Construction workers sometimes must work underground in deep trenches, especially when laying down underground channels. This is one of the most dangerous parts of construction work. Not only do the workers risk being trapped beneath the earth and covered in debris, but they can also be knocked down by construction equipment in case of a collapse.
A trench collapsing with workers inside can lead to catastrophic injuries and death.
Therefore, you must consult a trench accident lawyer if you’re a victim of a trench collapse. The same step is also necessary for the family members of workers killed in such accidents to protect their legal rights.
At Baumgartner Law Firm, our personal injury lawyers handle trench accident injuries in Texas and protect our client’s rights by fighting, so they receive the necessary compensation.
Attorneys For Workers Hurt in Trench Collapses
While most construction accidents are caused by elevated heights and falling debris, working in trenches can cause catastrophic injuries if proper safety precautions are ignored. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists excavation and working in trenches as the top hazardous categories of construction work. It’s not uncommon for workers to be assigned duties on work in trenches without proper safety features and equipment that include:
- Trench boxes and harnesses to mitigate cave-ins.
- Ladders for aggression.
- Safety equipment to control toxic fumes.
Risks with Trench Work
Besides the lack of safety equipment, trench workers often must contend with several other workplace risks, such as:
- Heavy machinery can potentially destabilize trench walls.
- Piling of excavated soil and debris can cause a cave-in.
- Poorly dug trenches.
- Unstable soil type.
When trench accidents happen, workers can be killed or suffer serious injuries. They may suffer asphyxiation, among other injuries. While your legal right is to be compensated for your damages, including the wrongful death of a family who died in the trenches, your employer may not have a Worker’s Compensation program to compensate for the damages.
That gives you another legal opinion: the option to file a claim or lawsuit against the liable parties. The first step is to seek expert legal representation. Investigations into the cause of the accident can be conducted from there to determine who is at fault in your case.
How Do Trench Cave-ins and Accidents Happen?
The construction industry is regulated with strict safety guidelines to ensure safety for workers. However, this is never the case in most Houston construction sites. And when such regulations are ignored or taken for granted, it creates dangerous working conditions for workers. Furthermore, working with defective or low-quality trenching equipment is another dangerous risk that exposes workers to accidents.
You are entitled to financial compensation if you’re injured due to any of the above reasons or lost a loved one in such working conditions. You need to pay for medical expenses, your income could be lost or compromised, and you’ll need to be paid for all these, plus your pain and suffering. Our construction accident attorneys can provide legal guidance and professional advice on the best way forward.
What Are the Injuries in Trench Accidents?
In case of a trench collapse, workers can be buried alive in the trenches. Workers’ most common injuries in such accidents include suffocation, drowning, and poisoning. These accidents can also cause electrocutions and explosions if underground love electrical wires exist. Here are some of the most common trench collapse injuries in Houston:
- A prolonged lack of oxygen causes asphyxiation.
- Broken bones are caused by falling or being crushed by an object or excavated material.
- Drowning in underground water.
- Poisoning is caused by inhaling toxic fumes.
- Burn injuries sustained from explosions or electrocutions.
- Suffocation due to the heavy weight of soil.
- Head, neck, and back injuries.
- Rotator cuff injury;
Employers have a responsibility to ensure maximum safety for all workers by adhering to the following guidelines:
- Testing and monitoring the trenches for dangerous fumes;
- Ensuring that workers can safely access the channels using the recommended safety equipment.
- Providing safety against loose soil.
Failure to take these crucial safety measures can make employers liable for accidents.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for Damages in A Trench Accident?
If you’re involved in a trenching accident in which you end up with severe injuries, you should receive workers’ compensation regardless of the cause of the accident. However, knowing who was responsible for the collapse is critical to your injury case.
Your Houston trenching accident lawyer will help with investigations to determine the at-fault party.
Identification of Third Parties
For example, the site manager, supervisor, or contractor who authorized the trenching work despite adverse weather conditions can be held accountable for the accident caused by their poor decision-making.
The company contracted to manufacture the trench support equipment may also be held responsible for the defective equipment that caused the accident. Regardless of who is answerable for your case, our trenching accident lawyers will pursue the topic to the end until justice is served.
Suppose you’re approached by an attorney or insurance company representing any liable parties. In that case, we advise you not to enter into any agreement or settlement without first consulting with your Houston trenching accident lawyer. This is to stop you from making hurried decisions or rushing into a settlement that may be less than what you deserve.
How A Trench Accident Lawyer at Baumgartner Law Firm Accident & Injury Lawyers Can Help
Our qualified construction work injury attorneys at Baumgartner Law Firm Houston Personal Injury Lawyers have over thirty-five years of construction accident experience. We employ the best legal representation and expertise to protect the rights of construction workers who are sometimes vulnerable to ruthless insurance companies.
We aim to ensure construction injury victims and their families receive compensation for their pain and losses.
We understand the emotional anguish such tragedies bring and endeavor to deliver favorable outcomes. We also offer free case consultations and only receive payment for our services if we win your case!
Contact us today at (281) 587-1111 to begin an investigation into your case.