El Paso Workplace Injury Lawyers
CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH A WORKPLACE INJURY LAWYER FOR FREE
Injuries can occur anywhere, including the workplace. Though some jobs are inherently risky such as firefighters, nurses, police officers, and construction workers, injuries can occur even in jobs that may not involve much physical movement. An injury at the workplace can be both physically and mentally devastating. After all, a workplace injury can lead you to lose what may be your sole source of income. Furthermore, you may be saddled with medical bills you are unable to pay.
If you or your loved one has been injured at the workplace, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our El Paso workplace injury lawyers.
WHAT IS A WORKPLACE INJURY?
Any injury or illness that is work-related is a workplace injury. The injury or illness can occur while you are at your physical workplace or even outside of the workplace if you are on the job at the time. Be sure to note that work-related injuries include injuries that are not physically intensive. For instance, if you happen to suffer back problems because you are required to sit for long periods of time, you may have a claim for workplace injury.
WHAT IS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION?
Workers’ compensation is essentially an insurance policy for workers who are injured or become ill at work. Workers’ compensation provides benefits such as medical expenses and lost wages to such individuals. However, the trade-off of receiving workers’ compensation is that the worker will likely be barred from suing his or her employer.
TEXAS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
In Texas, workers’ compensation generally provides insurance to employees who suffer an injury or illness while on the job. There is an important caveat, however. If the employee was not acting in the proper scope of his or her employment when the injury occurred, he or she may not be eligible for workers’ compensation. For example, if you are a truck driver whose job is to drive your truck and deliver goods from point A to point B but you decide to take a detour to point C to engage in a miscellaneous activity, you may not be able eligible for workers’ compensation if you get injured while doing that miscellaneous activity, despite being on the job.
SUING YOUR EMPLOYER FOR NEGLIGENCE
In most states, suing your employer for negligence will not likely succeed. That is because most states require workers’ compensation, which is the sole remedy for employees who are injured on the job. However, as noted above, in Texas, employers are not required to have workers’ compensation. Therefore, in Texas, if an employer does not provide workers’ compensation, an employee may sue the employer for negligence.
To succeed in a negligence claim, the employee must show that (1) the employer acted negligently, and (2) the act directly led to the employee’s injury. The employee must prove these by a preponderance of the evidence (the evidence must show that the act more likely than not caused the employee’s injury).
DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY AFTER A WORKPLACE ACCIDENT?
Even if your employer subscribes to workplace compensation, it may not be enough to help you recover adequately after an injury. In fact, many workplace compensation claims are denied, and the employee receives absolutely nothing. If you are in such a situation, an experienced workplace injury lawyer in El Paso may be able to help.
An experienced lawyer has the resources to help make your case. For instance, a lawyer may contact medical specialists to discover the full extent of your injuries or quantify the costs of your injuries and wage loss. Furthermore, a lawyer may help you negotiate with an insurance company. Often, insurance companies will shortchange you and refuse to give the full amount of compensation for your injuries. Because an experienced lawyer knows the game that insurance companies play, he or she may help your recover more compensation than if you had negotiated in your individual capacity. If you find yourself in a situation in which your workers’ compensation is not adequate, be sure to call a lawyer to find out your options.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A WORKPLACE INJURY
1. Report the Injury to Your Employer
When you receive a workplace injury, be sure to first report to your employer. Generally, you must do this in 30 days from the date of the injury or from the date when you discovered the injury. This is important because you may lose your rights to workplace compensation if you fail to do so. Your employer will give you the necessary forms to fill out. Once you submit these forms, your employer’s insurance company will start an investigation to determine if you qualify for compensation.
If you qualify, you will receive your compensation, but if you do not, you have the opportunity to appeal. We highly encourage you to seek out a lawyer if this occurs as an experienced lawyer may help you overturn the decision.
2. Collect Evidence
Even if your employer subscribes to workplace compensation, be sure to always document and retrieve evidence from the scene of the accident as you may need it to sue other parties.
Witness testimony is also important. If there were witnesses to the accident, you should also get the names and contact information of the witnesses. If any of the witnesses took photographs or video recordings of the accident, ask them for copies. If you yourself have a camera at the scene of the accident, take some photographs of the scene.
3. Get Medical Attention
Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your health is your number one priority. Furthermore, by getting medical attention, you also get the benefit of having doctors to record your injuries.
4. Get a Lawyer
Even if your employer subscribes to workplace compensation, you may want to seek counsel. This is because there is always the possibility that your workplace compensation claim may be denied or be inadequate to help fully recover your injuries.
Learn More: Why Hiring a Lawyer Will Help Your Case
WHO MAY I SUE?
If your employer does not provide workers’ compensation, you may be able to sue your employer.
If you got injured due to defective machinery or heavy equipment, you may be able to sue the company that created the machinery or equipment.
If an individual other than your employer caused your injury, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against that individual.
TYPES OF WORKPLACE INJURIES
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Hearing loss
- Work-related heart attack
- Repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome
HOW IS COMPENSATION CALCULATED?
Damages can generally be divided into economic and non-economic. Economic losses may include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost wages
- Damaged property
- Past and future loss of earning capacity
Non-economic losses may include:
- Past and future emotional anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of activities
Texas courts use what is called a modified comparative fault rule when it determines how much compensation a victim receives. This rule states that if an injured victim was more than half responsible for the accident, they cannot recover any damages.
However, if the victim is found to be 50% or less at fault for the accident, his or her compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault. For instance, if the jury awarded you $100,000 in compensation but also found that you were 50% at fault, then the actual amount of compensation you will receive will be $50,000.
Furthermore, in Texas, you may be entitled to punitive or exemplary damages. This is compensation that may be provided to you to punish the party for its conduct. It is generally awarded when the at-fault party’s behavior was especially egregious. For instance, if your employer purposefully enabled your injury to happen by creating safety hazards, you may be entitled to punitive damages.
Learn More: How to Calculate the Value of Case
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE A WORKPLACE INJURY CLAIM?
In Texas, the statute of limitations states that workers must file a workers’ compensation claim within one year of the injury. For personal injury claims, you must file a claim within two years of the injury. It is important that you file before the statute of limitations expires because courts are unlikely to hear your claim if you file past the deadline.
May I sue my employer?
Not necessarily, if your employer provides workers’ compensation, you may be barred from filing suit against your employer even if your employer may have provided unsafe working conditions. However, if your employer caused your injury through intentional conduct, you may have a claim against your employer.
Do I get paid if I am out of work after a workplace injury?
That depends on whether your employer has subscribed to workers’ compensation or not. If your employer has subscribed to workers’ compensation, you will likely receive compensation for lost wages. If not, you may not receive any compensation whatsoever.
My co-worker caused the accident, what should I do?
If your co-worker caused the accident, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against your co-worker.
CONTACT AN EL PASO WORKPLACE INJURY LAWYER
The experienced attorneys at Zinda Law Group may be able to help you navigate the complex system of workplace injuries. After an accident, you shouldn’t have to worry about affording legal representation, which is why you don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.