Construction Accident in Odessa
Odessa, a rapidly growing West Texas city known for its oilfields, always seems to be under construction somewhere. Because construction projects often involve heavy machinery, complex equipment, hazardous chemicals, electricity, and working at extreme heights, workers are susceptible to injury in a wide variety of different accidents on the jobsite.
For example, KOSA-TV reported that construction was continuing on the 60-foot Odessa Spire, a $700,000 art project downtown expected to be completed by the end of the year. The project is far from being the only construction project in the Odessa area. There are hundreds of different construction sites in the Ector County and the Permian Basin area.
It is the responsibility of employers and project managers to ensure that proper safety protocols are implemented and enforced. They should also ensure that all workers have adequate safety gear to perform their jobs safely. Unfortunately, minor and severe injury accidents can still happen even when all protocols are followed and safety gear is provided.
When a construction worker is injured in an accident on the job, they may struggle to pay their medical expenses and support themselves and their families, especially if they are forced to miss significant time from work. An experienced construction accident lawyer can help you understand your rights as an injured worker and help you secure workers’ compensation benefits, if available, and help you seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Tate Law Offices, P.C., serves clients in Odessa, Midland, and many other communities throughout Texas. If you’ve been injured on a worksite in Odessa, Texas, including one involving oilfield construction, our firm stands ready to provide a complete evaluation of your case and discuss your legal options.
Call us or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation.
Common Types of Construction Accidents in Odessa
Some of the most commonly reported construction accidents that result in injury to workers include:
- Exposure to hazardous materials (such as asbestos or chemicals)
- Falls from roofs, ladders or scaffolding
- Demolition accidents
- Injuries from falling objects (such as tools or building materials)
- Trench collapses
- Electrocution or arc flash or blasts
- Truck and other motor vehicle accidents
- Fires and explosions
- Improperly maintained or defectively manufactured tools and equipment (including saws, nail guns, and other power tools)
- Crane, forklift and other heavy machinery accidents
- Explosions or fires
Types of Construction Injuries in Odessa
An accident on the jobsite can turn a worker’s life upside down in an instant. Not only do they find themselves unable to continue working, but they could also be forced to deal with costly treatment and rehabilitation. If the injury is particularly severe, they could find it difficult to ever return to the job they once held – or any work at all.
Some of the most commonly reported construction injuries include:
- Fractures and broken bones
- Eye injuries including impaired vision or blindness
- Hearing injuries, including tinnitus or hearing loss
- Neck, shoulder and back injuries
- Ankle and knee injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Head, neck, and spine injuries
- Spinal cord injuries – including paraplegia or quadriplegia
- Toxic chemical exposure illness
Legal Options After a Construction Accident in Odessa
Workers who are injured in construction accidents are entitled to state-regulated workers’ compensation if the employer has such coverage in place. When available, workers’ compensation is intended to be the exclusive remedy for on-the-job injuries in Texas. The law prohibits a covered worker from filing a personal injury lawsuit against the employer for the accident, and instead requires them to seek workers’ comp benefits to pay for medical treatment and replacement of a portion of the employee’s wages while they are unable to work.
Employers without workers’ compensation insurance do not receive the same legal immunity to civil actions. An injured worker is permitted to file a lawsuit against their employer in such cases to recover money damages.
Nor is legal immunity available to other negligent parties that might be responsible for an Odessa construction accident, such as subcontractors, vendors, equipment manufacturers, or other non-employer entities that enter the work site.
One of the primary reasons to obtain legal advice is to enable an experienced and dedicated construction accident lawyer to conduct an independent investigation to determine if there are other parties besides an employer who share liability.
Third-party negligence could entitle a construction accident victim to additional money damages beyond their workers’ compensation benefits.
Proving Work Injury Liability or Entitlement to Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The standards of proof for work injury liability outside the workers’ compensation system are similar to other personal injury cases that may reach a settlement or head to civil court. Workers’ compensation benefits, however, are generally awarded on a no-fault basis. Some employers and their insurers may still dispute a claim or the amount of benefits.
With that in mind, a construction accident victim can help prove their case by immediately taking pictures at the accident scene, including of any hazardous conditions, equipment damage, and visible physical harm. In the immediate aftermath of an accident, valuable evidence may disappear very quickly, particularly when an employer takes prompt remedial measures.
Try to get pictures from as many angles and distances as you can so you can offer a variety of viewpoints. Take as many pictures as you think are necessary.
In some cases, maintenance records could be used to prove, for example, that a particular piece of machinery, such as one involved in a crane injury, was not properly serviced.
When a negligent third-party is to blame for an accident, the testimony of eyewitnesses could be crucial. Employee training records as well as documentation – or lack thereof – of compliance with federal or state safety regulations, are also important.
If your employer or the insurance company disputes your claim, you’ll want to have an experienced lawyer on your side. An attorney could help you secure benefits if:
- Your benefits claim is denied.
- You have a preexisting medical condition.
- Your ability to work has been negatively affected by the injury.
- You’re having trouble getting the necessary treatment.
- There is a dispute over your permanent disability rating.
- The insurance company refuses to settle, and a hearing is scheduled.
How the Construction Accident Lawyers at Tate Law Offices, P.C., Can Help
The construction accident lawyers of Tate Law Offices, P.C., represent injured workers in Odessa and across Ector County and all of West Texas. Whether you need assistance getting the workers’ comp benefits you’re entitled to, or if you need to file an injury lawsuit, our team is ready to help.
Our firm’s mission is to get injured Odessa workers top-dollar settlements for their construction injury cases. We will fight at the negotiating table, and in court if necessary, so that you don’t have to accept anything less than what you are rightfully owed.
Working hard and treating others with care and compassion are the values that drive the Odessa construction injury lawyers and staff members at the Tate Law Offices, P.C.
Call us or contact us online to set up an appointment for a free consultation. Our firm will not charge you any legal fees to handle your case unless and until we obtain benefits or other compensation for you.