Business & Finance

Understanding Workplace Injury Lawsuits in Texas

Understanding Workplace Injury Lawsuits in Texas
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Getting injured at work is always an unpleasant experience. The financial losses that follow any workplace accident only add fuel to the fire. When an injury occurs at home, you can get in touch with urgent care or call emergency services, but when it’s your workplace, you can’t easily pinpoint who’s liable.

Most personal injury lawsuits in the workplace are resolved with settlements. Settlements can pay off debts or clear medical bills. Before you file a personal injury claim in Texas, it’s best to learn more about what your options are.

Here’s a short guide to workplace injury lawsuits.

What Is a Workplace Injury?

When you’re injured at work, the first thing to do is seek medical attention. You must focus on your health and well-being before anything else.

Under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act, workers can claim reimbursement of medical expenses, emotional grievances, and a percentage of lost earnings in cases of work-related injuries, illnesses, or diseases.

After a workplace injury occurs, the standard protocol in any organization is to inform your employer. Following this practice, the injured worker will need to file a claim with the state workers’ compensation board.

Since different states have their laws and regulations, it’s important to be aware of your legal rights, like whether you’re covered by workers’ compensation. Much of this depends on your location and occupation.

With or without workers’ compensation insurance, all workers must first comply with certain requirements. For instance, the injury or illness must be reported to the employer within 30 days.

The timelines of various injury claims often differ.

Can I Claim Compensation for a Workplace Injury?

According to the National Safety Council, a workplace injury is applicable:

  • When a worker is exposed to harmful substances, like toxic chemicals or fumes
  • When a worker suffers a health condition due to muscle fatigue and exhaustion
  • When a worker is injured in a slip-and-fall incident at a factory or warehouse
  • When a worker is injured while operating heavy machinery or equipment
  • When a worker experiences electric shock, oxygen deficiency, and more

Most workers’ compensation laws secure the health and well-being of the injured by giving workers the right to:

  • Claim medical attention for a work-related injury
  • Return to your place of work if deemed able to work
  • Claim disability compensation if you’re unable to work
  • File a claim for your injury in the workers’ compensation court
  • Receive death benefits that apply in a workplace injury lawsuit
  • Issue a hearing to plead your case in workers’ compensation court
  • Submit another appeal if your compensation claim is denied
  • Seek a workers’ compensation lawyer or injury attorney

How to Pursue Compensation for Workplace Injuries

We recommend working with an experienced occupational injury lawyer familiar with the state’s negligence and liability laws.

If you’ve experienced any injury in the workplace and lack workers’ compensation insurance, a better solution is to file a personal injury lawsuit. You can claim compensation directly from your employer or a third-party entity.

According to Texas laws, you can file a personal injury lawsuit for a workplace injury within two years. If you prefer a settlement over a lawsuit, you can draft a demand letter to recover damages beyond your insurance policy limits.

Must Read: Understanding Enforcement Rules of the Customs Act

How Do I Prove Liability in a Workplace Injury?

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance. If you’re covered under workers’ compensation insurance, you can recover the expense for medical care and treatment, including lost wages, regardless of who’s at fault.

Proving liability becomes critical when you’re filing a personal injury lawsuit. If you’re going to sue your employer or a corporate entity for gross negligence or breach of conduct, then you’ll need to prove liability with the help of a lawyer.

For instance, when you file a case against negligence in the workplace, you must provide ample evidence to prove that the company’s breach of duty led to severe harm. To obtain compensation, you should establish three basic elements in your claim:

  • Duty of care: This applies when a property owner, manufacturer, employer, or individual must comply with standard protocols to ensure a safe work environment.
  • Breach of care: When the other party or entity fails to comply or take measures, they are considered negligent and liable for any workplace incident.
  • Causation: This comes into effect when the breach of duty results in a workplace accident, especially when the workplace hazard is a foreseeable risk.

See Also: Advantages of Insurance Coverage for Law Enforcement Personnel

What Damages Can You Claim for a Workplace Injury?

Medical Expenses

Workplace injuries can be as simple as healing a broken ankle to something severe, like treating many chemical burns. For instance, when staff members operate heavy machinery without proper training, they are likely to get injured at work. Following the accident, the worker may face greater financial loss for treating the injury or condition. You can add the medical bills to your compensation fee in the claim.

Lost Wages

Most workers need to take medical leave when they suffer from severe injuries. As a result, they lose a huge chunk of their earnings. Workers can demand compensation for their financial losses during the time they need to recover. It’s important to speak to your lawyer before filing a personal injury claim. You’ll need to collect medical evidence that helps prove your inability to work because of the injury.

Loss of Occupation

Some workplace injuries can result in long-term damage. Such injuries are severe and can cause permanent disability or loss of mobility. For instance, workers who are paralyzed after a workplace accident are likely to lose their jobs, especially if they require physical motion and mobility. In such cases, you can file a personal injury claim against the corporate entity or employer for any financial loss.

Pain and Suffering

People suffering from a workplace injury often need to recover for days before they can get back to work. Some take longer, while many lose their ability to work altogether. Such situations cause extreme damage besides financial loss. Some workplace injuries can result in pain and mental anguish.

For instance, when an employee faces trauma because of an electrical accident, the responsible party must compensate for medical treatments, physiotherapy, or after-home care.

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