comp, then the employee is barred from suing his or her employer*. Of course, if the injury was caused by a company other than the worker’s employer, he or she can explore pursuing a case against that other company without regard to the limits imposed by Worker’s Comp.If one is involved in a construction accident and survives it, the damages can be endless, depending on the severity of the accident.
Keep reading to learn types of damages that a construction accident victim can sustain:
Once a construction worker has sustained an injury, there is no upper limit or ceiling to the hospital bills that can potentially accrue. Although most physical injuries that are less than incapacitating can be healed and treated with appropriate therapy that may run the low thousands of dollars, it is definitely a possibility for a person who has been severely injured to run up a medical bill near a million dollars. When estimating medical bills, it is essential to remember the cost of overall medical treatment. Emergency doctors and nurses may only be able to heal the initial trauma at a hospital. Full recovery generally requires physical therapy, imaging studies and tests, consultations with specialists and none of that is cheap. Experience with the American medical system in Texas quickly reveals that a person seeking medical treatment will usually paid highly inflated bills. An injured individual can easily spend $15,000 a year on just one form of physical therapy. If they are so unfortunate as to require multiple forms of treatment and care, or their need is ongoing, then they will pay many times more.
The physical pain and mental anguish of the injured construction accident victim, also known as pain and suffering, should also be considered because Texas law allows recovery for these damages. Other non-economic damages like disfigurement, physical impairment, and loss of consortium are worthy of compensation, though a person has to show a connection to the injury under the applicable legal standard.
The lost wages of the injured construction accident victim will depend on the time required to heal. They may sustain loss of earning capacity, meaning that although they continue to earn wages in their future, there has been a decrease in their ability to earn the same amount or at the same rate due to their injuries or disability. Also to be considered is the fact that some victims, for example certain construction workers, can no longer pursue their occupation after the injury. They have the right to expect compensation for the new training they will require to resume their place in the workforce. They may have to learn an entirely different trade!
Loss of companionship and loss of consortium are two other categories of harm that Texas law considers to be worthy of economic redress. These legal terms basically refer to the injured individual’s impaired ability to participate fully in normal family relations and their loss of ability to fully engage in a meaningful relationship, physical or otherwise, with their spouse, for example.
Because Texas law provides so little protection for injured construction workers, it is almost essential for anyone who has been hurt on a job to consult with a lawyer to protect their rights. Without the assistance of a construction accident lawyer, a full rehabilitation may simply be impossible, as the costs will only continue to mount. An experienced construction accident lawyer will help you make those responsible pay for your injuries so that you can focus on getting your life back to normal. Contacting an attorney immediately after any construction-related accident can improve your ability to secure compensation. Call Pastrana & Garcia Law Firm at 512-474-4487 for a free consultation now.
*Subject to a limited exception. Consult with a lawyer if there has been a construction accident or death.
- 2015 Fatal Occupational Injuries in Texas
- Incidence rates1 of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses by industry and case types, Texas, 2015
- Construction workers experience higher rates of injury, premature death: study