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Can I Sue if My Spouse Was Injured in an Industrial Accident or Explosion?

If you have lost your spouse to an industrial accident or an explosion, you absolutely have a claim in Texas. Texas recognizes that spouses can bring wrongful death claims for the loss of their loved ones. Additionally, you may also bring, on behalf of your spouse’s estate, a claim for your children and even themselves.

What Kinds of Industrial Accidents Can Result in Lawsuits?

When it comes to industrial accidents and explosions, it is best to hire an attorney as soon as possible.

Industrial accident litigation is extremely complex, and the jobsites involved are often hectic. Hiring an attorney as soon as an injury or death occurs will help ensure that important material evidence is secured.

Not only will industrial accident attorney file a temporary restraining order to preserve evidence, your attorney will also hire industry and Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) experts to investigate the jobsite for any potential safety violations.

Safety violations often include:

  • Poorly maintained equipment
  • Failure to provide adequate fall protection
  • Failure to meet hazard communication standards
  • Failure to provide adequate respiratory protection
  • General transportation safety violations
  • Failure to meet general machinery and machine guard requirements
  • Failure to control hazardous energy

How Can an Expert Witness Help in My Industrial Accident Lawsuit?

Not only are experts essential in finding and retaining evidence at the scene, they can also provide expert analysis of their findings and expert testimony during trial and arbitration.

Thomas J. Henry has spent years finding and building professional relationships with the best expert witnesses from all across the country. Expert witnesses that could benefit your oilfield lawsuit include:

  • OSHA consultants
  • Accident reconstructionists
  • Welding experts
  • Confined space permit experts
  • Engineering experts
  • Safety equipment experts
  • Occupational and environmental health experts
  • Hazardous chemical experts
  • Process safety management experts

What Damages Can I Recover if My Spouse Was Killed in an Industrial Accident?

If you have lost a loved one in an industrial accident caused by the negligence of another, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

One option is to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In a wrongful death action, the family is not actually suing for harm caused to their loved one – instead, they are suing for the harm that was caused to them as a result of the loss of the deceased person. Among the damages a family can seek in a wrongful death lawsuit are:

  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of love and emotional support
  • Loss of financial support

A second option is to file a survivor claim. In a survivor action, the family is asserting that:

  • The worker died because of the defendant’s negligence.
  • This negligence caused pain and suffering to the worker before the worker died.
  • Had the worker survived, he or she would have been able to pursue legal action against the defendant to recover compensation for pain and suffering.
  • The defendant should not be able to avoid liability for pain and suffering just because the worker died.
  • The pain and suffering damages should be paid to the deceased worker’s estate.

Contact an Experienced Industrial Accident Attorney?

If you or a loved one were injured on the job, contact Thomas J. Henry. Workplace accident victims deserve quality, dynamic representation from attorneys with the experience and legal resources to properly develop their case. Oftentimes, workplace injuries are severe and debilitating and put individuals out of work for an extended period of time. Our work accident lawyers will take immediate action on your case and make sure you are comfortable and informed throughout the entire legal process. Contact us today for a free case review.

What Factors Make an Unsafe Construction Workplace?

Injuries occur in every type of workplace across all sectors and occupations. One of the most dangerous industries in America is construction. Approximately one out of every five on-the-job fatal injuries are construction workers. What hazards and factors make construction workplaces especially dangerous and unsafe?

Hazards on a Construction Site

Construction accidents occur at a higher rate than other industries due to the sheer number of potential hazards that can be found on a construction site. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), here are some of the most common factors that lead to workplace injuries in the construction industry:

  • Falls from height

Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. On a construction site, there are many situations in which a worker can sustain serious injuries from a fall. Falls from scaffolding, ladders, metal beams, unprotected holes in the floor or wall openings can contribute to a worker’s fall. According to OSHA, fall protection violations are one of the most common citations issued in the construction industry. Body harnesses, guardrails, and safety nets can be used to reduce the risk of serious injury.

  • Scaffolding collapses

Improper erection of scaffolding leads to thousands of injuries and dozens of deaths each year in the construction industry. Not only can workers be severely injured from falls, but workers (or pedestrians) on the ground can be struck by falling scaffolds, scaffolding accessories, or equipment. Scaffolding can cause a variety of hazards if used incorrectly, such as in inclement weather, near electrical power lines, or overburdened with gear and equipment.

  • Trench collapses

OSHA recognizes trench collapses as one of the most dangerous hazards for construction workers. When an unprotected trench collapses on top of a worker, injuries are often fatal. Deep trenches require specific protective systems to keep workers safe, including proper sloping ratios and soil supports to prevent collapses. Placing spoil piles too close to the trench can also cause a cave-in. Ladders or stairway exits in close proximity to workers in the trench should always be present.

  • Poorly maintained or defective equipment

Construction tools and equipment are often dangerous by nature when operating normally. When these tools are defective, damaged, aged, or missing parts, the construction workers that use them are put in danger. Tools and equipment should be inspected for flaws, worn cords, broken pieces, and any other defects that could cause it to malfunction in use. In some cases, when construction equipment malfunctions due to a manufacturer’s defect that occurs on the assembly line or during the shipping process, a claim can be brought against that company.

  • Crane accidents

A common sight on a construction site, cranes can create a significant number of hazards to operators and other workers alike. Many injuries caused by cranes are from workers being struck by or crushed by the crane’s load. Damaged wires, chains, and hooks could lead to unsecured loads and catastrophic failure. In addition, there have been many cases of crane booms striking overhead power wires, causing deadly electrocutions.

  • Chemical exposure

There are a host of materials and chemicals used in the construction industry that can cause injuries and health issues if handled properly. Burns, respiratory problems, explosions, and fires can occur if harmful chemicals are mishandled. Workers that are tasked to use these potentially dangerous materials should be trained on their uses and their risks and know how to protect themselves and other workers if a spill or misuse occurs. Oftentimes hazardous or toxic chemicals are stored incorrectly or used without protective equipment.

  • Transportation accidents

Some construction sites in the United States could be mistaken for a busy city intersection. Large trucks, dump trucks, cement trucks, cranes, forklifts, and other vehicles often traverse work sites. Unfortunately one of the leading causes of workplace accidents is due to a transportation-related accident involving a pedestrian worker. The large size of vehicles and machinery used on construction sites can make it difficult to see where other workers are on the ground.

What can be done to Protect Workers?

Employers in the construction industry are aware of the various hazards present on a work site. Most work injuries and fatalities could be avoided if the appropriate safety measures are followed. It is the responsibility of the employer to provide a save work environment for their employees, which includes hiring qualified workers, providing supervision, keeping the work site free of hazards, and training employees to use safety equipment and procedures.

Violations of OSHA guidelines put workers at risk for injury. These rules and procedures are put in place to keep workers safe on the job, and when they are not closely adhered to by employers and employees alike, catastrophic accidents can occur. Companies and businesses that fail to follow OSHA guidelines can receive steep monetary fines.

To learn more about construction accident injuries and fatalities, view our U.S. Construction Accidents Statistics infographic.

Contact an Experienced Construction Injury Attorney

If you have been hurt in a construction accident, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our construction injury lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to take your call and evaluate your claim. We have experience handling a variety of complex work accident cases. Because there are many types of safety problems that can occur in a construction accident, it is vital to speak with an attorney right away so they can examine and investigate the causes of your injuries. Thomas J. Henry has a proven record of achieving record-breaking, multi-million dollar results for injured clients. Don’t wait — call us today for your free case review.

I Fell From a Scaffolding While on the Job. Can I Sue?

If you fell from scaffolding while on the job, depending on the circumstances under which your accident occurred and whether or not your employer offers worker’s compensation, you may be able to sue your employer or a third party who was involved in your accident.

What if My Employer Does Not Offer Workers’ Compensation?

If your employer does not offer workers’ compensation, you should contact an experienced workplace injury attorney to handle your claim. If you are badly injured on the job, you employer may scramble to offer something like workers’ compensation and demand that you see a company doctor. You have no obligation accept their offer of compensation or see their doctor.

Texas is unique in that it does not require employers offer workers’ compensation. The caveat is that if an employer who does not offer workers’ compensation is determined to be even 1% at fault for an employee’s injuries, they are liable for any and all resulting damages.

Thomas J. Henry has the resources and experience to help prove your construction accident case. Our workplace injury lawyers will begin handling your claim immediately and request a temporary restraining order (TRO) to ensure any evidence is preserved. Thomas J. Henry also has access to leading industry experts who can help analyze evidence, inspect possible workplace violations, and provide compelling testimony to a judge or jury.

Our construction accident experts include:

  • Workplace safety compliance experts
  • Industrial accident reconstruction experts
  • Premises maintenance experts
  • OSHA consultants
  • Safety equipment experts
  • Ladder experts
  • Occupational and environmental health experts
  • Hazardous chemicals experts
  • Process safety management experts
  • Physicians, psychical therapists, and other healthcare professionals
  • Fire and explosion investigators

What If I’m Already Receiving Workers’ Compensation? Can I Still Seek Additional Damages?

Workers’ compensation is a benefits program employers provide to workers to pay for hospital and medical expenses associated with on the job injuries. Workers’ compensation also provides disability payments while an employee is unable to work. Workers’ compensation covers most injuries, even those caused by the employee’s own negligence, but there or instances in which a workers’ compensation claim can be denied. These include:

  • Self-inflicted injuries
  • Injuries suffered while an employee is committing a crime
  • Injuries sustained by an employee while not on a job
  • Injuries suffered by an employee acting in a manner that violates company policy.

While workers’ compensation typically precludes an employee from filing an personal injury lawsuit, Texas law does allow the employee to sue any other parties involved in the accident. In the instance of a scaffolding-related injury, this can include manufacturers of potentially defective products, a co-worker who committed a negligent or reckless act, or a non-employee who contributed to your injuries.

Are Scaffolding and Fall Injuries Common?

Roughly 4,836 worker deaths and 2.9 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses are recorded in the United States every year. Among the most common causes of death and injury in the workplace are falls, slips, and trips.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that falls, slips, and trips result in 16.5% of all recorded fatal workplace injuries. This makes falls the second most common cause of death in the workplace, exceeded only by transportation accidents.

Additionally, fall protection and Scaffolding are consistently among the top three most frequently cited standards by Federal OSHA.

What Should I Do if I’ve Been Injured in a Scaffolding Accident?

If you have been injured in a scaffolding accident, there are a few things you can do to help secure workers’ compensation as well as strengthen any claim to additional recoveries you may have.

  1. Seek medical attention. Before anything else, you should seek treatment for you injuries. Understanding the extent of you injuries is not only important to making a full recovery, but will also help you gauge how much that recovery is going to cost you. If you do not feel completely comfortable with the company doctor, go to your own physician for a second opinion.
  2. Report your injury. Workplace injuries need to be reported in a timely manner. Also, keep you supervisor or manager up-to-date on any subsequent developments. If your doctor has diagnosed an injury that was not immediately evident at the time of your initial report, let your supervisor know.
  3. Get a written repot of the accident. Your employer must take a report of the accident. You are entitled to a copy as well. Do not let your employer deny you a physical copy of your report for your own records.
  4. Identify witnesses. If someone witnessed your accident, get their information. You may need to refer back to their account of the incident later.
  5. Take photos. Take photos of the area, including any tools or equipment that may have played a role in the accident.
  6. Write an account. You will likely be asked to make statements about you claim multiple times. Having a detailed account that was written while the accident was still fresh in your mind can help keep your statements concise and accurate.
  7. Contact an attorney. Even if you plan on going through workers’ compensation, contacting an experienced attorney can help ensure you are receiving a fair amount. Thomas J. Henry offers free consultations to all injured victims. Our attorneys are available 24/7 – seven days a wee

What if an Investigation Shows My Employer Violated OSHA Regulations?

If an investigation of your workplace injuries reveals that your employer violated regulations put in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, then your employer can be sanctioned by OSHA and forced to pay a fine to the federal government. Such a revelation can also benefit your claim to recovery whether it is sought through workers’ compensation or a personal injury lawsuit.

How Can an Attorney Determine if a Workplace Safety Violation Occurred?

Federal and state regulations like those enforced by OSHA help ensure employers are taking appropriate measures to protect their employees and contracted workers from on the job accidents. Unfortunately, some employers forego these regulations and put profit and reduced cost above worker safety.

Thomas J. Henry has represented injured workers for more than 30 years and is familiar with the short cuts some employers take to drive down costs. He is also familiar with the tactics a less-than-honest employer will utilize to try to limit their liability, including destroying evidence, falsifying records, and altering the scene of the accident. When you hire Thomas J. Henry, our attorneys and dedicated staff will take immediate action to preserve evidence and the integrity of the site of the accident.

Thomas J. Henry has also built professional relationships with leading industry experts who can serve as expert witnesses in your case. These highly specialized individuals can help us better understand how your accident occurred and what violations your employer or contractor may have committed. They can also provide compelling testimony should your case go to trial.

Expert witnesses often utilized by Thomas J. Henry in workplace injury cases include:

  • Workplace Safety Compliance Experts
  • OSHA Consultants
  • Hazardous Chemicals Experts
  • Ladder Experts
  • Process Safety Management Experts
  • Occupational and Environmental Health Experts
  • Safety Equipment Experts
  • Industrial Engineers
  • Industrial Accident Re-constructionist

What If I am Seeking Recovery Through Workers’ Compensation?

Even if you are pursuing recovery through workers’ compensation, it is important that you reach out to an experienced workplace injury attorney. This is because parties other than your employer may have contributed to your injury.

Texas law recognizes that workplace accidents are not always the result of a single entity’s actions. As such, you may take legal action against other parties even if you are receiving workers’ compensation. Other parties that may have contributed to your accident include manufacturers of potentially defective products or toxic substances, a co-worker who committed a negligent or reckless act, or a non-employee who contributed to your injuries.

Examples of such lawsuits include:

  • A delivery truck driver suing a drunk driver who struck his company vehicle.
  • A cable company installations employee suing an apartment complex after being electrocuted by poorly maintained wires.
  • A truck driver suing the manufacturer of a defective tire following a blowout.
  • A construction worker suing a property owner after being exposed to asbestos at a job site.
  • A factory worker suing a co-worker who acted negligently while under the influence of a narcotic.

What Should I Do if I’ve Been Injured in a Workplace Accident?

If you have been injured in a workplace accident, there are a few things you can do to help secure workplace compensation as well as strengthen any claim to additional recoveries you may have.

  1. Seek medical attention. First and foremost, you should seek treatment for you injuries. Understanding the extent of you injuries is not only important to making a full recovery, but will also help you gauge how much that recovery is going to cost you. If you do not feel completely comfortable with the company doctor, go to your own physician for a second opinion.
  2. Report your injury. Workplace injuries need to be reported in a timely manner. Also, keep you supervisor or manager up-to-date on any subsequent developments. If your doctor has diagnosed an injury that was not immediately evident at the time of your initial report, let your supervisor know.
  3. Get a written repot of the accident. Your employer must take a report of the accident. You are entitled to a copy as well. Do not let your employer deny you a physical copy of your report for your own records.
  4. Identify witnesses. If someone witnessed your accident, get their information. You may need to refer back to their account of the incident later.
  5. Take photos. Take photos of the area, including any tools or equipment that may have played a role in the accident.
  6. Write an account. You will likely be asked to make statements about you claim multiple times. Having a detailed account that was written while the accident was still fresh in your mind can help keep your statements concise and accurate.
  7. Contact an attorney. Even if you plan on going through workers’ compensation, contacting an experienced attorney can help ensure you are receiving a fair amount. Thomas J. Henry offers free consultations to all injured victims. Our attorneys are available 24/7 – seven days a week.

 

What to Consider Before Returning to Work after an Accident?

How long you should wait after a personal injury accident before returning to work may vary depending on the extent of your injuries and your unique situation. However, there are several questions you should ask yourself prior to returning to work regardless of circumstances surrounding your accident and injuries.

  1. Does Returning to Work Mean I’m Okay?

Returning to work does not mean you have fully recovered or that the symptoms of your injuries have disappeared. In fact, may injured persons are forced to return to work in order to keep up with their medical bills and the costs of their injury.

Still, if you are considering returning to work, it is essential that you do not push yourself to hard. Many people who return to work following an accident put all their energy into their job with the goal of being as productive as they were prior to their accident. Such an approach can exacerbate existing injuries and result in more pain and potentially permanent damage.

Allow yourself ample time to heal and do not attempt to push yourself beyond your capabilities.

  1. Will Returning to Work Hurt my Lawsuit?

You may be under the impression that returning to work signifies to the opposition that your injuries are not as severe as previously thought. However, this is not true.

Plaintiffs who have a personal injury claim must be able to take reasonable steps to minimize their losses, and missing work can do more harm than good. If you are struggling financially due to loss wages, consult with your attorney. They will work with your doctor to determine whether it is safe for you to return to work.

  1. Has My Doctor Cleared Me for Work?

If you wish to recover economic losses for lost wages or loss of earning potential, there will need to be a medical basis for your inability to work. Simply being in an accident does not entitle you to compensation for being off work.

If you doctor has cleared you for work, then it is unlikely that you will recover loss wages. However, if your doctor has advised you to not go to work, listen to their advice! Returning to work before you are physically able to will only worsen your condition.

  1. Will Going Back to Work Hamper or be Detrimental to my Physical Recovery?

If you rush back to work before you have made a fully recovery, your symptoms may worsen. If you believe returning to work will hamper your recovery or if you have returned to work only to have your symptoms reappear, consult with your attorney. They will advise you on the best course of action.

Contact Thomas J. Henry Today for a Free Case Review

If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, call Thomas J. Henry today. Our experienced accident lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to hear your claim. Accidents can cause great physical and financial harm to an individual and their family. We can help you address medical bills and living costs, letting you focus on healing while we take care of the ongoing legal processes. It is our goal to ensure our clients are taken care of while our injury attorneys fight relentless to obtain the real result you need. Don’t wait — contact Thomas J. Henry today for a free legal consultation.

Do My Children Have a Claim If I Was Permanently Disabled in an Industrial Accident?

If you were severely injured in an industrial accident and that injury has left you with permanent disability, then your children may have a claim for loss of consortium. Whether such a claim is available is dependent on the severity of the injuries you have suffered.

What Is Loss of Consortium?

Loss of consortium is a cause of action available to the spouse and family members of a person who has been severely injured or killed due to the wrongful acts of another. The concept of loss of consortium is that the person who was killed or injured cannot provide his or her family members with the same love, affection, companionship, or comfort that were provided before the accident.

Typically, injuries which may result in loss of consortium damages can included those that result in paralysis, amputation, significant brain damage, or incontinence.

How is Loss of Consortium Measured?

Loss of consortium falls in the realm of general damages, also called non-economic damages, meaning that the loss is not purely financial. In these situations, money is considered to be a rough substitute for the loss suffered. More common examples of general damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss or reputation
  • Humiliation and embarrassment
  • Loss of companionship

Because there is no clear financial loss to be considered, it falls on the judge or jury to quantify the damages in terms of monetary value. It is the job of your attorney to demonstrate loss of consortium in a way that helps the judge or jury provide an accurate financial awarded.

How Does Loss of Consortium Relate to Children?

In Texas, children are allowed to recover damages that result from loss of consortium. In such circumstances, a judge or jury may consider the following:

  • Is the injured parent able to provide the same level of care as he or she was prior to his or her injury?
  • Is the injured parent able to provide the same level of nurturing as he or she was prior to his or her injury?
  • Is the injured parent able to provide the same level of affection as he or she was prior to his or her injury?
  • Was the relationship shared by the child and the parent irrevocably altered by the parent’s injury?

What Should I Consider Before Bringing a Loss of Consortium Claim?

Every state has its own unique limitations on when a loss of consortium claim is available and what damages can be recover. For example, you must be able to prove the extent of your relationship to your children or spouse prior to your injury in order to receive compensation.

Further, when bringing a loss of consortium claim, be prepared for private and even intimate aspects of your relationship to the claimant to be put at issue.  You will have to withstand hard questioning during deposition and trial as the defense attorney tries to mitigate your claim.

Additionally, any negative aspects of your relationship, including infidelity, separation, criminal charges, or abuse, will be discussed in font of the judge and jury and will become part of the public record.

Contact and Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys is a personal injury law firm with offices in Corpus Christi, Texas, San Antonio, Texas, and Houston, Texas representing accident victims nationwide. Our priority is to provide our clients with the best legal representation. Our experienced trial attorneys are committed to defending your rights in personal injury matters including defective products, recalled drugs, child injuries, and auto accidents.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact our offices immediately – we are available 24/7, nights and weekends.

Can I Sue for My Industrial Accident if I’m Receiving Disability?

In Texas, when dealing with an industrial accident or an on the job injury, receiving Social Security Disability payments does not preclude you from seeking compensation from the parties responsible for your injuries.

What is Social Security Disability?

Social Security Disability (SSD) is a supplemental income covering disabled workers who have accumulated a sufficient number of work credits to be considered “insured.” Credits are accumulated by paying into the Social Security trust fund. After receiving SSD for two years, a qualified disable person will be eligible for Medicare.

In addition to collecting benefits for themselves, a qualified SSD recipient may also be able to receive partial benefits, called auxiliary benefits, for their spouse and children dependants.

There is a five-month waiting period for benefits to kick in which means many injured disabled workers begin the process of applying for SSD as soon as they are able.

It is important to note that SSD is not connected to your employer, but rather your own contributions to the Social Security program. As such, these payments do not affect your right to compensation for injuries caused by a third party’s negligence or reckless behavior, nor will it have bearing on any resulting claims.

What Kinds of Workplace Accidents Can I Sue For?

In order to sue for an on the job injury, that injury must have been caused by the negligence or reckless behavior of another – this could be a co-worker, a non-employee, the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment, or an employee of another company.

Among the most common types of workplace accidents in the United States are:

  • Compressor accidents
  • Crane accidents
  • Electrical accidents
  • Faulty safety equipment
  • Fire and explosions
  • Improper equipment maintenance
  • Lack of proper training
  • Safety code violations
  • Scaffolding accidents
  • Slip and fall
  • Transportation accidents
  • Exposure to chemical and toxic substances

How Common are Workplace Accidents?

According Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly 3 million workplace accidents resulting in injury or death occurred in 2015.

Those accidents resulted in 4,836 deaths. This averages to more than 93 deaths a week or more than 13 deaths every day.

Of the 4,379 worker fatalities that occurred in private industry, 937 were associated with construction. Texas recorded the highest number of fatal workplace injuries in 2015 with 527 deaths occurring.

Among the leading causes of occupational injury and death were:

  • Transportation incidents — 42.4%
  • Falls, slips, and trips — 16.5%
  • Contact with objects and equipment — 14.9%
  • Violence and other injuries by persons or animals — 14.5%
  • Exposure to harmful substances or environments — 8.8%
  • Fires and explosions — 2.5%

What Should I Do if I’ve Been Injured in an Industrial Accident?

There are certain steps you can take to help preserve your rights as a victim of a workplace accident. By following these guidelines, you can put yourself in a better position to achieve the compensation you deserve for your injuries. If you suffered a work injury, follow these steps:

  • Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries.
  • Report the injury to your supervisor as soon as possible.
  • Be sure your employer makes a written report of the accident.
  • Collect names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
  • Take photos of the accident area, including of any tools or equipment involved in the accident.
  • Write a detailed account of how the accident took place.
  • Contact an experienced work accident lawyer to discuss your rights as an injured worker.

How Can a Work Injury Attorney Help Me?

If you or a loved one were injured on the job, contact Thomas J. Henry. Workplace accident victims deserve quality, dynamic representation from attorneys with the experience and legal resources to properly develop their case. Oftentimes, workplace injuries are severe and debilitating and put individuals out of work for an extended period of time. Our work accident lawyers will take immediate action on your case and make sure you are comfortable and informed throughout the entire legal process. Contact us today for a free case review.

Can I Recover More than Workers’ Compensation Benefits If Injured on the Job in Texas?

If you have been injured on the job in Texas, you may be able to recover more than just your workers’ compensation benefits. Texas law allows you to bring litigation against third parties that share responsibility for you injuries.

How Does Workers’ Compensation Work?

Workers’ compensation is a benefits program employers provide to workers to pay for hospital and medical expenses associated with on the job injuries. Workers’ compensation also provides disability payments while an employee is unable to work.

While workers’ compensation does cover most injuries, even those caused by the employee’s own negligence, there or instances in which a workers’ compensation claim can be denied. These include:

  • Self-inflicted injuries
  • Injuries suffered while an employee is committing a crime
  • Injuries sustained by an employee while not on a job
  • Injuries suffered by an employee acting in a manner that violates company policy.

It is important to note, however, that workers’ compensation is optional in Texas, though employers who opt out of providing workers’ compensation do so at their own risk. The penalty for failing to provide workers’ compensation is that if the employer is determined to be even 1% at fault for an employee’s injuries, they are liable for all resulting damages.

What If am Already Receiving Workers’ Compensation? Can I Still Seek Additional Damages?

While workers’ compensation typically precludes an employee from filing an personal injury lawsuit, Texas law does allow the employee to sue any other parties involved in the accident. This can include manufacturers of potentially defective products or toxic substances, a co-worker who committed a negligent or reckless act, or a non-employee who contributed to your injuries.

Examples of such lawsuits include:

  • A delivery truck driver suing a drunk driver who struck his company vehicle.
  • A cable company installations employee suing an apartment complex after being electrocuted by poorly maintained wires.
  • A truck driver suing the manufacturer of a defective tire following a blowout.
  • A construction worker suing a property owner after being exposed to asbestos at a job site.
  • A factory worker suing a co-worker who acted negligently while under the influence of a narcotic.

How Often Do Workplace Injuries Occur?

The follow statistics regarding on the job accident injuries and fatalities in 2015 are provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):

  • Approximately 2.9 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers.
  • An estimated 752,600 injuries and illnesses were reported in 2015 among state and local government workers
  • 4,836 workers died on the job
    • This is the highest fatality total since 5,214 workers died in 2008.
    • More than 13 workplace deaths occurred each day.
  • Industries with the highest fatal work injury rates (per 100,000 full time workers):
    • Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting — 22.8
    • Transportation and warehousing — 13.8
    • Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction — 11.4
    • Construction — 10.1
    • Overall rate of fatal work injury for workers — 3.38
  • Top causes of fatal occupational injuries:
    • Transportation incidents — 42.4%
    • Falls, slips, and trips — 16.5%
    • Contact with objects and equipment — 14.9%
    • Violence and other injuries by persons or animals — 14.5%
    • Exposure to harmful substances or environments — 8.8%
    • Fires and explosions — 2.5%
  • States with the highest number of fatal workplace injuries in 2015:
    • Texas — 527
    • California — 388
    • Florida — 272
    • New York — 236
    • Ohio — 202

What Should I Do if I’ve Been Injured in a Workplace Accident?

If you have been injured in a workplace accident, there are a few things you can do to help secure workplace compensation as well as strengthen any claim to additional recoveries you may have.

  1. Seek medical attention. First and foremost, you should seek treatment for you injuries. Understanding the extent of you injuries is not only important to making a full recovery, but will also help you gauge how much that recovery is going to cost you. If you do not feel completely comfortable with the company doctor, go to your own physician for a second opinion.
  2. Report your injury. Workplace injuries need to be reported in a timely manner. Also, keep you supervisor or manager up-to-date on any subsequent developments. If your doctor has diagnosed an injury that was not immediately evident at the time of your initial report, let your supervisor know.
  3. Get a written repot of the accident. Your employer must take a report of the accident. You are entitled to a copy as well. Do not let your employer deny you a physical copy of your report for your own records.
  4. Identify witnesses. If someone witnessed your accident, get their information. You may need to refer back to their account of the incident later.
  5. Take photos. Take photos of the area, including any tools or equipment that may have played a role in the accident.
  6. Write an account. You will likely be asked to make statements about you claim multiple times. Having a detailed account that was written while the accident was still fresh in your mind can help keep your statements concise and accurate.
  7. Contact an attorney. Even if you plan on going through workers’ compensation, contacting an experienced attorney can help ensure you are receiving a fair amount. Thomas J. Henry offers free consultations to all injured victims. Our attorneys are available 24/7 – seven days a week.

 

Can I Sue My Employer in Texas for an Injury Received on a Construction Site?

If you are injured on a construction site in Texas, you may sue your employer for your injuries so long as your employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage. If your employer offers workers’ compensation, you are precluded from filing a personal injury lawsuit. You can however, pursue compensation through filing a workers’ compensation claim.

What Injuries Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?

While workers’ compensation does cover most injuries, even those caused by the employee’s negligence, it is important to note that there are exclusions. For example, injuries that occur while an employee is intoxicated or under the influence of illegal drugs are not covered by workers’ compensation.

Other instances in which workers’ compensation may not imply include:

  • Self-inflicted injuries
  • Injuries suffered while an employee is committing a crime
  • Injuries sustained by an employee while not on a job
  • Injuries suffered by an employee acting in a manner that violates company policy.

What if My Employer Does Not Offer Workers’ Compensation?

If your employer does not offer workers’ compensation, you should contact an experienced workplace injury attorney to handle your claim. If you are badly injured on the job, you employer may scramble to offer something like workers’ compensation and demand that you see a company doctor. You have no obligation accept their offer of compensation or see their doctor.

Texas is unique in that it does not require employers offer workers’ compensation. The caveat is that if an employer who does not offer workers’ compensation is determined to be even 1% at fault for an employee’s injuries, they are liable for any and all resulting damages.

Thomas J. Henry has the resources and experience to help prove your construction accident case. Our workplace injury lawyers will begin handling your claim immediately and request a temporary restraining order (TRO) to ensure any evidence is preserved. Thomas J. Henry also has access to leading industry experts who can help analyze evidence, inspect possible workplace violations, and provide compelling testimony to a judge or jury.

Our construction accident experts include:

  • Workplace safety compliance experts
  • Industrial accident reconstruction experts
  • Premises maintenance experts
  • OSHA consultants
  • Safety equipment experts
  • Ladder experts
  • Occupational and environmental health experts
  • Hazardous chemicals experts
  • Process safety management experts
  • Physicians, psychical therapists, and other healthcare professionals
  • Fire and explosion investigators

Construction Accident Statistics

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in 2015,

  • 937 workers in the private construction industry were killed on the job
    • This is the highest total since 975 workers died in 2008
  • About one in five (21%) worker deaths in 2015 were in construction
  • An estimated 204,700 workers in the private construction industry were injured on the job in 2015
  • The leading causes of private sector worker deaths in the construction industry (excluding highway collisions) were falls, struck by object, electrocution, and caught in/between. The “Fatal Four” account for 64.2 percent of all fatalities in the construction industry
    • Falls — 364 deaths (38.8% of total construction deaths)
    • Struck by object — 90 deaths (9.6%)
    • Electrocutions — 81 deaths (8.6%)
    • Caught-in/between — 67 deaths (7.2%)
  • Eliminating the “Fatal Four” would save 602 workers’ lives every year
  • 210 contracted workers in the private construction industry died on the job
  • These states led the United States in construction worker deaths in 2015
    • Texas — 124
    • California — 75
    • Florida — 66
    • New York — 53
    • Georgia — 38
    • Illinois — 38

Contact an Experienced Construction Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one sustained a serious injury in a construction accident, contact Thomas J. Henry. Accidents that occur on construction sites can cause severe, life-altering injuries, causing physical, emotional, and financial pain. Our experienced construction injury attorneys work diligently to make sure our clients are comfortable and informed throughout the entire process. At Thomas J. Henry, we have a record of achieving real results for our clients. Let us assist you with your construction accident injury. Contact us today for a free case review.

 

Can I Sue a Foreign Company for Injuries Suffered in an Industrial Accident?

When a foreign corporation does business in Texas, any wrongdoing that the company commits within state lines is under the state’s jurisdiction. This means foreign entities can be held responsible for negligence and wrongdoing when it comes to industrial accidents that occur at drilling rigs, plants, refineries, or other industrial sites that they are operating in Texas.

What Should I Do If I’ve Been Involved in a Texas Industrial Accident?

Whether the company you are working for is based in the U.S. or a foreign country, you have rights which are guaranteed by state and federal laws. As such, it is important that you take steps to help preserve these rights when involved in a workplace accident.

By following these guidelines, you can put yourself in a better position to receive fair compensation for you injuries. If you suffered a injury at a Texas industrial site, you should:

  • Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries.
  • Report the injury to your supervisor as soon as possible.
  • Be sure your employer makes a written report of the accident.
  • Collect names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
  • Take photos of the accident area, including of any tools or equipment involved in the accident.
  • Write a detailed account of how the accident took place.
  • Contact an experienced work accident lawyer to discuss your rights as an injured worker.

How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Benefit My Industrial Injury Claim?

An attorney who has experience handling workplace injuries can greatly increase your chances of receiving just compensation for your injuries. In addition to providing sound legal advice, an attorney can take steps to preserve evidence and gather reliable witness testimony.

Additionally, an attorney can bring in expert witnesses to help evaluate and prove your claim by gathering evidence at the scene, analyzing any findings, and providing expert testimony during trial or arbitration.

Thomas J. Henry has spent years finding and building professional relationships with the best expert witnesses from all across the country. Expert witnesses that could benefit your industrial accident lawsuit include:

  • Welding experts
  • Process safety management experts
  • Safety equipment experts
  • Hazardous chemical experts
  • State and Federal OSHA consultants and inspectors
  • Accident reconstruction experts
  • Engineering experts
  • Confined space permit experts
  • Environment health experts

What Kind of Injuries Can I Seek Compensation For?

Workplace injuries come in many forms and can vary widely in severity. No matter how severe your injuries are, if they were caused by an accident due to an employer’s negligent actions, you may be entitled to compensation. Common examples of on the job injuries include:

  • Abrasions
  • Amputations
  • Asbestosis
  • Back injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Burns
  • Coma
  • Cumulative trauma disorder
  • Death
  • Fallen object accidents
  • Lacerations
  • Loss of fingers and limbs
  • Lung cancer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Neck injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Severed nerve
  • Silicosis
  • Spinal cord injuries

Contact an Experienced Industrial Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one were injured on the job, contact Thomas J. Henry. Workplace accident victims deserve quality, dynamic representation from attorneys with the experience and legal resources to properly develop their case. Oftentimes, workplace injuries are severe and debilitating and put individuals out of work for an extended period of time. Our work accident lawyers will take immediate action on your case and make sure you are comfortable and informed throughout the entire legal process. Contact us today for a free case review.