Houston Attorney for Work Injuries Caused by OSHA Violations from Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Essential workers and others who were still working during the coronavirus pandemic might face unusual workplace situations. Many jobs have shifted toward work from home, while others reduced hours and increased the number of shifts to reduce person-to-person contact. In any case, workplace safety standards are still mostly intact, and OSHA regulations should still be followed to help keep employees safe at work.
If your employer violated OSHA regulations or other safety standards and allowed you to be injured during the coronavirus pandemic, our attorneys might be able to help you hold them responsible. The Queenan Law Firm’s Houston attorneys for work injuries caused by OSHA violations from coronavirus (COVID-19) might be able to take your case and fight to get you compensation for the injuries you faced. For a free legal consultation on your potential case, call our lawyers today at (817) 476-1797.
Injuries from OSHA Violations During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Many “normal” work situations have changed during the pandemic, but most safety regulations and standards are still in place. While some industries like the healthcare industry might have trouble getting supplies and protective equipment for their workers, very few industries have a good excuse for failing to follow normal, everyday safety regulations.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) writes regulations for workers across the country, and similar agencies at the state and local levels provide employers with other standards to follow as well. Some of these standards and regulations deal with intricate requirements for certain industries. Others require simple safety standards, like installation of handrails and lighting at workplaces.
Failing to follow an OSHA regulation, even during difficult situations, can put workers at risk for injuries that could have been avoided had the regulation been followed. In most cases, OSHA violations can be held against an employer, and injured workers are entitled to file claims for their injuries.
Suing a Houston Employer for OSHA Violations and Injuries on the Job From COVID-19
If you were injured at work, whether it was related to the coronavirus or not, you might be entitled to sue your employer. There are two typical routes to compensation for workers injured on the job: lawsuits in a court of law or workers’ compensation claims. In a lawsuit, you need to prove that the at-fault party committed some act or omission that qualifies as “negligence,” and then you will be entitled to collect any damages that you can prove their negligence caused you. Under workers’ compensation, you do not need to prove fault, but you are only entitled to limited coverage for lost wages and medical bills. If your employer was at fault for your injuries, a lawsuit may let you claim full damages, including pain and suffering, rather than the limited coverage from workers’ compensation.
Both employers and employees in Texas can opt out of workers’ compensation. For employers, this means that they can skip the requirement to carry workers’ comp. insurance, leaving all injured workers to file lawsuits. If your employer does have workers’ compensation, you are usually entitled to opt out of coverage in your first few days after starting a new job. If you do so, you can preserve your right to sue your employer. If you do not, you might have to file a claim against your employer as a workers’ compensation claim instead of a lawsuit.
If you were injured at work because of someone else’s negligence, you can usually sue them for your injuries. This means that if safety equipment was broken or defective, you might be able to sue the manufacturer for their fault in allowing these defects to happen. Similarly, if customers or clients cause you injuries because of safety violations, you might be entitled to sue them, even if you have workers’ compensation.
Proving Fault for OSHA Safety Violations in Houston from Coronavirus
There are many ways that you could be injured on the job. Most workplace injury cases are going to involve some general type of accident, such as a slip and fall or injuries from lifting and carrying. During the coronavirus pandemic, more injuries are to be expected as employers loosen safety regulations and fail to oversee workers with the proper care and skill they would use in normal times. Additional injuries are also to be expected for workers who get sick on the job because of ineffective safety practices at work.
When an employer loosens safety requirements or fails to follow OSHA regulations, they can usually be considered “negligent.” Lawsuits against an employer for workplace injuries are usually based on this type of negligence. To prove one of these cases, you must typically prove that there is some duty that the employer owed you and that they breached that duty. If the breach of duty causes your injuries, you can claim damages for any harms you suffered.
Typically, OSHA regulations and other safety standards supply the duty in your case. For instance, an employer might be required to keep the floors clean and clear at a warehouse to keep workers from tripping or slipping while carrying heavy items. This kind of safety standard should be followed regardless of whether there is a pandemic, and subjecting workers to unsafe conditions like this would clearly breach a duty. Whether that duty is dictated by OSHA regulations, state regulations, or common-sense safety standards, you could use that violation as proof that your employer was at fault for your injuries.
Call Our Houston OSHA Violation Attorneys for Workers Injured During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Safety regulations are put in place specifically to help keep workers safe. Employers who ignore safety standards or OSHA regulations can often be held liable for their employees’ injuries. For help with an on-the-job injury from the coronavirus pandemic, call The Queenan Law Firm today. Our Houston attorneys for work injuries caused by OSHA violations from coronavirus (COVID-19) might be able to take your case and fight to get you the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. Call us today at (817) 476-1797 to schedule your free legal consultation.