Discovery: What Are Requests For Production?

This is the final example in the discovery series.  So far, we’ve looked at a request for disclosure and interrogatories.  Today, we look at requests for production.

Requests for production are document requests  — one side requests the other side to produce documents relevant to the case.   Unlike interrogatories, there are no hard limits on the number of requests that can be sent, but if it’s too onerous, a judge might step in to limit any abuses.

Like the other discovery requests, it’s important to answer fully.  Failure to answer fully may lead to sanctions, including limiting you from using anything at trial that you didn’t properly produce or even monetary sanctions.

Again, to give you a better idea of what they look like, some requests from a recent car wreck case are attached.  Again, unlike requests for disclosure, which stay the same in every case, these change from case to case.  But these examples are typical of the kind of things that you might be asked to provide.

1. Photographs, negatives, videotapes, electronic recordings and/or motion pictures displaying or relating to:

a) the location of the subject incident,

b) any instrumentality or item involved in the subject incident (such as vehicles),

c) any physical injuries or conditions resulting from the subject incident,

d) any defendant (including defendant’s employees, agents or representatives) or

e) any other matter relevant to the incident/damages in this lawsuit.

2. Diagrams, drawings, graphs, charts, schematics, blueprints, maps and/or models displaying or relating to:

a) the location of the subject incident,

b) any instrumentality or item involved in the subject incident (such as vehicles),

c) any physical injuries or conditions resulting from the subject incident,

d) any defendant (including defendant’s employees, agents or representatives) or

e) any other matter relevant to the incident/damages in this lawsuit.

3. Papers, records, accounts, data compilations and/or other documents reflecting or relating to:

a) the location of the subject incident,

b) any instrumentality or item involved in the subject incident (such as vehicles),

c) any physical injuries or conditions resulting from the subject incident,

d) any defendant (including defendant’s employees, agents or representatives) or

e) any other matter relevant to the incident/damages in this lawsuit.

4. Settlement agreements (including releases, letters or memos) reflecting any settlement or agreement between you and any other person or entity (whether or not a party to this lawsuit), relating to the subject incident or any resulting damages, per Tex. R. Civ. P. 192.3(g)

5. Indemnity and insuring agreements and policies (including all declaration sheets and attached endorsements and addendums of any insurer which may be liable to satisfy, indemnify or reimburse payments for part or all of any judgment in this suit, as defined and authorized per Tex. R. Civ. P. 192.3(f)

6. Trial exhibits, if the Court has ordered disclosure per Tex. R. Civ. P. 192.5(c)(2), 166, and/or 190.4.

7. Reports, field notes, photos, data compilations, attachments, records, and other documents, relating to any investigation of the subject incident or any defendant, which does not qualify as a “core work product” per Tex. R. Civ. P 192.5.

8. Statements of persons with knowledge of relevant facts, as defined and authorized per Tex. R. Civ. P. 192.3(h).

9. Written, recorded and/or transcribed statements of defendant(s) herein or their agents, employees or representatives, regarding the subject incident and/or damages resulting therefrom, as defined and authorized per Tex. R. Civ. P. 192.3(h).

10. Audio recordings of any statements by or conversations with defendant(s) (or its representative or family) at any time, as defined and authorized per Tex. R. Civ. P. 192.3(h).

11. The executed original of the medica authorization (attached hereto ), permitting the release of your medical records.

12. The executed original of the employment authorization (attached hereto), permitting the release of your employment records.

13. The executed original of the Form 4506, Request for Copy or Transcript of Tax Form (attached hereto), permitting release of your tax records. Please fill in Item Numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8d, and 9, and sign where indicated. It is necessary that the original form with original signature be attached to your response, as the IRS will not accept a photocopy of a signature.

14. Documents reflecting the identity (including resume and bibliography) of any “consulting” expert whose mental impressions or opinions have been reviewed by a testifying expert.

15. Documents reflecting the subject matter, mental impressions, opinions, and facts known (forming the basis of mental impressions and opinions) of any “consulting” expert whose mental impressions or opinions have been reviewed by a testifying expert.

16. Documents reflecting any bias of any “consulting” expert whose mental impressions or opinions have been reviewed by a testifying expert.

17. Documents, tangible things, reports, models, or data compilations that have been provided to, reviewed by, or prepared by or for any “consulting” expert whose mental impressions or opinions have been reviewed by a testifying expert.

18. Documents, including but not limited to medical records, reflecting any claim for injuries or damages made the basis of this suit, including any claim for physical pain, mental anguish, physical impairment, and/or disfigurement, if any.

19. Documents reflecting any medical expenses paid or incurred by you (or any other person or entity on your behalf) which resulted from the subject incident.

20. Documents reflecting expenses which have been paid, incurred, received and/or reimbursed by any person or entity for any damages resulting from the subject incident. This includes the government (Medicare/Medicaid), any insurance company or health care plan.

21. Employment payment and attendance records and other documents for the past five years, which reflect your dates and hours worked, salary/wage and immediate supervisor(s).

22. Employment/payment records, tax records and other documents which support any claim for past loss of earnings or other income (if applicable, and as set forth in your answer to any corresponding Interrogatory served herewith)/

23. Employment/payment records, tax records and other documents which support any claim for future loss of earning capacity (if applicable, and as set forth in your anser to any corresponding Interrogatory served herewith.)

24. Documents which support any claim you are making fo property damage from the subject incident, including any records of purchase (including payments made), repairs (including estimates), replacement, and title of such property.

25. Documents related to any claim you are making for loss of use of any property lost or damaged from the subject incident, including renal records and repair estimates.

26. Documents reflecting or supporting any claim made in this suit for property damages measured by loss of market value from the subject incident, i.e., the difference in market value before and after said incident.

27. Documents reflecting or supporting any claim made in this suit of any other expenses or damages not requested or identified above, such as out of pocket and incidental expenses.

28. Documents reflecting or supporting any claim made in this suit by you or your spouse for loss of household services or consortium (if applicable).

29. Correspondence, memos, and any other writings exchanged by and between you (or your representative(s)) and any defendant (or its representative or family), at any time.

30. Contracts and or other written agreements (including leases and any attachments) by and between you (or your representative(s)) and any defendant (or its representative to family), at any time.

31. Documents reflecting any charge, indictment, conviction, plea or probation for any felony or other crime of moral turpitude by you during the past ten years.

32. Pleadings and other records and documents from any lawsuit or claim involving injury to you during the past ten (10) years (if applicable, and as set forth in your answer to any corresponding Interrogatory served herewith).

33. Diaries, calendars and/or personal notes by you for the period from the date of the subject incident to the present, which mention the subject incident, injuries, damages, or contain records, of your activities and mental state before and after said incident.

34. Ordinance, codes, written standards, regulations, and/or recommendations (including those promulgated by government industry), which you contend relate to the subject incident and/or governed the conduct of any defendant at the time of the subject incident.

35. Driver’s license obtained by you during the past ten years (copy both front and back).

Posted on: December 31, 2010 |

Discovery: What Are Interrogatories?

As I mentioned in a prior post, the first phase of a lawsuit is the written discovery phase.  In it, the parties exchange requests for disclosure, interrogatories, requests for production, and maybe rquests for admissions.

In the first post, we talked in detail about the request for disclosure, a standard form that is sent in every case asking the parties to disclose basic information.

The remaining three discovery tools, while still general sometimes, are more tailored to the specifics of the case.  The specific tool for today’s post is interrogatories.  Interrogatories are questions that one side sends to the other side to be answered under oath  — that means that the person responding has to sign and swear before a notary public that the answers are truthful.

Again, we usually send the interrogatories to the client and ask the client to answer them on his or her own so that we get the best answer.  We’ll then work with the client to come up with a final form.

I wanted to give you some examples of interrogatories so I’m going to include below some interrogatories I received in a car wreck case recently.  Unlike requests for disclosures, which are identical from case to case, interrogatories change from lawyer to lawyer.  But this example is fairly standard and should give you an idea about what an auto accident lawyer might have to respond to in a case.

In most cases, a party is limited to sending thirty interrogatories to the other side.  You’ll notice in this example that there are fewer than thirty interrogatories.  This allows the other side to follow up with a few additional questions as the case goes forward.

1. Identify all names you have gone by current address, date and place of birth, driver’s license and social security numbers.

2. Identify (names, addresses and phone numbers) all persons who have resided with you for longer than one week since the subject incident, including your nuclear family (spouse, parents and/or children.)

3. For each employment during the past ten years, identify each employer (name, address, phone number), provide your position/title, and describe your duties and responsibilities as well as beginning and ending date of employment.

4. Have you ever been charged with, convicted of, or plead guilty to any felony or other crime of moral turpitude during the past ten years? If so, identify the crime, date and location, entity making the charge. If applicable, also identify the court and cause number, and state whether you are presently on probation.

5. Please explain in detail your version of the incident on which this suit is based and identify all persons known to you to have been eyewitnesses to the incident.

6. Provide the name, address and phone numbers of all persons who are expected to be called to testify by you at the trial of this case per Tex. R. Civ. P. 192.3(d)

7. State completely all written or verbal statements/admissions of Defendant (or any agents, representatives or employees of Defendant), which you may reveal to the judge or jury at trial, regarding the subject lawsuit, incident, fault, or any condition playing a part in said incident.

8. For each investigation and/or statement regarding the subject incident, state the date of the investigation/statement, and identify (name, address, phone number) who conducted and/or provided the investigation/statement and has custody of each statement and/or any related reports or data.

9. Did you consume any alcoholic beverages or drugs (prescription or nonprescription) within a twenty-four hour period prior to the incident? Please be specific with regard to time of consumption and quantity consumed. If so, state the specifically what was consumed, how much or how many?

10. Describe all personal injuries you sustained from the subject incident, including body parts, aggravation or prior conditions, impairment, and/or disfigurement.

11. Identify (name, address and phone number) all medical/health care providers (including, but not limited to, physicians, osteopaths, chiropractors, psychologists, therapists, pharmacies, hospitals and clinics) who have provided any treatment, services, advice, medication or supplies as a result of the subject incident or injuries.

12. Identify (name, address and phone number) all medical/health care providers (including, but not limited to, physicians, osteopaths, chiropractors, psychologists, therapists, pharmacies, hospitals and clinics) you have seen during the past ten years for any injury or condition. For each, specify the injury/condition treated.

13. Identify all other accidents you have been involved in, including automobile accidents, on the job accidents, industrial accidents, home accidents or any other type of accidents during the past ten years.

14. Identify all lawsuits and insurance claims involving personal injuries to you during the past twelve years, specifying the nature of the injury, date and county/city of filing, name of defendant/insurer, and result (settlement/judgment).

15. If you were covered by health insurance at the time of the incident giving rise to this lawsuit or at any subsequent time, please identify such carrier by name and policy number or group policy number.

16. Provide the total amount of medical expenses paid or incurred by you (or any person or entity on your behalf) to date as a result of the subject incident. Also, if applicable, state whether any future medical expenses have been projected by any of your medical/health care.

17. Identify all persons or entities (name, address and phone number) which have paid, incurred, received and/or reimbursed any expenses resulting from the subject incident. This is to include any governmental agency (such as Medicare or Medicaid), insurance company or health care plan.

18. If you are claiming any past or future loss of earnings or other income as a result of the subject incident, state the amount to date and the method of calculation. Include all dates you did not work because of injuries or medical care, you salary/wage, and state whether such losses are continuing at present.

19. In addition to any damages stated above, identify any other expenses or damages resulting from the subject incident. (Such as property damage, medical appliances, out-of-pocket expenses, etc.)

20. Pursuant to Rule 609(f), Texas Rules of Evidence, please state evidence of any conviction (by stating the offense, disposition, year of the offense, cause number, court, and county in which the offense occurred) which you intend to use at the trial of this matter regarding this Defendant or any witnesses identified as trial witnesses by this Defendant.

21. Identify all consulting experts whose mental impressions and opinions were provided to a testifying expert, and identify in detail the nature and substance of those mental impressions and opinions.

22. Please list/identify any and all exhibits you intend to introduce into evidence and/or use at the time of trial.

Posted on: December 30, 2010 |

Discovery: What Is A Request For Disclosure?

We have a lot of discussion with our clients and on this website about the phases of a case, and on the website, we always tell people that the first phase of the case is the written discovery phase. But a question posed to me yesterday made it clear that I haven’t properly explained what that means.

The written discovery phase of the case is the part of the case where the parties ask each other questions in writing and make written requests that the other side provide documents relevant to the case. There are generally four types of written discovery that we will use: a request for disclosure, interrogatories, a request for production, and a request for admission. I’ll give you examples of these in posts over the next few days.

For each of these, the client and the attorney have to work together to make sure that they are answered completely and accurately. In our cases, we’ll send each of these to our clients and ask them to do their best to answer it on their own — this usually gives us additional information that we may not have obtained had we sat down and guided the client through the process.  We’ll then work together with the client to come up with the final product.

In general, a party has 30 days to respond to any of these requests so it’s important to cooperate fully with your lawyer to make sure that you can meet the deadlines.

Today’s post focuses on the request for disclosure. The request for disclosure is a form that the parties send to one another requesting answers to questions and the production of certain documents that are routine in every case (the other discovery items are more specifically tailored depending on the type of case). These requests are very general and they have been set out in a rule of procedure so they are exchanged in every case.  They have been “blessed” by the Texas Supreme Court and attorneys can’t object to them so they must be answered fully.

The standard request for disclosure asks a part to disclose the following:

1. The correct names of the parties to the lawsuit.
2. The name, address, and telephone number of any potential parties.
3. The legal theories and, in general, the factual bases of the responding party’s claims or defenses.
4. The amount and any method of calculating economic damages.
5. The name, address, and telephone number of persons having knowledge of relevant facts, and a brief statement of each identified person’s connection with the case.
6. For any testifying expert:

a. the expert’s name, address, and telephone number;
b. the subject matter on which the expert will testify; and
c. the general substance of the expert’s mental impressions and opinions and a brief summary of the basis for them, or if the expert is not retained by, employed by, or otherwise subject to the control of the responding party, documents reflecting such information.

If the expert is retained by, employed by, or otherwise subject to the control of the responding party:

i. all documents, tangible things, reports, model, or data compilations that have been provided to, reviewed by, or prepared by or for the expert in anticipation of the expert’s testimony; and
ii. the expert’s current resume and bibliography.

7. Any discoverable indemnity and insuring agreement.
8. Any discoverable settlement agreements.
9. Any discoverable witness statements.
10. In a suit alleging physical or mental injury and damages from the occurrence that is the subject of the case, all medical records and bills that are reasonably related to the injuries or damages asserted or, in lieu thereof, an authorization permitting the disclosure of such medical records and bills.
11. In a suit alleging physical or mental injury and damages from the occurrence that is the subject of the case, all medical records and bills obtained by the responding party by virtue of an authorization furnished by the requesting party.
12. The name, address, and telephone number of any person who may be designated as a responsible third party.

As I mentioned, it’s important to fully respond to the disclosure.  If you don’t, then the information requested might be excluded from trial.  For example, if you fail to name someone as a witness, then you won’t be able to call that person at trial.

Posted on: December 29, 2010 |

If You Can’t Work Following A Car Wreck, Who Will Pay Your Lost Wages?

Today’s video answers the question, “If you can’t work following a car wreck, who will pay your lost wages?”

Who Will Pay My Lost Wages If I Can’t Work After A Car Wreck? from brooks schuelke on Vimeo.

Car Wreck Property Damage Video Series: What If The Other Driver Doesn’t Have Enough Insurance?

Today’s question for the car wreck property damage video series is, “What if the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance?”  Unfortunately, this is a question that you ought to addres before a wreck, because after a wreck, there’s not much you can do.


What should I do if the owner of the car that hit me didn’t have enough insurance?

This is really a question that you need to think about, or hopefully thought about, before you were in a wreck. At that point, if the owner doesn’t have enough insurance, it is likely that your best option  for a recovery is to have uninsured or under insured motorist coverage.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is coverage that you purchase on your own automobile policy that will cover and protect you and your vehicle in the event that the other driver doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance. It is critical when you buy insurance, to buy UM or UIM coverage.

This is insurance that protects you. It is largely inexpensive and it can prevent disaster situations in the long run. So I urge you, if you have not been in a wreck, to consider looking at the possibility of purchasing underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. It is the most important insurance that you can purchase for your car, in my opinion, because it protects you and your family, instead of other members on the road.

Bicyclists Beware This Holiday Season

I suspect my holiday will be like holidays at a number of Central Texas homes.  One of the gifts for one of my children will be a new bicycle  (please don’t tell them).  And kids all over Austin will be getting new bikes too.

Unfortunately, a horrific bicycle accident that occurred this week  is a sobering reminder about the dangers that bicyclists of all ages face.   In that wreck, 40 year old Vincent Hamala was enjoying his new bike when he was hit by a drunk driver, Francisco Esteban Casarez.   Mr. Hamala is now at Brackenridge fighting for his life.

Over the years, we’ve represented a number of clients who have been injured in bicycle accidents.  There are always a number of questions that have to be answered in the process of pursuing the claim:  Were the bicyclist and the driver both following the rules of the road?  Was the bicyclist using proper hand signals?  If the wreck occurred at night, did the cyclist have proper lights?    Unfortunately, cyclists also face somewhat of a stigma.  Althought Austin fashions itself a bicycle friendly city, in many cases it seems that there is a bias against cyclists that we have to overcome  (that shouldn’t be a problem for Mr. Hamala since the driver that hit him is being accused of driving drunk). 

The other thing that often arises in these cases is a question of where a potential settlement might come from.  Obviously, in this situation, the bicyclist has a claim against the other driver.  But bicycle cases usually involve severe injuries so a typical auto liability policy might not be enough to compensate for the victim’s damages.  If that’s the case, and the bicyclist has a car that has uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, then the bicyclist may also make a claim on that policy.  

As for those of us getting our kids’ bikes, do what you can to keep them safe.  Make sure they wear helmets, bright clothing and lights if riding at night.  Also, make sure you or someone else teaches them about bike safety, including tips for looking out for cars.  Kids need to understand the risks of potential injuries they might sustain if they don’t follow biking rules.

Posted on: December 22, 2010 | Tagged

A Trucking Accident In My Neighborhood

It’s not every day that a trucking accident occurs in a neighborhood street in my neighborhood.  But that’s exactly what happened this morning when an 18 wheeler rolled over on Red Bud Trail near Stratford Lane.  For those of you familiar with Austin, you know this is a small, windy road. 

At this point, speculation is that the truck was either speeding or the shift of the liquid in the tanker around one of the turns may have caused the crash. 

Fortunately, no one was hurt.

The wreck is a good example of the dangers of shifting loads.  Many trucking accidents occur after a load shifts and causes steering problems.    In this case, the load was a liquid, but when the load is something other than a liquid, the attorney should investigate potential claims against the company that secured the cargo of the truck.

Posted on: December 16, 2010 | Tagged

The Tort of Strict Liability Applies in Personal Injury Cases Says Austin Personal Injury Lawyer

Strict liability is a tort law and means a party is liable for all damages as a result of their dangerous actions or products.

“The most common strict liability claims arise from injuries caused by dangerous products. Basically, when a product causes a foreseeable harm to a consumer, the maker of the product and the distributor may be liable to pay damages. There is an exception, and that is if the product did have a warning about the possibility of an injury, the maker of that product/item isn’t always held liable,” said Brooks Schuelke, an Austin personal injury lawyer with Perlmutter & Schuelke, L.L.P.

Products that come with warning stickers about obvious hazards are labeled like that for a good reason; it protects the manufacturer from lawsuits.

Even though products may be labeled, this does not necessarily mean that the warning sticker is adequate. The best example of that is the latest rash of children’s toys being recalled or otherwise avoided. While a piece of children’s jewelry may be labeled with a warning sticker that indicates a choking hazard, it may not contain a warning about high levels of lead.

Any child that suffers injuries from being exposed to lead paint may sue the toy maker for compensation. The number of product recalls these days is overwhelming and certainly makes people in general leery of buying things and parents, in specific, jumpy about what they buy for their children.

“There are so many things to watch out for, you almost need to make a list that includes watching for fall hazards, fire risks, burn perils, laceration and puncture dangers, explosion and projectile hazards and so on. And, since some of the products on the market are ultimately dangerous for more than one reason, but this is not caught before they are sold, chances are they may get approved and put on the market. If your child has been harmed by a product like this, you’re welcome to call my office to find out what your rights are,” Schuelke said.

The second category of strict liability claims involves dangerous pets. “A pet owner or keeper may be liable for injuries caused by a pet if the owner knows that the pet has some type of dangerous propensities that aren’t typical for the type of pet,” Schuelke said.

The most obvious examples of these cases are dog bite cases. But these kind of strict liability cases apply in other situations. For example, when a pet owner knows a dog has a tendency to jump up on visitors, the owner may be liable for any injuries the dog causes when it jumps up and knocks someone down. Similarly, a horse owner might be liable for damages if the owner lets a person ride a horse known to have dangerous propensities.

“It’s not only important for victims of animal attacks to know about strict liability, but also for pet owners to know their obligations,” Schuelke said.

Contact Perlmutter & Schuelke PLLC at http://www.civtrial.com or (512) 476-4944.

Negligence Will Be Apportioned Between Parties Indicates Austin Personal Injury Attorney

Pure comparative negligence determines that injury compensation is divided based on fault. Not all states follow this rule.

“One of the key ingredients necessary to determine fault in accidents is the presence of negligence. In the U.S., there are four ways to figure out damage awards: pure contributory negligence, pure comparative negligence, modified comparative negligence (50 percent bar rule) and then modified comparative negligence (51 percent bar rule). Not all states follow the same system. In order to know what you may face in court, if your accident was in Texas, you will need to understand how the system works. For this, you will need to consult a personal injury lawyer,” said Brooks Schuelke, an Austin personal injury lawyer with Perlmutter & Schuelke, L.L.P.

When a plaintiff goes to file for damages as the result of an accident, the arbiter at trial has to figure out who caused the accident. Typically, the person who was negligent and caused the crash is the one paying for the damages. However, if more than one individual was at fault, the negligence is divvied up between the parties on a percentage basis, based on the apportionment laws of the state where the accident took place. “Depending on the jurisdiction, the allocation does impact damages awarded,” said Austin personal injury lawyer Schuelke.

While it may seem like an odd way to talk about liability – who did what and how much at fault they are – there has to be some method in place to break liability down into percentages. This is particularly true if one party is more responsible for the wreck than another. Ultimately, it is a matter of being more or less responsible for their actions. That does not mean both individuals cannot file claims for compensation for any injuries or damages they sustained.

“An example may be that a person is 45 percent liable for a car wreck because they turned abruptly without signaling their intentions and were rear-ended because the person behind them was following too close. That means they could claim 55% of the total compensation they may be awarded. In other words, the percentage of the fault that was not theirs,” Schuelke said. While this may be confusing, an experienced Austin personal injury lawyer can explain it in plain English so that it makes sense.

In Texas, the modified comparative fault (51 percent) rule is followed. That means an injured plaintiff may only recover if it is deemed that the plaintiff’s fault isn’t 51 percent or greater. If the injured victim was 50 percent or less at fault for the accident, they may still recover damages. “What this boils down to is that if a plaintiff is found to be responsible for causing 50% of the accident, they may still file a damage claim and recover. If the plaintiff was responsible for more than half the crash, they are barred from getting damages from the court,” Schuelke said.

“There are always exceptions to every rule, so if there are questions about any case you may have been involved in, call my office for answers. That’s my job, to tell you your rights and if I may assist you, I will,” Schuelke said.

Contact Perlmutter & Schuelke PLLC at http://www.civtrial.com or (512) 476-4944.

Failing To Report A Workplace Injury Could Cost You Compensation

If you’re hurt at work, you must report it. If you don’t, you could lose your compensation.

It goes without saying that accidents happen, particularly in the construction industry. If an accident does happen and a worker is injured and the injuries are directly linked to a mistake the employer made, the worker usually has a successful accident claim; a claim that can be handled by an Austin personal injury lawyer.

Typically, it would be better if the working conditions on a construction site were implemented with safety first and foremost to avoid accidents in the first place. That doesn’t happen in many cases, as the bottom line is often related to making money and being on time, not whether the workers are safe.

Unfortunately, people being people, money often comes before safety, and the fatality statistics reflect that. For instance, did you know that construction accidents result in the highest number of fatalities? In 2008/09 alone, 29.4 percent of all the fatal injuries were in the construction industry. While the numbers are apparently going down, they still reflect a large number of people who are no longer with us and families that are still grieving for their horrendous loss. To get fair and equitable compensation for the construction death of a loved one, it’s advisable to hire an Austin personal injury lawyer.

Often when you get good news, there is bad news as well. The construction accident statistics are no exception. On one hand you have a 36 percent reduction in major injuries in 2008/09. On the other, even in spite of the reduction, there are still more major injuries sustained by those who work on construction sites that there are in any other main industry group. Is safety on the job becoming more of a priority? It appears it may be, but there are still a high number of serious and fatal accidents.

Generally speaking, the most common types of injuries that are sustained on a construction site involve handling material, slips, trips and falls, falling from a height (e.g. from scaffolding), run-ins with moving or falling objects, electrical mishaps, collapses, trenching incidents, overturns and poorly maintained or unsafe equipment. If you have been in an accident on a construction site, then you need legal counsel to advise you of your rights and how to file a lawsuit.

So far, we have been discussing the number of serious accidents that tend to happen on worksites. What about the not so serious ones? Unfortunately, these are not always reported or are downplayed, which may work well for the company’s safety numbers, but will ultimately be disadvantageous to the worker who may lose out on compensation. Sadly, the under reporting may also be due to lack of education about filing legitimate work injury claims, whether they are serious or not.

The bottom line is that even though a workplace injury may not be serious, the worker is entitled to file a construction injury claim. If they don’t, they are missing out on compensation that is their right. When in doubt, ask for legal assistance from an Austin personal injury lawyer and find out what your rights are and how to go about filing a claim.

Brooks Schuelke is an Austin personal injury attorney with Perlmutter & Schuelke PLLC. Contact an Austin injury lawyer at Civtrial.com or (512) 476-4944.

Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC maintains offices in Austin, Texas. However, our attorneys and lawyers represent clients throughout the state of Texas, including Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Forth Worth, El Paso, New Braunfels, San Marcos, Kyle, Buda, Round Rock, Georgetown, Lockhart, Bastrop, Elgin, Manor, Brenham, Cedar Park, Burnet, Marble Falls, Temple and Killeen. By Brooks Schuelke


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