In cases where workers suffer from work-related injuries, they should contact a work injury lawyer for legal advice and help.
Work-related injuries can do more than end a career; they can devastate your life and the lives of those who depend on you. Many clients and their family members who come to Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. have been affected by an accident that has resulted in serious injuries or death.
While our clients deal with the effects of a tragedy, our workplace injury lawyers in Corpus Christ, TX get to work pursuing compensation for them.
Texas is unique when it comes to workers’ compensation laws. Unlike some other states, state employers are not required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. They can choose to have no insurance when their employees get injured.
These are referred to as “non-subscribers,” and they can still be held liable. Additionally, many times there are third parties that can be held liable if they contributed to the injuries.
What are my legal rights if I am injured on the job?
In the past, when an employee sustained an on-the-job injury he or she would simply file a workers’ compensation claim and receive benefits covering medical expenses and a reasonable percentage of lost wages. Most employers under state laws are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. It’s a “no-fault” system, meaning the program provides benefits in exchange for the injured employee losing the right to sue the employer.
However, according to a report by NPR, numerous states have begun tearing apart the workers’ compensation programs – to the detriment of the hundreds of thousands of workers suffering work-related injuries every year. Cutbacks are leaving injured workers fighting to get adequate medical treatment and enough in compensation to pay for the basics, and some have been driven into poverty.
Unable to work and paid only a small percentage of their regular wages, these injured workers are left with nowhere to turn. Taxpayers are being forced to cover the costs associated with workplace injuries, as injured workers have no other option than to seek aid from federal programs such as Social Security Disability Insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid to provide financial compensation for the costs that are no longer covered by workers’ comp.
While employers are paying the lowest rates seen since the 1970s, injured employees are suffering. This raises the question: if your employer’s workers’ compensation does not cover the costs associated with your workplace injury or your employer opts out the program despite eligibility, do you have the right to sue?
What Can I Do If My Employer Does Not Have Workers’ Comp?
Employers who are eligible to obtain workers’ compensation insurance, but opt not to carry this insurance, and third parties whose negligence may have contributed to an employee’s injuries, may find themselves facing legal action. In these situations, injured employees can seek justice and financial remuneration for their work-related injuries by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Once an eligible employer chooses not to participate in the workers’ compensation program, that employer loses all of its common law defenses, such as contributory negligence or others. In these cases, it will not matter whether you were partially responsible for what happened. As long as it can be proven your employer was even one percent at fault for your injuries, an experienced attorney will be able to help you file a lawsuit to recover damages.
When to File a Third-Party Lawsuit
In the event a third party’s negligence contributed to the injuries you sustained in the workplace, you can file a lawsuit to recover damages. One example is when a manufacturer’s negligence resulted in a defective product or tool being sold to an unsuspecting customer, such as you or your employer. You expect the product to function in a certain way. When it doesn’t due to its defective condition or design and you are injured, you potentially have a products liability claim against the manufacturer of the tool. As long as evidence exists to prove your injuries were caused by a faulty or defective product, a failure to warn or similar issues, you will have grounds to pursue damages through a third party lawsuit.
In simple terms, if someone other than your employer played a role in causing your workplace injuries, filing a third party lawsuit could be a possible course of action for you to pursue.
Corpus Christi, TX Workplace Injury Lawyers
At Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., our workplace injury lawyers Corpus Christ, TX pursue work-related injury claims on behalf of injured Texas residents.
Determining the party responsible requires thorough investigations with the help of our network of industry experts.
Attending to every detail helps us get to the facts and hold the negligent parties accountable for an accident that injured you or killed a loved one. Our Corpus Christi workplace injuries attorneys help to put you and your family on the road to recovery.
We are experts of the workplace injury law and here are the areas we serve:
- Oil drilling accidents
- Eagle Ford Shale
- Offshore injuries
- Exposure to chemicals
- Falling pipes and debris
- Falls from derricks and chemical plants
- Gas storage tank explosions
- Jack-up rig accidents
- Jones Act
- Chemical spills
- Third-party liability claims
Chemical Exposure Injuries
A chemical burn is one of the most dangerous and painful injuries that you can suffer. According to the Secretary of Labor, exposure to chemicals is one of the greatest threats to facing workers today. Chemical burns occur when the skin or eyes come into contact with irritants, such as acids or alkaline bases.
When dangerous chemicals come in contact with the skin or eyes, there is an immediate burning sensation. Depending on the type of chemical and the amount that touched the body, chemical burns can be mild or severe. Severe burns can leave the victim permanently injured.
While a chemical burn can occur practically anywhere, they often happen in workplaces such as construction sites. In addition, most chemical burns are avoidable as they are the result of the negligent handling of chemicals.
If you were injured by chemicals due to the negligence of another person, you should seek medical attention immediately. You should then contact an experienced chemical spills attorney from Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. who will review the details of your case.
In order to minimize the number of workplace accidents and injuries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued comprehensive workplace safety rules, including rules related to handling chemicals. Despite such rules, accidents continue to occur and workers continue to suffer injuries from exposure to chemicals.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information1, nearly 30% of chemical burns treated at hospitals were from workplace injuries. While chemical exposure injuries can be the result of breathing or swallowing dangerous chemicals, the most common type of injury is from skin or eye contact.
When acids come in contact with the skin they damage and kill cells by coagulating cells while bases cause damage by liquefying cells. Prolonged exposure can severely damage tissue, leading to scarring and in some cases, permanent physical disability.
Chemical Burn Symptoms
Depending on the chemical, even a small amount on the skin can cause damage.
Signs of chemical burns include:
- Irritation or burning sensation
- Black dead skin
- Vision problems, in cases where chemical gets into the eyes
If the burn injury is severe, additional signs may include:
- Muscle twitching or seizures
- Cardiac arrest or irregular heartbeat
Long-Term Medical Problems
When a burn is severe, the long-term medical consequences can be devastating. Chemical burns can leave the victim permanently disfigured. Some victims experience a permanent loss of motion, infections, muscle and tissue damage, and loss of limbs. Psychological effects include depression, flashbacks and nightmares.
In cases where your burns were the result of the negligence of someone else, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries through workers’ compensation or a personal injury lawsuit. Compensable losses may include past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you suffered an injury due to chemical exposure, it is important to contact an experienced workplace injury attorney who understands both the legal issues and medical issues related to injuries from chemical exposure.
The staff at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., has years of experience successfully representing clients with workplace injuries such as chemical burns.
Contact our Corpus Christi, TX workplace injury attorney for a no obligation free consultation.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment with an experienced personal injury lawyer regarding a workplace accident, please contact us first!
- 1 National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Center for Biotechnology Information