HOUSTON WORKPLACE INJURY LAWYERS
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Many employees are familiar with the concept of workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation laws generally require that an employer pay for an employee’s injuries regardless of fault. However, workers’ comp comes with a trade-off. In a workers’ compensation claim, the employer’s liability is extremely limited, damages are restricted, and employees are generally barred from filing a personal injury claim. Thankfully, there are some exceptions that allow employees to sue their employer for damages in a personal injury claim.
After experiencing a workplace injury, it may be quite hard to get your life back on track. That is why it is usually in an employee’s best interest to seek the advice of an experienced attorney. If you or a loved one has been injured at work, call (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with a Houston workplace injury lawyer today.
How are personal injury and Workers’ Comp Claims different?
Workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims are two very different types of systems. Every state has workers’ compensation laws that usually allow someone to recover medical expenses and lost wages after suffering a workplace accident. These damages are a lot more limited than what would maybe be available via a personal injury claim. If you are eligible for workers’ compensation, you won’t be able to file a personal injury claim against your employer as well. However, you may be able to file one against someone else if you can place the blame on a certain individual in the workplace.
Personal injury claims not only allow you to seek compensation for damages like medical expenses and lost wages, but also may allow you to be compensated for non-economic damages. This includes compensation for pain and suffering. The following are some of the situations that may warrant a personal injury claim instead of or in addition to a workers’ compensation claim:
- Being injured by a defective product
- Being injured by a toxic substance
- Being injured by your employer’s intentional conduct
- Being injured by the intentional conduct of a third party
Who is Liable in a Workplace Injury Claim?
In general, the person who is liable in a workplace injury claim is the individual or entity that was negligent. This could be a co-worker, a supervisor, the company you work for, or even the manufacturer of a tool you often use in the workplace. Negligence occurs where someone has breached a duty of care that they owe to you and that breach has caused you injury. If you work in construction, for example, then your employer may have a duty to maintain safe conditions around the workplace. Training on equipment must follow a certain procedure and only those trained for certain tasks can perform them. If your employer fails to meet the required conditions and regulations of the workplace, and that failure leads to you getting hurt, then they may be liable for negligence.
However, if you may have been partially at fault for your workplace injury, then this may affect your ability to recover damages. This is true even when you can show that another party was also negligent. Texas is a modified comparative fault state. This means that your recoverable damages may be reduced by the percentage in which you were negligent. If you were over 50% responsible for your injuries, you will be barred from recovery altogether.
As noted above, personal injury claims may warrant different types of compensation than a workers’ compensation claim. Both economic and non-economic damages may be available depending on your specific accident and the circumstances surrounding it.
Economic damages refer to expenses like medical bills, loss of income, loss of future earnings, and other things that are easily quantifiable.
Non-economic damages are less concrete and generally cover costs such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help take a look at your claim and help you determine an appropriate amount of compensation to seek in terms of non-economic damages.
Learn More: How to Calculate the Value of Case
Common types of Workplace Injuries
The following is a list of some common workplace injuries. This list is certainly not exhaustive and does not include every injury that may happen as a result of workplace negligence. A few common workplace injuries include:
- Slip and falls
- Falling from high heights
- Struck by a falling object
- Becoming caught or entangled in workplace equipment
- Coworker violence
What to Do After a Workplace Injury
These five easy steps can help walk you through what you should do if you are involved in an accident while at work:
Get Medical Attention
The number one thing you should do after getting hurt is to seek medical attention. You need to know what your injuries are, how bad they are, and what you can do to treat them. It is also important to create a medical record that can be used as evidence when seeking compensation for your injuries.
Let Your Supervisor/Superior Know What Happened
Although it may not seem important in the moment, always let your superiors know that you have been injured at work. In the early stages of your injury, you probably aren’t thinking too heavily about liability, but when it becomes an issue you don’t want anyone saying that you aren’t being truthful. Letting the right people know about what happened as soon as it happens will help show you are being honest about what occurred.
Document Your Injuries
Something that a lot of people don’t consider doing is documenting their own injuries. You want evidence of what your injuries were like as soon as they happened. Once your injuries begin to heal or are treated, they may no longer look as bad as they may have originally been. It’s important to have an accurate depiction of how everything was when the accident happened.
Take Note of Key Witnesses
It can never hurt to have some witnesses on your side or to provide more information. Take note of anyone around who you can speak to later on about your accident and who may be interested in helping you with your claim.
Speak to an Experienced Attorney
The last and final step is to speak with an attorney who has experience with workplace injury accidents to make sure you are being treated fairly and being offered the appropriate compensation you may be entitled to.
Learn More: Why Hiring a Lawyer Will Help Your Case
Is there a Time Limit to File my Claim?
Each state places time limits on legal claims. This is known as the statute of limitations. After the statute of limitations runs, victims can no longer file claims against the at-fault party.
Each state is unique, but Texas law places a two-year time limit on a victim’s ability to file a personal injury claim. If it has been more than two years since your workplace accident and you want to file a personal injury claim for compensation, then you may be out of luck.
There is a one-year statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
A lawyer may be able to help you determine which type of claim to file and ensure you file it within the appropriate statute of limitations.
How Zinda Law Group may Help
Regardless of whether your claim is simple, complicated, or somewhere in between, it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney. This is especially true with a workplace accident because these claims can be complex. Don’t make it harder on yourself by trying to go through this process alone. Our Houston attorneys at Zinda Law Group have the experience to guide you through the legal process, make recommendations, negotiate with the involved parties, and help advise you on important legal decisions. Having an experienced attorney may improve your chances of being able to seek the maximum compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries. We want to fight for you and make sure you are being treated fairly after being involved in a pedestrian accident.
At Zinda Law Group we believe that quality representation should be available to everyone. That is why we work on a contingency fee basis. That means that unless we secure you appropriate compensation, then you don’t owe us anything. Give us a call today at (800) 863-5312 to discuss your case for free with a Houston workplace injury lawyer.
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