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Many Texas construction workers not covered for serious injuries

As those who live here know, Texas has an abundance of opportunities for hard working individuals to find jobs. In fact, in the last decade, Texas has topped all other states in job creation. This fact comes from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, which additionally reports that the statewide bright spot of job creation casts an ominous shadow. Texas is also the frontrunner in the area of worker fatalities.

One job sector that produces a high volume of serious injuries, is the construction industry. Construction work is inherently dangerous, even when properly monitored and regulated. But insufficient official monitoring can create the possibility of companies taking short cuts in maintaining safe working conditions on job sites.

In 2012, the ratio of Texas workers to Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors was 104,000 to one. This ratio is among the lowest in the country. The lack of oversight caused by this discrepancy may be a contributing factor in the high worker fatality numbers.

But making matters worse is that the Lone Star State is the lone state in the nation that makes no requirement of companies to carry workers’ compensation insurance. There are over a half-million workers in Texas who will not be covered should they be killed or injured on the job.

From the year 2008 to the year 2013, 45 percent of claims made for workers’ compensation were either fully or partially disputed or denied upon initial filing. With this sort of resistance working against them, it is clear that construction workers need some form of representation should they ever incur a serious injury while on the job.

Given the extreme nature of injuries caused by such common events as falls or being struck by objects, construction workers can face an especially long road to recovery. Their work requires such physicality, an injury can result in a long period of time away from the job resulting in lost wages. In addition, medical treatment can be very expensive.

A Texas liability attorney may be able to offer support in seeking compensation for expenses.

Source: texastribune.com, “After Catastrophic Fall, the Fight of One Worker's Life,” Jay Root, June 30, 2014

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