Nowhere else in the country compares to Texas when it comes to wind energy. There are over 24,000 wind-related jobs in Texas, many of them located right here in Houston.
Wind farms are an important source of energy in Texas, and the workers who keep wind farms up and running are vital. That said, it can be a thankless job, particularly when it comes to workplace injuries.
Wind turbine fires are one of the most common issues that wind farms face. If you were on the job when a wind turbine fire started, how do you know if you should contact a wind farm injury attorney?
We’re here to tell you. Read on to learn more about what to do after a wind turbine fire and when to get an attorney involved.
You’ve Sustained Serious Injuries
As we’ve mentioned already, wind turbine fires are quite common. However, they don’t always lead to serious injuries. They may occur when workers are not actively working or aren’t working on the turbine that caught fire.
In order to file a personal injury claim, you will need to demonstrate that the accident in question caused serious injuries. In addition to serious burns, common wind turbine injuries include:
- broken bones
- internal bleeding
- spinal damage
- brain damage
- limb loss
If you were impacted by an accident of this nature, you may also have serious psychological trauma. While physical injuries are often necessary to put together an air-tight case, you can also address PTSD and other mental health issues in your claim.
If you sustained any of these or other serious injuries due to a wind turbine fire, contact an attorney right away.
You’re Facing Financial Strain After the Fire
Injuries are not the only requirement to file a personal injury claim in Houston, Texas. The purpose of a personal injury claim is to recover financial losses, referred to as damages, that have resulted from the accident. This can include both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include (but are not limited to):
- current and future medical bills
- bills related to personal property damage
- loss of income resulting from a reduced capacity to work
- loss of benefits resulting from a reduced capacity to work
Non-economic damages include (but are not limited to):
- pain and suffering
- diminished quality of life
Calculating damages when putting together a personal injury claim isn’t a simple process. An experienced lawyer can work with expert witnesses and other specialists to determine things like the cost of future medical bills. An experienced lawyer can also pull from legal expertise and precedent to assess how much your non-economic damages are worth.
The Fire Was Preventable
Finally, you will need to prove that your employer’s negligence was the cause of the fire. In the eyes of the law, negligence is an act or omission that led to reasonably foreseeable risks. In other words, you can only build a personal injury claim if you can demonstrate that the conditions that caused the fire could have been prevented had your employer taken the proper steps to do so.
For example, imagine that your employer knew that a wind turbine had faulty mechanics months ago but failed to address the issue in a timely manner. By the time they sent you to work on that wind turbine, they understood that there was a risk that those faulty mechanics could cause a number of accidents, including a fire.
Proving negligence isn’t easy and, in fact, is one of the biggest reasons that you should hire an experienced attorney to help. To establish your employer’s negligence, you will need photo or video evidence, witness statements, expert testimony, and more.
Other Signs That You Should Contact a Wind Turbine Lawyer
The three factors we’ve listed above are requirements for filing a personal injury claim in Houston, Texas. However, you may still feel on the fence about whether or not you have a case worth pursuing. Let’s take a quick look at some additional factors that further indicate that you should contact an attorney to discuss the wind turbine fire and what steps to take next.
Your Employer Isn’t Reporting the Fire
A recent investigation found that wind farm owners and managers often underreport the number of fires that occur onsight due to fears of reputational damage and liability. If your employer is trying to sweep the fire that left you injured under the rug, contact a lawyer immediately. Not only is failing to report a workplace accident gross misconduct, but it also indicates that your employer does not intend to give you financial assistance while you recover.
Other Preventable Accidents Have Occurred
If the fire was only the latest in a string of accidents at your worksite, it’s time to contact an attorney. A history of accidents indicates that your employer is negligent in their management and that it is very likely that the fire was preventable. Your personal injury claim could be the catalyst that shines a light on your employer’s negligence and prevents future injuries.
You Were Following Orders When the Fire Occurred
If your own behavior was needlessly reckless at the time that the fire occurred, you may not be eligible for full compensation from your employer. However, if you were following direct orders at the time of the fire, then there is a stronger case that your employer is liable for the injuries you sustained. (Keep in mind that even if you can still file a personal injury claim so long as you are less than 50% responsible for the accident.)
You Have a Long-Term or Permanent Disability
Any serious injury is going to impact your financial well-being. However, you should always contact an attorney if a wind turbine fire left you with a long-term or permanent disability that will reduce your capacity to work for years to come. The larger the financial impact is, the more your claim is worth, and an experienced attorney can help you to fight for the money you’re owed.
Plus, you will need to prioritize your medical care and recovery when dealing with severe injuries and disabilities. By hiring a lawyer, you can focus on your own health and allow your legal team to do most of the groundwork to put together a strong case.
You Didn’t Receive Proper First Aid
Oftentimes, the immediate reaction to an injury will impact the long-term effects. Wind farm workers are at particular risk because wind farms are often located in remote areas that are far from medical facilities. As a result, you may have to rely on on-site first aid while you wait for professional medical care.
If you did not receive proper first aid, your injuries may be worse than they would have been otherwise. This will serve as yet another example of negligence in your claim.
The Accident Occurred Less Than Two Years Ago
In the state of Texas, you have two years from the time of the accident to file your personal injury claim. If it has been less than two years and you haven’t started the claim process yet, it’s time to consult a wind turbine lawyer. Those two years can go by fast, especially if you are in need of serious medical care and recovery.
You Intend to File a Claim
At the end of the day, you should always consult a lawyer if you have any intention of filing a claim after a wind turbine fire. Filing a personal injury claim against your employer will take time and serious effort. By consulting a lawyer beforehand, you can make sure that you have a strong enough case to make this process worth it.
Plus, establishing the facts of your claim isn’t going to be easy. Depending on the size of the company you work for, they may have lawyers of their own on retainer who will try to poke holes in your case. By partnering with an experienced wind turbine lawyer, you can level the playing field and increase your chances of getting the compensation that you deserve.
Consult an Attorney About Your Wind Farm Fire Case
If you were injured in a wind turbine fire in Houston, Texas, it’s time to talk to the Morgan Legal Group. We have years of experience advocating for injured workers and citizens in Houston. We care about our clients and we understand all federal, state, and city laws that impact your ability to receive compensation.
To get started, schedule your free consultation. You tell us the facts of your case and we’ll tell you what we believe your next best steps should be. If that involves filing a claim, we’ll be proud to fight for you.