Snakes and spiders are common occurrences in Texas, and so are their bites. The good news is that fewer than a dozen snakebite and spider-bite deaths occur throughout the US each year.
Yet, even when bites from these pests do not cause death, they can cause some pretty serious injuries. For example, brown recluse spiders can take months to heal from and countless expensive visits to your provider.
If you receive a spider or snake bite while working on a wind farm, you may wonder about your rights. Many people are confused about whether bites are a type of workplace injury and, if so, their rights to bring a lawsuit in Texas.
Were you recently injured at work on a wind farm in Houston, Texas? Did your injury come about due to a spider or snake bite? Then keep reading to learn about your legal right to file an injured-at-work lawsuit.
The Risks of Snake Bites and Spider Bites
Snakes and spiders are not to be messed with in Texas. And unfortunately, they are common to find on wind farms throughout the state.
The Lone Star State is home to many species of venomous snakes, including the coral snake and the black rat snake. Black widows and brown recluses are common poisonous spiders found in Texas.
The injuries you can obtain from a snake or spider depend on the species. Major complications that occur due to snake bites include vision problems, breathing issues, and severe pain.
Meanwhile, poisonous spiders can also cause serious injuries. For example, brown recluse bites can cause tissue necrosis. And black widow bites can lead to life-threatening central nervous system (CNS) issues.
If you get bit on the job at a wind farm, it is important to contact a lawyer ASAP. A Houston, Texas wind farm attorney can help you get compensated for your injuries.
Texas Workplace Injury Laws
Texas employees who work for employers with workers’ compensation coverage can get compensated for injuries obtained on the job. Employers who do not have workers’ comp coverage are at risk for personal injury lawsuits.
Workers whose employers have workers’ compensation coverage can get payments for their injuries. It does not matter who is at fault for the injury. It only matters that you sustained the injury at work.
There is one exception to the above rule. Workers who were under the influence or engaged in horseplay when they got injured are not eligible for workers’ comp in Texas.
Employees who receive injuries at work can sometimes sue the at-fault party for damages. Damages are awards given to victims to help pay for medical bills, lost wages, attorney fees, and more.
Sometimes, you may be eligible for workers’ comp and damages. This may be the case if your injury occurred on a boat, due to asbestos exposure, or while you were working on a punch-press. Here, your employer is the at-fault party.
Other times, the owner of the premises on which you were working when the injury happened is at fault. For example, say you get injured working on a third-party wind farm. You may have grounds to sew the wind farm owner.
Now, say you get injured at work, your employer does not have workers’ comp coverage, and your employer is at fault for your injury. In this case, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against your employer alone.
At Morgan Legal Group, we help people who get injured at work. We can identify the at-fault party or parties. And then, we will fight for the damages you deserve.
Is a Spider or Snake Bite a Workplace Injury?
In Texas, an insect sting or animal bite can be a compensable workplace injury in some cases. The bigger question, though, is: who is liable when these types of injuries occur? Is it the land owner or the employer?
The answer to these questions comes down to negligence. In the legal world, negligence means someone failed to either do something or not do something. And this failure resulted in someone’s injury.
Injured workers can file for workers’ comp against or sue employers whose negligence led to the accident. But what, exactly, does negligence mean?
Employees (or their attorneys) must prove that the working conditions placed them in harm’s way. And the employer must have known those working conditions presented a risk for harm.
In the case of snake and spider bites, that means your employer knew of the risk for spider and/or snake bites. But say your employer did nothing to mitigate the risk. For example, he or she did not warn employees.
Your employer might be negligent for your injury in this case. However, you must also prove that your injury happened as a direct cause of the spider or snake bite.
Negligent Property Owners
Contractors may not work on properties owned by their employers. In these cases, the property owner may be the negligent party if you get injured. Filing a lawsuit like this is known as a premises liability claim.
To bring your lawsuit against the property owner, though, you must prove two things. First, you (or your attorney) must prove the property owner did not do enough to ensure workers’ safety.
For example, the property owner should have posted a warning about the pests. Or the property owner should have worked on removing hazards like snake or spider infestations.
Secondly, you (or your attorney) must prove that the property owner had knowledge of the threat. In other words, he or she knew that there were spiders and/or snakes on the property that could cause your injury.
If the property owner fails to take the above measures, he or she could be liable for your injuries. You can hire a wind turbine accident attorney to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
In some snake/spider bite cases, the negligent party is the employee. This can happen if the employer and the property owner both warn the employees of the risk of spider/snake bites. But the employee does not practice caution.
The greater the risk of injury, the more caution you should practice. If you fail to practice the appropriate amount of caution, resulting in a bite, you may be partially at fault for your subsequent injuries.
You may still be eligible for some damages even if you are partially at fault. However, Texas is a contributory negligence state. That means your share of the fault must be 51% or less to file a personal injury lawsuit.
It is important to contact a local personal injury lawyer. That way, you can learn about your rights when you are negligent in your own workplace injury.
What Type of Compensation Can Bite Victims Receive?
If your employer provides workers’ compensation coverage, you can receive workers’ comp payments for your injuries. You may be eligible for temporary compensation or lifetime compensation.
Texas workers’ comp payments also cover medical costs you may incur while treating your injury. If your loved one dies on the job, your family can receive burial and death benefits.
If you file a personal injury claim, you will be eligible for damages. There are two types of damages in Texas: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are payments made to compensate you for quantifiable losses. For example, medical expenses and lost wages are two types of economic damages.
Non-economic damages are harder to put a number on. These types of damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.
In rare cases, personal injury victims may be eligible for special damages (AKA punitive damages). Judges use these awards to punish defendants in some personal injury cases. However, these awards are at the judge’s discretion.
Premises liability cases limit damages. The most common type of compensation in a premises liability case is for medical expenses. Some workers may also be eligible for lost income and/or loss of future income compensation.
Searching for Wind Farm Attorneys in Houston, Texas?
Snakes and spiders are everywhere in Texas, especially on rural wind farms. A bite from a poisonous snake or venomous spider may not kill you. But these pests can cause devastating injuries that can affect your ability to work.
Do you work on a Texas wind farm? Were you recently injured in an accident due to your employer’s or the property owner’s negligence?
Morgan Legal Group in Houston, Texas specializes in workplace injury cases, including wind turbine accidents. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and find out how much your case could be worth.