Houston is growing exponentially. According to MacroTrends, the Houston population has grown from a little under 4 million in 2000 to nearly 7 million in 2023. This has led to record levels of construction in and around the Houston area. ABC News reports that Houston has always been at or near the top of the list for the most active real estate market but in 2023, Houston earned the title of the city with the highest new home construction. This will of course lead to construction of commercial buildings to support the increased population.
All these construction booms has led to an increase in construction site accidents.
Most common construction site accidents
Construction sites are inherently dangerous workplaces, and accidents can happen even when safety precautions are taken. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there were 1,008 construction worker fatalities in the United States in 2020. The leading causes of construction worker deaths were falls, followed by being struck by an object, electrocution, and caught-in/between accidents.
Here are the most common construction site accidents:
Falls: Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, accounting for nearly 40% of all fatalities. Falls can occur from ladders, scaffolding, roofs, and other elevated surfaces.
Struck-by accidents: Struck-by accidents occur when a worker is hit by a falling object, such as a tool, piece of equipment, or building material. These accidents can cause serious injuries, such as head trauma, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones.
Electrocutions: Electrocutions occur when a worker comes into contact with an electrical current. These accidents can be fatal, and they can also cause serious burns and other injuries.
Caught-in/between accidents: Caught-in/between accidents occur when a worker is caught between two objects, such as a piece of machinery and a wall. These accidents can cause crush injuries, amputations, and other serious injuries.
Slips, trips, and falls: Slips, trips, and falls are the most common type of non-fatal construction accident. These accidents can cause a variety of injuries, such as sprains, strains, and fractures.
Other common construction site accidents include:
- Machinery accidents
- Fires and explosions
- Trench collapses
- Overexertion injuries
Can I sue my employer if I get injured working at a construction site?
In most cases, you cannot sue your employer for an injury sustained on a construction site. This is because most states have workers’ compensation laws that provide benefits to employees who are injured on the job, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Workers’ compensation benefits typically cover medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs.
However, there are some exceptions to this general rule. For example, you may be able to sue your employer if your injury was caused by your employer’s intentional misconduct or gross negligence. You may also be able to sue a third party, such as a subcontractor or property owner, if their negligence contributed to your injury.
If you are injured on a construction site, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options, and can also help you file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit if you are eligible.
Here are some examples of situations in which you may be able to sue your employer for a construction site injury:
- Your employer intentionally caused your injury.
- Your employer knew about a dangerous condition on the worksite and failed to fix it, and that dangerous condition caused your injury.
- Your employer failed to provide you with adequate safety training or equipment, and that failure caused your injury.
If you are considering suing your employer for a construction site injury, it is important to remember that you will need to prove that your employer was at fault for your injury. This can be a difficult task, as employers often have strong defenses against these types of lawsuits. However, if you are successful, you may be able to recover damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Will my family get compensation if I die while working at a construction site?
Yes, the family of a worker who is killed or injured on the job may be able to sue for damages. The specific type of lawsuit that the family can file will depend on the circumstances of the accident.
Wrongful death lawsuits
If a worker is killed on the job, their family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the employer or other responsible parties. Wrongful death lawsuits are designed to compensate the family for their losses, such as lost wages, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering.
Personal injury lawsuits
If a worker is injured on the job, they may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer or other responsible parties. Personal injury lawsuits are designed to compensate the worker for their injuries, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
In most cases, workers who are injured on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, which means that the worker does not have to prove that the employer was at fault for the accident in order to receive benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits typically cover medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs.
If a worker is killed on the job, their family may also be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits. Death benefits typically cover funeral expenses and a portion of the worker’s lost wages.