It is cruel and ironic that many people who go to work to get a paycheck to support their families are injured on the job, which keeps them from going to work and making a paycheck. On-the-job injuries can keep victims out of work for days, weeks, or years. Many on-the-job injuries could also leave workers with permanent conditions or disabilities that keep them from going back to work at all. Without your paycheck, it could be difficult or impossible to pay for medical bills related to these injuries and continued support of your family.
If you or a loved one was hurt at work, you may be entitled to sue your employer or another responsible party to get compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering related to the injury. For help with your case and to schedule a free legal consultation, call the Houston, Texas on-the-job injury attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm today at (817) 476-1797.
Suing Your Employer for Injuries at Work in Houston
Texas has workers’ compensation rules that typically require injured workers to file a claim through workers’ compensation instead of suing for injuries at work. However, workers in Texas are entitled to opt out of workers’ compensation rules in their first few days of a new job. If you opt out of workers’ comp., you may be entitled to sue your employer for compensation, which can open up additional areas of damages and help you get your family the help you need.
Workers’ compensation typically pays damages for medical expenses and lost wages, but these damages are limited. Medical bills will only typically be paid through that system if they come from a doctor your employer chose, and wages will only be reimbursed at a rate of about 2/3 of your typical wage. If you sue for your injuries instead, you may be entitled to get 100% of these damages and choose your doctor. Additionally, you may be able to seek further damages for pain and suffering and, if your employer was especially negligent, punitive damages to punish the employer for their extreme or repeat negligence.
If you file a lawsuit, however, you must first prove your case before you can get the compensation. This means that someone has to be at fault for the injuries, and you need to have enough evidence to prove that your claim is more likely true than not.
Typically, you can prove that an employer was at fault for an injury by pointing to safety rules and practices that they violated. For instance, OSHA safety regulations handed down by the U.S. government might create rules the employer needs to follow that help prevent injuries. If your employer violated rules like these or violated reasonable, common-sense safety precautions, they could be held at fault for any injuries resulting from that harm.
You can also sue third parties for on-the-job injuries if they were responsible instead of your employer. For instance, many truck drivers and other transportation workers are injured in car accidents with other drivers that do not work with them. Those drivers can be held accountable like in any other car accident case, even if your injury was an on-the-job injury. This is usually true even if you did not opt out of workers’ compensation coverage. This also means you can sue product manufacturers outside your company for injuries sustained from defective equipment.
How Much You Can Get in an On-the-Job Injury Lawsuit
As mentioned, a lawsuit for an on-the-job injury often entitles you to claim the full damages you faced for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. These damages are not all available in insurance claims or workers’ compensation claims, which is why filing a lawsuit might be the best means to get the damages you are entitled to. Our attorneys explain these damages and how much they might be worth in your case.
Damages for medical bills cover any bills related to your care or treatment. This means that if you required emergency treatment, those bills should be covered, as should any expenses for hospital care, follow-up appointments, rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, counseling, and other care costs. This may even cover the cost of home nursing care, crutches, wheelchairs, wheelchair ramps, and other needs.
Lost wage damages can cover the paychecks you lost because the injury kept you from returning to work. If you were able to take a lower-paying job or a position with less physical tasks, you may be able to claim the difference in wages or the lost earning capacity. If you cannot work going forward or will be limited in your future job opportunities, these damages can also be projected and modified to cover those losses.
Damages for pain and suffering cover the intangible parts of an injury. This means covering the physical sensations you endured, such as pain and discomfort. They can also cover the mental and emotional pain you faced, such as disappointment, fear of limitations, lack of enjoyment in activities, mental anguish, and emotional distress.
These damages are different in every case and need to be calculated on an individual basis. Some things, like medical bills or lost wages before your return to work, are simple enough to total-up from financial records, but other damages are harder to calculate without help from a lawyer.
Call Our Houston On-the-Job Accident Attorneys for a Free Legal Consultation
If you or your loved one was injured in an on-the-job accident and could not return to work, you may be entitled to substantial lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering damages for the injury. For a free legal consultation on your case, contact our Houston on-the-job injury attorneys today. The Queenan Law Firm’s experienced injury attorneys offer free legal consultations to help you and your family get the financial help you deserve after an accident. For your free consultation, call us today at (817) 476-1797.