Houston Workplace Injury Lawyer

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    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 the continued support of your family.

    Many injured workers sue their employers for creating the dangerous work environment that caused their injuries. This can be a tricky thing to accomplish in Texas, as you must have opted out of Workers’ Compensation shortly after you were hired. You might also sue a coworker who caused your injuries or third parties connected to the case. Compensation may be significant and should account for various economic and non-economic losses.

    If you or a loved one was hurt at work, you may be entitled to sue your employer or another responsible party for compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. For help with your case and a free case review, call our workplace injury attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. 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 repeated negligence.

    If you file a lawsuit, however, you must first prove your case before you can get compensation. This means that someone must be at fault for the injuries, and you need to have enough evidence to prove that your claim is more likely true than not.

    When to Begin a Lawsuit for Workplace Injuries in Houston

    People often hesitate before taking legal action. This is understandable, as initiating a lawsuit is a complex and daunting task. This is especially true in cases where injured plaintiffs sue their employers. Most people do not want to burn bridges with employers and colleagues or risk their professional reputation. While you should take the time you need to consider your options, avoid taking too much time.

    According to Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.003(a), injured plaintiffs filing injury claims have 2 years to file their cases or lose the right to do so. The limitation period begins on the day you are injured, so the clock begins ticking away almost immediately. Also, keep in mind that lawsuits often take a lot of time to prepare. It is not unusual for an attorney to spend months or longer preparing a case to be filed. Make the most of your time by speaking to our workplace injury lawyers as soon as possible.

    While the deadline is strict, it is not totally inflexible. Under very specific circumstances, certain plaintiffs may have the statute of limitations tolled, effectively pushing their deadline back. Tolling may be available for people with legal disabilities under § 16.001(a). Under this law, a legal disability includes plaintiffs who were minors when they were injured and plaintiffs with mental conditions or disorders that inhibit them from understanding the case or their rights.

    Under § 16.001(b), the time a potential plaintiff is under a legal disability is not included in the limitation period. This means that if you were a minor when you were injured on the job, your limitation period of 2 years would not begin until you turned 18. Similarly, if you have a mental condition that prevents you from understanding your legal rights, your limitation will not begin until the disability is lifted or removed.

    How to Prove Your Claims in a Lawsuit for Workplace Injuries in Houston

    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 to help prevent injuries. If your employer violated rules like these or reasonable, common-sense safety precautions, they could be held at fault for any injuries resulting from that harm.

    The question is, how do we prove that your employer violated safety regulations or otherwise created an unsafe work environment that directly caused your injuries?

    A great place to start is with security cameras. Many workplaces are monitored by security cameras, and there is a good chance that these cameras recorded something important. A camera might have recorded your entire accident. This kind of video evidence can be very powerful, especially if the employer’s negligence is on full display in the video footage.

    We should also seek out testimony from coworkers. Some of your coworkers might testify as eyewitnesses if they were present when you were injured and saw how it happened. This kind of testimony might highlight how the accident resulted from employer negligence, not your own actions.

    Still, other coworkers might testify even if they did not see the accident. If unsafe working conditions caused your injuries, your coworkers likely have first-hand knowledge of how dangerous the workplace is. We might ask coworkers to testify about the unsafe working conditions, how long they have been a problem, and who is in charge of making the workplace safe. For example, if you were injured at work due to faulty tools, a coworker who uses the same tools might testify about how long the unsafe tools have been a problem.

    We also need evidence of damages. Your medical records can help us shed light on the extent and expense of your physical injuries so you can get compensation for things like hospital bills. Payment records or other records from your employer might shed light on how much income you have lost since you were injured.

    People Who Might Be Held Liable for Workplace Injuries in Houston

    Accidents in the workplace often involve far more people than you might initially realize. While many injured workers may hold their employers responsible, coworkers and certain third parties might be responsible in addition to or instead of the employer. Your lawyer can help you determine who should be held accountable.

    Your Employer

    Since employers are often responsible for making sure the workplace is safe for employees, they must shoulder the burden of many workplace accidents and injuries. Remember, the Texas Workers’ Compensation system can complicate suing your employer. If you do not opt out of the system, your employer may be completely shielded from liability. If you are unsure whether you opted in or out of the Workers’ Compensation system, talk to our legal team.


    In some cases, injured workers can sue their coworkers who caused their injuries. This might not be possible in every case, and you should definitely ask your attorney about this kind of situation.

    According to Tex. Lab. Code § 406.032(1)(C), if a coworker injured you on purpose for personal reasons unrelated to work, you would not be covered by Workers’ Compensation even if you opted into the system. This means that in cases where a coworker harmed you intentionally, your only legal option might be to sue them personally.

    On top of that, intentional acts of harm by another employee cannot usually be attributed to employers. Generally, employers may not be vicariously liable for an employee’s intentional act of harm as it likely falls outside the scope of their normal job duties. You would have to sue the coworker.

    Third Parties

    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 who 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 from defective equipment.

    How Much Compensation You Can Get in an On-the-Job Injury Lawsuit in Houston?

    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 or Workers’ Compensation claims, so filing a lawsuit might be the best way to get the damages you are entitled to. Our attorneys explain these damages and how much they might be worth in your case.

    Economic Damages

    Damages for medical bills cover any bills related to your care or treatment. This means that if you require 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 fewer physical tasks, you might 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.

    Non-Economic Damages

    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. Still, other damages are harder to calculate without help from a lawyer.

    Exemplary Damages

    Under special circumstances, exemplary damages may be awarded to punish the defendant for extremely bad behavior. These damages, also called punitive damages, are not available in every case and are not guaranteed to be awarded.

    Under Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 41.003(a), exemplary damages may only be awarded if the plaintiff can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant caused harm through malice, fraud, or gross negligence. This is a very high bar to meet, making exemplary damages somewhat rare.

    Under § 41.008(b), exemplary damages are capped by statute. Under the law, exemplary damages may be limited in one of several ways. How your exemplary damages are limited depends on which method allows you to claim the greatest amount.

    First, your exemplary damages may be capped at twice the value of your economic damages plus a sum equal to your non-economic damages but not worth more than $750,000. Second, your damages may be capped at $200,000.

    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, you may be entitled to substantial lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering damages. Contact our workplace injury attorneys today for a free legal case review. Our experienced injury attorneys offer free legal consultations to help you and your family get the financial help you deserve after an accident. Call The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. today at (817) 476-1797.