Construction makes for complex worksites. There may be contractors, subcontractors, delivery persons, managers, and vendors at the site, including individuals in heavy equipment and those on foot. Workers may be working at heights, surrounded by toxic chemicals, and potentially operating dangerous heavy equipment. With so many hazards, it’s not surprising that 20 percent of all private-industry job-related deaths occur in the construction sector.
This complexity can create unique challenges when injuries occur. Construction sites should be protected by insurance, but difficulties can arise if some of the equipment is owned by workers, some by the construction company, and some leased by a third party, as is often the case. Where there are multiple defendants, it’s not unusual for defendants to blame each other.
For someone injured on a construction site, this can mean worry about paying the bills and delays in their settlement. Since construction companies and their insurers always have attorneys representing them, you deserve legal representation, too, if you have been injured on a construction site.
What Counts as a Construction Accident?
Construction accidents are any incidents leading to injuries or fatalities which occur during the building, expansion, renovation, or other work on a building, structure, or infrastructure project. Construction accidents commonly include:
- Falls from scaffolding or heights
- Forklift, truck, and other vehicle accidents
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Burns from welding equipment or other heavy machinery
- Electrocution and injuries due to electricity
- Blunt force trauma caused by falling objects
- Crushing injuries caused by heavy machinery
- Heavy machinery injuries
Injuries such as these and any injury sustained on a construction site, especially one caused by negligence, can lead to a claim. If you work on a construction site and are injured during the course of your work duties, one of the important first steps is to identify the party (or parties) at fault. If the only “at fault” party is your employer, you may be limited to a workers’ compensation claim.
There are other claims possible in some cases, too. You may have a claim against a third party, for example, if defective equipment caused your injuries. While workers’ compensation prevents workers from filing a lawsuit against their employer in most cases, it also does not offer benefits to cover pain and suffering and other losses. Pursuing third-party claims can help injured workers seek compensation for additional losses. Third-party claims can also be an option for those not covered by workers’ compensation, such as visitors injured on a construction site.
How Much Do Construction Accident Lawsuit Settlements Pay Out, On Average?
The goal of lawsuits after construction worksite injuries is to secure fair construction accident settlements. Unfortunately, what workers and what insurance companies consider fair does not always align. In general, the amount of a settlement can vary widely.
Some workers get a few thousand dollars or tens of thousand dollars, while some lawsuits result in settlements of millions or tens of millions of dollars. Each construction accident lawsuit is unique, and the amount can be contingent on the liability of the defendants, the severity of the injury, and the likely long-term impacts of the injury. This is because lawsuits are meant to address the costs of the injury, so the greater the costs the larger the potential settlement.
What Can Impact Settlements Most?
Construction accident settlements are not simply calculated by how severely a plaintiff is injured. There are factors that can cause a plaintiff to secure a larger settlement or to get less than he or she expected:
- Current medical expenses. Any medical costs you have paid up until your lawsuit is filed can impact your claim. You can use your medical bills from the emergency room, doctor’s visits, and specialists’ visits, as well as bills for medical devices and prescriptions, to establish your current costs.
- Expected future medical costs. If you have been seriously injured, you may face future expenses. For example, if you need a prosthetic due to an amputation or a dental crown due to a facial injury, you will need to replace your prosthetic or crown periodically throughout your life. You can claim these future expenses in a lawsuit.
- Current lost income. You can use your pay stubs to show how much time you have lost during your recovery so far and how much this has cost you.
- Expected future lost income. If you cannot return to work for months or will never be able to return to your job due to your injuries, you can estimate these expected losses and seek to recover these costs through your settlement.
- Property damage. If your cell phone, tools, or other property was damaged in your construction site accident, you may be able to seek compensation for these losses.
- Pain and suffering. While medical expenses, lost income, and property damage have a firm dollar and cents amount, pain and suffering may be more nebulous. In many lawsuits, the amount awarded for pain and suffering is a multiplier of all the current and expected costs of your case. Depending on the severity of the injuries and potentially how negligent the defendant was, the total damages of your case may be multiplied by 1.5 to 5 to determine non-monetary damages.
As with any legal claim, a construction case is also determined by the strength of the evidence presented as well as by the negotiation between the legal teams. This is one reason why working with an attorney experienced in construction site claims is important. An attorney can seek out and present the most compelling evidence to build your claim on a solid foundation.
How Can Johnson Garcia Law Help?
With about 6 percent of all Texas jobs linked to the construction sector, construction sites can be found in every part of the state. Unfortunately, with so many construction projects, Texas sees a large share of construction site injuries. Whether you were injured on the job or while visiting or driving by a construction site, contact Johnson Garcia Law.
Johnson Garcia Law has more than 25 years of experience representing injured workers and other plaintiffs in construction site accident lawsuits. Our law firm was founded to help injured parties in Texas get fair compensation so they can heal. To that end, we take care of the details, from consulting with you to keeping you updated on your case. If you’re wondering whether you have a claim after your construction site injury, contact Johnson Garcia Law today for a consultation or call us at 832-844-6700 to discuss your potential claim.