Have you or a loved one suffered injuries in a work-related accident? Have you become ill due to conditions in your workplace? You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and possibly for pain and suffering, as well. To protect your rights and ensure that you get all the compensation to which you are entitled, you should contact the experienced workplace accident attorneys at Kherkher Garcia, LLP. We can help determine what compensation you are entitled to under the law.
Employers who carry workers’ compensation insurance must provide their employees with coverage in case there’s an accident. Poor working conditions, lack of safety equipment, faulty machinery, and other problems can cause injuries to workers. Unfortunately, the insurance company doesn’t always provide full available benefits to claimants. You’ll need a dedicated and aggressive attorney by your side to fight for your rights and seek the maximum compensation you need to heal.
Contact Kherkher Garcia, LLP at (713) 333-1030 for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your claim with a seasoned workplace accident attorney. We can help you figure out the best way to get the benefits you deserve.
- Why Do You Need a Houston Workplace Accident Lawyer?
- Why Should I Choose Kherkher Garcia, LLP to Represent Me?
- Types of Workplace Accident Cases We Handle
- Common Workplace Injuries
- What Types of Compensation Are Available?
- Time Limits for Filing a Claim or Lawsuit
- Contact a Workplace Accident Lawyer Today
Why Do You Need a Houston Workplace Accident Lawyer?
When you’re injured at work, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. In Texas, employers are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer has that insurance, that’s where you’d start. If your company has no workers’ comp insurance, you’ll need to file a civil lawsuit to recover from your injuries. That’s where the Houston workplace accident lawyers of Kherkher Garcia, LLP come in.
Your lawyer will discuss your case with you to learn all about the accident. Our firm has the resources to mount an investigation into the accident to find out what caused it and who was at fault. If necessary, we can bring in accident recreation experts and investigators to dig deeply into the fundamentals of your case.
We will help you file a workers’ comp claim or file a civil suit if required. We can manage all the aspects of your claim and case, so you don’t have to. We will protect your legal rights and stand up for you, whether in settlement negotiations or court. All you should be doing at this point is recovering from your injuries, not worrying about paperwork and deadlines.
Insurance companies’ representatives do not represent you. Even though they may sound compassionate on the phone, they represent the insurance company. Don’t talk to anyone about your accident, and don’t sign anything the insurance company sends you until you speak to your attorney.
We must carefully evaluate any settlement offer the insurance company makes. When you retain Kherkher Garcia, LLP, one of our skilled attorneys can deal with the insurance companies, including examining any offers. Insurance companies often attempt to get an injured party to accept a settlement that is far less than that which the law entitles you to.
A workplace accident lawyer can help you get all possible compensation for the injuries and damages you have incurred. In addition, we can communicate with all of the attorneys involved in your case, so you don’t have to. Our attorneys can do the work for you and make sure that your right to recover fair and just compensation for your injuries and damages is not compromised.
Remember, statistics show that you will get a better outcome if you have legal representation. You may end up recovering three times as much if you have a lawyer representing you than if you attempt to handle the matter on your own.
Why Should I Choose Kherkher Garcia, LLP to Represent Me?
Kherkher Garcia, LLP has over thirty years of trial experience. We have successfully recovered billions of dollars on behalf of our clients, and we want to put our skills and passion to work for you, too. One of the most effective methods we use to get the most for our clients is being prepared to go to trial. Our experience shows that insurance companies are much more likely to enter into a settlement if they know that we’re not afraid to go to trial. They know that a trial could end up costing them much more than if they had just paid the full and fair compensation in the first place.
Kherkher Garcia, LLP is based in Houston, Texas, but our attorneys have significant trial experience and expertise throughout the country. This means that if it turns out a third party is responsible for your injuries, and they are based somewhere other than Houston, we can represent you.
Litigation is expensive, but you do not need to pay us anything upfront. We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis. “Contingency fee basis” means that we only get paid if you get paid, and you owe us nothing until your compensation comes through. Everyone deserves high-quality representation, whether they have money or not.
At Kherkher Garcia, LLP, we have access to many resources and a team of experienced and skilled attorneys. Our attorneys will professionally and expertly guide you through the legal process. We will protect your rights against the big corporations and insurance companies and help you recover the compensation to which you are entitled.
Handling the Aftermath of a Workplace Accident
Getting hurt on the job is an upsetting situation. The road that follows involves insurance companies, doctor visits, medical bills, and other stressful factors. If you don’t take the necessary steps following a workplace accident, you could miss out on the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
First and foremost, it’s vital that you notify your employer of your job-related injury or illness within 30 days of the accident. Failing to report what happened will likely result in a denied claim. You’ll need to complete an application for benefits and return it to your employer promptly. They should forward it to their workers’ compensation insurer on your behalf to initiate the claims process. However, if your employer doesn’t provide you with a claim form, you can print one from the Division of Workers’ Compensation website.
It’s also critical to seek immediate medical care following a workplace accident. You must see a doctor on a list approved by the workers’ compensation insurer. If you treat with someone not on the approved list, you might end up paying out of pocket for that appointment. If you see an approved medical provider, the insurance company should cover those expenses.
You should follow up with all recommended doctors and continue with your medical treatment until you’re released. It’s imperative that you don’t skip appointments or allow much time to pass in between them. Gaps in treatment could lead to a denied claim. Insurance companies often look for valid reasons to deny someone’s application for benefits or provide much lower payments than they deserve. If they see that you didn’t seek adequate care, they will assume your injury isn’t serious or doesn’t exist at all.
It would also be beneficial to hire a Houston workplace accident lawyer after a job-related injury or illness. An experienced legal team can effectively and efficiently handle your case. Kherkher Garcia, LLP knows the ins and outs of workers’ compensation laws and how to maximize a person’s claim. If you don’t hire a lawyer, you will likely receive minimal benefits or nothing at all.
Unrepresented claimants often get taken advantage of by intimidating insurance companies. When you hire us, we can take on every legal aspect of the claims process. We can file the claim on your behalf, gather all necessary documents, and pursue the maximum benefit payments available. If the insurance company decides to deny the claim, we have the resources to file a lawsuit and take them to court.
Although the legal team from Kherkher Garcia, LLP can take on the responsibility for your case, there are some things you can do yourself to improve your chance of recovering the benefits you’re owed. We can perform a thorough investigation and obtain the evidence we need to prove your injury. However, you should also maintain records associated with your claim. That might include doctor bills, physical therapy notes, surgical reports, and imaging test results. Forward them to our office, so we can review them and determine if we should send them to the insurance company.
Other than these crucial steps, there are some actions you should avoid taking. Injured workers make common mistakes that result in denied benefits. They include:
- Talking to the insurance adjuster. The insurance company might try to contact you to discuss your claim. If they reach out, they’re likely looking for information that could work in their favor so they can deny your claim. Don’t speak with them about anything regarding the accident or your case. Instead, you should give them our phone number. We can handle all communications during your ongoing claim.
- Signing forms from the insurance company. The insurance company might also mail forms and authorizations for you to complete. You are under no legal obligation to sign them. Some contain confusing language that could trick you into waiving your rights to full benefits. If you receive anything from the insurance company, send it to us right away.
- Posting about the accident online. People often use social media to share details about their lives. You might want to inform your friends and family about what happened to you or update them on your claim. However, you should refrain from posting any information about your case. Insurance companies can review public accounts to access evidence that works in their favor. For example, they could use a picture you post as evidence that your injury isn’t as serious as you initially claimed.
- Accepting the insurance company’s decision. You might begin collecting benefits but less than the available amount. Or the insurance company may provide written notice of your denied claim. Most people don’t realize they have options for seeking money owed to them from the workers’ compensation insurer. You can file an appeal if you end up with a denied application or believe you deserve higher payments than you’re receiving. An experienced Houston workplace accident attorney can assist you with the appeals process.
- Skipping the independent medical exam. The insurance company might request that you attend an independent medical examination (IME). This appointment is typically mandatory. It’s necessary whenever the insurance company disagrees with a person’s claim. They want a doctor to evaluate your condition to determine if you have a disabling condition that prevents you from returning to work. If you skip the appointment, that could cause them to deny your benefits.
Immediate and adequate preparation is necessary following any type of workplace accident. If you don’t file your claim on time or avoid common pitfalls, you could lose the opportunity to recover the workers’ compensation benefits you need to heal.
Types of Workplace Accident Cases We Handle
Many workplace accidents result from a failure to follow prescribed safety steps, faulty equipment, or failed or incompetent repairs. Others, though, can stem from a wide variety of accidents. Here is a list of some types of cases we handle:
- Slip and fall accidents – Slip and falls are common at work. Even someone in an office environment can slip on a freshly mopped floor and get hurt. A construction worker could fall off unsecured scaffolding and suffer a serious injury.
- Repetitive motion – Repetitive injuries often occur when an employee performs the same task repeatedly. For example, carpal tunnel syndrome can result from clicking a computer mouse, or a worker lifting heavy boxes could suffer a degenerative back injury.
- Overexertion – Heat exhaustion due to working outside in the sun, back injuries from working in cramped spaces, and joint inflammation from climbing up and down a ladder are typical examples of overexertion injuries that can happen at work.
- Exposure to dangerous substances – Many jobs require working with toxic chemicals or being around hazardous substances. Asbestos is something construction workers can encounter, and they might develop mesothelioma or another illness as a result.
- Vehicular accidents on the job site – Delivery drivers can get into a car accident while transporting goods. If you were injured while performing job-related duties, workers’ compensation benefits may cover your medical expenses. Failing in that, if the other driver was at fault, you may be able to obtain compensation from them.
- Equipment failure – Sometimes, equipment will malfunction due to improper maintenance and repairs. If you’re operating a piece of machinery, such as a crane, and it isn’t working properly, the company responsible for its upkeep could be liable for your medical bills and other expenses if you get hurt. However, you should be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits if the injury occurred while you were doing your job.
- Falling objects or equipment – Unsecured objects can fall onto someone walking underneath. This is a common problem in various job industries. For example, if you’re working in a warehouse and someone failed to stack boxes onto a shelf correctly, one could fall off and cause injuries to anyone walking by.
- Explosions – Improperly stored chemicals, faulty wiring, and other negligent actions can lead to an explosion. During the blast, a worker could suffer burns, hearing loss, or blunt force trauma from flying debris.
- Burns – A fire, explosion, spilled hazardous substances, and other sources could lead to burn injuries. Burns range in severity, and some can result in permanent physical damage.
- Electrical accidents – Working with electrical components is dangerous. Severe injuries, such as electrocution, shocks, and burns, can result from equipment defects or contact with power lines. In some cases, death can occur.
A Houston workplace accident lawyer can investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident that caused your injuries. Our investigation can help you figure out why the accident occurred. We can then identify all of the parties responsible for the accident. Kherkher Garcia, LLP can help you obtain the maximum compensation to which you are entitled under the law.
Common Workplace Injuries
Work comes in many different forms. Office work, construction work, transportation work, retail: all have various potential injuries that may result. The following is a list of types of injuries that can happen at work:
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Burn injuries
- Loss of vision
- Hearing loss
- Broken limbs
- Repetitive trauma injuries
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Exposure to toxic substances present in the workplace (may cause cancer, organ injury or even organ failure, and birth defects as well as many other injuries)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
People may suffer many other injuries in addition to those listed above from an accident in the workplace. If your injury is not listed, it does not mean that you do not deserve compensation.
There are times when an injury can result in permanent damage. If you become disabled and can’t perform any type of job, you’ll need lifetime benefits. Total mental and physical impairment can result from traumatic injuries, such as brain damage, spinal cord injury, and fatal diseases. You should not be responsible for these medical expenses if you get hurt on the job, and your employer provides workers’ compensation benefits. Their insurance company should provide the necessary payments so you can afford your medical bills and other expenses.
What Types of Compensation Are Available?
When you’ve been injured at work, it’s only right that you be compensated for the damage done to your body. Additionally, you should be paid for any financial expenses that result from the accident.
After an accident in Texas, if your employer has workers’ compensation coverage, you could be compensated for your past and future medical expenses. Medical benefits will pay for the reasonable and necessary medical care you need related to the injury or illness you suffered at work. You have to treat with a doctor that the insurance company approves to receive coverage. If you don’t like your initial doctor or any medical provider you see, you could switch to another one, but it must be on the approved list. You also have to notify the Division of Workers’ Compensation of your desire to change physicians and wait for their approval.
You could also be paid temporary partial disability benefits, which would replace a portion of your wages while you cannot work. Permanent total disability benefits are intended as a salary replacement when you can’t return to your usual and customary job.
Temporary partial disability benefits provide 70% of the difference between your average pre and post-injury wages. Even if you return to work, you might still be eligible for benefits as long as you’re earning lower wages than before the accident or can’t perform all of your usual tasks. Payments will end if:
- You receive benefits for the maximum period of 104 weeks;
- Your doctor places you at maximum medical improvement, meaning they determined you healed as much as medically possible; or
- You can earn the average weekly wages you made before the accident occurred.
Permanent total disability benefits may be payable for life if your injury is listed on the state’s PTD schedule. These injuries include:
- Loss of both hands at or above the wrists
- Permanent and total vision loss in both eyes
- Traumatic brain injury causing incurable imbecility or insanity
- Third-degree burns covering most of one hand and the face or both hands
- Loss of both feet at or above the ankles
- Spine injury resulting in complete and permanent paralysis of both legs, both arms, or one leg and one arm
- Loss of one hand at or above the wrist and loss of one foot at or above the ankle
- Third-degree burns that cover at least 40 percent of the body and require a skin graft
Benefit payments are at 75 percent of your average weekly wages before suffering a disability. Every year, benefits will increase by three percent.
You may also be eligible for a permanent partial disability award, which is a sum of money paid to a worker for the damage caused to their body. Your medical provider will evaluate your condition and provide an impairment rating based on your injury and how it affects your body as a whole. Your payments will be at 70 percent of your average weekly wages before the workplace accident. They will last based on the impairment rating you receive. Each percentage point is equal to three weeks of benefits. For example, if your impairment rating is 10 percent, you would receive payments for a maximum of thirty weeks.
If your employer has no workers’ compensation coverage, you may file a civil suit against your employer. Since Texas law doesn’t require businesses to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, it opens them up to liability for job-related injuries and illnesses suffered by their employees. You could file a personal injury lawsuit against them for the losses you suffered. However, if they carry workers’ comp coverage, state laws prohibit suing your employer if you’re collecting benefits from their insurance company.
If there was a third party involved, such as a contractor or other company, you could file a civil suit against them. In either case, your compensation could be made up of two elements: economic losses and non-economic losses.
Economic losses are essentially dollar-for-dollar repayment for actual money spent. These can include:
- Medical expenses
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost future earnings
Non-economic losses are more difficult to calculate, as they have no dollar value attached. Examples of non-economic losses you could recover include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Determining your options for pursuing compensation and calculating the amount you deserve can be confusing. It’s vital that you consult a knowledgeable Houston workplace accident attorney from Kherkher Garcia, LLP before filing your claim. We can find out if your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance and determine the available benefits.
Time Limits for Filing a Claim or Lawsuit
In Texas, you have a year to file a workers’ compensation claim with the state. You are required to notify your employer of your workplace accident within 30 days. Due to the statute of limitations in Texas, you have two years to file a personal injury civil suit with the court.
These deadlines are important. If you miss the deadline for filing your workers’ comp case or the deadline for filing your civil suit, your case can be dismissed. If that happens, you will have lost your right to pursue compensation in those avenues permanently.
Don’t take the chance. Hire a lawyer whose job will be to make sure all the paperwork for your claim and your lawsuit is filed on time. Don’t let a blown deadline cost you thousands of dollars.
Unsafe Workplace Injuries Frequently Asked Questions
Many employers provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. You might not understand the state laws or procedures for applying for these benefits. It’s a complex process, and most people don’t know how to seek the money they’re owed for their job-related injuries and illnesses.
We have answered some frequently asked questions so you can prepare for what’s to come. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us at (713) 333-1030 for a free consultation.
Contact a Workplace Accident Lawyer Today
Call the attorneys of Kherkher Garcia, LLP at (713) 333-1030 to schedule your free consultation. Let one of our professionals review the details of your case. We will see to it that you get all of the compensation to which you are entitled.
You deserve to be compensated for your workplace injury. Let the professionals at Kherkher Garcia, LLP protect your rights, safeguard your interests, and get you the money you deserve.