Injuries at work happen frequently, and treatment can be expensive. Depending on the accident’s severity, you may also be prevented from working, which can impact your family’s finances. As a victim of a work injury, what are your rights? Before talking to your employer or insurance adjusters, you must speak with a work injury lawyer.
Ask a Work Injury Lawyer: 6 Work Injuries That Warrant a Work Accident Injury Lawyer
1. Faulty Equipment and Tools
Employers are required to provide proper tools and safety equipment. When a device fails and injures a worker, there are two possible scenarios:
- The manufacturer is liable for the accident because of incorrect or incomplete instructions or manufacturing defects
- The employer is responsible for the accident because of a lack of maintenance
To determine liability, your lawyer will study your case, including reports from healthcare professionals, evidence (pictures, surveillance camera footage, the tools and instruction manuals, etc.), and help you decide how to move forward.
2. Slip and Fall Accidents
If you slip and fall or trip and fall, you’ll need to prove that the accident was caused by negligence from a third party. Some examples in which the employer is liable include:
- When there are no proper signs of a slippery surface
- When someone leaves an object out of place, and you trip (in this case, the person who misplaced the object can also be liable for your injuries)
- When you fall off a ladder that was misplaced or didn’t comply with safety standards
There are many more examples of slip and fall incidents, but the main rule is that employers are liable when they do not comply with OSHA standards. If you don’t know if this is the case, you need to contact a work injury attorney in Houston TX.
3. Muscle Strains
Muscle strains usually result from repetitive motions, primarily if you work without breaks. This condition, also known as “overexertion,” can result in chronic pain, inflammation, and loss of mobility. It’s imperative to seek immediate medical treatment to avoid hurting yourself further.
Establishing liability for muscular strains is tricky, as some employers may argue that it’s the employee’s responsibility to rest whenever they need it. A work accident attorney will help you demonstrate if you were not allowed to take breaks (especially when working on urgent projects).
4. Chemical Exposure
According to OSHA regulations, employees working with dangerous chemicals must be provided with protective equipment. If you wear protective equipment provided by your employer and are injured regardless, you need to seek legal advice to determine liability. If your employer does not offer mandatory safety equipment, they will need to pay for your treatment and losses.
5. Motor Vehicle Accidents
Drivers are vulnerable to accidents. Company vehicles should be insured, as well as vehicle operators. If you are a victim of a collision while working, the insurance company will try to determine liability between:
- The other driver (if you collided with another vehicle in motion)
- The vehicle’s manufacturer
- Your employer
Texas law establishes shared liability, and you will need a lawyer to help you move forward, especially if you were partially responsible, but not primarily responsible, for the accident.
6. Accidents Due to Falling Objects
If you are working and a falling object injures you, you must prove that you were following the company’s policies and safety standards at the time, and thus that the accident was not your fault.
What Constitutes Fair Compensation for Work Injuries?
Once your lawyer has studied your case, they will help you file a workers’ compensation claim (which must be filed within 30 days from the injury). Depending on the severity of the injury, you may also be owed damages, which can be economic (medical bills, loss of income) or non-economic (pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life). You will typically need to file a lawsuit to compensate for damages.
It’s important to note that workers’ compensation insurance is not mandatory in Texas. If your employer is not insured, you will most likely need to move forward with a lawsuit. Chapter 451 of the workers’ compensation law forbids employers from retaliating against employees who file a claim. If you are a victim of retaliation, you need to contact a lawyer immediately, as this is considered discrimination. You can click here for more information.
A reasonable work injury attorney must have deep knowledge of medical and employment laws. You want to hire someone with a track record of success in similar cases and plenty of references. It’s also essential to find an attorney certified by the Texas Bar Association. Your lawyer will work hand-in-hand with you to help you protect your rights and ensure you comply with all procedural rules.