Construction workers face danger daily in the ordinary course of their workday. Even so, when a worksite has been secured by safety procedures that have been carefully implemented, builders have every reasonable expectation of returning home to their families intact. When an ordinary workday turns disastrous and lives are forever changed, these hard-working men and women can no longer provide for their families. After a construction accident, what remedy exists for the injured to obtain necessary medical care and for these families to build new lives?
In October, 2015, two tragic scaffold collapses in Houston, Texas have resulted in injuries, deaths, and at least one worker left in a vegetative state. So, who was at fault, and who will provide care for these workers and their families?
Investigations are on-going, and whether the collapses were caused by anchors at the top of the building breaking loose after these anchors were improperly secured, faulty construction or materials used in building the scaffolding, faulty concrete causing a lack of integrity in the soundness of the scaffold’s attachment to the building, or bolts not properly secured, the investigations will point to the parties or party responsible for the failure of the scaffolding to provide protection and support.
Some of these workers will suffer life-long injuries, and will most likely collect Worker’s Compensation benefits unless the companies involved have opted out of Worker’s Comp Insurance as provided by Texas law. Many large retailers, trucking companies, health care, and food companies have already opted out, which means the employer has almost complete control over the medical and legal process after workers are injured.
Worker’s Compensation exists because employers owe a duty to workers injured on the job and their families and to pay for the workers’ medical bills and lost wages. According to an investigation by ProPublica and NPR, the Texas alternative to Worker’s Comp usually cuts off treatment after two years and doesn’t pay compensation for most permanent disabilities and strictly limits payouts in the event of a death or catastrophic injury.
The families directly affected by these scaffolding collapses in October have retained lawyers to obtain any and all benefits due to them as a result of the workplace accident which has caused these horrific injuries. Their construction accident attorney will investigate the cause of the accident, the extent of injuries and long-term impact on these individuals and their families, and whether or not a third party can be sued, such as the contracting company which installed the scaffold system or the manufacturer of the scaffolding.
These families have acted wisely in obtaining legal representation right away. All states have a time limit (statute of limitations for work injuries) for injury claim lawsuits to be filed, and as time passes, evidence and witnesses can become difficult or impossible to find.
The personal injury lawyers at the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC based in Morgantown have represented many construction accident victims in West Virginia during the past twenty-five years, and are ready to help you if you have been hurt or are suffering after the death of a loved one. We have successfully handled a wide variety of claims ranging from slip and fall injuries to wrongful deaths from coal mine explosions and power plant accidents. If you were injured in West Virginia, protect your legal rights by calling us today for a free case evaluation: 304-594-1800.