Industrial work is high risk when it comes to accidents and injuries. Industrial workers face hazards every day on the job that are not as common in other occupations. Recovering compensation for work injuries can be difficult, especially in Texas, where employers are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
As personal injury attorney Aaron W. Perry knows, there are critical steps that need to be taken after an industrial accident. Taking these steps will help to preserve your claim and make sure that you receive a full and fair financial recovery. If you have sustained injuries in an accident, a personal injury attorney can help you secure the financial compensation that you deserve.
What To Do If You Have Been Injured
When you have been injured at work, time is of the essence for receiving necessary medical care and making a claim for your injuries and damages. The following steps should be taken as soon as possible after an accident:
- Seek medical treatment immediately. Your health and physical recovery should be your priority after an industrial accident.
- Report your injury to your employer as soon as possible.
- Keep documentation of all of your injuries and damages, including medical bills, missed work and lost wages, and medical reports.
- Do not make statements to your employer or others after an accident until you have spoken with an attorney.
- Take detailed notes about the accident and your injuries. Your notes should identify any third parties that may have been responsible for your injuries and everyone who may have witnessed the accident and workplace conditions.
- Contact a personal injury attorney to represent your claim.
Common Causes Of Industrial Injuries
Common causes of industrial injuries include toxic chemical exposure, burns, falls, electrocutions, negligent equipment operation, equipment malfunctions, poor equipment maintenance, and falling debris. Industrial injuries are often severe and very costly. Some injuries require extensive follow up medical treatment and rehabilitation. In the most serious industrial accidents, injuries can result in permanent disability or death.
Under workers’ compensation claims, employees are entitled to recover compensation for on the job injuries, regardless of fault. If your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, you may be limited in your recovery to a portion of lost wages and medical bills. Workers’ compensation insurance typically will not cover the full extent of your injuries and damages.
Employer Liability For Industrial Injuries
As mentioned above, employers in Texas are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for employee injuries. If your employer does not provide you with workers’ compensation coverage, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim. If unsafe working conditions caused your injuries, your employer might be responsible for injuries caused by their negligence or recklessness.
Employers in Texas have a duty to provide safe working conditions for employees. They are also responsible for complying with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (‘OSHA’) regulations. Under OSHA, employees have rights when it comes to workplace safety. Those rights include working on machines that are safe, access to required safety gear such as a harness and lifeline, and protection from toxic chemicals.
Third-Party Injury Claims
You may also have a third-party personal injury claim if a third party unrelated to your employer is responsible for your injuries. Personal injury claims generally allow for greater financial recovery than workers’ compensation claims. For example, compensation for pain and suffering is recoverable under a personal injury claim, but not under a workers’ compensation claim.
Third-party claims may be made even if your employer provides workers’ compensation coverage. Third parties involved in industrial injury accidents often include the following:
- Subcontractors at the worksite
- Project managers
- Property owners
- General contractors
- Operators of machinery and equipment
- Automobile drivers
- Manufacturers and sellers of defective equipment
- Any other responsible party that is not your employer
Wrongful Death Claims
When industrial accident injuries are fatal, surviving family members may be entitled to recover compensation under a wrongful death claim for the losses they have suffered. If the decedent survived for a period of time after the accident, compensation may be available for the losses the decedent suffered, such as pain and suffering, before dying.
Industrial Injuries Attorney
Industrial injury claims in Texas can be complicated, especially when you do not know which party to turn to for compensation, and your injuries are significant. If you have been injured in an industrial accident, the Law Firm of Aaron W. Perry, PLLC, can help.