On The Job Injuries

Unfortunately, serious injuries frequently occur at the workplace, often because of an unsafe workplace.  According the to U.S.  Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), over four million injuries occur every year at workplaces throughout the United States, and over 5,000 people lose their lives on the job.  According to the Texas Family Safety Foundation, nearly ten percent of these deaths happen in Texas.  The following are some of the common causes of injuries at the workplace:

  • Equipment accidents
  • Toxic accidents
  • Construction area accidents (such as crane accidents)
  • Insufficient barricades
  • Electrocution
  • Explosions
  • Trenching accidents
  • Failure to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act

Although the law requires that you recover certain amounts of your lost wages and medical expenses from your employer through Workers' Compensation benefits, you still have other options.  Often, a third party's negligence (such as a property owner or the manufacturer of the equipment that injured you) contributed to your injury, and you can sue them.  If your employer fails to carry Workers' Compensation insurance, and your employer or fellow employee’s negligence causes your injury, you can recover directly from the employer through a lawsuit.   

If you are hurt on the job, there are several things you must do:

  • Notify your employer within thirty days of your injury or illness, or within thirty days of learning that your injury or illness was related to your job. If you fail to do this, you may become unable to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits
  • Notify the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers' Compensation of your injury within one year
  • When you do seek medical attention, inform your doctor how you were hurt

Additionally, if the employer or fellow employee's negligence killed a loved one, you can make a wrongful death claim against the employer even if it does carry Workers' Compensation insurance.  In this case, the employer must have committed "gross negligence," or more than just ordinary negligence.  Proving gross negligence requires experienced legal counsel and a thorough investigation.   

Even if you choose to go through the state Division of Workers' Compensation with your claim and use their alternative dispute resources, you have the right to hire an attorney at any time.  An experienced Workers' Compensation attorney can explain your options, and seek ways for you to recover outside the traditional Workers' Compensation benefits system to ensure you are receiving the maximum recovery to which you are entitled.   

Texas's Workers' Compensation law is complex and confusing.  An experienced attorney such as Todd Smith can explain to you what exactly will be covered by Workers' Compensation benefits and what you can seek other recovery for.  We are experienced in handling complex cases involving serious workplace injuries.  This means we can help coordinate your legal claims along with your Workers' Compensation benefits to ensure that you receive maximum recovery. 

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