Construction site worker with chain to railings to prevent a fall.

Who Is Liable for Construction Fall Accidents and Injuries?

Construction is among the most dangerous industries in the United States. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, slips, trips, and falls accounted for 21,400 injuries among construction workers in a recent year. Fortunately, if you’ve been hurt in a Texas construction accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation.

However, the approach you take to pursuing compensation depends on some critical factors:

  • Whether your employer has workers’ compensation insurance
  • If they do, whether a third party was liable for your injuries
  • If they don’t, whether your employer or a third party was liable for your injuries

Does Liability Play a Role in a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Texas does not require private employers to purchase workers’ compensation coverage. However, an employer that contracts with a government agency or other government entity will need to purchase workers’ comp insurance. An employer also has the option of purchasing workers’ comp insurance to cover expenses related to workplace injuries and protect themselves against litigation. If your employer caused your fall-related injuries and does not have workers’ comp insurance, you can sue them. If they have purchased workers’ comp insurance, you cannot sue your employer except in certain very specific circumstances.

Workers’ compensation insurance covers the cost of medical bills and replaces some of the income an employee loses after a fall on a Texas construction site. One of the benefits of workers’ comp is that you don’t need to prove an accident resulted from your employer’s actions or carelessness to file a claim. Your employer doesn’t have to have been negligent, reckless, or otherwise at fault for causing your injury – you only need to show the accident was genuinely work-related. If you’re able to demonstrate that your injuries occurred while you were engaged in the duties of your job, you should be able to recover the benefits you deserve.

Who Are Some Potentially Liable Parties in Texas Construction Site Fall Accidents?

Filing a workers’ compensation claim is not an option available if your employer hasn’t purchased coverage. However, your employer is still responsible for providing safe working conditions and the equipment necessary for you to safely do your job. If they don’t have workers’ comp insurance and caused your fall-related injuries through their negligent failure to provide for your safety, your employer may be liable for your injuries.

In this situation, you may pursue legal action against your employer in an effort to recover the compensation you deserve. Moreover, parties other than your employer might also be to blame, and unlike your employer and your fellow employees, these parties are not protected by workers’ comp laws from lawsuits.

Depending on the circumstances, any of the following might be liable for your fall-related injuries:

  • Your employer
  • The owner of the property on which you were working
  • Any subcontractor whose negligence caused or contributed to the accident
  • The manufacturer/designer of a piece of equipment that failed, such as a ladder or scaffolding
  • Anyone else who may have caused the accident or put you in harm’s way

It’s important to note that the insurance company of the liable party might refuse to offer a fair settlement. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, and it’s not in their financial interest to pay injured workers the compensation they deserve. An attorney can help you fight for full, fair compensation for your injuries and other losses.

Can I File a Lawsuit Even if My Employer Has Workers’ Comp Coverage?

While workers’ comp coverage protects your employer against lawsuits, in certain circumstances, filing a separate claim or lawsuit may still be an option even if you’ve filed a workers’ comp claim. This is true when a party other than your employer is liable for your injuries and you wish to seek compensation for pain and suffering or similar non-economic losses for which workers’ comp won’t compensate you.

For example, perhaps your injuries resulted from a piece of equipment failing. In this case, you might pursue action against the company that manufactured or was responsible for repairing or maintaining that piece of equipment.

Speak with a Dallas & Fort Worth Construction Accident Lawyer

Reviewing your case with a Texas construction accident attorney is the best way to fully understand your legal options following a fall on a construction site. At Rochelle McCullough, LLP, we’re prepared to provide the representation you deserve. Get started today by contacting us online to review your case.