Houston Workers' Compensation Lawyer
More work injuries occur in Texas than any state in the country, including injuries in workplaces throughout Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano and Arlington.
According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figures, nearly 250,000 work-related injuries and illnesses were reported in our state in a single year. More than half of those cases resulted in days away from work, job transfers or restrictions on the workers’ activity.
If you or a loved one is among those workers who have been hurt on the job in Houston, the work injury lawyers of Tate Law Offices, P.C., want to help you.
Were You Hurt on the Job in Houston? Do You Know Your Legal Options?
Tate Law Offices, P.C., can provide a free and confidential review of your case and discuss all of your legal options, which may include:
- Seeking workers’ compensation benefits
- Filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim against your employer
- Pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death claim against a non-employer who caused your injury (which may be available in addition to workers’ compensation benefits).
We know the pain and suffering that a work injury brings into a person’s life. We also realize the stress and frustration of work injury victims and their families due to the inability to work and earn income while, at the same time, facing medical bills and other expenses.
We are dedicated to exploring all options and pursuing the maximum amount of compensation for you. Our goal is to do everything we can to help you and your family get back on your feet.
You May Seek Houston Workers’ Compensation Benefits – But They Are Limited
Many different types of injuries can occur on the job in Houston, TX. According to one insurance company’s analysis of workers’ compensation claims, the most common causes of work injuries are:
- Overexertion (or bodily reactions)
- Falls on same level and falls to lower levels
- Struck by object or equipment
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slip or trip without a fall
- Caught in/compressed by equipment or objects
- Repetitive motions involving “micro-tasks”
- Struck against object or equipment.
If you have suffered any one of these injuries on the job, and your employer is a subscriber to the Houston workers’ compensation system, then you may seek medical and income benefits.
However, workers’ compensation benefits will be your only remedy against your employer. In other words, you cannot bring a personal injury claim against your employer.
These benefits are often called “no-fault benefits.” This is because you can receive them regardless of whether you, your employer, a co-worker or anyone else is responsible.
However, these benefits are very limited. They often do not provide Houston employees with adequate compensation. For instance:
- Medical benefits – You can receive all “reasonable and necessary” medical treatment related to your work injury. However, if your employer has contracted with a medical network, you must get treated by a network member.
- Income benefits – You can only receive a portion of the wages you were earning before you suffered your injury, and the amount is subject to a cap set by state law.
Additionally, Texas workers’ compensation benefits cover only economic losses. They do not compensate you for your pain and suffering. They also do not provide damages for the harm a work injury has inflicted on your family relationships, or loss of consortium.
When Can You Sue Your Employer for a Work Injury in Houston?
However, if your employer does not subscribe to the workers’ compensation system, you can pursue a personal injury claim against the employer that seeks a recovery of:
- All lost income and diminished future earning capacity – not just a portion
- All past and future medical expenses (from the doctor you choose)
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium and loss of household services
- All other injury-related expenses.
As we have seen at Tate Law Offices, P.C., many workers in Houston, Dallas, Houston, Plano, Fort Worth, and other areas of Texas are unaware of this option. Our role is to help you to understand your rights.
In a free consultation, we can learn the facts of your case and explain the options available to you. More importantly, we can take immediate action to seek maximum compensation for you.
We have extensive experience with handling work injury claims, including cases that involve:
- Burns and scars
- Loss of limbs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head and brain injuries
- Joint, muscle, back, neck and bone injuries
- Knee damage
In many cases, we can obtain a work injury settlement by working directly with an employer’s insurance company. However, we will be prepared to file a lawsuit and take your case to court if needed.
How Can Houston Workers’ Comp Lawyer Help You to Seek Compensation from Your Employer?
In contrast to a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, a personal injury claim against your employer requires that you establish that the employer was negligent. In other words:
- Your employer owed a duty to you
- Your employer breached that duty
- You suffered actual harm as a result.
An employer’s duty to provide a safe workplace for employees is established by state and federal regulations. If an employer fails to comply with these regulations, and you are hurt as a result, it may serve as the basis for a personal injury claim.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an employer’s responsibilities include:
- Providing a workplace free from serious recognized hazards
- Examining work site conditions to make sure they conform to relevant standards
- Making sure employees have safe, properly maintained tools and equipment
- Providing adequate warning to employees of potential hazards
- Providing safety training “in a language and vocabulary workers can understand”
- Informing employees about hazardous chemicals in the workplace.
If your employer does not subscribe to the workers’ compensation system, and you were injured in a workplace accident, Tate Law Offices, P.C., can:
- Investigate your case – Our team of investigators can gather evidence about your workplace accident, including accident scene photos, inspection of the accident scene (including any tools or equipment that were involved) and eyewitness interviews.
- Consult with experts – We work with highly qualified experts in workplace safety. They can help us to determine the standards that should have been followed by your employer and whether you were injured due to your employer’s failure to adhere to those regulations.
- Seek a settlement – We are highly trained negotiators. We can meet with your employer’s insurer and seek a settlement that fully and fairly compensates you – without the need to file a lawsuit.
- Litigate your case – If your employer does not agree to a reasonable settlement of your claim, we can file a lawsuit in the proper court and aggressively seek the compensation you are owed in court. It is important to note: Even if a case goes to trial, an employer may still agree to a settlement of your claim.
- Collect your compensation – We can take steps to make sure that the funds from any settlement or verdict in your favor are promptly disbursed. We know that the sooner you can be compensated for the harm you have suffered, the sooner you and your family can move on with your lives.
While your case is pending, we can also work with health care providers to make sure that you get the medical treatment you need. Your health should always be the top priority.
Tate Law Offices, P.C., will not charge you any legal fees or costs unless we recover compensation for you.
Can You Bring a Third-Party Liability Claim in Houston?
Third-party claims are claims made against non-employers who are responsible for on-the-job injuries. Tate Law Offices, P.C., can resolve your case through settling with the responsible party outside of court or file a lawsuit, go to court, prove your case and have the court decide how much money you are entitled to receive.
In a third-party claim, you need to show that someone besides your employer had a legal responsibility to you that they failed to live up to. You also need to show that this failure was a direct cause of your workplace accident and injuries. You also need to prove how badly you were hurt.
There are a lot of different situations where you might have a third-party claim after a work accident in Houston, TX. Examples include:
- Motor vehicle accidents caused by negligent drivers
- Defective tools or machinery
- Negligence of a non-employer project manager or supervisor
- Errors made by outside contractors
- Gas line leak or other problems with public utilities.
If your employer subscribes to workers’ compensation benefits, you can typically pursue a workers’ compensation claim to receive benefits to cover your costs, and you can pursue a third-party liability claim to seek compensation that is not available through workers’ compensation, including pain and suffering damages. Your recovery would simply be “offset” by the amount you have received in workers’ compensation benefits.
Make sure to contact Tate Law Offices, P.C. We will explore all option and work hard to maximize your financial recovery.
Are You Suffering from a Work-Related Illness in Houston?
You may also be able to bring a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, a personal injury – or both – if you are suffering from an occupational disease. Examples include:
- Skin diseases or disorders caused by exposure to chemicals or other harmful substances
- Respiratory conditions caused by breathing dangerous chemicals or other materials such as asbestos (which is a cause of mesothelioma)
- Poisoning caused by exposure to toxic substances such as lead or mercury
- Hearing loss or blindness
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Degenerative disc disease.
Establishing that an illness is work-related can be complex. Whether you are seeking workers’ compensation benefits or pursuing a personal injury claim against your employer or another party, a lawyer from Tate Law Offices, P.C., can play an important role in your case and work hard to seek the compensation you deserve.
Was Your Loved One Killed on the Job in Houston?
If your loved one was killed on the job due to an employer’s negligence, Tate Law Offices, P.C., can help you to get through this difficult time in your life. We can help you to pursue options that may include seeking workers’ compensation death benefits or, if the employer is a non-subscriber, a wrongful death claim based on ordinary negligence.
In some cases, even if the employer is a subscriber to the Texas workers’ compensation system, you may pursue a wrongful death claim. A claim could be brought if the employer was “grossly negligent.” In other words, your loved died because the employer knowingly exposed your loved one to an “extreme risk,” and yet, proceeded with “conscious indifference” to that risk.
Additionally, a wrongful death claim could be pursued against any non-employer, or third party, whose negligence caused the death of your loved one.
At Tate Law Offices, P.C., we can help you to determine if you are eligible to bring a Texas wrongful death claim based on your loved one’s work-related death. We can carefully guide your case throughout the process of seeking damages, which may include:
- Loss of your loved one’s financial support
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship and society
- Loss of inheritance
You may also seek a recovery of all medical expenses that your loved one incurred due to the injury resulting in death, funeral and burial expenses and compensation for the pain and suffering your loved one experienced.
Contact a Houston Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today for Help!
At Tate Law Offices, P.C., we understand the challenges faced by work injury victims and their families. We do not charge any fees for our legal services unless we recover a settlement or obtain a jury verdict in your favor.
We have extensive experience handling nonsubscriber and third-party work injury claims and lawsuits in Texas. If you have suffered an on-the-job work injury, contact Tate Law Offices, P.C., today for a free legal consultation.
Sources / More Information:
- Texas Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Texas Fatal Occupational Injuries, Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Employee Rights & Laws, Texas Workforce Commission
- Employer Responsibilities, U.S. Department of Labor