Houston Work Injury Attorney
Houston On-the-job Accident Lawyer
On The Job Injuries
Accidents in the workplace are unfortunately not unusual. They range from simple slip and falls to major plant explosions. Despite their inevitable nature, they all seem to cause a major disruption in your life. Injuries translate to time off work. Time off work is money lost. Then there are the medical bills that can pile up in a hurry. At Simmons and Fletcher, our on the job accident lawyers understand how on the job accidents can turn your life upside down. We are here to help take the burden off your shoulders.
There are many types of work place injuries and they all have different legal aspects and issues that must be accounted for. Whether you are an employee or an independent contractor will often determine not only what type of insurance coverage applies, but also what duties are owed to you.
As a general rule, your employer has a duty under Texas common law to keep the workplace safe and free from accidental injuries. This includes a duty to provide the right equipment and safety equipment to get the job done safely. In addition to the state regulation of workplace injuries, Federal organizations such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration impose standards upon employers to provide a safe workplace to employees. All of these laws and regulations must be taken into account when looking at an employer’s liability for an on the job injury in Texas.
Common types of work place injuries include:
- Failure to Provide Fall Protection for Workers on Construction Sites, Buildings, Lifts and Other Heights
- Industrial Accidents and Explosions
- Failure to Properly Train Accidents
- Slip and Fall Accidents at Work
In addition to accounting for the laws and rules that pertain to different types of injuries, Houston work injury attorneys must account for the different laws that apply when an employer provides worker’s compensation insurance, other “fake comp” insurance or no insurance at all to his employees.
Texas Worker’s Compensation Insurance vs. Fake Comp
Texas employers are encouraged but not required by the law to carry Worker’s Compensation Insurance. In Texas many employers have elected not to carry Texas Worker’s Compensation Insurance for those employees who sustain on-the-job injuries. Some of those employers will carry a replacement benefit plan (often called an “ERISA” plan) but it is not real Texas Worker’s Compensation Insurance. We call it “fake comp.” Fake comp is much cheaper for employers but often fails to provide all of the same benefits an injured worker would be entitled to under Texas Worker’s Compensation Law to compensate them for a work injury.
If you have suffered an on the job injury and your employer carries no worker’s compensation insurance or fake worker’s compensation insurance, you have the right to sue them directly for all of your pain and suffering/medical bills and other damages caused by their negligence. Fake comp plans may contain provisions requiring that you seek justice in alternate ways such as arbitration or mediation. Some may even seek to force employees to waive their common law rights entirely. However, any such provision or plan that fails to provide a worker with substantially the same benefits as worker’s compensation and requires a total waiver of civil liability rights is void against public policy in Texas.
If you have suffered a work injury and you are not sure if your employer is carrying real Texas Worker’s Compensation Insurance call us today for a free consultation with one of our Houston on the job injury lawyers about your case.
Third-Party Injury Claims:
You are also entitled to recover all of the damages you have suffered from an on the job injury if the injury is caused by someone who is not your employer or a co-worker. This may also include work injuries caused by a defective piece of equipment at your workplace. It further applies even when you have recovered worker’s compensation benefits from your employer for the same injury.
A common example of this is when multiple contractors are working on the same job site and a contractor from one company negligently causes injury to a contractor from another company. The injured person may be entitled to both workers’ compensation benefits from his employer as well as compensation from the employer of the contractor who caused the injuries.
The Houston personal injury attorneys at Simmons and Fletcher have proven experience in representing persons who have suffered from a workplace injury. With combined professional experience of more than 100 years practicing law and two board-certified personal injury trial lawyers on staff, the personal injury lawyers at Simmons & Fletcher are well prepared to provide you comprehensive legal representation.
Because we understand how challenging life can be in the aftermath of a workplace accident, Simmons and Fletcher charges no fee for our services unless a recovery is made.
Contact us to schedule an initial consultation regarding your workplace injury.