Houston Workers Compensation Attorney
If you have been injured while on the job, you may wonder whether your claim is covered by worker’s compensation, covered by your company’s private insurer, or if you will have to file a lawsuit against your employer to receive financial compensation for your injuries.
Most people who are injured on the job assume their company or employer will willingly take care of their damages and any time off work. However, this is often not the case, and many times your employer or the insurance adjuster will refuse to pay for all of your medical bills and may even refuse to give you your job back when you recover from your injury. Speaking to a workers compensation attorney can help you from saying the wrong thing that might stop your claim from being approved.
Types of Workplace Accidents
Many different situations can occur at work that could lead to a personal injury. Some of the most common industry accidents that we deal with include:
- Industrial Accidents
- Factory Accidents
- Uninsured Employer Accidents
- Warehouse Accidents
- Oil Rig Explosion Accidents
Who Is Liable in a Workplace Injury Case?
Throughout Texas, there were 2.3 injuries per 100 full-time workers in 2015. The same year, 527 Texan workers died on the job. Every year, thousands of hard-working employees put their health, safety, and lives on the line to benefit the rest of the world. When something happens on the job that results in employee injury, illness, or death, the injured worker has a right to pursue compensation through the state workers’ compensation program and/or a personal injury claim. In these cases, a few different parties may be liable for damages.
Texas Workers’ Compensation Program
Like most states, Texas makes it mandatory for almost all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. In the event of a worker injury, workers’ comp is typically the first remedy. The injured party can file a claim with his or her employer’s workers’ compensation insurer, and simply receive a check to cover medical expenses and partial lost wages. Workers’ comp is an exclusive remedy, meaning that workers who choose it give up the right to sue the employer for work-related injuries. Exceptions to this rule are claims that involve:
- Sexual harassment
- Wrongful termination
- Employment discrimination
Note that the “exclusive remedy” rule only applies to suing the employer. An injured worker may still sue a third party for damages, such as a coworker, independent contractor, or product manufacturer even if he or she files for workers’ compensation benefits in Texas. An injured worker’s own contributory negligence in causing the workplace incident does not affect the right to benefits through the workers’ compensation program. The program will give benefits with no questions asked, as long as the employee’s injury was not self-inflicted, the employee was not intoxicated at the time, and he or she was not violating a company safety policy.
The Employer’s Workers Compensation Liability
Outside of workers’ compensation, an injured worker may be able to hold the employer liable for injuries. This might be the case if the employer’s negligent, intentional, or wrongful conduct caused the injury, or if the employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance. As soon as you suspect an employer’s negligence contributed to your work-related injuries, contact a personal injury lawyer. You will need proof of your employer’s negligent act, and that this act caused your injuries. A work accident attorney can help you with these elements during personal injury settlement negotiations and/or in a court of law.
Workers Compensation Liability of Third Party
In some job-related accidents, there is a third party at least partially to blame. Third parties can include drivers (e.g., in a roadside construction accident), product manufacturers, a coworker, or the government. If your accident involved a dangerous or defective piece of equipment, you may have a product liability lawsuit on your hands.
If you sustained chemical burns or illness from exposure to a hazardous chemical or substance at work, the manufacturer of the substance may be liable. Your employer may also at least share liability for failing to provide proper safety training or protective equipment. Most workplace accidents have more than one defendant, or responsible party. A lawyer can help injured workers pursue compensation through all possible outlets of recovery.
Legal Assistance with Workers Compensation Claims
If you have been injured on the job in Texas, you only have 30 days within receiving your injury, or 30 days from the date you knew your injury resulted from your job, to file a claim with your employer. It is important to immediately contact an experienced Houston workers compensation lawyer at Ben Bronston & Associates who will make every effort to help you receive the financial compensation you deserve. Te lastimaste en el trabajo? Te podemos ayudar!