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Houston Work Injury Lawyer

As an employee in Houston, Texas, if you are injured at work due to the negligence of your employer, you have certain rights. One of these rights is that you may be entitled to pursue a workplace injury claim. These claims allow victims of accidents to seek compensation and the recovery of their damages following an accident caused by an employer’s negligence.

If you or someone you love has suffered an injury at work, you should get in touch with the team here at Houston Injury Lawyers immediately to discuss your case with a dedicated Houston work injury lawyer.

We can advocate on your behalf, fighting for the compensation that may be on offer to you and taking over the more tedious aspects of the case. This includes filing paperwork, calculating damages, and liaising with the other parties that are involved. We will also investigate on your behalf, building a compelling case that stands a strong chance of winning you either a settlement outside of court or of having your damages awarded in court.

Once a dedicated Houston work injury attorney has taken over the case, it gives you the space to focus on your recovery and mental well-being.

Following a workplace injury, one of the main worries that victims face is that they will be left in financial hardship due to time off work and growing medical bills. Fortunately, if the accident occurred due to the negligence of another party, you are entitled to pursue the recovery of all your damages, including lost income, pain, and suffering and all past and future medical expenses.

Another common fear is that pursuing a claim with a personal injury lawyer will result in a lower payout than pursuing the claim alone or that losing the case will leave victims in a financially difficult position.

At Houston Injury Lawyers, we offer all clients a free initial consultation and work on a contingency fee basis. This means it costs nothing to seek our help and if you lose your case, you won’t owe us a penny. If we win your case, we take our payment from your settlement as a flat percentage of what we win you.

Call us today and seek a free consultation with a Houston work injury attorney at 936-251-5246.

Your Rights as an Injured Worker in Houston, TX

There are federal laws in place that provide rights to every worker in Texas. These laws include the right to work in a safe environment. Under these laws, your employer has a legal obligation to prioritize your health and safety.

In accordance with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), your employee rights include:

  • To have safe equipment to use
  • To be fully protected from toxic chemicals
  • To be provided with safety equipment, such as a hard hat, eye protection, gloves, and anything else required by your job
  • To be trained in a language you understand
  • The right to report any injury or illness and to receive copies of your medical records
  • To have access to the workplace injury and illness log
  • To seek copies of test results regarding hazards in the workplace
  • The right to request an OSHA inspection and speak with an inspector about any concerns you have without any fear of repercussions

Can I Sue if I am Offered Workers’ Comp After a Work Injury?

When it comes to workers’ compensation, Texas is unique in that employers are not obligated to carry workers’ compensation insurance, it is completely optional. This means that if you are injured in Texas while at work, the process is different compared to other states. Understanding these differences is important when it comes to your claim, and this is where a skilled Houston work injury lawyer can be crucial.

Whether you have suffered injuries while working on a building site, in the office, or while on call to a client, understanding how workers’ compensation claims work is important if you want to take the right type of legal action that maximizes your payout.

Here at Houston Injury Lawyers, our team of attorneys regularly handles claims for injured workers. We have a long list of successful cases under our belts, and drawing upon this experience gives us an edge and you an advantage when it comes to winning your case.

Everything begins with a free initial consultation.

Call us today at 936-251-5246.

What Constitutes a Workplace Injury?

In Houston, Texas, a workplace injury is defined as an injury that occurs while you are carrying out your job. It also includes a variety of situations outside of the workplace. For example, you have been injured while you are traveling to a destination for work.

Common Workplace Injuries in Texas

As a law firm that handles workplace injuries on a regular basis, here are some of the common injuries that we deal with:

  • Repetitive strain and motion injuries
  • Injuries caused by overexertion
  • Injuries caused by a falling object
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Injuries caused by a lack of proper personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Accidents due to automated technology

This list is not a comprehensive list of the injuries that we deal with, simply the most common. There are thousands of different jobs and roles in Houston, and this means that workplace injuries can come in a wide variety of shapes and forms.

If you are unsure if your injury and situation constitute a workplace injury claim, your best option is to contact a law firm and arrange for a free initial consultation and case evaluation. They will be able to look at what happened, and if you proceed with representation, they may begin investigations straight away.

We offer a free consultation for a reason, if you are uncertain, do not hesitate to call and receive some free and unbiased legal advice.

How a Workers’ Compensation Claim Works if You are an Independent Contractor

Every single year, countless independent contractors are injured on the job, and many of them do not make a claim as they are unsure of their rights. This is due, in part, to the fact that as an independent contractor, you may not be entitled to make a workers comp claim.

This does not, however, mean that there is no chance of raising a claim for your injury. It might just have to be through different channels.

What is worse, many independent contractors that are entitled to claim workers’ compensation are dissuaded from doing so by their employers who attempt to deny a claim.

The best way to know whether or not you are entitled to make a claim through workers’ compensation is to speak to an attorney. They will know the exact laws and legalities and will be able to advise you on the best plan of action and assist you in putting it in place.

A Texas Workplace Does Not Have to Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance

Texas has unique laws when it comes to workers comp. Compared to other states where it is mandatory, Texas does not require employers to carry workers comp as long as they inform all employees that they are opting out.

While this means you will not be able to seek the easier route of claiming workers comp, which can be done with very little proof of fault or evidence, it does mean that your claim will be worth more usually. This is because, in a personal injury claim, you can pursue the recovery of all of your damages, including pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses and loss of enjoyment.

How to Know if Your Employer Carries Workers Compensation Insurance

By law, your employer is legally obligated to, firstly, inform you when you begin working that they do not have workers’ compensation, and secondly, tell you if you ask them.

Unfortunately, in Houston and across the entirety of Texas, many employers will attempt to bend the truth or outright lie when it comes to informing their workers about opting out of workers comp. Often they will do this in an attempt to persuade an injured worker against making a claim against them. Not only is this immoral, it is illegal, and if you have reason to believe your employer is lying to you, you should tell an attorney.

For a more direct route, and to avoid having to ask your employer, you can also contact the Texas Department of Insurance-Workers’ Compensation to find out if your employer is enrolled.

Usually, You Cannot Sue Your Employer if They Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance

If your employer does carry insurance, it might mean that you cannot make a personal injury claim against them, regardless of whether or not you refuse their offer. If they offer compensation, you will need to fight for a fair offer.

You may also consider the following options:

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit for Intentional Harm

You are entitled to bring a personal injury claim against an employer if they have caused your injury through intentional harm, regardless of whether or not they carry workplace compensation.

However, in order to qualify for this type of lawsuit, the intentional injury must be committed by someone who is in a position high up enough in the company to fire employees.

These cases are notoriously complex and you will likely need a strong, aggressive attorney to pursue this form of personal injury claim. You will need to build a compelling case backed with evidence in order for your attorney to file the lawsuit and prove that the injury was caused by intention, not negligence.

Filing a Lawsuit Against a Third Party

If your injury occurred due to a third party but you were at work at the time, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the third party instead or as well as pursue workers compensation.

Common situations where injured employees are able to sue a third party include:

  • If you are involved in a car accident with a negligent driver while you are on the clock.
  • If you have been injured by a defective tool or piece of machinery, such as automated robots, power tools, or equipment, the fault lies with the manufacturer.
  • If you are on the clock and have traveled to another private property on callout and suffer an injury on said premises. This may include slips, trips, and falls, or dog bite attacks.

Your Family May be Able to Sue Your Employer in Cases of a Fatality

The most tragic outcome of a workplace injury is when the worker loses their life due to the accident. In this situation, the family or estate representative of the deceased worker may raise a claim in their stead.

Your family may be able to sue your employer if their gross negligence leads to your accident and ultimately, your death. This is regardless of whether or not they carry workers’ compensation.

However, you should bear in mind that this is a civil case, and you will not be able to pursue criminal charges through this lawsuit. Instead, you will be able to seek financial compensation for the loss of consortium and companionship. While no amount of money will bring your loved one back, the financial security a claim can provide ensures you do not suffer financially during this difficult period.

These personal injury lawsuits usually center around wrongful death claims and survival claims.

The Types of Damages Covered by Houston, Texas Workers Compensation Benefits

Many of the damages that you would claim in a personal injury case are not going to be on offer to you if you claim via workers’ compensation. For example, pain and suffering damages, which compensate you for the physical pain and mental trauma the accident has put you through, are exclusive to personal injury lawsuits.

However, many damages are still on offer, such as:

Medical Expenses

The cost of healthcare for the average American citizen is estimated to be around $12,000 dollars, which places America at the top of the world in terms of medical costs and not by a tight margin. The second most expensive country for healthcare is Germany, which has an average spend of around $7,000, which is $5,000 less than America.

Looking at these statistics, it is easy to see why medical expenses are one of the leading causes for bankruptcy in the U.S. This means that thousands of Americans are left making difficult decisions each and every day.

Following a workplace injury, you may be worried about the medical bills that you may have to pay, but fortunately, you are entitled to claim all medical costs, past and future, in your workers’ compensation claim.

Remember, when claiming via workers compensation, the other party is going to fight your claims as much as possible. This makes it incredibly important that you keep proof and copies of all the treatment you have received. You may also need to provide your past medical records, so that the insurance company cannot blame your injuries on past conditions.

It can be a good idea to keep a daily diary of your pain, mood, and stress levels, as well as any treatment you have received that day. This will help your attorney when they come to build your medical timeline.

Lost Wages

Following a serious injury, most victims will require time off work for treatment, recovery, and rest. This is usually on the doctor’s advice and should be followed to the letter.

Unfortunately, this often means that while you are recovering, you are suffering from reduced or lost income, and this will need to be claimed back via your workers’ compensation.

You should be compensated for your lost income so far and any potential lost income in the future. If your injuries are serious enough that you will never return to work, your attorney may need to discuss your case with financial experts to judge how much this lifetime of lost earning potential should be compensated for.

Disability Benefits

If your injuries have resulted in you suffering lifelong impairment of disabilities, your workers’ compensation should compensate you for the effect that such a lifelong disability is going to have on your life.

Additionally, you may be entitled to pursue additional compensation in a situation like this. There are several government benefits that cover workers who have been injured and left with a disability.

Your attorney will be the best person to ask and will know exactly what benefits you can seek and your chances of success.

The Types of Damages Exclusive to Personal Injury Lawsuits

Pain and Suffering Damages

The main difference between workers’ compensation claims and personal injury lawsuits is that you will not be able to seek compensation for your pain and suffering. Pain and suffering damages are often the largest part of any personal injury compensation settlement.

Property Damage

It is rare that property damage is an issue when it comes to workplace injury claims, but you will not be able to pursue the recovery of any property damage if you claim through workers’ compensation.

How to Approach the Workers Compensation Process

In order to seek the right workers’ comp benefits, you will need to follow the process with the help of skilled legal representation.

The first step in any workers comp claim is to seek medical attention for the injuries you have suffered. When it comes to proving causation, the sooner after the accident you have received documented medical attention, the easier it is to prove the accident caused said injuries.

After you have received medical attention, you have a window of 30 days to issue a formal accident report. While you have 30 days to do so, the sooner you do this, the better. If you fail to issue a formal accident report during this time, your employer will not be legally obligated to provide workers’ compensation.

Once you have filed your accident report, you need to get in contact with the DWC and submit an Employee’s Claim for Compensation for a Work-Related Injury or Occupational Disease form, which is also known as a DWC Form-041.

At your earliest convenience, we recommend that you involve your chosen attorney. There is a strong possibility that the other party will attempt to discredit or deny your claim. If this happens, you will be thankful that you have an advocate who can fight your corner and ensure you are treated fairly and reasonably.

Houston Work Injury FAQ

It depends on whether they carry workers’ comp insurance or not. If your employer carries workplace comp insurance, you can’t pursue a personal injury claim against them.

However, if they do not carry workers’ compensation, which is not a requirement in Texas, you may pursue a personal injury claim against them if they caused your injuries through negligence.

In accordance with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), your employee rights include:

  • The right to safe equipment
  • The right to be protected against toxic chemicals
  • To be provided with safety equipment, such as a hard hat, eye protection, gloves, and anything else required by your job
  • The right to training given in a language that you understand
  • The right to report any injury or illness and to receive copies of your medical records
  • To have access to the workplace injury and illness log
  • To seek copies of test results regarding hazards in the workplace
  • The right to request an OSHA inspection and speak with an inspector about any concerns you have without any fear of repercussions

In Texas, you are bound by the state’s statutes of limitations. These limitations are a time limit placed upon victims to make a claim. After this time limit has passed, you will be barred from making a claim. This is to prevent victims from suing other parties decades down the line when there will be no evidence to prove the claim.

In Texas, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident.

No, once you have accepted workers’ compensation, you forgo the right to pursue further compensation in the future.

Speak to our Team of Houston Work Injury Lawyers

If you have been injured in a workplace accident and are unsure of what to do next, you should get in touch with an attorney, regardless of whether you are planning to utilize workers’ compensation or pursue a lawsuit. With legal representation, your chances of pursuing the maximum compensation on offer to you are significantly increased.

Our firm has a long history of fighting on behalf of victims who have been injured at work. We have the knowledge of personal injury trial law and the skill to navigate the unique laws that govern Texas employers and employees. We will fight tirelessly to secure you a favorable outcome following your accident.

We can help you maximize your disability benefits, calculate your damages accurately and will negotiate out-of-court settlements if it is possible and in your best interest to do so. If we have to proceed to the courtroom, we will build a compelling case and present a hard-to-dispute argument in front of the jury.

Everything starts with a free initial consultation. You can call us around the clock, whenever you need to speak to an experienced work injury attorney. We offer this meeting for a reason, to provide immediate advice and assistance to any victim when they need us most.

We take time to build a confidence-inspiring relationship with all clients, keeping you informed, educated and in the loop about your case at all times, wherever possible.

Call us at 936-251-5246.