Do You Need a Factory Accident Attorney In Houston?
Industries are fundamental to economic growth as they create wealth and provide employment opportunities. Despite their importance, they carry a high risk for severe and fatal accidents when things go wrong. Industrial accidents may cause injuries or even the loss of loved ones, leaving you with financial setbacks due to the resulting hospital bills or the loss of a breadwinner.
While you have the legal right to seek compensation after negligent acts lead to an industrial accident, remember that the company you’re up against will likely have lawyers ready to refute your claims. That’s why it’s imperative to get in touch with a factory accident attorney to help protect your interests and that of your family. Below is a detailed view of everything you need to know about factory accidents and the legal steps to take.
What Accidents Occur in Factories?
Industrial work is quite technical and entails using power tools, heavy equipment, extreme temperatures, and hazardous materials such as chemicals. These variables come with the risk of causing grave or fatal accidents that can affect your livelihood.
An industrial accident may result from the action or inaction of other workers, the factory management parties, or even a natural disaster. Here are some common examples of factory accidents:
- Inexperienced colleagues
- Failed or defective equipment
- Negligence by contractors or the factory management
- Lack of safety equipment/training and warning signs
- The absence, ignorance, or poor enforcement of safety measures
- Explosions that cause fires
- Compromised structures
- Natural disasters such as flooding, power line freezes, severe storms, and tornados
- Onsite vehicle accidents
- Falling objects
The Potential Injuries Stemming From Factory Accidents
Depending on the nature of the accident, you may suffer from one or various injuries after a factory accident. Some of these injuries include:
- External and internal burns due to electrocution, fires, or chemicals
- Brain trauma and spinal cord injuries
- Damage to internal organs
- Shock wave injuries
- Bruises and fractures to your limbs or other bones
- Serious diseases, for example, cancer, due to chemical exposure
- Disfigurement and amputations
- Disability and numbing injuries
- Loss of sense such as hearing or sight
Minor injuries may let you quickly heal and go back to work. But in scenarios where the injuries are severe, you might be unable to work and provide for your family (or suffer the loss of a loved one).
Options Available After a Factory Accident in Houston
Proving negligence in a factory accident case can be daunting but necessary. It’s wise to get the help of an experienced industrial accident attorney to research the facts of your case. Your lawyer will know what steps to take and how to present the evidence of your injuries in court.
Remember that the negligent party will not take your claim while lying down. They may try to prove comparative negligence, which means the damages awarded may be lower if they can provide evidence that you are partially responsible for the accident. They might also try to prove that you are at fault for the accident and the injuries you have incurred, negatively impacting your case.
That said, here are some legal options at your disposal:
All employers have a legal duty to provide a safe working environment for their employees. Texas employers are also free to subscribe to workers’ compensation to offer payments for injuries attained at work. However, note that Texas is the only state that doesn’t require employers to get the coverage for employees, so it’s best to check whether your company provides workers’ compensation.
The coverage is an insurance fund that pays for medical bills and partially covers lost wages if you get injured or have an illness while at work. Under the Texas workers’ compensation laws, you can receive benefits regardless of fault if your employer subscribes to workers’ compensation insurance. That includes payments to cover your medical bills and part of lost wages until you can return to work or if you’ve suffered from temporary or permanent disability.
It’s worth noting that workers’ compensation won’t cover non-economic losses such as mental anguish, pain, and suffering. Therefore, it may not be enough to cater to your damages after a serious industrial accident. That’s where the second option comes in.
Personal Injury Claim
Employer negligence, failure to offer adequate protection, and product liability form the basis of a personal injury claim. Your attorney can initiate the filing for a personal injury claim after determining the validity of the case. Some scenarios that make a personal injury suit better than a workers’ compensation claim are:
- Your injuries resulted from a defective product.
- A co-worker or your employer was negligent when handling their duties.
- You got severe injuries after exposure to toxic material at work.
- You got injured due to the actions of a third party related to your work.
- Your employer isn’t party to the state’s workers’ compensation system.
Filing a personal injury claim is also ideal if you aren’t an employee of the company — you could be an independent contractor who gets injured on company property or when attending to factory business. Remember that the factory is only bound by the duty of care to its employees, meaning you won’t be covered under its workers’ compensation plan (if the insurance exists.) In this case, the solution available to get compensation for the damages incurred after an employer’s negligence is through a personal injury lawsuit for typical damages.
The Types of Benefits in an Industrial Accident Case
According to the Texas Department of Insurance, injured factory workers are entitled to 4 types of benefits:
- Income benefits. These include temporary, impairment, supplemental, and lifetime income benefits.
- Medical benefits. The payment will cover the necessary medical expenses to treat your work-related injury.
- Funeral benefits. It goes to someone who paid an employee’s funeral expenses.
- Death benefits. It replaces some cash (wage or salary) that a family lost after an employee died due to a factory accident.
And what if you’re an injured worker who can’t return to your previous job after an accident? In that case, you’re entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits to help you find alternate employment.
The Advantages of Engaging a Factory Accident Lawyer
A factory is a big corporation that likely has its in-house legal team to handle lawsuits. Naturally, you might find it hard to take on a brilliant legal mind on your own without a law background. Getting the help of a factory accident attorney will level the field in court and bring about other pros, namely:
- Comprehensive claim process. In many cases, most victims of factory accidents settle for way less than they deserve. A lawyer will know what benefits to pursue, ensuring your lawsuit covers all angles. That may include your medical bills, time off work, disability, and downtime. Therefore, you won’t have to go into debt to cover expenses during and after your recovery.
- Protection from insurance companies. Engaging the services of a factory attorney will shield you from insurance companies that aren’t willing to pay. The professionally trained adjusters involved in the payout process might be out to ensure that you settle for less by making you feel that you’re receiving a fair deal. A lawyer can protect you from such a scenario by calculating the amount you deserve or that enough to get you back on track.
- Get enough time to recover from your injuries. Letting an attorney take care of your legal needs gives you enough time to recover from your injuries. It’s easier to focus on healing from your wounds, knowing that an experienced lawyer is fighting your legal battles for compensation.
- No legal mistakes. While you may be unaware of the Texas work injury law clauses, a Houston lawyer will know the same. They can protect you from making costly mistakes when pursuing compensation. Besides, an industrial accident attorney will know the claims process and have previous experience dealing with such cases.
- Objectivity. An attorney will endeavor to pursue compensation when handling your factory accident claim. They won’t carry the same emotions or pain attached to the case as you may have. Furthermore, insurance companies paying workers’ compensation claims may take advantage of your vulnerable emotional state to pay less than what you deserve.
- Understand the timelines. An attorney can estimate the length of time it may take to settle the claim. They can also guide you on aspects such as pre-settlement funding to cover your basic expenses and medical bills as you wait for the entire settlement.
A factory accident can leave you with serious injuries, massive medical expenses, the total loss of your livelihood, or even suffering due to the death of a loved one. No matter the case, you can get legal counsel to help with your lawful claim. If you’re looking for a Houston industrial accident attorney, Morgan Legal Group is at your disposal — contact us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced lawyer.