Workplace Accidents

Austin Workplace Accident Lawyers

When you have been injured in a workplace accident, you have two options for seeking compensation:

Workers’ compensation claims do not require you to prove that someone else was negligent, so they have less risk for you. However, they also result in less compensation for your injuries. You will receive your medical expenses and a part of your wages for a period of time.

The legal process following a job-related injury can be challenging and confusing, so you always want an Austin workplace accident attorney on your side. 

Personal Injury Lawsuits for Workplace Injuries

Many lawyers will advise you that it is better to file a personal injury lawsuit if you can for a workplace injury. While there is a higher burden of proof, you could recover far more in compensation. Not only would you receive full lost wages for your injury, but you could also recover for your non-economic damages, including things like pain and suffering. This is often a large part of your damages from a personal injury.

In Texas, not every company will have workers’ compensation insurance. Participation in the program is optional. However, if a company does not have workers’ compensation insurance, it can be subject to personal injury lawsuits from employees. You can assume that most Texas employers will have workers’ compensation insurance to protect themselves, but some choose to roll the dice. 

Your Employer Can Be Sued for Gross Negligence

Texas makes it easier to sue your employer for personal injury than many other states, even when they have workers’ compensation insurance. According to Texas law, the standard for whether your employer will be liable for your personal injury is whether they acted with gross negligence. This is just more than simple negligence – but it can help you recover from employers who have acted very badly.

Essentially, gross negligence is when your employer is aware of it when they are acting in a way that presents an extreme degree of risk to their workers. In other words, reckless disregard for your safety may be enough to file a lawsuit. Here are some examples of things that could be gross negligence:

  • Sending employees to work every day in a plant or area that they know could expose them to hazardous substances
  • Purposely delaying maintenance on workplace machinery that they know is having mechanical issues
  • Deliberately ignoring OSHA safety rules by not providing adequate personal protective equipment or training
  • Knowingly putting an employee in harm’s way

Third-Party Liability for Workplace Injuries

In addition to suing your employer, you could also file a case against a third party who is responsible for your workplace injury. This would involve a standard personal injury lawsuit where you would need to prove the defendant’s negligence. When you bring your case to a personal injury lawyer, they will review it to see if there is a third party who can be sued because that will make it easier for you to obtain compensation.

Here are some ways that third parties could be legally responsible for workplace accidents:

  • A manufacturer of work tools or equipment has sold a defective product that has injured you (this would be a product liability lawsuit).
  • A worker from another contractor or subcontractor who is on the same job site has injured you with their negligence.
  • You have been injured in an auto accident with another driver while you were driving for work.
  • You were exposed to toxic substances that were emitted by a company other than your employer.

Know Your Legal Options After You Have Been Hurt at Work

With every workplace injury, the key is to understand your legal options shortly after your accident. If you need to file for workers’ compensation benefits, you will have a relatively tight timeline after your injury to begin the process. Calling a lawyer as soon as possible after your injury will get an experienced attorney on your matter. Your lawyer will investigate the accident and will let you know whether you have a potential lawsuit and the best way for you to receive compensation. Then, they can file the claim on your behalf and advance your case through the court system.

Speak with Austin Workplace Injury Lawyers

If you have suffered a personal injury at work, The Martinez Law Firm is here to help. We work tirelessly on behalf of our clients at every step of the way. Contact us online or call us at (512) 444-0025 for your free initial consultation. Oftentimes, the most important thing that we can do for you is give you the comfort of knowing that you have a tough and practical lawyer on your side.

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