Our Harris County construction lawyers understand that this industry can be dangerous. Even when everyone makes their best efforts, a job site can still be home to hazards that can cause serious injuries. This is why the workers’ compensation system exists. If you carry insurance and your workers get hurt, this is what you should expect.

When Should Workers Report an Injury?

When workers get hurt on the job, they are supposed to report it right away. They can tell a supervisor or their boss, but a report must be made. Then, the company that they work for can submit a claim with their workers’ compensation insurance provider.

If the insurance company accepts the claim, it will pay out benefits to the injured employee. These benefits can help with healthcare costs. They also make up for a portion of the wages that a worker will lose when they are recovering.

How Can a Worksite Be Made Safer For Employees?

There are some steps that construction companies can take to make the workplace safer for their employees, even on busy job sites. You should:

  • Make safety equipment available to every worker
  • Perform frequent checks to make sure that machinery is functioning properly
  • Use guard rails and other barriers that can prevent falls from high places
  • Perform safety inspections to look for potential hazards
  • Make safety training a top priority for workers

Do I Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

So we mentioned the process for workers’ compensation claims before, but your company is not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Many states require employers to have it. Texas does not.

What happens if you forego the expense and reject insurance coverage? Well, then your employee would have to sue you directly if they got hurt. It is up to you to evaluate your risk and decide whether or not carrying insurance is the right move.

Can Workers’ Compensation Claims Be Denied?

It’s also important to note that workers’ compensation can be denied. Your insurer might claim that:

  • The injuries did not happen at work
  • The claimant has a pre-existing condition
  • The injuries only occurred due to horseplay or joking around
  • The claimant never received medical treatment
  • The use of alcohol or drugs contributed to the accident that caused injuries

Can Accident Victims Try to Collect More Compensation?

If someone gets hurt on the job site, they can only sue their employer if the employer does not carry workers’ comp insurance. If their claim is denied, they can appeal the claim. They can also sue for additional damages in certain circumstances. If something else contributes to their injury, they may be able to make a third-party injury claim.

Let’s say that someone was hurt due to a faulty piece of equipment. They may be able to sue the manufacturer of this equipment for compensation. They can do this even if workers’ compensation pays out.

Contact a Construction Industry Lawyer

If you have questions about construction litigation, we can probably answer them. Contact Patout & Shaw, PLLC to schedule your consultation. We’ll do what we can to give you all of the information that you need to make informed decisions about your projects.