If you were hurt in an accident at work, or if you’ve become ill due to workplace conditions, you have the right to seek compensation from your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance policy. The workers’ compensation system is structured to pay benefits to injured employees, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
Workers’ compensation benefits will pay for the medical expenses you incurred because of the accident. If you cannot work because of your injuries, workers’ compensation will also reimburse you for your lost wages. If a worker is killed in an on-the-job accident, the family members could be eligible to claim death benefits from the employer’s worker’s comp policy.
While this coverage exists to protect you, the employee, getting the full and fair benefits you’re owed isn’t always simple or straightforward. Some employees find it challenging to get their employer or the insurance company to pay them what they’re owed, and others even find that their claims are denied outright. Fortunately, help is available, and you don’t have to navigate this process alone. The Houston workers’ compensation lawyers of Kherkher Garcia have the experience and understanding of the worker’s compensation system in Texas that you’ll want on your side.
Let our team help you get the benefits you deserve if you were injured in a workplace accident, if you’ve become ill due to conditions at your job, or if you’ve sustained injuries due to repetitive motions or stress. Our team will help you understand your rights and help you get the treatment and benefits you’re owed.
How Workplace Accidents Happen
Even though safety measures may be in place, injury accidents can and do happen at workplaces in Houston and the surrounding areas. There are many reasons why accidents happen in the workplace, including:
Inadequate training or supervision – Workers who are not properly trained for the job at hand are likely to be involved in work-related accidents. Employees should always be prepared with the knowledge and tools needed to do the job safely. Managers have a responsibility to enforce safety protocols and supervise employees to make sure they are safe. Worker fatigue – Workers who come to work exhausted and fatigued are prone to making mistakes, and mistakes can cause accidents. Employees should always show up to work well-rested and physically able to work. Mental Distractions – Accidents can happen when workers are not paying attention to what they are doing. It is easy to become distracted when your mind is focused on personal matters, and is not focused on the work. Poorly maintained workplace – A messy and poorly maintained work site increases the risk of accidents occurring at work. For example, items lying around can cause someone to trip and fall. Good housekeeping practices can improve safety at work. Ignoring safety protocols – Whether it’s due to arrogance or forgetfulness, employees who fail to follow all safety protocols put themselves at risk for injury at work. It is the employer’s responsibility that all safety procedures are followed at all times.
Dangers of Workplace Accidents / Common Injuries Suffered
According to the National Safety Council, an accident in the workplace occurs every seven seconds. This amounts to 12,600 work-related accidents per day, and 4.6 million accidents every year. Additionally, 14 people per day are killed in work-related accidents every day. In 2017, there were 5,147 fatalities caused by workplace accidents.
Every job has its dangers, and there are different types of hazards for different industries. For example, if you work in an office, dangers may include repetitive movements, such as typing, and poor posture. These hazards can cause injury to the spine.
If you work in the trades, dangers may include fall from heights, electrocution, and injuries by machinery. If you work in the healthcare industry, you may be exposed to biological hazards such as viruses that cause HIV, and other diseases. Others who work in the chemical industry are at risk for burns and certain respiratory diseases.
There are multiple types of injuries someone can sustain at work. Some common injuries that people sustain at work include:
Muscle sprains and strains;
Pinched nerves in the spine caused by herniated discs;
Carpal tunnel syndrome;
Lacerations, abrasions, and puncture wounds;
Respiratory injuries such as pleural disease, pulmonary infections, and lung cancer;
Amputation of limbs;
Burns and scars;
Traumatic brain injuries.
Of course, the most severe work accidents can lead to death.
What Type of Compensation Is Available for a Workplace Accident?
There are different types of benefits available through workers’ compensation insurance companies to workers who are injured on the job.
If an employee cannot work because of work-related injuries, they can collect temporary total benefits, which would provide two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wages. The benefit is allowed for the entire period the employee is out of work.
After an injury, an employee may not be able to do the same work they did prior to the accident. If that is the case, the employee is entitled to permanent partial benefits for any impairment caused by the accident. However, if a worker cannot perform any job because of a work-related injury, permanent total benefits will be awarded.
Also, all medical expenses that are related to the accident will be covered by the workers’ compensation insurance company. If an accident resulted in death, typically a lump sum award will be paid to the deceased worker’s estate.
If you are injured at work, and the accident was caused by an outside third-party, you will also have a third-party claim against the negligent tortfeasor. For example, if you are driving for a work-related purpose, and are involved in an accident, you can file a lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident.
In this scenario, the worker would still receive workers’ compensation benefits through the workers’ compensation system. The worker would also receive a settlement from the company that insured the careless driver.
In most instances, the workers’ compensation carrier is entitled to reimbursement from the proceeds of the third-party settlement. In that case, your attorney will include the amount of the workers’ compensation lien as a part of the settlement negotiations.
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Why Choose Kherkher Garcia?
The Houston workers’ compensation attorneys at Kherkher Garcia have decades of experience fighting for injured workers. To us, every case is personal.
If you were injured because due to employer negligence, you have the right to recover benefits in Texas. Call the workers’ compensation attorneys at Kherkher Garcia to discuss your case. They can be reached at (713) 333-1030. Our consultations are free, and we’ll be ready to help you understand what benefits you’re entitled to when you schedule yours with us today.