Even under the best of circumstances, a construction zone or worksite can be an incredibly dangerous place to be. Machines and people have to work around one another despite close quarters, and there can be an ever-present risk of falling, crushing, burning, or electrocution.
Should a construction accident occur, it’s not always clear who is at fault. In fact, it probably doesn’t matter if your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance. In Texas, you can file a worker’s compensation claim and receive benefits without having to prove your employer’s responsibility for the incident. As long as you can adequately prove you were injured at work while doing a work-related activity, you are likely to receive benefits from your claim.
Texas, however, is also a state where carrying workers’ compensation insurance is optional. If your employer has chosen to forgo this type of insurance, you can sue for medical bills and other damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
Comparative Fault in a Construction Accident Lawsuit
If you are injured or killed as a result of a construction accident, a concept known as “comparative fault” determines who’s responsible for what happened. Because a construction site is a complicated place for an injury to occur, multiple parties – sometimes as many as five or more – that contributed to the accident can all be held liable.
Some of these parties can include the following:
- Property owners
- Machine operators
After a Texas court agrees that a certain number of parties should share liability for a construction personal injury lawsuit, each is assigned a proportional amount of fault. It’s entirely possible that one party may be assigned 50 percent of fault while other parties, including the plaintiff, are assigned different percentages of the remaining 50 percent. The damages each party must pay will reflect how fault was assigned.
Here’s an Example
Let’s say debris from a failing retaining wall strikes you and causes a severe injury. An investigation reveals that defective rebar was used in the wall’s construction and contributed to its partial collapse.
Your employer could be assigned 70 percent of fault for your injury because it failed in its due diligence to check the quality of the materials being used during construction. The supplier could be assigned 10 percent of fault for failing to perform its own quality control checks. However, you may be assigned the remaining 20 percent of blame because you removed your hardhat or were in the area when you weren’t supposed to be at the time of the accident.
Do You Need Help with Your Claim?
At Rodriguez & Gimbert, P.L.L.C., our attorneys have more than 45 years helping clients with personal injury claims, including those involving construction accidents. If you were injured on the job and your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance, you may be able to recover damages to afford medical and therapy bills with our assistance.