Put a Houston Work Injury Attorney On the Job for You!
A Houston work injury lawyer helps you recover from injuries that happen on the job but are NOT covered by workers’ compensation. The injury may result from a wreck in a company car, the negligent acts of an independent contractor, or even the negligence of your own employer (or coworker) in situations where your employer did not bother to purchase worker’s compensation to protect you. Whether you were injured in a fall accident, at a construction site, driving a commercial vehicle, while working offshore, or in another type of work accident in Texas, call a Houston work injury attorney near you that you can trust. Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., Injury & Accident Lawyers have been trusted by Texans since 1979! Call 800-298-0111 today! The initial consultation is always free and we charge you no attorney fees nor expenses unless we make a recovery for you.
When Do I Need a Houston Work Injury Lawyer?
If your employer is a nonsubscriber to the Texas Worker’s Compensation program and you are injured on the job by the negligence of anyone but you, then you may have a claim against your own employer. There are many ways in which accidents and injuries happen in the workplace. You should get a free consult with a Houston workplace injury lawyer if any of the following are true:
- Your employer provides no workers comp. and you were injured by the negligent actions of a coworker, a nonemployee, a contractor, the employer/company, or anyone else.
- You were injured by a defective machine or tool while on the job.
- You were injured in a car accident in a company vehicle and were not at fault.
- Your employer was grossly negligent and the gross negligence directly caused your injury.
Workplace injuries are different for a claim in Texas vs out-of-state claims since Texas law does not mandate employers provide worker’s comp benefits for their employees. If none of the above situations are true, you probably need to talk to your employers about filing a worker’s comp claim. (Note: Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., Injury & Accident Lawyers does not handle worker’s compensation claims but can refer you to someone to handle that while we work on the non-worker’s compensation third-party claim.)
Why Hire A Houston Work Accident Lawyer at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C.?
Navigating the murky waters of on-the-job injury law can be difficult and challenging. Failing to properly document your claim can result in your claim being lost forever. Here are some specific reasons to trust a Houston work accident lawyer at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., Injury & Accident Lawyers for your work injury:
- We recovered 11.9 million dollars on a difficult electrocution work injury case where our client suffered extremely severe burn injuries all over his body as detailed in the case results in the right-hand column on this page.
- Our firm has been trusted by Texans in the Houston and Katy area to handle their injury claims since 1979.
- Paul H. Cannon is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2005.
- We have the experience and the resources to handle our client’s cases professionally.
- We never work for employers or companies. We take only the injury cases for the employees.
Need us to come to you in the hospital to sign up or meet in a location near your work? No problem. Talk to a work injury lawyer near you today. We also have digital contracts you can sign on your smartphone without ever leaving your home.
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Review: 5/5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ “I cannot recommend this firm enough. Chris Fletcher represented me and my experience was great from start to finish. Chris was honest, accessible, and easy to talk to. His paralegal, Stephanie Quinn, was also incredibly helpful along the way, making sure to stay in contact with me and keeping me updated on all the details I needed to know, even though I can sometimes be difficult to get in touch with. I felt like they always had my best interest in mind and that my case was in good hands. The outcome of my case ended up being even better than I expected. These are great people who are great at what they do. If you choose Simmons & Fletcher, you will not regret it.” – Rebecca S., an actual client
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Do if I am Injured at My Job?
If you are on the job whether or not at your place of work when the injury occurs, you need to file a worker’s compensation Initial Report of Injury immediately. Failure to file one of these within 24-48 hours could result in your loss of the right to pursue worker’s compensation benefits assuming your employer carries it. If your employer does not have worker’s compensation, you need to check with your employer, your employee handbook, and/or the human resources department to see what type of injury report you are required to file. Many employers provide alternative accident injury policies that can provide you with medical benefits but you must comply with their specific reporting requirements. Failing to follow the requirements of your specific policy could result in you not getting the compensation you deserve, so be sure to read the requirements carefully.
What Should I Do if I Was Injured in Houston While Driving On the Job?
If you are in an automobile accident while on the clock for your employer, you need to take several steps to protect yourself:
- Call the police and file a police report.
- Call your employer and report the accident.
- Seek appropriate medical attention.
- Find out what type of insurance your employer provides and comply with the reporting requirements.
What Should I Do if I Was Injured on Third-Party Property?
If you are on a third-party commercial property such as a grocery store, job site, gym, office, or any other place of business owned by someone other than your employer, they will likely have a process for documenting incidents. Contact a manager and file a report as soon as it is safe to do so. The sooner a store gets notice of the incident, the more likely they are to preserve any video evidence.
Second, notify your employer and file an Initial Report of Injury if they are a worker’s compensation carrier. You still need to do this even if you filed a notice with the responsible third party. Otherwise, you could lose the right to claim wage-replacement benefits, medical benefits, and other benefits.
Third, talk to a personal injury lawyer near you about your potential third-party claim. If you were injured due to the negligence of someone other than your employer, you have the right to pursue a third-party claim against them. Call us for a free consultation at (800) 298-0111 to speak to a work injury attorney regarding your rights.
Should I Seek Medical Attention if Injured on My Job?
Regardless of where you are injured, seeking appropriate medical care for your injuries should be the first thing on your mind. Call an ambulance if necessary. The more you delay in seeking appropriate care, the more likely worker’s compensation adjusters, health insurance adjusters, liability adjusters and any other insurance adjusters involved are to deny or lowball your claim.
Insurance adjusters are looking for an excuse to deny your claim. Here are some of the medical care mistakes they commonly deduct from your offer for:
- Not calling an ambulance
- Not going to a hospital from the scene
- Delays in seeking the initial medical care
- Delays in following up after the initial medical care
- Not following the doctor’s orders
- Missing scheduled appointments
- Gaps in your medical care
- Not filling prescriptions
- Seeking alternative, holistic, or experimental types of medical care.
If you do not want to get treated unfairly, your best bet is to seek medical care promptly and follow the doctor’s orders.
What if My Employer Wants Me to Return to Work But My Doctor Will Not Release Me?
It is important that you take care of yourself before you return to work after a workplace injury. Trying to return to work too fast can cause further injury and a longer delay in your recovery. Additionally, following your doctor’s orders is as important for your recovery as it is for your civil or workers comp claim. If you are being pushed by your employer to return to work too soon, call your doctor and let them know. If they cannot help, call a Houston work injury lawyer to learn your rights.
What Evidence Should I Document After a Work Injury in Houston?
If you are physically able and it is safe to do so, you should document the condition that caused your injury and the accident scene with photos. Get photos of the vehicles if it is a car accident. These photos are invaluable for proving exactly what happened.
Photographing your injuries and medical care can be very helpful in proving your case, so document everything as quickly as possible. This includes documenting your injury’s healing process frequently. Take many photos over the first few days and then document the process weekly.
Save all of your receipts for medical care, including:
- Prescription costs
- Medical supplies
- Medical bills
- Copays and deductibles
- Explanations of benefits
- Parking expenses
- Travel expenses
- Toll fees.
What is the Difference Between A Houston Work Accident Lawyer and a Worker’s Compensation Attorney?
A worker’s compensation attorney helps you apply for benefits that are available under a worker’s compensation insurance policy that your employer purchased to cover you, whereas, a work injury lawyer helps you bring claims that you have a right to pursue outside of a worker’s compensation insurance policy.
The Texas Workers’ Compensation Act has an “exclusive remedy” clause that prohibits you from making claims against your employer who provided the policy except in cases of gross negligence. However, you can bring a third party that causes you an injury while you are on the job. These are known as “third-party comp claims.”
Understanding Texas Worker’s Compensation Insurance vs. Fake Comp Insurance
There is a big difference between worker’s compensation and “alternative” or fake comp policies. Texas Workers’ Compensation insurance provides extensive benefits for injured employees so long as their employer is a subscriber to the Texas Workers’ Compensation System and the sustained injury qualifies as an “on-the-job injury.” So long as the employer was not grossly negligent, filing a worker’s compensation claim is the only avenue of recovery against the employer for the injured employee when the employer is a subscriber. 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 option of filing a lawsuit directly against them 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. Don’t just accept what they tell you is true. Their job is to try to deny you compensation for injuries. Have a work accident lawyer look over your policy and explain your rights to you under the law.
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 a Houston work injury lawyer about your case.
What if My Employer Fails to Provide Worker’s Compensation in Texas?
If you are injured on the job and your employer fails to provide worker’s compensation, you may be able to file a claim against your employer for negligence, a fake comp claim, or a third-party claim. Talk to one of our work injury attorneys to better understand your options.
What is a Worker’s Compensation Third-Party Claim?
When an injury is caused by someone who is not your employer or co-worker, you are still entitled to recover all of the damages you have suffered from the work accident from that individual or company (third party) and also collect your worker’s compensation benefits. 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.
Who Can Be a Third Party in a Third-Party Comp Claim?
A third party may consist of one or more of the following:
- another driver who hits you while you are working
- an employee of another company who negligently injures you
- the maker of a product or piece of equipment that malfunctions and injures you while working
- the owner of a piece of real property containing a defect upon which you are injured while on the job
- the owner of an animal that injures you while you are working.
Can You Sue Your Employer for Repetitive Stress Injuries?
Not usually. Under the worker’s compensation system, employees may file claims for repetitive stress injuries also called repetitive motion injuries. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common example of this–holding your arms in a certain position while you type may put repetitive stress on them until CTS results. The worker’s comp system is designed to take negligence out of the equation and protect employees from all types of injury that may occur on the job. The civil personal injury system under which a work injury lawyer can sue third parties and employers who fail to provide worker’s compensation must prove there was negligence on the part of the employer and that the negligence was the cause of the injury. Establishing the exact cause of an injury that, by definition, occurs over an extended time due to repetitive use is virtually impossible.
Can I Be Fired for Hiring a Houston Work Injury Attorney?
The Texas Labor Code section 451.001 specifically prohibits an employer from firing an employee for hiring an attorney to pursue a Texas work injury claim. This statute protects employees who are filing worker’s compensation claims on their own or hiring an attorney to pursue a claim. Additionally, there are civil causes of action under both state laws and federal ADA and anti-retaliation labor laws prohibiting the retaliatory firing of employees who file work injury claims for their valid work-related injuries. In short, if they fire you they will create an additional ground for you to sue your employer in the State of Texas.
What Does a Houston Work Accident Attorney Cost?
A Houston work accident attorney typically handles third-party liability claims and other non-worker’s compensation claims on a contingency fee basis. If you are injured at work due to the employer and he does carry worker’s compensation, then you will need a worker’s compensation attorney. They charge hourly for their time by submitting an affidavit to the court during or at the end of the claim. The Texas Worker’s Compensation Statute caps attorney fees at $200 per hour and the attorney’s paralegal’s time at $85 per hour.
What Types of Damages Can a Houston Work Accident Law Firm Recover for Me?
As a general rule, injured workers are entitled to recover financial compensation for the following types of damages in a work injury lawsuit if you suffer a work injury due to someone else’s negligence and there is no worker’s compensation bar to recovery:
- Lost Wages & Lost Wage Earning Capacity
- Pain & Suffering
- Mental Anguish/Emotional Distress
- Medical Bills
- Scarring & Disfigurement
You are entitled to ask for both past and future damages for the above elements. Medical bills and lost wages are usually readily obtainable numbers, The other non-economic damages generally are at the discretion of the jury with guidance from the attorneys. If the worker is killed in the accident, then wrongful death claim damages become available for the family and the estate of the deceased worker.
Hire a Houston Work Injury Attorney
Our Houston work injury attorneys at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., have proven experience in representing persons who have suffered from a workplace injury. With combined professional experience of more than 100 years of practicing law, Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., is a law firm you can trust to provide you with comprehensive legal representation when you have been injured at work.
Because our work injury lawyers understand how challenging life can be in the aftermath of an injury at work, Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., charges no fee for our services unless a recovery is made. Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation regarding your on-the-job accident by calling: (713) 932-0777.