Know Your Right if you are Injured at Work in Texas
Suffering an injury on the job can compromise your ability to work and support yourself. In addition, you may be unable to work while you recover from your injuries, and the trauma of being hurt or seeing coworkers hurt may cause psychological damage.
Workers in all industries face the risk of injury, depending on what is present at the work site. Construction workers may suffer injuries from tools, equipment, concrete, falling objects, and electrical grids. Home repair workers could be harmed by water, defective materials and products (such as shoddy drywall), and a lack of training to prevent workplace accidents. Office workers can slip and fall due to spilled liquids on floors, trip over loose rugs or wires under desks, or suffer bodily harm and disability from vendors or clients. Even if the company is not at fault for these injuries, a claim may be possible in some cases.
Regarding fatal injuries in the workplace, there are several major contributing factors, including transportation accidents, violence by other persons, and slips and falls.
In Texas, 210,200 workers suffered non-fatal injuries at their place of employment in 2020, and 476 workers were killed in fatal workplace accidents. That year, Texas accounted for nearly 10% of the nation’s workplace fatalities. So, an average of 574 workers get hurt on the job every day in Texas. Another one to two workers are killed in fatal workplace accidents every day.
When a worker is injured on the job, they have rights under the law to recover from that injury. However, the primary concern is not a monetary recovery but the legal remedy itself. If an individual does not know what remedy he or she wants for the situation, it is difficult to pursue any action. A violation of the rights of the employee can lead to a lawsuit, but that individual will need to know what to do and how to seek an appropriate legal remedy for their situation. If they want compensation, that worker usually must proceed through a workers’ compensation claim.
When an employee sustains a work-related injury, they may file a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation can provide financial assistance during recovery and help to regain lost wages during this period. If the employee is unable to return to work after the injury, he or she may file for disability benefits. Depending on the degree of disability, vocational rehabilitation services may be available to assist in returning to work or finding a new career.
Texas is unique because private employers do not have to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Those who do must inform employees and post a workplace notice with the insurance carrier’s name.
Workers’ compensation is designed to help injured workers. If workers’ compensation covers you, you cannot sue your employer for work-related injuries or illness. Some exceptions apply: For example, if injured while operating a punch press, while working on a boat or ship, or while ill from asbestos exposure, you may be able to sue even if your employer subscribes to workers’ compensation.
Since workers’ compensation insurance is optional in the state of Texas, a personal injury attorney can help determine if you can file a lawsuit if injured on the job. Suppose an employer does not carry such insurance or fails to provide sufficient coverage for employees. In that case, the injured worker may sue for full compensation.
Our Personal injury lawyers will handle all aspects of your claim, including determining if you’re entitled to workers’ compensation benefits or damages in a third-party lawsuit.
Our Texas based lawyers take specific steps to gather evidence and build a case for our clients.
If you or a loved one has been hurt at work and you have questions about compensation, call one of our attorneys today and we will be happy to review your situation and guide you further.
You must report your injury to your employer within 30 days of the incident or from the date you knew your injury or illness was related to your job. If you fail to notify your employer within 30 days, you may not receive benefits.
In most instances where you are covered by workers’ compensation, you have to file through that system first and it will likely make you ineligible to file a lawsuit. However, there are several instances where workers may still be eligible to file a lawsuit.
Because Texas is the only state in the country that makes workers’ compensation optional, you may also be able to file suit against your employer if they provide insufficient or even no workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Whereas employers who do this in other states have broken the law, that is not the case for Texas employers. In Texas, if a worker was hurt and their employer had inadequate coverage or no coverage at all, the worker can file a civil suit against their employer for full compensation.
It does not cost you anything to hire us to fight on your behalf. We charge based on contingency, which simply means that if we don’t win a monetary settlement on your behalf, you don’t pay anything!