Preeminent Attorney Representing Injured Workers inHouston and Throughout Texas
Houston has a very high percentage of on-the-job injuries per worker. Despite the best efforts of OSHA, the number of injuries and fatalities in the workplace continues to grow each year.
What justice is in each individual case is going to depend upon the cause of the accident, the insurance coverage available, and the negligence on the part of another?
Workers’ compensation is generally the sole remedy for claims against an employer in the state with worker’s compensation insurance in force and covers the worker. There are exceptions when a worker is killed, and the conduct of the employer or fellow employees is willful or outrageous such that a claim of gross negligence for punitive damages can be brought.
There are also situations where there is “fake” worker’s compensation which is not a recognized plan within the state of Texas for the Worker’s Compensation Commission. Many of these plans purport to waive important rights of the injured worker. The victim should consider consulting with an experienced attorney before signing any documents proffered by the employer or insurers.
Hurt on the Job in Houston?
Workplace injuries are devastating, and unfortunately, they’re not unusual in Texas. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, 469 fatal work-related injuries occurred in 2020. Non-fatal injuries are much higher.
When occupational accidents happen, they disrupt your life in a major way. You often have to take time off work and incur medical & mileage expenses, and sometimes they even result in the death of a loved one.
Whether you were involved in a slip & fall work accident or were driving a commercial vehicle and got injured, you should hire a work injury lawyer to help you seek compensation.
Is it a Third Party Claim?
One of the first questions a person hurt on the job needs to answer is, was the injury caused by a third party?
When someone is hurt at work or on the job, they can file workers’ compensation claims and collect benefits for the injury. Workers’ comp is paid without regard to fault. The key issues are: a) did the employer have Workers’ Comp? And b) Did a third party contribute to causing the damages?
Third-Party responsibility is when a person not employed by your employer caused the accident. Third parties do not include your company’s employees like supervisors or co-workers. Third-Party claims are situations where another company or its employees caused an accident where you were hurt. Third parties also can be equipment makers or maintenance companies when defective equipment case an accident.
Third-Party cases can be situations like you are on the job and driving a company car and get in an accident. You are struck in the rear while stopped at a stop sign. In this case, you may be able to claim workers’ comp benefits and also make a claim against the driver who hit you from the rear. Unfortunately, the workers’ comp benefits do not include things like “pain and suffering.” But third-party claims include human damages like pain, suffering, and mental anguish. Therefore, damages for cases against third parties are not limited in scope like workers’ comp benefits.
If you make both a workers comp claim and a third party claim, you will need to pay back the money workers comp paid out as long as you collect from a third party. This is called subrogation, and in Texas, payback for comp is by required by law. Attorneys usually seek to reduce the amount needed to reimburse the comp carrier and get the victim credit for employing the attorney.
What Is a 3rd Party Workers Compensation Claim?
If a 3rd party causes your injuries, you can still collect your workers’ comp benefits and recover compensation from the other party. This is also applicable when your injuries are caused by defective workplace equipment.
An example of a 3rd party case is when you’re working on a construction site and are injured due to the negligent actions of another contractor. In this case, you can still file an Initial Report of Injury for your worker’s comp and possibly sue the responsible contractor.
Many accidents involve third parties (persons or entities other than the employer), who can be held accountable for their negligent acts or their failure to take necessary actions they were obligated to do. If you have been injured on the job and your employer carries workers’ compensation, you may still be able to bring a lawsuit against a third party if they were negligent in causing your injuries. Our Houston personal injury law firm has been winning huge cases against third parties for over thirty-five years. Check out our recent results page for some of our- multi-million dollar wins!
At the Baumgartner Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys have vast experience in representing workers injured on the job and families of those killed while furthering their employers’ interests.
Some of the cases that we have been extremely successful in financial recoveries include:
Early investigation is often extremely helpful in determining who may be responsible and what justice may be obtained for an injured worker. Hiring an experienced attorney early after the accident can pay big dividends and how a case may play out.
While OSHA generally investigates very serious injuries and wrongful death, having an independent investigation by your representatives is important to obtaining full justice for the injury or loss of a loved one in a wrongful death case.
A Guide of the Houston Work Injuries FAQs.
What Are the Duties of an Employer in Texas?
According to OSHA guidelines, your employer is required to provide you with a reasonably safe work environment. Some of their responsibilities include:
- Providing workers with safety gear and protective equipment.
- Placing clear warning signs in the danger zones and near hazardous equipment.
- Training the workers about the best safety practices.
- Ridding the workplace of all dangerous materials could harm employees and cause injuries.
If they violate these guidelines, they could be held liable for all injuries that occur at the workplace. For instance, if you fall off a scaffolding and your employer has not installed proper fall protection equipment or supplied you with protective gear, you could file a work injury claim.
What Should I Do When I Get Injured on the Job?
If you’re involved in a Houston work injury, you must take these 3 steps:
- Seek immediate medical attention.
- File a worker’s compensation Initial Report of Injury afterward if your employer has Workers Comp and let them know about the injury. If you don’t file a report within 24-48 hours, you could lose your right to get compensation.
- If a 3rd party was the cause of your injury -Seek legal advice from a work injury lawyer like ours at Baumgartner Law Firm so that we can advise you about your legal options and help you understand your rights.
Seeking damages for work-related injuries can be overwhelming, so don’t underestimate the benefits of having a Houston work injury lawyer on your side.
What if My Employer Does Not Have Workers Comp?
Unlike most states, Texas does not require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, if your employer doesn’t have workers comp and you’re injured on the job, you can file a claim against them.
The good news is that in this instance, you have added protection because, according to the Texas Labor Laws, your employer can’t claim that there was contributory negligence from the victim. They can’t claim that another employee caused the injuries or that you’ve assumed the risk. These work injury claims are referred to as “non-subscriber cases.”
In most cases, however, employers often have alternative work injury policies, but you must comply with their requirements in exchange for medical benefits. We recommend that you report the incident to your employer and check your employee handbook for the next steps you need to take or the reports that you’re required to file.
You should also contact an experienced Houston work injury lawyer as soon as possible so that they can help you protect your rights.
What if the Accident Happened at Another Company?
If your injury was caused by someone other than your employer, they could still be held liable. For instance, if you were at the gym of your employer but slipped and fell due to the other company’s negligence, you can still file a claim against the third party.
This also applies when workplace injury is caused by a third party, including a subcontractor or a manufacturer. For instance, if you were involved in a construction site accident due to faulty equipment, or another (not co-employee) negligence, you could file a claim against the 3rd party.
Why Should I Seek Medical Care Immediately?
Regardless of where and when you sustained injuries, the first thing you should always do is seek medical attention. This improves your general well-being and helps with your work injury claim. If you delay seeking medical care, the adjusters (liability, insurance & compensation) can use this to deny your claim or lowball your compensation.
Make sure you also:
- Fill the prescriptions
- Follow the doctor’s orders
- Diligently go for checkups.
- Fill in all the gaps in your medical care.
- Refrain from experimental medical practices.
What Evidence Should I Get After a Houston Work Accident?
Collecting evidence after a Houston work accident can help speed up your claim. Some of the information you should document includes videos and photos of your injuries and the accident scene. Take photos of the vehicle if you sustained your injuries from a car accident. This kind of evidence helps to prove exactly what happened.
You should also document your healing process by taking photos during the first few days and then reduce the frequency to weekly. Don’t forget to save your medical care receipts for medical supplies, mileage expenses, copays and deductibles, prescription costs, etc. This will help you get the compensation that you deserve.
Hire a Houston Work Injury Attorney Today!
Navigating a Houston work injury claim is often complex, and you shouldn’t have to go through the process alone. The first 24 hours after your accident are critical to the success of your case, which is why you should immediately seek legal advice from an experienced work injury attorney. They will help you protect your rights and ensure you get fair compensation.
Have you been involved in a Houston work accident and sustained injuries? Let us help you with your 3rd party case. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Baumgartner Law Firm or call us at (281) 587-1111 for a FREE case evaluation.
Note: We Do Not Handle Worker’s Compensation Claims!
Other Types of Cases We Handle:
Don’t Sign Anything
If you have been the victim of a workplace injury, the accident should be documented by the employer. However, the injured worker should not give a statement or sign documents sent to them by an insurance company unless they have consulted with a personal injury attorney first.
Contact A HoustonWork Injury Lawyer
The workplace injury attorneys at the Baumgartner Law Firm offer no-obligation consultations about your rights and options after a workplace injury. We can also investigate your accident and help you see maximum compensation for the injury.
Call us today at 281-587-1111 with a third-party accident claim to discuss your rights and options.