If you have been seriously injured at work, you may be concerned about whether your legal, financial, and medical rights will be protected. You are probably wondering if you will get fired, and if your medical bills will get paid. What happens if you can't return to work at your normal job, or if the insurance company is playing games with you? How do you collect workers' compensation insurance? Are you even entitled to workers' comp after your on-the-job injury?
Work injuries can get complicated quickly. Unfortunately, you are at an immediate disadvantage because your employer has insurance adjusters and lawyers on call, ready to protect their bottom line at the expense of you and your future.
For example, did you know that if you were hurt working at sea or on an offshore drilling rig, then you probably aren't legally entitled to any workers' compensation benefits at all? Find out more about offshore work injury cases and the Jones Act.
Texas Workers' Compensation Benefits
If you've been hurt while working in a job that is land-based, then in most states, your employer and its insurance company are required to pay workers' compensation benefits to you. These benefits include wage replacement and payment for medical care. Unfortunately, the insurance companies have a lot of power when it comes to making decisions related to your wage replacement and medical benefits. If you're not careful, you run the risk of losing your legal rights or allowing the insurance company to take advantage of you when you are most vulnerable.
When Your Employer Doesn't Have Workers' Comp Insurance
Unlike most states, employers in Texas are not required to carry workers' compensation insurance. When your employer doesn't have workers' compensation insurance, then your employer is considered a "non-subscriber" and your legal rights are different than if your employer has workers' compensation insurance for job injury claims. Find out more about non-subscriber cases.
Third Party Claims For Texas Work Accident Cases
When your employer has workers compensation insurance, in most situations, you are not allowed to sue for negligence. Your only recourse is workers' comp benefits, which can be quite minimal. However, if your injury was caused by a person, company, piece of machinery, or someone other than your employer, then you may be able to bring a negligence case against that person or company under a "third party" legal claim. There are a lot of complications in third party claims, and without the right lawyer, your legal rights may not be protected. Find out if you should file a third party claim.
If a piece of equipment or machinery caused or contributed to your injury, then you may be able to bring a products liability claim against the seller, distributor, designer, or manufacturer of the equipment or machinery. Product liablity claims are time-consuming, costly, complicated, and require the services of a law firm with the expertise to win cases against large corporations and their armies of insurance adjusters and lawyers.
Read About Some of Our Clients' Victories In Work Injury Cases
- Historic verdict awarded to the family of an ironworker. We helped the family of an ironworker who drowned building the pedestrian bridge for Baylor University's new football stadium investigate his death. Our legal team took over 50 depositions in the case and worked the case up. We went to trial in Harris County in March 2016, facing seven defendants. We argued that one of the defendants, Austin Bridge and Road, had not shared crucial safety rules with the workers or with the other companies because enforcing those rules would have slowed down the job. We argued those safety rules would have prevented our client's death. The jury agreed and returned a $17.72 million verdict in our clients' favor and put 100% responsibility on Austin Bridge and Road. Austin Bridge and Road tried to have the trial judge zero out the verdict in a post-trial hearing, but the judge denied their arguments and signed a judgement for the full verdict.
- Settlement awarded to an injured logger. Our client was hurt when a log came loose from a piece of equipment. He suffered massive brain trauma. We sued the logging company on his behalf. They fought the case, arguing that our client couldn't bring a lawsuit against them under workers' compensation laws. We argued that he was a contractor - a day laborer not employed by the company - and won. The company agreed to settle the case for $5,000,000.
- Hoyer Global pays confidential settlement worker exposed to sulfuric acid. Our client was employed by a truck maintenance company, repairing tanker trucks. The truck was sent to Hoyer Global to be cleaned. It had been carrying sulfuric acid. The company returned it with a certificate of cleanliness, but when our client and his coworker went to work on the component they'd been tasked to repair, he was blasted in the eyes with sulfuric acid. We sued Hoyer Global, arguing that their workers hadn't properly cleaned the truck. Hoyer Global agreed to pay our client a confidential settlement that would help him take care of himself since he now had permanently impaired vision.
- LeBouf's Bindery pays settlement to worker who lost his hand. Our client, a teenager, hired Vuk Vujasinovic to pursue a non-subscriber injury case against the bindery after his hand was so mangled by the bindery machine it had to be surgically amputated. Since LeBouf's didn't have workers' compensation, Vuk was able to ask that our client be compensated for his past and future medical bills, his lost wages, and the future earning capacity he now wouldn't be able to achieve without his hand. The defense claimed the bindery provided adequate supervision for our client, that our client was 100% responsible for his injury. The bindery's insurance company agreed to settle the case before trial for $985,000.
- Hodges Southwest pays settlement to worker who fell through roof. Our client, a tree trimmer, was working from the roof of a building when the roof collapsed. He fell 20 feet and suffered massive injuries to his body and brain. He hired us to pursue a case against the building's owner, Hodges Southwest. The company gathered all of the evidence and threw it away, seriously hurting our client's chances of learning all the facts about why the roof collapsed. The court agreed that Hodges Southwest had destroyed the evidence, so the insurance company for Hodges Southwest agreed to pay the maximum limits of the insurance policy - $1,000,000 - to our client.
- Enterprise Products & Turner settle plant explosion lawsuit. We represented over forty people who were injured when an explosion rocked the Enterprise plant in Mont Belvieu. We were hired to investigate the cause of the explosion and found out that not only did Enterprise have previous safety violations and injuries, they knew the tools being used for the work that caused the explosion were not the right tools for the job. Two injuries had occurred in the same area of the plant in the two previous years. We obtained a confidential settlement on behalf of our clients shortly before trial was set to begin.
Protect Your Future. Learn Your Rights After Being Hurt at Work.
If you are like most of our clients, this is the first time you have suffered an injury requiring medical attention and legal help. Unlike you, your employer likely has seen injury cases many times, so they know exactly what to do and who to call to protect their bottom line at your expense.
We recommend that one of the first things you do is learn your legal rights so you know how to avoid getting tricked into signing those rights away, and so you can make informed, intelligent choices about what course of action to take to ensure your rights are protected.
Common Questions From Clients Who Have Been Injured On The Job
1. How much does it cost to hire your firm?
We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we win your case.
2. How will you pay your bills if you can't work?
There are a number of different ways to ensure financial stability while you are recovering from an injury. We can walk you through all the different options and ensure that your financial stability is addressed.
3. How do you get quality medical care for your injury?
Unfortunately, some doctors are more concerned about pleasing the insurance companies than treating patients. We will work with you to make sure you are getting independent, quality medical care from doctors of your choosing.
4. How long will the lawsuit process take?
On average, our client's cases settle or go to court in a little less than one year, although it depends on the nature and extent of your injuries, whether your employer tries to delay the claim, and the schedule of the Court where your case will be heard. We work hard and we work fast to get you a settlement as soon as possible.
5. How much is your case worth?
We have personally handled work injury cases that settled for multiple millions of dollars. The value of your claim depends on a lot of different factors, including the nature and extent of your injuries, the cause of those injuries, and the type of law that will control your legal claims.
We can usually give our clients a pretty good idea of the range of potential settlement values early in the case, and as we work with you to develop your legal case we fine-tune the evaluation and will make specific recommendations to you on a settlement amount based on our decades of experience winning these cases for our clients.
More information to help answer your questions:
- Why you shouldn't give a recorded statement
- Can I get fired for filing a workers' compensation claim?
- The role of workers' compensation in your case
- What to do if your boss is pushing you back to work before you are ready
- How to win your case
- How to find the best attorney for your case
- Read about our Client Medical Assistance Program
Contact us at VB AttorneysToday To Discuss Your Work Injury Case
To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, please call us toll free at 877-724-7800 or use the contact form on our site to send us a confidential message. We look forward to helping you.