Dealing with a work-related injury can be devastating. Things can be even more difficult if you are the sole provider in your household and are now forced to miss time at work. However, not everything is lost. There are ways to obtain compensation following a work-related injury that can help replace your lost wages, cover your medical bills, and pay for your pain and suffering.
Our Arlington, TX work injury attorneys from The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. understand the difficulties associated with a workplace injury. We are ready to provide you with tireless, aggressive, and strategic legal representation every step of the way. To learn more about all of our services and how we can help you with your workplace injury case, call our law offices today at (817) 476-1797.
Common Causes of Work-Related Injuries in Arlington, TX
Workplace accidents and injuries can happen for many different reasons. Almost every worker is at risk of suffering an accident at work. However, some employees in certain positions or certain industries are at a higher risk of sustaining severe injuries due to the nature of their work. For instance, construction workers often work around power tools, heavy machinery, debris, and other construction materials and objects. Many times, accidents at a construction site can lead to severe, life-threatening injuries. This does not mean people working in less dangerous environments can’t sustain severe injuries.
Common causes of workplace accidents and injuries in Arlington include the following:
Slip and Falls
Slip and falls are one of the leading causes of workplace accidents in the U.S. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), in 2016, there were almost a quarter of a million slip and fall accidents spread across multiple industries, such as construction, manufacturing, retail, and business services, among others in the U.S. While many may think slip and fall accidents are not as severe as other types of accidents, such as car accidents and truck accidents, they can lead to severe, painful, and life-threatening injuries.
Being Caught Between Heavy Objects
Another common cause of workplace accidents is getting caught between heavy objects, such as big machinery. This kind of accident is common in industries such as construction, warehousing, and assembly lines. For instance, a worker can get caught in between a forklift and the wall, or an assembly line worker can get their hands or legs clenched by mechanical equipment. If you or a loved one was caught or trapped by heavy objects in the workplace and suffered injuries, our Arlington, TX work injury lawyers can help.
Overexertion injuries are common across the whole labor spectrum. These painful, disabling injuries are the result of things such as lifting, pulling, and carrying. Repetitive stress injuries are also related to overexertion. Some of the leading causes of overexertion injuries are improper lifting, manual lifting of heavy objects, or continuously carrying heavy objects for extended periods. Similarly, repetitive stress injuries happen as a result of the constant use of parts of the body. The most common example of a repetitive stress injury is carpal tunnel syndrome, which is caused by continuous, small motions, such as typing and clicking at work.
Many people face injuries because of intentional acts of violence in the workplace. These could involve assault by a coworker or supervisor or even assault by a customer or client. Many instances of workplace violence occur in hospitals. In fact, one of the most common reasons that hospital workers are injured is because of violent or dangerous patients who assault them. Nonetheless, your employer might be responsible for injuries from violence, even if your employer was not the one who directly assaulted you. These injuries are also common for servers, bartenders, and bouncers at bars and restaurants and for drivers at taxi companies, Uber, or Lyft.
As with workplace violence, workplace sexual assault is often a serious problem in some industries and workplaces. If you were touched inappropriately by a coworker or supervisor, or if you were the victim of rape or other sexual crimes in the workplace, our attorneys may be able to help. We can hold employers and individuals responsible for these kinds of attacks.
Auto Accidents and Transportation Injuries
Transportation workers, such as truck drivers, are at some of the highest risk of injury at work. If you work as a truck driver, your “workplace” might move, but a work-related injury can still mean holding your employer responsible in many cases. Victims of work-related auto accidents can also include bus drivers, public transit workers, taxi drivers, Uber and Lyft drivers, and delivery drivers. You could also be injured in an auto accident while traveling to or from a job site or while being driven on a truck or golf cart between locations on a large job site. Especially if the driver was a coworker who was drunk or high when they crashed the vehicle, you could suffer serious damages you can sue for.
The Types of Workplace Injuries that Claims Can be Filed For
The NSC has reported the most common types of workplace injuries include sprains, tears, cuts, and lacerations. Depending on the extent of the injury, a workplace injury victim may require emergency medical assistance, surgery, and a lengthy recovery period.
Most job requirements state that a worker must be able to lift at least 50 pounds, and whether you work at a warehouse, on a farm, or as a delivery driver, injuries can happen because of lifting and carrying accidents. If a coworker was not properly supervised, there were dangerous conditions or you were not supplied with proper handcarts and other tools, your employer could be responsible for your injuries.
Failing to provide safety training for workers climbing ladders or failing to provide proper lines, ladders, and helmets could make an employer liable for injuries from falling. Broken handrails and catwalks at work could also be an unnecessary risk your employer could be liable for.
Dangerous Work Conditions and Other Serious Injuries
Depending on the industry, you could also be at risk for dangerous chemical exposure, explosions and fires, exposure to silica or asbestos, and other industrial accident risks. Injuries and illnesses that develop from this exposure should be avoided by proper safety training and equipment, and if your boss fails to provide that, they could be liable for damages.
Can You Sue for On-the-Job Injuries in Arlington, TX?
In many states, workers’ compensation rules prevent victims of on-the-job injuries from being able to sue. Texas has some exceptions to these rules that help victims of workplace injuries and industrial accidents sue to get the compensation they need. Namely, both employers and employees can opt out of the workers’ comp. system, protecting the worker’s right to sue.
If your employer does not carry workers’ compensation coverage, then you are usually entitled to sue for on-the-job injuries instead of filing a workman’s comp. claim after a workplace accident. Similarly, when you start a job as a new employee, you are given the choice of opting out of workers’ compensation coverage, which would allow you to sue later if you get injured.
Suing for injuries at work can open access to additional damages. Most workers’ comp. claims pay about 2/3 of your lost wages instead of the full value, they require you to use an approved doctor for medical care, and they do not pay pain and suffering damages. If you sue instead, you can often claim damages for your full lost wages, plus damages to cover pain and suffering – which can be substantial after a serious work injury.
The trade-off with an on-the-job injury lawsuit is that you need to prove that the defendant was at fault in order to get compensation, whereas workers’ comp. claims are paid regardless of who was at fault. In cases where your employer might have done something wrong that led to your injuries, proving fault is often possible. However, if your accident happened by pure chance, there is usually no one to sue because no one was at fault.
You can also sue for injuries at work if you are covered by workers’ compensation under exceptions for injuries caused by third parties outside your job or intentional injuries at work. This helps you sue violent managers or outside parties like equipment manufacturers and drivers who hit you while on the job.
When you file a lawsuit, you must prove that the at-fault party is legally responsible for your injuries. Many employers try to dodge liability by blaming a coworker or a third party for the injuries. In these cases, you might still be able to sue that coworker or a responsible third party, which might actually be the best way to pursue compensation. For instance, a truck driver who was hit by another driver on the road could file a lawsuit against that at-fault driver, potentially collecting full damages – but their employer might not be responsible for the crash at all.
Financial Compensation for an Injury at Work in Arlington, Texas
When you are injured in an accident in Arlington, there are a few areas of damages that you can usually claim. As discussed, damages for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering often make up the basis of most claims for damages and compensation after a workplace injury.
Damages for medical bills can be claimed for any bills you face related to the injury, including emergency hospital treatment, follow-up appointments with your doctor, rehabilitation, and even mental health counseling for PTSD symptoms and depression after an accident.
Damages for lost wages can help you recover the full value of any wages you missed during your recovery, as well as any wages you will miss going forward. Lost wages from workers’ comp. cover only a portion of your wages and might be limited in the number of weeks they will cover. These damages could be higher in a lawsuit.
Damages for pain and suffering can help pay for the “noneconomic” effects of an injury. You cannot put a price tag on physical pain or mental anguish after a lawsuit, but you can still seek compensation for it. Worse injuries often yield higher pain and suffering damages, and compensation for reduced enjoyment of life and other facets of “pain and suffering” can also be claimed.
Noneconomic damages can also include “punitive damages.” These are additional damages that an at-fault employer or other negligent party is ordered to pay for especially dangerous negligence or repeat acts of violence, negligence, or abuse. These damages are rare, but they could net you additional compensation in some cases.
Talk to a lawyer about what your case is worth, and never rely on the values that your employer or another party gives you. These groups do not represent you and your best interests, but your lawyer is legally obligated to fight for your best interests and advocate for you.
Call Our Work Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation in Arlington, TX
If you or a loved one suffered an injury at work, our Arlington, TX work injury lawyers can help. At The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., we understand how difficult dealing with a workplace injury can be for you and your family. For this reason, we work tirelessly and aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Let our many years of experience work for you while you focus on recovering from your injuries. To learn more about all of our services in a free, confidential consultation, call our Arlington, TX work injury lawyers today at (817) 476-1797.