September 13, 2021

Blog Thumbnail: Houston Injury & Accidents

Pedestrians who are hurt at a construction site may receive compensation for their injuries through a personal injury lawsuit.

Construction sites are inherently dangerous, but construction firm owners and managers have a duty to keep their construction zones safe for not only their workers but also pedestrians and people who may be in the surrounding area. According to the federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the fatal injury rate for the construction industry is higher than the national average for all other industries, and severe injuries are common as well. Victims who are hurt at construction sites may be left with broken bones and head, back, and neck injuries that render them unable to work at a time that medical bills keep accumulating.

If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died on a construction site due to another party’s negligence or fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. However, Texas laws are complicated, and large construction firms and their insurance companies have high-powered lawyers that will attempt to get you to settle for as little as possible.

At this difficult time when you are trying to recover from a traumatic accident, the construction accident lawyers at the Waldman Legal Group can take the burdens off you by handling all negotiations and legal requirements necessary to get you the compensation you deserve. We offer a free consultation to examine the individual circumstances of your case and determine the best way to proceed.

Call us today at (713) 688-4878 for your free, no-obligation case evaluation.

When a Pedestrian Is Injured at a Construction Site, Several Parties May Be at Fault

Pedestrians and other innocent bystanders who are injured on a construction site are usually injured just because they are at the wrong place at the wrong time and through no fault of their own. Many injuries are caused when construction debris falls or is blown on a pedestrian, or when people near construction sites are exposed to particles of hazardous chemicals such as asbestos, flame retardants, silica dust, and other dangerous materials. Materials can be blown around or washed down onto pedestrian sidewalks, especially in bad weather, and create slick surfaces, leaving pedestrians at risk for slip-and-fall injuries.

Construction firm owners have a duty to keep their construction zones reasonably safe, based on the level of safety that other comparable construction companies would exhibit and in compliance with government regulations. Owners and managers should have safety personnel to inspect the site for hazards that must be corrected, as well as safety rules in place to keep hazardous materials in the work zone so they do not harm bystanders. If they fail to do so and someone is injured, they can be held liable in a lawsuit. Other parties who may be responsible for injuries to pedestrians are the owner of the property, the general contractor, subcontractors, and the construction firm manager or safety officer. All these individuals may have insurance or assets that may go toward a settlement in a personal injury or wrongful death case.

Construction sites must adhere to safety rules set forth by the state and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). When these rules are not followed, violators can be held liable for injuries that result.

Safety requirements for construction sites include:

  • Posting clear and visible warning signs around the site
  • Fencing off the construction zone and ensuring that objects are not too close to open edges
  • Keeping all materials and machinery inside the site
  • Adding nets to areas that could be prone to falling objects
  • Making sure scaffolding or fencing is properly constructed.

Proving Negligence Is Necessary

To win your case, our attorneys would have to prove negligence on the part of the defendant. Legally, this means showing the following elements:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care not to cause harm, by keeping the construction site safe.
  • The defendant breached that duty through actions or failure to act.
  • This breach caused your plaintiff’s injury.
  • You suffered damages as a result.

Proving negligence involves making extensive investigations and finding evidence and witnesses that can back up your claim. Our legal team can help by:

  • Investigating how the accident happened and gathering evidence such as photos and videos from surveillance cameras
  • Interviewing witnesses and first responders
  • Examining police, ambulance, and medical reports
  • Filing all required paperwork and making court appearances in a timely manner
  • Negotiating with insurance companies and their lawyers on your behalf
  • Filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit if necessary
  • Hiring experts who can testify as to how the accident happened and how your injuries negatively affect your life and the types of care you will need into the future.

Damage Awards Our Construction Accident Injury Lawyers May Recover for You

In a successful Texas personal injury lawsuit, you may receive compensation for both your economic losses and your non-economic damages that do not have a specific dollar value, as follows:

  • Economic damages, are called “special damages.” These are quantifiable by adding up your costs such as medical bills, property damages, and lost wages from being unable to work.
  • Non-economic damages, are called “general damages.” These are payments that go directly to you as compensation for the pain and suffering, mental anguish, and negative effects on your lifestyle that resulted from the accident; these are often higher than payments for economic losses.

In some rare cases, punitive damages may also be awarded for situations where a defendant acted with extreme recklessness. The purpose is to punish the misbehavior and serve as an example to deter the behavior from happening again.

Amounts Of Damage Awards

There are a wide range of damage awards you may receive after an accident, depending on factors such as the circumstances of the accident, the extent and seriousness of your injuries, and whether you will require continuing care. For example, a broken bone that heals may be worth several thousands of dollars, but a head and neck injury that leaves someone paralyzed or results in death may bring millions of dollars in compensation. Factors such as the age, family status, and earning capacity of the victim are also considered, and the skill of your attorney presenting your case and the individual inclination of a specific judge or jury also play a role in your recovery.

Get Help After an Accident at a Construction Site

If you have been injured in a construction site accident, it’s important to contact our attorneys as soon as possible while evidence is fresh and witnesses can be found.  In addition, according to Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code section 16.003, Texas has a statute of limitations, a deadline for filing a lawsuit, that is generally two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit in the state’s civil court system. If you don’t get your lawsuit filed on time, the Texas civil court system will likely refuse to hear your case, and you will lose your right to compensation.

Do not talk to insurance companies, who will try to trick you into saying something that will hurt your case or encourage you to settle for less than your case is worth. Let us handle all dealings and negotiations with insurers and work for the settlement you deserve.

Call the Waldman Legal Group today at 713-688-4878 for your free workplace injury consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, so there is no fee if there is no recovery.