Our top-rated Houston work injury lawyers are privileged to assist injured workers and their families throughout the United States, with a focus in Texas, New Mexico, and Louisiana. Our attorneys at Morrow & Sheppard LLP can provide legal guidance that will help you obtain a favorable result against one of the largest industrial corporations in the world. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or tragically killed in a workplace accident or in a car accident on the job, you should contact us for a free, confidential consultation. Discuss your legal rights with us as soon as possible before an employer or insurance company jeopardizes them.
Handling Workplace Accident Claims Throughout Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico
- Millions of Dollars Recovered for Our Clients
- Help with All Types of Work Injuries
- A Track Record of Success
- No Fee Unless We Win!
What Should I Do If I’m Injured At Work?
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury at work, what’s the first thing you should do? The answer is simple. Before you do anything else, you should contact a work injury attorney who can assess your situation and discuss your options. There is no obligation to hire our firm or pursue a work injury claim. There truly is nothing to lose by visiting with us. Furthermore, if you do decide to hire us, we will handle your workplace injury case on a contingency fee. That means absolutely no cost unless we win. There are many reasons why you should immediately speak to a work injury lawyer who will look out for your interests. Those reasons include:
- There are probably legal deadlines that apply to your claim.
- Your case may require an inspection, witness interviews, or other investigation, all of which are best done sooner rather than later.
- The other side has likely hired an attorney, in which case they are already working hard to build their defense. Don’t give the other side a head start.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Many workers are under the false impression that if they are injured at work, they are entitled to recover only workers’ compensation benefits from their employer. That is often not the case, and in many instances, an injured worker is entitled to compensation from several other avenues, including other responsible companies or product manufacturers. Every workplace injury must be analyzed individually to ensure that all responsible parties are held accountable. When you file for workers’ comp, your employer will probably not tell you that you have the right to pursue “third party” claims against other companies. They may even hide that fact from you. As a result, you could receive a fraction of what you would have received if you were represented by your attorney and explored your options beforehand.
What If My Employer Finds Out That I’m Contacting an Attorney?
We understand you are concerned about what will happen if your employer finds out you are thinking about hiring a work injury attorney. But don’t worry. Conversations with an attorney regarding potential legal advice are protected under the law. Ordinarily, nobody – not your employer, not an insurance company, not anybody — has the right to know about our legal advice or your confidential free legal consultation. At Morrow & Sheppard, confidentiality is of the utmost importance. Even if you decide not to pursue a claim, our free, confidential consultation will remain confidential.
Common Causes Of Workplace Accidents In Texas
Unfortunately, workplace accidents happen every day. Many are serious. According to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in 2017, at least 5,147 people were killed on the job. An industry that is particularly susceptible to workplace injuries is the construction industry, which accounts for one of five workplace injuries. Of the 5,147 workplace fatalities, common causes were:
- Transportation incidents;
- Slip, trip, and fall accidents;
- Exposure to harmful chemical substances or environments;
- Fires and explosions; and
- Contact with dangerous objects and equipment.
As OSHA reports, though work-related accidental deaths declined by 8 percent during a recent 15-year period, in the same period Hispanic work-related accidental deaths increased by almost 80 percent. Young Hispanic immigrant workers are the most vulnerable for small construction companies, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). Their employers’ negligence caused many work-related injuries and deaths for failing to train workers appropriately. Such neglect by employers can lead to a favorable settlement of a workplace injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
What Compensation Will I Be Entitled To Receive For My Work Injury Claim?
If you are considering taking legal action, you are probably wondering what type of compensation you will be entitled to receive. In many work injury cases, the injured worker will file a lawsuit seeking to recover financial damages from the party or parties responsible for their injuries. The amount and types of damages that you will be able to recover in a work injury case will depend upon the extent and nature of your injuries and the circumstances surrounding your claim. In Texas, damages in a work injury case are generally classified into three categories: (1) economic damages; (2) noneconomic damages; and (3) punitive damages.
In a work injury case, economic damages are designed to compensate the injured victim for his or her financial losses. Economic damages include:
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Lost income;
- Loss of future earning capacity;
- Damages to personal property; and
- Other financial losses are attributable to your injuries.
The medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses associated with a work-related injury can be staggering. Minor injuries can turn into significant injuries that will have severe and long-lasting effects on your life. Our attorneys can help you obtain a favorable compensation that will allow you to best deal with your economic losses today and well into the future.
Noneconomic damages seek to compensate victims for their non-monetary losses. Noneconomic damages consist of:
- Physical pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish and pain;
- Loss of enjoyment of life;
- Loss of consortium;
- Physical impairment;
- Loss of companionship and society; and
- Other types of non-pecuniary losses.
Because these types of injuries are intangible and have no defined value, juries can often have a difficult time placing a dollar value on the precise amount of non-economic damages suffered. A top-rated work injury lawyer can be invaluable in helping to determine your non-economic damages. Unlike your medical and hospital bills, the pain and suffering and mental anguish that you are suffering do not come with a bill or invoice. This is where experience comes into play – an attorney with experience handling personal injury claims will be familiar with settlements and verdicts in claims similar to your own. While every case is different and no attorney can guarantee the amount of your recovery. Your attorney should be able to take you through the process so that you have a general sense of the compensation that you may be entitled to.
Punitive (Exemplary) Damages
In Texas, punitive damages are also known as “exemplary damages.” These damages serve as a penalty and are meant to punish the conduct of the responsible party, to make an example of them. Punitive damages are generally awarded when the responsible party’s behavior is especially reckless or dangerous. These damages are not tied to your injury, and they are above and beyond the actual losses you may have suffered.
Can I Sue My Employer For My Work-Related Injuries In Texas?
If your employer has workers’ compensation in Texas, you generally cannot. If your workers’ comp benefits alone aren’t enough to cover your medical expenses, that can be a problem. But some Texas employers do not have workers’ comp. Texas is the only state in the United States which allows employers to choose not to provide workers’ comp insurance. This is called “opting out.” An employer that “opts out” of workers’ comp is called a “non-subscriber.” Employers who don’t provide workers’ comp, “non-subscribers” can be sued directly.
Can I Get Fired Or Lose My Job While On Workers’ Compensation?
If you are wondering if you could get fired or lose your job while filing for a workers’ compensation claim, Texas law says no. Based on Texas Labor Code Chapter 451, your employer cannot retaliate against you for submitting a workers’ comp claim. However, your employer can sometimes legally terminate your employment while you are receiving workers’ compensation based on misconduct or other issues unrelated to your claim.
What Are My Options If I’ve Been Injured At Work?
Injured workers typically have the following options after an accident on the job:
- If your employer does not provide Workers’ Compensation coverage, file a lawsuit against your employer to recover all past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, physical impairment, and any other damages they are legally entitled to
- Accept Workers’ Compensation benefits from your employer, which prevents you from filing a lawsuit against or recovering any damages from your employer
- Accept Workers’ Compensation benefits from your employer, but file a lawsuit against any other third parties/companies that caused or contributed to the work-related accident