No one expects to be injured at work. Nonetheless, on the job injuries in Texas are common. If you have been harmed in a workplace accident, you may be unable to earn a living for an extended period. The resulting lost wages and mounting medical expenses can quickly become an insurmountable burden for you and your family. Afraid, hurt, and confused, you may not know where to turn for help. That’s the time to call an experienced personal injury attorney.
Sherman Law Firm provides aggressive legal representation to workplace accident victims throughout the state of Texas. Although some workers are covered under Workers’ Compensation insurance, the law limits the liability of employers for accidents and injuries, and some employers may not subscribe to the program. At times, therefore, injured workers may not be fairly compensated for injuries caused by workplace accidents. When you consult us, know that fierce advocates will be fighting for your rights.
How Does The Workers’ Compensation Program Operate in Houston, Texas?
For employers that participate in the state Workers’ Compensation program, insurance covers the cost of an injured employee’s medical expenses, as well as a portion of his/her wages. The program generally bars injured workers from filing lawsuits against their employers in the event of a workplace accident, however.
Ultimately, an injured worker may not be able to recover damages for serious bodily injury, pain and suffering, and other losses arising from a workplace accident. On the other hand, it is possible to recover damages by filing a civil lawsuit, particularly if an employer’s violation of workplace safety rules caused or contributed to an injury or illness. Also, third party injury claims can be brought against negligent manufacturers, distributors, architects, engineers, and others.
Finally, employers are permitted to opt-out of the Workers’ Compensation program as long as they obtain another form of work injury insurance. Such employers, or “nonsubscribers,” can be held liable for a workplace accident that results in an injury if the victim can prove that the employer was negligent in any way.
What Types of Industries Experience a Workplace Accident?
Workplace accidents that result in injuries are common at all types of industries throughout Texas, including construction and manufacturing plants, oil fields and refineries, warehouses, restaurants, even office complexes.
In any event, the leading causes of workplace injuries include:
- Unsafe work conditions
- Lack of safety equipment
- Improper training/supervision
- Lack of appropriate warnings
If you or a loved one has been injured in a workplace accident or sustained a work-related illness, you may have many concerns. Where can I find proper medical care? How will I pay for the medical bills? When can I get back to work?
When you become a client of Sherman Law Firm, we will address those concerns by providing you with aggressive legal representation and caring personal service. We will take the time to understand your situation, explain all of your rights, and help you explore all of your options. Above all, we will always consider your best interests and fight to help you obtain just compensation.
Despite the inherent dangers of construction work, all workers in the state are entitled to a safe environment. Construction accidents are common, however, causing all types of serious injuries such as:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Eye injuries, loss of vision
- Hearing loss
- Head and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Loss of limbs
Falls at construction sites — from ladders, scaffolding, roofs, and other heights, are one of the leading causes of injuries. Falling objects (e.g. tools, equipment, and improperly secure construction materials) can also fall, injuring those working below.
Even with proper safety training and procedures, workers remain at risk of being injured at construction sites. Other common causes of construction injuries include:
- Equipment accidents
- Fires and explosions
- Trench cave-ins/building collapses
- Repetitive motion injuries
If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident due to the negligence of a property owner, contractor, project manager, manufacturer or supplier, you may be entitled to compensation that includes damages for lost wages, the cost of medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, as well as pain and suffering and similar losses.
If safety violations or other forms of misconduct contributed to the workplace accident, you may also be awarded punitive damages — designed to punish the negligent party’s misconduct and to deter others from acting in the same manner.
Oilfield work is inherently dangerous and even more so when safety procedures are not followed. Oil and gas workers are protected by a variety of state and federal laws, however, such as:
- The Texas Workers’ Compensation Act
- Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation
- The Jones Act (Merchant Marine Act of 1920)
- Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
If you have been injured in an oilfield accident, our legal team will fight for your right to meaningful compensation. We have a well-earned reputation for being dedicated advocates of injured oilfield workers, and a proven history of winning claims against big and small energy companies.
Causes of Oilfield Accidents
Even though energy companies must adhere to safety standards established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), safety violations are not uncommon in the oil and gas industry. Given that there aren’t enough OSHA inspectors to effectively oversee the industry, the result is serious accidents often arising from:
- Employer negligence
- Defective or improperly maintained machinery
- Worker fatigue
- Trench or mine collapses
- Inadequate safeguards at drilling and refinery sites
Common types of oilfield injuries include:
- Falls — Oilfield workers often perform job duties high off the ground (e.g. drilling platforms, elevated equipment) which places them at a high risk of falls that can result in serious injuries and fatalities.
- Burn Injuries — Flammable gases and vapors are often released from wells, shale shakers, tanks, trucks, and generators, which can lead to fires and explosions if gases come into contact with open flames, electrical sources, static, welding and cutting tools, cigarettes or lightning — resulting in catastrophic burn injuries.
- Caught-in/between Injuries — Cranes, derricks, pipes, hoists and other heavy equipment, as well as oilfield activities, such as site clearing and transporting heavy loads, increase the risk of oilfield workers being injured in caught-in/between accidents.
- Transportation Injuries — Vehicle collisions are common because oilfield workers frequently drive between job sites, usually on unsafe rural roads that cannot handle heavy equipment — about 4 out of 10 fatalities in the oil and gas industry are caused by vehicle collisions.
The experienced oilfield accident attorneys at Sherman Law Firm will fight for every dollar you deserve so that you can focus on recovering.
Contact Our Houston Workplace Accident Attorney
If you have been injured on the job or sustained a work-related illness, the legal team at Sherman Law Firm is fully prepared to fight for your rights. We are highly regarded for providing first-rate legal representation to injured workers in multiple industries. We will offer you knowledge, compassion and stand by you every step of the way. After a workplace accident, you may be afraid and confused, but remember, we are here to help. Please contact our office today to speak with our attorneys. The consultation is free and you will not pay any attorneys’ fees until we win compensation for you.