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A work injury lawyer helps people who have been involved in an accident at work seek compensation. Also referred to as an occupational injury, workplace injuries can happen in all working environments, from construction sites to offices.
These accidents can occur for several different reasons, whether it be because of a hazardous working environment, poorly maintained protective equipment or employer negligence. Regardless of the situation, a work accident can lead to not only physical injuries but also mental trauma.
In many cases, if a person can prove that the accident was caused by the actions or inactions of their employer or fellow employees, they may be entitled to seek compensation. Speaking with a work injury lawyer is usually the best first step if you are seeking compensation.
What is Workers Compensation?
If you have been injured at work, you may be in a position to file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer’s worker’s comp insurance. Worker’s compensation is typically intended to help cover various costs and losses that may arise from your work injury. Your ability to pursue a worker’s compensation claim will depend on the accident, your injuries and the state you live in as entitlement vary from state to state.
Broadly speaking, workers’ compensation coverage typically includes four types of benefits:
Medical benefits compensate you for the reasonable and necessary medical costs incurred in treating the work-related injury or illness.
Income benefits replace part of the lost wages incurred by a worker as a result of a work-related injury or illness and may pay for permanent impairment or disability as a result of the work-related injury or illness. These income benefits may include temporary income, supplemental income, impairment income, and lifetime income.
Death benefits provide compensation for part of the income lost by eligible family members as a result of the work-related death. If you are the child, spouse, or parent of the worker killed in a work-related accident, you may be eligible for death benefits through your workers’ compensation claim.
Burial benefits help to pay for some of the funeral costs of the deceased worker.
However, while a work injury lawsuit may include claims for pain and suffering, a worker’s comp claim does not include benefits for these losses.
When Can You Sue Outside of Workers’ Compensation?
The ability to sue outside of workers compensation will depend on the circumstances of your accident. You may be entitled to seek compensation outside of workers compensation in the following cases:
- If your employer does not carry workers compensation insurance
- If a defective product in work injured you, you may be able to bring a personal injury claim against the manufacturer
- If your injuries were caused by a third party outside your place of employment.
When filing a claim outside of workers compensation, such a lawsuit will allow you to seek compensation for pain and suffering, physical pain, medical costs, permanent disfigurement or disability, loss of earning capacity, and similar damages sustained because of the accident.
Filing a Work Accident Claim
The following is a walkthrough of the steps you can make to file a work injury lawsuit:
1. Seek Medical Attention
Your health is your number one priority. It is essential that you seek medical attention after an accident to assess the extent of your injuries. This will also prove useful when filing a personal injury claim as the medical records will show your injuries.
2. Report the Accident
The accident should be reported as soon as possible after it occurred. Preferably on the same day, if not within a day or two of the accident is important. Workers compensation has timelines on how long after the accident it should be reported, and this may affect your ability to claim if left too long.
3. Document the Accident
It is a useful exercise to take pictures of the scene of the accident and your injuries. This may be used as evidence showing the aftermath of the accident and the injuries you sustained. Take details of any witnesses to the accident also, as you may need them when filing a claim.
4. Speak with a Work Injury Attorney
If you are unsure about what to do next, speaking with an injury attorney may be able to advise you on your next steps. For more information call our workplace accident lawyers on (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation and to better understand your position.
After filing your workers’ comp claim or a personal injury lawsuit, your attorney can help you discuss possible settlement options.
With workers’ compensation settlements, the settlement may address every issue, however, in some cases, it may not address future medical care. It is important to have an experienced work injury attorney to help you fully understand any settlement offer and help you decide whether to accept it.
With a work injury lawsuit, outside of workers compensation, your attorney will negotiate with the other side and keep you informed every step of the way. These settlements usually cover aspects such as:
- Medical bills
- Future medical care
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of income
- Loss of future income
Workplace injuries can occur in several different environments; in an office, a construction site, a farming environment, an oilfield or any premises whereby an employee is required to be during their working day. Some of the most common workplace accidents are:
Slips, Trips, and Falls
An employer must provide a safe working environment for their employees. Slips, trips and falls in the workplace tend to occur in the following instances:
- A poorly maintained working environment
- Unmarked hazards
- Uncompleted maintenance
- No wet floor signs
- Uneven flooring
- Poor lighting
- Tripping on obstacles left on walkways
- Broken Handrails
If you have been injured from a slip, trip or fall in the workplace and can prove that the accident was not your fault, you may be entitled to seek compensation from your employer. Each case will vary; therefore it is advisable to speak to a work injury lawyer to understand your rights.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls from ladders in the workplace are one of the most common workplace accidents as they account for approximately 20% of all fall injuries at work. The most common causes of ladder accidents are:
- Failure of the employer to train workers on proper ladder use
- Defective ladders
- Ladders not secure
- Ladder broke during use.
Accidents on a construction site occur regularly and often lead to serious, sometimes debilitating injuries because of the dangerous nature of their jobs, work environments, and their general increased risk exposure. Some of these construction injuries may also be the result of the negligence of employers in failing to train the workers properly. Most common causes of construction accidents have been:
- Scaffolding Accidents
- Falls from a Height
- Defective Personal Protective Equipment
- Manual handling/Improper lifting
Dangerous Machinery Accidents
Many occupations require the use of hazardous machinery, equipment, or vehicle more often in the construction or industrial spaces. As a result, workers are at a higher risk of a work-related injury. Because of the nature of dangerous machinery, any resulting injuries could be severe and life-changing. Specific examples of dangerous machinery accidents include:
- Poorly maintained machinery
- Falling or flying objects
- Falling equipment
- Vehicle collisions
- Backing up or blind-spot accidents
- Being pinned between equipment or objects
- Machine entanglement.
In these cases, if it can be proven that the accident was not your fault, you may be able to seek compensation. Speak with a construction accident lawyer for more information about how you might proceed.
Work Vehicle Accidents
The use of work vehicles adds to the risk of work-related injuries with traffic accidents being common in Texas. Depending on the nature of the accident, who was at fault, and other factors, you may be able to claim workers’ compensation benefits, or you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver who caused the accident. Common work vehicle accident claims are:
- Hit by another driver while driving a company vehicle
- Poorly maintained work vehicle caused the accident
- Defective parts on a work vehicle led to an accident
- Hit by a work vehicle on a construction site
If you were driving a work vehicle and were hit by another driver, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the other driver. In other cases, the road to compensation may be a little different.
Hit by Falling Objects
Falling objects are a hazard in many different environments. On a construction site, a person may pursue work injury compensation if they were hit by an object that fell from a scaffolding or other high place. In the office, this may occur if an employee is hit by falling files or boxes that were improperly stored. These are especially common for warehouse workers as they move stock back and forth.
Common Workplace Injuries
The most common injuries sustained in the workplace have been:
- Sprains, strains, tears
- Soreness, pain
- Cuts, lacerations, punctures
- Bruises, contusions
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Crushed or mangled limbs
- Broken bones
- Amputations of fingers, toes, feet, arms, and legs
- Electrical shocks
- Chemical burns
- Cancer or other illness from exposure to toxic substances
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI)
Also known as overuse injuries and cumulative trauma, repetitive strain injuries develop over time from repetitive movement or overuse. Generally affecting the upper parts of the body. This injury common effects office workers, assembly line workers and warehouse operatives. Usually, those who work in manual labor have a higher risk of developing these injuries. Some common injuries include:
- Noise-related hearing loss
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Tennis elbow
- Rotator cuff syndrome
It is important to remember that to claim compensation for an RSI you must seek medical attention and prove that the injury was not pre-existing. Speak with a work injury lawyer to understand better how you would go about filing an RSI claim.
Injured at Work – Your Rights
Work injury laws and compensation claims procedures will vary from state to state. Therefore speaking with a work injury lawyer will help you understand your position better.
If you have been injured at work and are seeking workers compensation, you should have the right to pursue it without fear of reprisal from your employer. Your employer cannot make your work life difficult following an accident. Workers compensation will vary state to state, and a lawyer will be able to provide insight on that for you.
If you have been injured at work, you have the right to:
- Seek medical attention
- File an injury claim where possible
- Return to work when applicable
- Right to an attorney throughout the process
You also have the right to say ‘no,’ to your employer if they:
- Offer an incentive to try to settle the claim before seeking workers compensation or before you file an injury claim.
- Attempt to persuade you to use your health insurance after the accident
If you have recently been injured at work, contacting an experienced workplace injury attorney can help protect your legal rights and help you seek the compensation you deserve, whether through workers’ compensation claims or a personal injury claim.
Legal Time Limits (Statute of Limitations)
There are a few different elements to be aware of where timing may affect the course of your claim:
Notifying your employer of the accident
If your employer provides worker’s comp insurance coverage, there are certain time limits by which you must inform your employer of the accident. These time limits will vary from state to state.
A two-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits
In general, the legal time limit by when an individual can make a personal injury claim for a work accident is two years. This is known as the statute of limitations and means that you will have two years from the date of your accident to file any injury lawsuits against third-parties or your employer if your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance coverage. This may vary from state to state; therefore, it is advisable to speak with an accident at work lawyer to learn more about your position.
No Win No Fee Lawyers
Zinda Law Group firmly believes that an injury victim should never have to worry about their ability to afford legal representation. That is why we offer free case evaluations, and why you will pay nothing unless we win your work injury case. That is our No Win No Fee Guarantee. Speak with one of our attorneys today to find out how our contingency fee works.
In cases where your employer or fellow employee was in breach of any safety procedures and caused injury to you, you may be entitled to seek compensation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Injured at work – Can I sue my employer?
You may only be able to sue your employer for injury from a work-related accident if your employer does not possess workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer has workers’ comp coverage, you will be limited to the benefits from a workers’ comp claim. However, you may still be able to file a third-party lawsuit if an individual other than a fellow employee caused the accident, such as an employee of a different company.
Q: Do I need a lawyer for a work injury claim?
If you have been injured at work, you should speak to an experienced work injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your potential options, including whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits or whether you might be able to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries or losses. A work injury can impose significant costs on you as well as be followed by a confusing time for you as you try to figure out how to pay for your expenses, including medical bills. Contacting a work injury lawyer after your accident can help you understand all the options available to you as well as make sure that you are mindful of relevant deadlines to file claims or lawsuits.
Get Help from Our Workplace Accident Attorneys
If you have been hurt at work, the experienced work injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group can help you understand your options and the best way forward to seek compensation for your injuries and losses.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident at work, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive your 100% free consultation with our experienced workplace accident lawyers so that we can help you seek the compensation you deserve. Zinda Law Group offers our No Win No Fee arrangement that guarantees that if we do not win, you will not be charged a fee.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.