Getting injured while on the job can be stressful, debilitating, and can leave you and your family wondering how you will cover the costs of your medical bills. Employers should do everything possible to keep workers safe in their work environment. All companies are required to have safe operating practices put into place to prevent harm to their employees. Our team at Dax F. Garza, P.C. can provide knowledgeable legal guidance to ensure your needs are met after a workplace accident.
Common Causes of Workplace Accidents
One of the most important aspects of safety awareness is knowing what unique risks are associated with your work environment. Employers are required to have safety programs in place, no matter what profession you are in, to ensure worker safety.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), slips, trips, and falls in the workplace account for the majority of jobsite accidents that occur. Slips, trips, and falls are more likely to happen because of ladder use, working on roofs, and working on scaffolding. Even if the work environment does not involve workers interacting with the leading causes of slips, trips, and falls, there are many other ways in which these accidents can occur.
Other causes of workplace accidents include:
- Overexertion in lifting or lowering objects
- Transportation incidents
- Exposure to harmful substances or environments
- Fires and explosions
- Being struck by equipment or objects
- Broken equipment
- Slippery surfaces
- Areas with lack of safety signage
Sadly, workplace accidents happen every day and many of those accidents are serious. According to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in 2018, 5,250 people were killed in workplace accidents. An industry that is particularly susceptible to work injuries is the construction industry, which accounts for one of every five workplace injuries.
A company’s negligence that results in an accident or bodily injury to an employee can have significant financial and legal implications. Preventing accidents and creating a culture of safety and awareness are the best ways to keep employees safe.
How to Prevent Workplace Accidents
Companies can help prevent workplace accidents by having a strategic safety plan. Being proactive in the measures taken to keep workers safe will significantly reduce on the job accidents. Employers should minimally be enforcing the following safety efforts:
- Promote safety awareness and education
- Communicate safety hazards with adequate signage
- Quickly contain spills
- Routinely check for safety hazards
- Install proper ventilation
- Enforce proper attire
What Should I Do If I Am Injured at Work?
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury while at work, there are specific steps you should take to protect yourself. First and foremost seek immediate medical attention and have any and all injuries treated. Workplace accidents happen suddenly and injured workers typically have the following options after an accident on the job:
- If the employer does not subscribe to Texas workers’ compensation, the worker can file a lawsuit directly against their employer to recover financial damages including past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, physical impairment, and any other damages to which they are legally entitled
- Accept workers’ compensation benefits from a subscribing employer, which prevents the worker from filing a lawsuit against or recovering any damages from their employer
- Accept workers’ compensation benefits from the employer, but file a lawsuit against any other third parties/companies that caused or contributed to the work-related accident
In any of these cases, seeking guidance from an experienced Texas work accident attorney is essential to making sure you receive fair compensation. There are also legal deadlines you must meet to make a valid claim for damages. An experienced personal injury lawyer will help you gather all necessary information, including inspections, witness statements, and more that are needed for the claim. Businesses typically have teams of lawyers ready to build a defense against you; and, having an attorney on your side will be essential in making sure you are treated fairly.
Will I Be Fired for Contacting a Lawyer?
The law protects what you talk about with an attorney for legal advice. Your confidentiality is of the utmost importance to us and no one will know that you have contacted a lawyer. When considering taking legal action, there are a few types of compensation you may be able to seek. In the case of workplace accidents, the injured worker can file a lawsuit seeking to recover financial damages from the party/parties responsible for the injuries. The amount of damages to be recovered will depend on the extent and severity of the injuries sustained and the circumstances surrounding the claim.
An experienced work accident attorney will be able to help you determine both the financial damages and the pain, suffering, and mental anguish you have suffered as a result of the accident. Our attorneys are exclusively handle personal injury claims and so we know what settlements and verdicts are common in claims similar to yours. While each case is unique, and no attorney can guarantee the amount of money to be recovered, they can help you estimate a general sense of the compensation you may be entitled to.
Houston Workplace Accident Attorneys
Regardless of occupation, all workers have a right to a safe work environment free of any dangers. When employers fail to provide an environment in compliance with local and federal safety standards, workers are at immediate risk for life-altering injuries or worse, death. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed as a result of a workplace accident, you could be entitled to significant financial compensation; however, there is limited time to act following a work accident in Texas. Contact the Houston injury attorneys at Dax F. Garza, P.C. today for a free and confidential case consultation.