Personal injury claims in Houston can arise from multiple situations. These can include car accidents, work-related accidents, medical malpractice, criminal acts, etc. However, not every injury will lead to a personal injury claim. In fact, for the damage to qualify as a claim, it will depend on several factors, such as the type of injury and who is liable. Therefore, you will need the expertise of a Houston personal injury attorney to successfully navigate personal injury lawsuits in Houston and the damages that may be available. A personal injury attorney is familiar with the legal procedures of litigating or mediating a claim. This includes knowing the deadline to file claims, how to correctly complete forms, which legal documents to file, and the applicable statute of limitations. In addition, they provide professional legal assistance needed to pursue a claim. It begins with them determining whether you have a valid lawsuit. If you do, they will investigate the injury’s circumstances and gather the necessary evidence to prove your case. Hiring a personal injury lawyer also increases the likelihood of recovering damages and the amount of damages recovered. Houston personal injury attorneys commonly deal with claims associated with auto accidents, slip and fall injuries, and medical malpractice. At Morrow & Sheppard LLP, we also help you with workplace-related injury claims. This can include those that involve high-risk industries like construction, oil drilling, refinery plants, and maritime.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 44 oil and gas extraction workers lost their lives in 2020 due to workplace-related accidents. Additionally, a study by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited that more workers are killed and injured in the oil field industry compared to any other in the U.S. The same study indicated that Texas alone accounted for almost 80% of oil field injuries and deaths. These could have been avoided with safer procedures and equipment. Hiring a Houston personal injury attorney will ensure you or your loved one gets the compensation you deserve for injuries suffered while working at an oilfield. Common injuries caused by oilfield accidents can also vary. This can include head injuries, burns, prolonged exposure to harmful substances, amputated limbs, permanent disability, and mental trauma.
Burn injuries can leave you with devastating and lasting effects. A Houston personal injury attorney can help you claim the compensation you deserve for accidents that cause burn injuries. This can include accidents at work, auto accidents, defective products, and construction accidents. The claim and the damages pursued will also depend on the severity of the burn. This is usually categorized into first, second, third and, less commonly, fourth degree.
Lawsuits involving offshore accidents are often complex to navigate since they require an understanding of common and maritime law. Since maritime accidents occur outside your respective jurisdiction, then the maritime law applies. Houston maritime injury lawyers can help you understand the complex laws under the purview of maritime law, which include:
- The Jones Act: This is a federal law that pertains to employer responsibility for worker injuries that happen at sea. The law functions like the workers’ compensation statutes throughout the U.S., focusing on employees operating at sea.
- The Public Vessels Act: It allows for claims damages against the U.S. for injuries that occur on a publicly owned vessel of the U.S.
- The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA): This law is applied for offshore injuries that occur along the continental shelf of the contiguous U.S., more than three miles offshore. The act helps determine whether a case falls under federal or state law based on the location of the incident.
- Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA): Applies to workers operating as longshoremen and dockworkers who don’t work at sea.
- Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA): This applies when a sailor or offshore worker dies due to an injury sustained while performing job duties.
- The Admiralty Extension Act (AEA): It comes into play when a person suffers an injury on land caused by a watercraft on navigable waters.
Depending on how and where your offshore injury occurred and the extent of damage, one or more of the above maritime acts could come into play. Seeing how complex and multifaceted maritime law is, hiring an experienced attorney to assist you with your lawsuit is critical.
Filing an offshore injury lawsuit will require navigating the same laws governing maritime accidents. An offshore injury lawyer can help you determine which laws apply to your case and help you file a lawsuit to recover deserved damages.
Refinery and Plant Explosions
Explosions at manufacturing plants and oil refineries usually have devastating consequences. Workers at these facilities are subjected to an increased risk of injuries when refinery and plant owners fail to adhere to state and federal safety regulations. Personal injury attorneys can help investigate the case, obtain the necessary evidence to file a claim, and increase the chances of receiving just compensation for your damages.
What Qualities Should You Look for in a Personal Injury Attorney
Suppose you have suffered an injury at work or in any other situation due to the negligent acts of others. In that case, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit and recover compensation for your damages. However, to increase your chances for compensation, you will need professional legal representation to help you maneuver the process. Some of the qualities you should evaluate when looking for a personal injury attorney in Houston include the following:
- Their knowledge of state and federal laws, especially the laws most applicable to your case
- The lawyer’s understanding of the medical industry and the injuries you have sustained
- Ability to conduct thorough and comprehensive investigations to help build a strong case
- Their expertise and experience, since it is often better to work with an attorney that has limited their practice to personal injury cases as they are best positioned to offer the kind of legal representation you need
- Empathy and compassion, since dealing with injuries is a devastating life event that you may still be adjusting to
- Good communication skills to ensure that you are always on the same page and facilitate a smooth experience while working together
- Their resources and network, as this will ensure you have access to the best tools to maximize your chances of getting compensation
- Availability and dedication to your case
Benefits of Hiring a Houston Personal Injury Attorney
Dealing with the consequences of an injury is already hard enough. Rather than take on another burden of navigating complex and unfamiliar laws, it is better to work with a dedicated and knowledgeable professional on all matters surrounding personal injury lawsuits in Houston. Some of the advantages of working with a personal injury attorney include the following:
- They are familiar with legal procedures and thus will make the process smooth and increase the chances of winning your case.
- Attorneys often have the resources to help you collect the necessary evidence to prove your case before the law.
- Several factors come into play when seeking damages for a personal injury claim, and with their extensive knowledge, personal injury attorneys will help you get the compensation you deserve.
- The attorneys handle all the negotiations and paperwork on your behalf, giving you fewer things to stress about.
- They provide support and guidance through the entire legal process, which can help inform your decisions.
How to Find the Best Legal Representation for Your Injury Case in Houston
There are so many attorneys operating in the U.S. This makes the search for the best attorney for your case a daunting process, especially if it is your first time needing legal representation. The best place to begin your search is by asking friends and family for recommendations. Based on their experiences or general knowledge, you can narrow your search to a handful of potential attorneys. From there, you can use online resources to learn more about the potential attorneys and their suitability for your case. Finally, you can schedule a consultation to learn about their experience and qualifications in personal injury lawsuits. During the consultation, you can also inquire about fees or payment options and review how they have handled similar cases.