Were you hurt at work? Workers compensation might not be your only option.
All workers have the right to safe a workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has helped workers protect this right since its creation in 1970. By enforcing strict safety regulations, OSHA helps reduce the number and severity of workplace injuries and deaths. However, employers do not always adhere to these safety standards and this can cause workers to get hurt. Unfortunately for Texas workers, employers are not required to carry workers compensation insurance, which means many workers do not receive compensation for workplace injuries. However, if the injury was caused because of someone else’s negligence, workers can pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. A Houston workplace injury attorney can analyze your situation and help you understand your legal options.
Types of Workplace Accidents
With the appropriate training, proper safety gear, and necessary warning signs, most workplace injuries could be avoided. However, some of the most common types of workplace accidents include:
- Heavy machinery accidents – Many industries use large machinery to help accomplish tasks, which can pose unique risks to workers. Heavy machinery accidents can cause broken bones, crushing injuries, and even amputations.
- Trips and falls – Falling is one of the most common workplace accidents. While some trip and falls may only result in broken bones, workers who fall from a height could suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), neck and back injuries, paralysis, or even death.
- Workplace vehicle accidents – In workplaces with vehicle traffic, workers who work in and around the vehicles face similar risks to motorists on the roadway. Workplace vehicle accidents can cause devastating injuries including TBIs, whiplash injuries, broken bones, and lacerations, among others.
- Struck by accidents – Common in the construction industry, struck by accidents occur when an object, piece of machinery, or other debris strikes a worker. The head is particularly vulnerable in struck by accidents, but workers can also suffer other debilitating injuries.
- Explosions – The oil and gas industry is integral to the Texas economy, however, the process of collecting and refining these natural resources can be extremely volatile. Explosions on oil rigs and in oil refineries can cause extensive burn injuries, shockwave injuries, and death for workers near the heart of the explosion.
Types of Employer Negligence
Employers have several responsibilities to their workers to ensure safety in the workplace. First, employers are required to train employees on all equipment, tools, and safety procedures they will need on the job. Second, employers must provide workers with the appropriate safety gear. Some of the most basic safety gear like safety glasses, gloves, and hard hats can go a long way toward preventing or reducing the severity of workplace injuries. Finally, employers need to ensure all hazards are appropriately communicated, particularly by using warning signs. Failing to adhere to these responsibilities can set workers up for disaster, and employers can be held responsible.
What About Workers Compensation?
For employers in Texas subscribing to workers compensation, the program can help compensate injured workers for the cost of their injuries. However, workers compensation also protects employers from liability in personal injury lawsuits. In many cases, workers compensation is not the only method of recovery for injured workers.
In some cases, injured workers can file third party injury claims. Worksites across Texas often use third party contractors and workers to help complete jobs, but if one of these third parties causes an injury due to negligence, they can be held directly liable through a personal injury lawsuit without being subject to a workers compensation claims bar.
Why Hire A Lawyer?
Determining who is at fault after a workplace accident can sometimes be difficult, but an experienced workplace accident attorney will be able to conduct a thorough investigation to determine the liable parties. An attorney will be able to collect witness statements and conduct interviews, investigate the company’s accident history, and partner with industry experts to determine the source of the accident.
At Mejias Lindsay PLLC, our attorneys know many large companies try to avoid large workplace injury payouts. We can fight for your rights and stand up to companies who only care about the bottom line. If you or someone you love was injured in a Texas workplace accident, call us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. At Mejias Lindsay PLLC, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means you will not owe us anything unless we help you recover compensation. Time limitations will apply to your claim, so contact us today to schedule a consultation. We can help you in both English and Spanish.