Construction zones are incredibly dangerous to both workers and casual
passersby. In fact, according to OSHA, there are approximately 14 construction-related
deaths in the United States each day. The construction industry’s
“Fatal Four” – falls, being struck by objects, electrocutions,
and caught-in/between objects and structures – are reportedly responsible
for over 50% of these tragic accidents. Fortunately, construction workers
in Texas have a legal right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits
if they’re ever injured while acting within the scope of their job
duties. Of course, Texas doesn’t require private employers to have
workers’ comp, so many independent contractors and construction
workers pay for their workers’ compensation coverage.
But what happens if an employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation?
Or what if an employee is injured by a third party or a sub-contractor?
A “Non-Subscriber Case”
Workers’ compensation is a double-edged sword because it protects
employers from personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in accordance
with the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act. Sadly, workers’
compensation rarely compensates workers for the full breadth of their
injury-related expenses. With this is mind, an employee may have stronger
rights to monetary compensation if their employer doesn’t have workers’
A “non-subscriber case” is when a worker files a claim to seek
damages directly from their employer. In this circumstance, the injured
worker doesn’t even need to prove that their company exhibited negligence,
so long as an employer or co-worker was at least 1% responsible for their
accident and subsequent injuries. If the lawsuit is successful, the company
will be ordered to pay restitution that covers the workers’ financial,
physical, and emotional losses.
Pursuing Damages Outside of Workers’ Compensation
Of course, there are also situations where a construction worker may be
able to file a third-party claim. For example, a General Contractor is
responsible for establishing and maintaining the safety of a work zone.
This individual can be held legally responsible if a sub-contractor or
painter is electrocuted by live wires or harmed by faulty equipment. Likewise,
a sub-contractor can also file a third party claim if they’re injured
in a scaffolding accident triggered by the negligence of a fellow sub-contractor.
There is also another scenario to consider: if a worker is involved in
a traffic collision while driving a company vehicle, they may be able
to file a workers’ compensation claim and a third-party liability
lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the employee
could recover significant damages that far exceed the limits of workers’
Modern construction sites are complex beasts operated by a farrago of companies
and property owners. If a worker from an associated company or a property
owner is responsible for a construction accident, injured employees can
file third-party liability claims against the negligent parties and/or
There are a few facts you need to know about third-party liability claims
before you decide to take legal action:
- You can file third-party liability claims against contractors, subcontractors,
developers, manufacturers, and property owners
- You may be able to pursue both workers’ compensation benefits and
a third-party liability claim
- You must prove negligence to win your case
- You may be able to recover additional financial compensation by filing
a third-party liability claim and a workers’ compensation claim
- You only have 2 years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury
claim in Texas
Discuss Your Legal Options with a Qualified Attorney
Contact the The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC if you’re ready to file a
third-party claim or have questions about non-subscriber cases. We can investigate your
case, collect evidence, and help you prove that the negligent party is
responsible for your injuries and any associated expenses. Our exceptional
legal team has a comprehensive knowledge of OSHA regulations and can develop
an effective claim on your behalf. With our assistance, you can recovery
a monetary settlement or verdict that facilitates your recovery and alleviates
your injury-related debts.
Schedule a free consultation today!
Contact The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC at (512) 271-5112.