Lubbock Workplace Accident LawyersLast updated on: July 29, 2022
Call (800) 863-5312 To Speak With Zinda Law Group’s Lubbock workplace accident lawyers Today
While on the job, all employees have the right to work in a safe environment that has mechanisms in place to protect their health. Unfortunately, workplace accidents happen every day and often cause horrible, catastrophic injuries for employees. With the variety of employers in Lubbock, there is a high possibility of potential workplace accident injuries, such as repetitive stress, falls, and occupational disease. If you were injured in a workplace accident, it is important to contact Lubbock workplace accident lawyers as soon as possible to discuss a claim.
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that Texas employers have the option of carrying. The insurance provides medical and wage benefits for employees who are injured while working and miss work as a result. The employer pays premiums that cover the lost wages and medical expenses of all injured employees. The benefit for employers in agreeing to provide their employees with workers’ compensation benefits is that any injured employee gives up the right to sue the employer for negligence. Importantly, unlike other states, Texas does not require its employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, you may pursue a personal injury claim against the employer.
Steps to Take Immediately After a Workplace accident in Lubbock
Following a workplace accident, you are likely concerned with what to do next. Fortunately, there are important steps you can take to support your claim if you were injured in a workplace accident.
1. Stop Work Immediately
The first step to take after your workplace accident injury is to immediately stop what you are doing and notify your employer of your injury. Do not give into the temptation of completing an unfinished assignment as you could further aggravate your injury and make recovery more difficult. Plus, by continuing work, you may receive less in benefits as the insurance carrier may determine that your injury must not have been severe if you immediately continued working.
2. Seek Medical Attention if Injured
Next, you should evaluate your health after the accident. Injuries from a workplace accident can range from minor cuts, scrapes, or aches to serious, life-threatening injuries such as paralysis or even death. If your injuries are severe, go to a medical facility as soon as possible. Even if you do not think that your injuries require immediate medical attention, it is a good idea to visit a medical professional and keep them updated on any new health developments.
Many workplace accidents result in ailments that linger for weeks, months, or years. Additionally, sometimes symptoms of a severe injury do not show up until long after the accident has occurred. Therefore, by getting your injuries addressed by a medical professional, you are putting yourself in the best position to begin your road to recovery.
3. Report Your Injuries
Afterwards, file an accident report with your employer. By filing a formal accident report, you are creating an official record of your injuries which is crucial for recovery. Additionally, your employer’s policy may require that you report your accident or else risk losing out on benefits entirely.
Furthermore, confirm with your employer’s human resources officer or other high-ranking official regarding any additional paperwork you may need to fill out to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Importantly, an experience workplace accident attorney can inform you of the proper paperwork to fill out under state law.
4. Document the Scene
Although you typically may not sue your employer for your workplace injury, it is still important to collect evidence and document information from the scene of the accident as you could use it to bring a lawsuit against a third party. Additionally, documentation can assist your attorney with determining the extent of your injuries, how the accident happened, and who is responsible. Documents that you will want in your possession include:
- Photographs of your injuries
- Photographs from the scene of the accident
- Medical bills
- Copies of the accident report
Additionally, witnesses can help strengthen your claim. If there were any witnesses at the scene of your workplace accident, try to obtain their contact details. Furthermore, if any of the witnesses took photographs of the accident, ask if you can obtain a copy of the photographs. If it is possible, write down anything that you observe following the workplace accident. Your initial observations can be crucial in settlement negotiations with the insurance company.
5. Speak with a Lubbock Personal Injury Lawyer
Next, you should contact a Lubbock personal injury attorney if you have questions about your injuries or about the events leading up to and surrounding your workplace accident. Your Zinda Law Group attorney will want to hear your side of the story and review any relevant documents. Plus, we can further investigate your case by uncovering additional facts to aid in determining what your claim is worth.
6. Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Typically, you can file a workers’ compensation claim prior to obtaining your attorney. However, your lawyer can greatly assist with the claim process. For example, your lawyer can tell you whether you are exempt from filing a personal injury claim against your employer or if you can file a claim against another party who is responsible for your injuries. In Texas, this is especially important because employers are not universally required to carry workers’ compensation policies. Therefore, an attorney can help you determine next steps.
Read More: When to Hire a Workplace Injury Lawyer
7. Settlement and Trial
If your personal injury attorney files a lawsuit against the responsible party or parties, the attorney will likely negotiate with the responsible party and their insurance company on your behalf to obtain a favorable monetary settlement for you. Typically, trials are rare for workers’ compensation claims and usually are settled out of court. However, if the negotiations are unsuccessful, your lawyer will bring your case to trial and pursue maximum compensation in court.
Common Causes For workplace accidents in Lubbock
Generally, the most common causes for a workplace accident are:
- Contact with objects and equipment
- Exposure to harmful chemicals
- Slip and Falls
Additionally, if you are operating a work vehicle , you can receive benefits if you are injured. However, that will depend on the factors leading up to the accident such as what you were doing when the accident happened, whether you were hit by a private citizen, and whether the accident was due to a problem with the work vehicle. Although your claim may have a lot of complexity and moving parts, at Zinda Law Group, your Lubbock workplace injury lawyer is ready to investigated your claim.
Types of Injuries in a Lubbock Workplace Accident
Workplace accidents can be the direct cause of a wide range of different injuries. Here are just a few of the more common examples of injuries sustained in workplace accidents:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Rib fractures
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Electrical shocks
- Broken bones
As you can see, workplace accidents can lead to a variety of injuries. At Zinda Law Group, your Lubbock personal injury attorney will understand the seriousness of your injuries and help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering.
Potentially Responsible Parties For Your Workplace accident injuries
Typically, the party responsible for your workplace accident injuries are your employer, the manufacturer of the defective machinery or equipment, or a co-worker.
Generally, if your employer does not carry workers’ compensation coverage and is responsible for your accident due to a failure to maintain adequate safety measures, poor working conditions, or improper training methods, you can bring a claim against the employer. Conversely, filing a claim becomes more complex if your employer has a workers’ compensation policy.
Typically, an employee is unable to bring a personal injury lawsuit against an employer who has a workers’ compensation policy. However, there are exceptions, such as if the employer intentionally caused the employee’s accident. Furthermore, if you are an independent contractor, you can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the employer because independent contractors are usually exempt from workers’ compensation policies.
Sometimes, your workplace accident is due to defective machinery or equipment. If that is the case, your workplace injury lawyer can consider pursuing a claim against the manufacturer for failing to properly build the machinery or equipment. Additionally, if your employer is the manufacturer of the defective machinery or equipment, you could pursue a products liability claim against the employer in lieu of a personal injury lawsuit.
Read More: Product Liability Lawyers
Importantly, while a workers’ compensation policy generally shields an employer from personal liability, it does not protect a fellow employee from a lawsuit. Therefore, if a co-worker causes your workplace accident, either intentionally or negligently, you could bring a personal injury claim against the co-worker.
Demanding Compensation After a Lubbock Workplace Accident
Under Texas law, you can pursue damages for your injuries, including any medical expenses incurred through treatment, as well as for any persistent trauma. Furthermore, Texas law grants a plaintiff the ability to pursue economic damages, non-economic damages, or punitive damages.
Economic damages refer to compensation for monetary losses, such as out-of-pocket medical expenses (past and future), loss of earnings, rehabilitation expenses, personal care costs, and loss of future employment. These damages are the easiest to calculate as they have an obvious dollar amount.
Non-economic damages refer to compensation for non-monetary losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of companionship. Non-economic damages are harder to quantify than economic damages as they do not have an obvious dollar amount.
Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages punish the responsible party rather than make the victim “whole again.” You must meet a very high standard to obtain punitive damages. A court may award punitive damages in addition to economic damages in a situation where the responsible party was reckless or acted intentionally.
Importantly, even if you are able to meet the threshold for punitive damages, state law has a damage cap on what you can receive. In Texas, the cap for punitive damages is: $200,000; or twice the amount of economic damages plus an equal amount of non-economic damages up to $750,000.
After a workplace accident in Texas, you should consult with your Lubbock personal injury attorney to determine whether you should pursue punitive damages.
Because Texas is a modified comparative negligence state, if a court determines that you have any responsibility for your accident, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage you are found at fault. For example, if you sue a defendant homeowner for $10,000 and are found 25% at fault, you will receive $7,500 in damages instead of the full $10,000. Furthermore, under Texas law, that if a court determines that a plaintiff is more than 50% at fault, the plaintiff is fully barred from recovering any compensation. Therefore, because of how high the stakes are, it is important to talk to your attorney about what your potential liability may be.
Read More: How to Calculate the Value of a Case
how long do I have to file a lawsuit in Texas?
The statute of limitations is the legal time limit during which an injured party must bring a claim for their injury or the injury of someone that the party represents. Every state has a statute of limitations. In Texas, the state’s civil statute of limitations for a personal injury is two years from the date of the injury. That means that if your injured occurred on January 1, 2022, you have until January 1, 2024, to file a claim.
Furthermore, every state has a period for notifying an employer of your work-related accident. In Texas, you must notify your employer within 30 days of the accident or else you cannot receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, for an occupational disease, the 30-day requirement does not start until the day that you discover the illness or should have discovered your illness. Your injury attorney will assist you in determining the start date.
Contact Our Zinda Law Group Lubbock Workplace accident Lawyers Today
After you have been in an accident at work, you may feel overwhelmed by medical fees, physical pain, mental fatigue, and emotional distress trying to figure out what paperwork to file and who to contact to obtain benefits. Because of how complex workplace accident claims are, it is important to retain an experienced workplace accident attorney. Fortunately, at Zinda Law Group, our workplace accident attorneys have the expertise, understanding, and compassion needed to protect your legal rights and pursue maximum compensation following your workplace accident. While we focus on your claim, you can focus on recovering.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a workplace accident in Lubbock, Texas, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with an experienced Lubbock workplace injury lawyer. You pay nothing unless we win your case. That is our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.