There are many ways you could injure yourself at work—you could slip and fall, something stored high could fall on you, or a piece of machinery might malfunction. If the accident happened somewhere else, you could bring a personal injury claim against the negligent parties that contributed to it. When you get hurt on the job, securing compensation becomes a bit more complicated.
If you suffer an injury in the workplace, call a local attorney as soon as possible. In many cases, a Meyerland workplace accident lawyer could bring a claim for damages against all the potentially responsible parties, ensuring you receive reasonable compensation for your injuries.
Determining Whether Workers’ Compensation Applies
Some employers in the state participate in the federal Workers’ Compensation program and employers who offer this benefit are called subscribers. Subscribing to Workers’ Compensation is not mandatory, so many employers do not provide this benefit.
If an employer subscribes to Workers’ Compensation, an employee who suffers a workplace injury must apply for benefits through the program. Workers’ Compensation offers free medical treatment and a wage supplement while the employee cannot work. However, employees cannot sue their employer for negligence if the employer subscribes.
If an employer does not subscribe to Workers’ Compensation, an injured employee could claim damages directly from the employer for negligence. A Meyerland workplace injury attorney could investigate whether an employer subscribes to a workers’ comp plan. If not, it may be possible to collect evidence of employer negligence in support of a workers’ claim.
Proving Non-Subscriber Employer Negligence
Employers must offer their workers a safe working environment. Any employer who does not is committing negligence, which includes employers in the following industries: railroads, industrial plants, maritime, offshore, oilfields, and refineries.
If hazardous conditions exist, such as a loose stair rail or an unstable stack of boxes, the employer must correct the condition as soon as is feasible. However, employers also must engage in proactive measures to protect their workers from harm. An injured worker could have a claim for employer negligence if the employer failed to:
- Provide adequate training
- Supervise operations diligently
- Enforce safety regulations
- Maintain equipment properly
- Discipline disruptive or dangerous workers
- Take measures to deter crime in the workplace
- Provide appropriate safety equipment
Depending on the nature of the employer’s business, certain other actions or failures to act could constitute negligence.
When an attorney seeks damages from a non-subscribing employer in Meyerland, they must prove that the employer’s negligence contributed to the incident. However, according to Texas Labor Code § 406.033, a non-subscribing employer will be wholly liable for an employee’s damages even if it was only partially to blame for the accident. An employee who is 95 percent at fault for the accident could still collect 100 percent of their damages from the employer.
Actions Against Third Parties for Workplace Injuries
Sometimes a third party is responsible for a workplace accident. When a third party’s negligence contributed to a worker’s injury, the worker could sue the third party even if they receive Worker’s Compensation benefits from their employer.
Potentially liable third parties could include a product manufacturer, independent contractor, or an employee of another company working at the same job site. If an employee’s job involves driving, a vehicle accident could cause a workplace injury, and an at-fault driver might be liable. A Meyerland work injury attorney could investigate a specific accident to determine whether a third party’s conduct was a factor.
Sometimes an injured worker could collect Worker’s Compensation benefits and sue a third party for negligence. For example, an insurance sales office might hire a painter to refresh the décor. If a staff member trips over a paint can, the staffer could claim Workers’ Compensation benefits if their employer subscribes. The staffer could sue the painting contractor for negligently creating a hazard regardless of whether the employer subscribes. The staffer could also potentially sue their employer if they are a non-subscriber.
Consult with a Meyerland Workplace Accident Attorney About Your Next Steps
The laws in Texas are complicated when it comes to workplace injuries. If you were hurt on the job, an experienced legal professional could evaluate the circumstances and help you pursue the strategy that will produce the most favorable result.
A Meyerland workplace accident lawyer could be a valuable ally as you pursue damages for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today.