/Workplace Injury
Workplace Injury

Work Injury Lawyers in Houston

Were you hurt at work or injured on the job in Houston?

Our work injury lawyers will investigate every detail related to your accident.

HOW DO WE INVESTIGATE WORKPLACE INJURIES?

If you’ve been injured on the job in Houston, our work injury lawyers do an independent investigation of every detail related to your accident

4 AREAS WE INVESTIGATE

OSHA INVOLVEMENT

SAFETY PROCEDURES

EVIDENCE GATHERING

CULTURE & ENVIRONMENT
Read more on each below ..

We will do our own investigation and determine if;

  • unsafe working conditions caused your injury
  • inadequate safety and training played a role in the accident
  • faulty equipment or the negligence of a co-worker caused you injuries

We will DEMAND that your employer keep any video, work logs, equipment, tools or other evidence.

We will make sure your employer reports any serious injury to OSHA (Occupational, Health and Safety Administration).

HOW WE INVESTIGATE YOUR CASE

OSHA

We make sure OSHA investigates. If the accident was serious, if an employee was hospitalized, or if there was a fatality, we ensure the company notifies OSHA so they can complete a detailed investigation.

What if my employer does not have worker’s compensation?

If your employer decided to withhold the protections of worker’s compensation TEXAS STATE LAW allows
an injured worker to bring a claim against their employer.

Furthermore, as added protection for the worker, Texas labor law prohibits the employer from claiming that the work injuries were caused by the contributory negligence of the victim, that the employee assumed the risk or that it was caused by a fellow employee.

These types of work injury cases are also known as “non-subscriber cases”.

If you have been injured at work and your company lacks worker’s compensation coverage, you need to contact experienced work-related injury and wrongful death lawyers immediately to protect your rights. Contact Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C., now to discuss your case or call 713-221-6800.

HOW WE INVESTIGATE YOUR CASE

SAFETY

We interview Safety Managers. Was there are violation of safety procedures? Many work related injuries result from employees who are subjected to unsafe work conditions or are not properly trained.

Types of Workplace Injuries

Workplace on-the-job injuries can take many forms. Our work injury lawyers accept all types of job injury cases including, but not limited to:

  • Worker’s compensation: The worker’s compensation program is meant to provide financial protection for injured workers. Unfortunately, it us usually inadequate to compensate folks for their work injury. However, workers are often able to seek compensation from any third parties that caused the workplace injuries.
  • Third-party liability: Many injured people on-the-job who are covered by worker’s compensation may also have a case against third parties who caused their harm.

More often than not, they involve serious injuries such as broken bones or a broken back and in some cases amputations and death.

HOW WE INVESTIGATE YOUR CASE

EVIDENCE

We secure evidence. If a serious injury occurs we gather important evidence including video, photos, coworker testimony, work logs, operating equipment, tools, safety gear … anything that will help us determine what happened and how it happened.

  • Construction accidents: Construction sites present significant on-the-job dangers for workers and bystanders due to the many different companies that can have workers present doing various dangerous jobs. The chances of a work injury increase substantially in the construction industry.
  • Industrial accidents: We have helped many work injury clients who have been hurt at work in industrial accidents in Houston and throughout Texas – many due to faulty or altered machinery. When companies alter safety mechanisms to cut costs and increase productivity accidents on the job are sure to happen. The Occupation Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) investigates companies that injury employees because of inadequate safety. When we take a work injury case, we often report the incident to OSHA so that a proper government investigation can take place.
  • Refinery accidents: There is almost never a “minor” accident at a refinery. Injured refinery workers need competent counsel immediately after an accident to oversee any investigation and protect their interests.
  • Explosion and burn injury: Burns and other injuries from explosions are some of the worst and longest lasting on-the-job injuries.
  • Railroad injury: Railroad workers face unique dangers from long-term exposure to noises causing hearing loss to exposure to dangerous substances.
  • Mesothelioma: Exposure to asbestos by workers in various industries — even for a relatively short period of time — can lead to the development of mesothelioma later in life. If you or a loved one received a diagnosis of mesothelioma, contact us for a free consultation.
  • Chemical exposure: Workplace exposure to dangerous chemicals is common in just about every industry and line of work. Injuries to the skin, lungs and other internal organs can be immediate.
  • Toxic exposure: If you have come into contact with any toxic substance on the job, you might be in danger of immediate or future physical problems.
  • Injured Police Officers: Our lawyers have represented many law enforcement officers over the years — both in defending them in lawsuits and representing them when injured on the job.
  • Oil spills: Oil spills along the Gulf Coast can cause both physical injuries and more often than not causes economic damages to those who make their livelihood in the area.

I got injured at work. What should I do?

Ask a Lawyer Now!
Ask a Lawyer Now!

HOW WE INVESTIGATE YOUR CASE

CULTURE & ENVIRONMENT

We ask questions to understand company culture and work environment. Is safety a priority or is it ignored? What is the company’s safety record? Could anyone have forseen or prevented the accident?

Our on-the-job injury lawyers accept work injury cases and can discuss your options today. Whether your injury involves broken bones, back injuries, hearing loss, vision loss, shoulder injuries, brain injuries or other serious injuries, contact us today to discuss your right to compensation.

Our Houston, Texas on-the-job accident attorneys handle all personal injury cases, including work-related injuries, on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay for our services unless you receive compensation for your injuries, and expenses will not be paid by you until you receive a settlement or payment of a judgment.

Houston Workplace Injury Lawyer

Employers must take every reasonable measure to protect their workers from harm. That’s not just an empty statement — it’s a legal fact. Federal and state laws require employers to meet numerous safety standards or risk serious penalties. Unfortunately, those rules are not always followed. Thousands of hardworking Texans are injured or killed in workplace accidents every year. Many of these incidents were the result of employer negligence.

The Texas Department of Insurance estimated that 185,299 workers sustained on-the-job injuries and illnesses in a single recent year ― and that’s only for jobs in the private sector that were actually reported. But at least half of all workplace injuries go unreported, according to the Occupational and Safety Administration (OSHA). That doesn’t paint a pretty picture of job safety in Texas.

A workplace injury can affect an entire family, not just the injured employee. For families living off a single income, an extended period of time off work can cause significant financial hardship. Even dual-income households feel the pressure from lost wages, especially if workers’ compensation benefits are denied, unavailable or not enough to cover the extent of the injuries and losses.

If you are struggling after a workplace injury in Houston or surrounding areas of Texas, it’s a good idea to talk to a knowledgeable attorney for advice about your legal options. Many Texas workers have misconceptions about their ability to file a lawsuit involving workers’ compensation. State laws do protect some employers from being sued by an injured worker. But others are not exempt. It’s important to find out whether your employer or third parties may be held accountable for their negligence in court.

The law office of Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C., combines a wealth of legal experience with compassionate care for injured clients. We represent people, including workers, in matters involving a variety of serious injuries. We know that an on-the-job injury is more than just a minor inconvenience. We have seen the devastation that catastrophic job injuries can cause. Our workplace injury lawyers fight to obtain results for clients that will provide financial stability during such stressful and uncertain times in their lives.

Contact our law firm online today or call us for a free consultation.

How Do Texas Workplace Injury Laws Work?

Workers’ compensation laws have been around since the early 1900s. They were designed to reduce the growing number of personal injury lawsuits that arose when someone was hurt at work, especially with the advent of heavy machinery and manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution. As those types of jobs boomed, so did the risk of serious injuries to American workers.

workplace-injuryHere’s the basic premise: Employers agree to buy workers’ compensation insurance that provides medical care and wage replacement to injured workers. In exchange, workers are barred from suing employers for negligence. It’s a compromise system, but also an incentive system intended to push employers to provide safe work environments or face insurance premium increases.

Today, many states have mandatory workers’ compensation programs for most employers. Texas is different. It does not require employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Those who do not are known as non-subscribers. If they choose a private insurance plan to cover their workers or none at all, it is possible to file a personal injury claim to collect damages for medical bills, rehabilitation and pain and suffering, among other damages.

Furthermore, as added protection for the worker, Texas labor law prohibits the employer from claiming that the work injuries were caused by the contributory negligence of the victim, that the employee assumed the risk or that it was caused by a fellow employee.

What Is the Benefit of Filing a Workplace Injury Lawsuit?

There are several reasons why a workplace injury claim could be helpful for you:

  • Opportunity for more compensation. Wage replacement is typically around two-thirds of a worker’s average wage with a workers’ compensation claim, but there is a cap. A lawsuit gives you the chance to recover the full amount of your lost wages.
  • Access to additional damages. Sometimes an employer’s conduct is so egregious that the court sees fit to award punitive damages to an injured worker. The idea is to “punish” the employer financially, with the hope that they will be deterred from repeating their mistakes.
  • Third-party liability. Some jobs tend to be on sites where multiple contractors are working. It may be possible to sue for damages from a third party if it can be shown that their negligence resulted in your getting hurt on the job. For example, if a faulty piece of machinery caused your injury, you may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer of that equipment.

How Our Work Injury Attorneys Handle Workplace Injury Claims

We will conduct an independent investigation of your accident to determine if:

  • Unsafe work conditions caused your injury.
  • Inadequate safety and poor training played a role.
  • Faulty equipment or a negligent coworker caused your injuries.
  • Any third parties may be held liable.

Then we take a multi-pronged approach to address the case thoroughly.

  • Notify OSHA. All employers are required to notify OSHA if a worker is killed or is hospitalized for a work-related injury, amputation or eye loss. In the event of death, the incident must be reported within 8 hours. Employers have 24 hours to report other serious accidents. Our attorneys often report accidents to OSHA so that a government investigation can take place.
  • Safety review. We will examine the workplace conditions to see what (if any) safety violations resulted in your injury. We will interview safety managers and coworkers. We will find out whether factors such as bad training, poor hiring or failure to perform safety inspections or meet other standards contributed to the accident.
  • Obtain evidence. Our work injury lawyers will leave no stone unturned when looking for evidence to support your claim. That includes collecting relevant video footage, photographs, work logs, equipment, tools, eyewitness statements and more.
  • Build a case to prove negligence. Winning a work injury claim involves meeting the legal definition of negligence in Texas. The case must be able to prove several things: that the employer owed a duty of care to you (to protect you on the job), that the duty was breached (through some violation) and that it resulted in measurable injuries to you.
  • Negotiate a settlement or talk about trial. Any settlement reached between you and your employer must be approved by the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. There are complex rules about settlements and you give up significant rights by settling, so it is very important to seek advice from counsel to ensure that you understand the process.

Common Industries for Workplace Accidents in Texas

Job injuries can happen anywhere. However, some industries are inherently more dangerous because of the nature of the work. Serious injuries are often reported in fields including:

  • Construction
  • Industrial jobs
  • Roofing
  • Manufacturing
  • Heavy machinery repair and installation
  • Air transportation
  • Shipyards
  • Railroads
  • Oil refineries
  • Oil spills
  • Fishing
  • Farming/agriculture
  • Logging
  • Law enforcement
  • Structural iron and steel work
  • Heating and air conditioning installation
  • Electrical installation and repair
  • Landscaping
  • Trash and recycling collection
  • Driving/truck driving
  • Health care

Workplace Injuries Come in Many Forms

A job injury doesn’t have to be gruesome to have a serious effect on your life. Some of the most severe injuries can be invisible to the naked eye but render an individual permanently disabled. Other serious and deadly medical conditions may not even emerge until decades after the worker has retired. Even seemingly minor repetitive injuries can become more than mere nuisances without proper medical care.

Examples of workplace injuries include:

  • Sprains, strains and tears
  • Bone fractures
  • Cuts, lacerations, and punctures
  • Soreness and pain
  • Bruises and contusions
  • Tendonitis
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Thermal burns
  • Chemical burns
  • Electrocution
  • Amputation
  • Toxic substance inhalation
  • Mesothelioma
  • Blindness and deafness
  • Workplace violence
  • Sexual harassment

These types of injuries may be the result of:

  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Contact with an object or equipment
  • Being struck by a falling object
  • Overexertion
  • Transportation crashes
  • Exposure to harmful substances
  • Fires
  • Explosions
  • Loud noise
  • Machine entanglement
  • Repetitive motions
  • Reaction injuries (slipping or tripping, but not falling)
  • Walking into objects

It’s important to know that not every injury or illness can be connected to the workplace. Some medical conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, can certainly be aggravated by working on a computer all day. But a variety of other factors (age, gender, prior medical history) could also be to blame for the illness. Proving causation is a key if you seek to hold your employer accountable for negligence. Our workplace injury lawyers can help identify whether your injury is linked to your job and advise you on the next steps toward compensation.

Wrongful Death in the Workplace

Xray film showing spinal column.Nobody can prepare for the pain of learning that a loved one died in an accident on the job. No legal remedy can possibly erase the grief. However, there may be resources available to ease the financial impact of a workplace death. Families and eligible dependents are entitled to death benefits from Texas employers that opt in to the state workers’ compensation insurance.

Death benefits are monthly payments that equal 75 percent of the deceased employee’s average weekly wage, up to a maximum set each year. Specific rules apply to who can receive the benefits and for how long the payments can continue based on the individual’s relationship to the deceased.  Workers’ comp will also pay for up to $10,000 in burial costs.

In general, workers’ compensation would be the only way that a deceased worker’s survivors could obtain benefits for subscribers. But there is an exception in Texas. If the death occurred due to gross negligence or an intentional oversight, it is possible to bring a wrongful death claim against the employer. Of course, non-subscribers may also face wrongful death lawsuits.

While death benefits are helpful, they are not always good enough to cover a family’s losses. A successful wrongful death claim can provide compensation for:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Lost income and future earning capacity
  • Loss of future inheritance
  • Cost of bereavement therapy
  • Emotional anguish
  • Loss of counsel (advice, guidance, child care)
  • Loss of companionship
  • Punitive damages

In Texas, families have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit against an employer. Our workplace injury lawyers can assist in the preparation of the claim and also talk to you about the possibility of filing a survival claim on behalf of the deceased.

What to Look for When Hiring a Houston Work Injury Attorney

Searching for an appropriate attorney is not easy. There is no “one size fits all” law firm. In a huge state like Texas, it can be overwhelming to see the number of work injury lawyers available to you. So where to start?

  • Interview the attorneys. The good news about personal injury law firms is that consultations are almost always free. That gives you the chance to meet the attorney and see if he or she is a good fit. You want someone who has experience with workplace injury claims. While attorneys are trained in law school to handle all sorts of claims, it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer who dedicates a sizable chunk of his or her practice to workplace injuries. You can also verify that the attorney is licensed to practice in Texas by visiting the State Bar website and clicking on its Find a Lawyer tab.
  • Ask around. See if anyone you know has worked with the attorney before. At a minimum, you can look at online reviews to see what others have had to say about the lawyer.
  • Go with your gut. Verifying credentials and experience is essential whenever you hire an attorney. But if you find several you like, go with your instincts about the one you like best. You should never feel pressured to choose during a consultation.

Our Houston work injury lawyers handle all cases on a contingency fee basis. That means that you don’t pay unless we win your case. Contact us now for a free consultation to find out more about how we can help with your workplace injury claim.