Business owners and employers are required to put forth their best efforts to keep their workers safe. Unfortunately, even with appropriate safety protocols and training put into place, workplace accidents still occur and seriously injure or kill workers. The aftermath of a workplace accident, especially one in which a worker died, can have incredibly long-lasting effects for not just the affected party but also their coworkers. An injured worker may be traumatized, scared to return to work, and be facing lost wages, medical expenses, and more. Their coworkers may also face emotional trauma and fear knowing that they could be the next one to get hurt.
The Aftermath of a Workplace Accident
The time after a workplace accident can be incredibly stressful, scary, and costly for the worker who was injured or the family of a worker who was tragically killed on the job. An injured worker will be facing medical costs, recovery time, lost wages, emotional trauma, and will have to deal with the process of obtaining compensation – whether through workers’ compensation or a personal injury lawsuit, or both. With growing expenses and an inability to work while recovering, injured workers often worry about how they will cover their bills at home and support their family after being injured. An injured employee can accept workers’ compensation benefits if their employer subscribes to Texas workers’ compensation, but that may only pay them the bare minimum to cover the expenses associated with the injury and lost time from work. A third party may be partly or fully responsible for the workplace injuries and the worker may not even know it; only an experienced plaintiff’s lawyer can investigate the facts surrounding your situation and determine who can be held legally responsible for the losses you’ve suffered.
In Texas, if an injured employee’s place of work does not subscribe to workers’ compensation, they can file a lawsuit directly against the company they work for to recover financial damages resulting from the workplace accident. Many places of work do not take all necessary safety precautions and try to cut corners to provide service faster or get products made quickly. This can result in dangerous workplace accidents caused by the negligence of the company. Injured employees and their families have the right to take a nonsubscriber company to court to obtain damages for their losses. Sometimes a worker who has been injured on the job can accept workers’ compensation benefits from their employer but also file a lawsuit against a third party that had a hand in their accident. This could be an equipment manufacturer, machine builder, product manufacturer, subcontractor, other company working on the same jobsite, etc. In all cases, it is highly recommended to consult an experienced Texas work accident attorney to make sure maximum compensation is obtained for your damages.
Can You Lose Your Job for Contacting a Lawyer?
When it comes to speaking to a lawyer about a workplace accident, the law protects you. Any time you speak to your lawyer, the information discussed will be confidential. Your employer will not know that you have spoken to a lawyer until your lawyer begins communicating with them on your behalf. Your employer is unable to retaliate against you, including discriminating against you or firing you, for seeking legal advice.
Employees Need Help To Recover After a Traumatic Workplace Accident
After a workplace accident occurs, the injured worker may be gone for some time; or, if a worker was killed, their absence will play on the minds of their coworkers. Losing someone you work with suddenly can be just as impactful as losing a friend or family member. Research has shown that there are often long-lasting emotional effects on a workforce that has experienced a workplace accident involving a serious injury or death. It can affect workers’ mental health, productivity, and safety. While your place of work may offer counselors or debriefing to discuss the incident and what changes will be made so that sort of accident does not happen again, it may not be enough to make workers feel safe again.
Serious and/or fatal workplace accidents affect all employees in a company, regardless of whether they witnessed the accident, were in the same department, or were close with the deceased worker. Even when an accident is not fatal, it can change the morale of the entire workforce. Workers may become distracted or hyper-focused, depending on what happened, which can result in decreased productivity. Some workers may experience guilt, self-doubt, or wonder if there was something they could have done differently that would have prevented the accident, even if they had nothing to do with it. Coworkers may also be distracted by thoughts of the accident. Anything that takes attention away from job duties can lead to another accident and put the entire workforce at risk.
Another stress factor is potentially working with decreased manpower. The business will have to run without the injured or deceased employee for an undetermined period of time. In small businesses, this can be even more impactful as other employees may be asked to do more work while grieving which increases the risk of burnout.
Houston Workplace Accident Attorneys
Regardless of industry, all workers have a right to a safe work environment. When employers fail to provide a safe work environment, workers are at immediate risk for life-altering injuries or worse, death. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a workplace accident, you could be entitled to significant financial compensation; however, there is limited time to act in Texas. Contact the Houston injury attorneys at Dax F. Garza, P.C. today for a free and confidential case consultation.