Your Employer May Not Tell the Truth Regarding Your Work Injury Questions, But We Will
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I was injured at work, what should I do next?
After an injury occurring as a result of an accident in the workplace, you may feel overwhelmed and confused as to what to do next. Injuries can lead to significant medical bills, a need for long-term treatment and rehabilitation, and an inability to return to work and earn an income to support yourself and your family. Each of these concerns can be traumatic for any injury victim. Fortunately, there are avenues available to pursue compensation after a workplace accident. You may be entitled to state run workers’ compensation benefits, private benefits paid under an employer run program, or damages from a third-party injury claim. It is important to know what to do after an injury in order to maximize your chances of obtaining the compensation that you deserve.
5 Steps to Take After a Workplace Injury
What should you do after a workplace injury? The following are five suggested steps:
- Obtain medical treatment. It is important that you receive medical care in order to prevent additional harm after an accident.
- Report your injury to the employer as soon as possible. If you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you generally have 30 days from the date of the injury or from the date you knew your injury or illness was related to your job. If you do not notify your employer within that time frame, you may lose your right to obtain benefits. If your employer does not participate in the workers’ compensation program, the company’s own policy with regard to benefits and reporting injuries may be more stringent. Some employers require employees to report their injuries within as little as 24 hours.
- Determine whether your employer participates in the Texas workers’ compensation insurance program. Your employer should have notified you as to whether it participates in the program when you accepted your job.
- If you are eligible for workers’ compensation, complete an Employee’s Claim for Compensation for a Work-Related Occupational Disease and send it to the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation. Typically, this must be sent in within one year of the date of injury.
- Contact an experienced attorney. Whether you ultimately receive state run workers’ compensation benefits, benefits from your employer’s privately run injury benefits program, or compensation as a result of pursuing a third-party injury claim, it is crucial that you navigate the process with the assistance of an experienced attorney.
When you are ready to learn more about pursuing compensation after a workplace accident, we are here to help. We encourage you to check out our many case results to learn more about how we have assisted many other clients protect their rights after an injury.
Am I entitled to damages for my pain and suffering after a workplace injury?
If you are injured while working on the job, you may feel overwhelmed by the expenses that you now face. Medical and rehabilitative treatments are often extremely costly. In addition, you may be unable to return to work for a substantial amount of time following the accident. Emotionally, the pain and suffering you experience as a result of the accident may cause significant harm to your well-being. Victims of workplace injuries may be entitled to compensation for these various types of losses.
Six Kinds of Damages for Injured Workers
Injured workers may be entitled to compensation from a third party for their emotional pain and suffering after a workplace injury. Other types of damages that may be awarded due to a third-party injury claim include the following:
- Compensation for your medical expenses, both past and future
- Compensation for your loss of income, including future wages if you are unable to return to work
- Compensation for the expenses incurred as a result of your injuries
- Compensation for rehabilitation necessary to recover from your injury
- Compensation for disability or disfigurement that may result from your injury
- Compensation for your spouse for loss of consortium
In addition, in cases where employees are killed on the job, surviving family members may have a wrongful death claim in which they can recover further financial damages.
If you are considering a third-party injury claim after a workplace accident, we strongly recommend that you obtain guidance from a knowledgeable legal professional. We have helped many clients obtain the compensation that they deserve. We encourage you to check out our many client testimonials to learn more.
What parties might be responsible for my natural gas platform injury?
Working on a natural gas platform is certainly not the safest occupation. Oil and gas industry workers face some of the riskiest working conditions of employees in any industry in the United States. When accidents occur, injuries can be severe. This may result in costly medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering for the victim. Workers’ compensation benefits may be available in order to assist with some of these costs. In some cases, a victim may also be entitled to pursue a third-party work injury claim as a result of the accident.
Four Potentially Responsible Parties After a Natural Gas Platform Injury
After an accident, it is important to understand that there may be additional parties responsible for your injuries aside from your employer. Some of these potential parties may be obvious, while you may not consider others at first glance unless you have had the misfortune of suffering an injury in the past. Examples of these third parties include the following:
- Subcontractors used on the platform
- Government entities
- Equipment manufacturers
- Another company or its employees
With such a significant financial burden at stake after a natural gas platform injury, it is important to consider all of your legal options when an accident occurs. We strongly encourage you to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you determine whether you may have a potential injury claim against a third party. At Kennedy Hodges, LLP, we have helped countless clients obtain the compensation that they deserve after workplace injury. Check out our client testimonials for more information.
What defenses might a third party raise against my construction site injury claim?
After an injury that occurs on a construction site, you may be left with staggering expenses. Medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and lost income can all lead to a significant financial strain. Workers may be entitled to a claim for workers’ compensation. In addition, if a third party was involved in your injury, you may have a third party personal injury claim that can potentially provide you with additional compensation.
Ten Potential Defenses That a Third Party May Raise After a Construction Site Injury
If you opt to pursue a third-party personal injury claim, it is important to be aware of the defenses that may be raised against you. These defenses may vary depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding your injury. The following are examples of such potential defenses:
- The third party did not owe you any duty.
- If the third party did owe you a duty, the duty was fulfilled properly.
- Whether you are actually injured is in question.
- The cause of your injury cannot be directly attributed to the third party’s actions.
- You are partially or fully responsible for your own injury.
- Your injury was caused by improper training.
- You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the injury.
- You are pursuing a claim that is barred by the statute of limitations. A third-party claim must be brought within a certain period of time or it may be forever barred.
- You cannot prove that your injury occurred at the construction site.
- There is another party that is responsible for your injury.
Despite these potential defenses that may be raised against you, you may still have a strong case. It is important to consult with an experienced attorney before proceeding. We are happy to offer a complimentary case evaluation of your matter.
What are some ways that can help protect myself from sustaining a construction accident injury?
The nature of accidents are that they can’t be predicted. However, certain factors can help determine whether a situation could potentially lead to an accident. Factors such as heavy machinery, dangerous heights, and power tool use all in the same area—along with the potential for human error—can help paint a picture of accident risks. In addition to these factors, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has labeled the construction industry as having the highest accident rate of any other national industry.
Due to these concerns construction safety is a high priority in the United States, especially since there are nearly 250,000 construction sites across the nation, employing over six-million workers. Although OSHA is working to improve worksite safety, thousands of workers are being injured and killed every year.
Knowing your risks, are you 100 percent confident in your worksite? How about your own safety protocols?
Construction Accident Prevention Guidelines
Accidents happen all the time, and unfortunately, construction sites seem to be accident magnets. However, you can decrease your risks, while increasing your worksite safety by following these simple guidelines:
- Wear proper safety equipment – Including gloves, boots, harnesses, and hard hats.
- Watch out for one another – Working in teams and staying alert to possible problems can provide adequate warnings, and safer navigation to help prevent injuries.
- Have safety meetings – If you happen to see a coworker doing something he should not be doing, make it a point to draw it to his attention and explain the risks of unsafe behavior.
- Make sure your site is up to OSHA standards – You can do this by either speaking with your employer, or anonymously scheduling an OSHA investigation.
- Make sure your machinery is up-to-code before using it – Heavy construction equipment and machines should be properly maintained on a daily basis, and assessed for safety every three to six months.
- Stay alert when operating any machinery – If the equipment seems faulty, sluggish, or jerky, turn it off immediately and have it checked for any problems.
- Turn machinery off when not using it – This is important even if you are only adjusting a part or removing debris.
- Make sure all moving parts have stopped before approaching a machine to clean or perform maintenance – Even when a machine is turned off, it may take several moments for gears to come to a complete stop.
Safety is important—make sure you’re complying with protocol to not only keep yourself safe, but your coworkers as well.
Protecting Your Future When Precautions Fail
Although taking these precautions will greatly reduce your risk for an injury, regrettably, accidents can still occur. Don’t allow your employer or his insurance company to deny you and your family the injury benefits you deserve. If you’ve been injured in a construction machine accident, you may be liable for compensation for your injuries.
Fight back by contacting an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. We know how ruthless insurance companies can be, especially to those who don’t know the ins and outs of work injury law. Call us today for a free consultation and evaluation of your accident, and allow our experience and knowledge to work for you.
My workplace had a problem with mold and now I am having health problems. Can I sue?
Most employees spend a significant amount of time in the workplace. If the workplace is an unhealthy environment, that could lead to serious health issues for employees. One of the more common environmental hazards that can occur in the workplace is mold. There are hundreds of species of mold found in the U.S. that aren't harmful. However, there are bad types of mold that can cause significant, permanent health problems. Mold exposure can affect some individuals more than others.
Mold is found in buildings with moisture issues. If a building has dampness, high humidity, or water damage in one part of the building, mold spores can spread to other parts of the building, and can contaminate the air. The worst types of areas for mold are basements, ground floors, closets and bathrooms. Older school buildings are known to be a breeding ground for mold. However, any type of building can have toxic mold.
Exposure to large quantities of certain types of mold can cause serious health problems. Symptoms of mold exposure are varied, but can include runny nose, coughing, sinus issues, pneumonia, bronchitis, allergy issues, asthma, eye problems, skin problems, neurological problems, digestive problems, and problems with the musculoskeletal system.
If you believe that you have been injured as a result of toxic mold at work, your company and other parties may be held legally liable for your damages. You may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, time off from work, emotional distress, and more. Call the Houston toxic mold attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 888-894-0119 to learn more about your legal options.