January 06, 2021

Blog Thumbnail: Houston Injury & Accidents

Were You Injured in a Building Collapse?

A building collapsed on your job. You are seriously injured. You wonder:
Who’s going to pay my medical bills?

How will I take care of my family?

What do I do next?

Call the Waldman Legal Group at 713-688-4878. The attorneys at the Waldman Legal Group have more than 40 years of experience helping injured construction workers. We will help you get the compensation you deserve for injuries suffered on the job. Let us fight for you!

What can lead to a building collapse?

“Bang!” Suddenly, you hear a loud blast above your head. You got thrown off a ladder you were working on as concrete came crashing down. As you open your eyes, you realize that you’re still alive but not fully aware of what happened. You hear others screaming for help. These are frantic moments that construction workers, like you, may experience during a building site collapse.

Construction workers are always putting their lives at risk. While government agencies promote safety protocols for construction companies to follow, many companies cut corners to save money. That decision comes with a cost to workers.

When construction companies and third-party contractors demand workers to finish building projects quickly, it leads to unsafe buildings. Consequently, workers are exposed to the dangers of a construction site collapse while working in an unfinished building. Building collapse injuries can be life-threatening and life-changing for you and your family.

A building structure on a construction site may collapse for one of many reasons. As mentioned, implementing a fast-paced schedule for workers to finish the project quickly can cause a construction site to collapse. Other reasons may include the construction company deciding to use cheap materials, a faulty structural design,  not supervising the workers, and not observing strict protocols on the project.

This past October, a building collapse accident in Houston, Texas, made the headlines. A stairwell had collapsed on a construction site resulting in three workplace fatalities and one injured worker. This accident highlighted the unfortunate reality that a building structure may collapse during construction without giving notice.

You can read more about this news story by visiting the New York Times.

Who can be held responsible if a construction site collapses?

  • Construction company.
  • Construction site owners.
  • Third-party contractors, including both general contractors and sub-contractors.
  • Manufacturers.
  • Architects and engineers.

Don’t panic! Seek immediate medical care.

The first thing you should do after sustaining a building collapse injury on the construction site is to get medical care. If you’ve sustained life-threatening injuries, you will likely be rushed to the Emergency Room. Sometimes during a construction collapse, workers can be trapped under the rubble. If you find yourself in these circumstances, it is important you shout “help” without further injuring yourself. This will assist the search and rescue team in their search.

If you think that you suffered minor injuries, you should go to the doctor anyway. From a medical standpoint, you want a medical professional to treat your injuries to improve your well-being. From a legal standpoint, you want your injuries to be documented by a medical professional because this documentation will help prove your medical damages sustained from the building collapse injury.

Record the evidence as best you can.

Once we begin to work on your case, we still start a due diligence investigation.  There are several things you can do to assist your case.

  • Take photographs of the area where you got hurt and any conditions or equipment you believe caused your accident without hurting yourself even more.
  • Make a list of any witnesses to your accident or the conditions. If you know someone by their nickname, make a mental note. We can identify them later by first and last name.
  • Since construction collapses are among the most dangerous accidents on the job site, more than likely, the company will prepare an accident report from the get-go. However, you should follow up and make sure that the accident report got created. The accident report should also document the injuries you sustained from the collapse.

I cannot work due to my injury and do not have a source of income. How can I seek compensation for my injuries?

Experiencing a building collapse injury is overwhelming. You’re having to cope with the pain from the injury and feel the pressure of leaving your family without a source of income because you cannot return to work. You have bills to pay, and the pandemic is only placing a further strain on life. We understand.

If your employer participates in the state’s official workers’ compensation system, you can obtain disability income benefits and medical care by directly filing a worker’s compensation claim through your employer’s workers’ comp insurance.

Texas is unique in that it does not require employers to participate in the workers’ compensation program. “Subscriber” and “non-subscriber” are statuses given to employers to distinguish those that carry the official workers’ comp coverage from those that don’t.

  • Subscriber refers to an employer that participates in the state’s workers’ comp system.
  • Nonsubscriber refers to an employer that doesn’t participate in the workers’ comp system. Sometimes a non-subscriber will use the term “workers’ comp” in their claims process when they aren’t officially a “subscriber.”

Call the Waldman Legal Group at 713-688-4878, and we will help you determine whether your employer is a subscriber.

If your employer is a “subscriber,” you should file your workers’ comp claim.

After a medical professional has evaluated and treated you, you should file your workers’ comp claim as soon as possible. Workers’ comp will be your exclusive remedy for benefits. You should speak directly to a workers’ comp lawyer to know about the exact deadlines applicable to your particular workers’ comp claim. If you delay filing a claim, you risk missing an important deadline, and your workers’ comp benefits may be denied.

Contact the Waldman Legal Group at 713-688-4878, and we can help you navigate through the process of how to claim your workers’ comp benefits.

To learn more about the workers’ compensation claim process, you can read an earlier piece we authored on construction injuries found on the Waldman Legal Group website.

My employer is a “non-subscriber,” how can I recover compensation for the building collapse injury I sustained?

If your employer is a non-subscriber, you won’t be able to file a workers’ comp claim to recover benefits. You will have to sue all responsible parties to recover compensation for the damages you suffered from your workplace injury. However, filing a lawsuit against all responsible parties will not automatically grant you compensation. You must prove that the responsible parties identified were negligent for your injuries.

In addition to the personal injury lawsuit filed against the construction company, construction site owners, or third-party contractors for negligence, there may be other potential claims, such as a claim against a manufacturer for a defective product that may have caused your injury.

Contact the attorneys at the Waldman Legal Group and we can help you identify the responsible parties and determine the type of claim that you should pursue against them.

If I file a lawsuit against the responsible parties, what type of compensation can I obtain?

  • Medical expenses/bills.
  • Lost wages.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Mental anguish.
  • Disfigurement.
  • Punitive damages.

Don’t wait for the Construction Company to respond. Immediately contact a Construction Accident Attorney to fight to make things right!

If you’re a construction worker who’s been injured on the job site, immediately contact the Waldman Legal Group at 713-688-4878. We will start to conduct a due diligence investigation into the events in question and start obtaining the evidence we need to prove your case. Let us help you obtain the compensation you deserve for the building collapse injury you sustained.