MG -11- 8/9/21 Workplace accidents-checked x 3 – good – gtg

Lifting Accidents & Back Injuries
IF You Have a Workplace Back Injury Or Are Suffering From a Job Site Lifting Injury, The Work Accident Attorneys At Our Law Office Can Be Of Service.

Our wrongful death and personal injury attorneys have over twenty years of experience handling cases involving worksite back and lifting injuries. If you’ve been harmed while employed doing heavy lifting for your employer, it’s very possible you may have a cause for legal action in which you can receive justice and compensation for your employer’s negligence.

Should you be considering retaining a lawyer to help you in pursuing an insurance claim or if you are considering a legal action related to your on-the-job injury, then the skilled, experienced, and aggressive personal injury attorneys at our Law Office can aid you in receiving full and fair compensation for your lifting injury. Even in what many consider to be “simple” cases, retaining the services of a skilled attorney is often a good move since the first instinct of most insurance companies is to try to prove your claim lacks merit. With over twenty years of experience in handling personal injury claims concerning lifting injuries, our legal team can aid you with detailed information that can in the end help you receive full and fair compensation for your pain and suffering.

The Problem With Doing It Yourself
Many people mistakenly assume that because some work-related injuries seem simple and superficial, it follows then that receiving fair compensation should be a rather simple and straightforward matter. Most people believe that if you hurt yourself while in the performance of your work, then the employer’s insurance will recompense you with little fuss, yet what most Texans don’t know is that this is often rarely the case. There are numerous factors that happen behind closed doors (that many people would be somewhat shocked to know) when it comes to workplace lifting injuries. The biggest shock comes when dealing with Texas workmans’ compensation insurance.

Texas Workmans’ Compensation Insurance in Truth Protects Employers
The primary reason employers carry workers’ comp insurance is not to provide quality insurance for their employees, but to protect themselves from lawsuits brought against them by injured employees. Employees who have received back or other injuries while at work will in all likelihood be compensated for their lifting injuries and lost income through workmans’ compensation insurance, but the reality is that most compensation realized through the workers’ comp program is usually far from adequate, and usually not enough to cover the injured employee’s true losses. But just because your employer is enrolled in workman’s compensation, doesn’t mean that you can’t seek relief and truly fair compensation. The work accident attorneys at our Law Office can aid you in determining whether there is another party or other parties who may be responsible for your work-related lifting injury, and if another party or other parties are involved they may hold partial responsibility for your claim. For example, if you were injured lifting stock off of a manual pallet jack and the pallet jack is somehow faulty or poorly designed, then the manufacturer of the jack may carry partial liability for your injury and pain. In addition to your workers’ comp payout, whatever damages the manufacturer is responsible for will be added to your total compensation.

More Employers Than You Would Guess Lie About Carrying Workers’ Compensation
Because workers’ compensation insurance has such a good reputation and can truly protect employers from lawsuits, many employers who do not choose to subscribe to the program simply lie about carrying the insurance. Our Law Office has seen this ploy numerous times. Owing to our experience in working with workmans’ comp cases, we are very, very good at determining employers’ claims about belonging to this State of Texas program. In the possibility that your employer does not belong to workers’ comp, we can aid you in filing a personal injury lawsuit to ensure that you receive full and fair compensation for your lifting injuries.

Contract Employees
Texas workers’ compensation law exempts contract employees from enjoying certain rights and privileges enjoyed by regular employees. Because of this fact, many employers believe they can shirk their employer obligations and duties by hiring what are known as “contract” workers. What this means is that if an employer deems you to be a contract worker, then certain necessary conditions required to form an employer-employee relationship for legitimate workmans’ comp insurance claims are dissolved. It follows in this scenario that a contract worker who suffers an on-the-job back injury is not covered by workman’s comp or any other employer insurance. By hiring contract employees, many employers mistakenly assume that they are then not responsible for any back injuries that happen to contract workers because they are not addressed in Texas workers’ compensation law.

These employers are deceived, however. Our Law Office has over twenty years of experience has taught us that when dealing with workers’ compensation law and cases, we are usually able to establish that a true employer-employee relationship existed, even if you were hired on as a contract employee, even if you sign a document stating that this is the case or if the employer hires you under that condition. Texas law is unclear regarding the status of a general employee, so there are a number of ways to show your relationship to be one of a regular employee. For example, if your employer withholds federal income tax and Social Security, or if you have to sign and abide by an employee handbook and take mandatory drug testing, Texas law will consider you a regular employee, no matter if you were hired as a contractor. There are many other ways to show that you may be a regular employee, and our extensive experience has taught us every aspect to prove that a traditional employer-employee relationship exists. We can cut through your employer’s terminology to hold your employer liable for your back injury or other harms. Many cases such as these are turned down by many law firms due to technicalities such as these, but by speaking to one of our work accident attorneys about your back injury, we likely may be able to show your status as a regular employee and hold your employer accountable, and/or find other third parties who may also be responsible for your lifting injuries.

Our Law Office Can Help With Cases Involving Lifting Injuries
If you’ve suffered a workplace back or lifting injury, then you may be entitled to full and fair compensation for your injury. It is wise to act as soon as possible and contact a work injury attorney at our Law Office. You can call us toll-free so that we can begin to build a solid case for you so you can begin to seek full and fair compensation for your lifting injury. We will perform a thorough and detailed investigation of the mishap scene and we will comb through your medical history to establish that your employer’s carelessness, recklessness, or other negligence is in fact the source of your injury. With over twenty years of experience in working these cases, we can demonstrate that your harm could have been caused by a lack of or poor training, a lack of satisfactory safety equipment, or the unavailability of a coworker to aid you in the performance of your job. These cases are never as easy as they seem on the surface.

Our Law Office has negotiated with or litigated against every major insurance corporation in the United States, and their defense attorneys and adjusters are more than familiar with our name and reputation. In many instances, they’ve offered our clients full and fair out-of-court settlements rather than fight us in a court of law. They know we are more than able to win court cases dealing with back or lifting injuries. We and our clients prefer this outcome because it saves all of us time and money and it allows our clients to begin to rebuild their lives. But should the case go to court, you should know that one of our work accident attorneys will dedicate his or her services to do everything to ensure that you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries.

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Workers’ Compensation Attorney
A Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help You: Contact One Of our Law Office’s Texas Workers’ Comp Lawyers

On-the-job accidents are an everyday occurrence. Every day, hundreds of Texans are harmed or injured while performing their employment, and in many cases, these work-related mishaps cause severe injury, and in rare instances, these accidents may even be fatal.

Employment-related mishaps and injuries are not limited to dangerous industries like construction and industrial manufacturing. These injuries can be had while doing the seemingly safest of tasks like manning a counter at a convenience store or operating a cash register at a theatre. These injuries can occur and happen in any number of infinite ways.

Workers’ Compensation law in Texas is designed to protect employees who are somehow harmed and injured while at the workplace. The law is to protect workers who are injured due to an employer who is negligent, careless and/or reckless in providing a safe and secure working environment for its employees, and the law allows employees to be compensated for medical injuries and for lost wages while the employee recovers or rehabilitates from his or her injuries. The problem, however, is that a myth has arisen around the ease of collecting workers’ comp benefits. What most Texans don’t know is that most employers contest and attempt to deny or minimize workers’ compensation claims, and most Texans don’t also know that trying to receive lawful and rightful compensation can be a long and very difficult process. The burden of proof for demonstrating that the employer is negligent and liable for your work-related injuries falls squarely on the shoulders of the harmed employee. You will take on insurance company legal defense teams as you try to prove your claim and this can be a very arduous undertaking. It follows that you will need the help of a skilled, aggressive, and experienced Workers’ compensation attorney to aid you in receiving the rightful and fair compensation to which you are entitled. The attorneys at our Law Office can inform you of your legal alternatives and courses of action to help you attain your rightful claim.

What Kind of Workplace Mishap Claim do you Have?
Texas law does not demand that employers carry or purchase workers’ compensation, and employers are given a choice on whether to opt-out of the program. Texas employers can provide workman’s compensation, or they can purchase general liability or supplemental insurance from a private insurance corporation. This means that compensation for a work-related injury will be determined by whether the employer subscribes to workers’ comp (these are known, therefore, as subscribers), or whether employers purchase insurance from privately-held corporations outside of the workers’ comp program (these are called non-subscribers).

Workers’ Compensation
When an employer purchases workman’s compensation, he or she buys more than simple insurance, the reality is also that they are buying insurance against being sued by harmed or injured employees. Texas law protects subscribing employers from lawsuits because Texas workers’ compensation law, except in very specific circumstances, prevents employees from suing their employers should they have been injured in an on-the-job accident or mishap. Workers’ compensation is designed to compensate injured employees for medical expenses and lost wages while the injured employee is recovering or rehabilitating from the harm. Nevertheless, workmans’ compensation insurance carriers should be viewed and understood as you would view any other business: the carriers exist to make money and increase profits, and many times they will do so at the expense of paying accident victims fair compensation. To save money or increase profitability, these insurance carriers will do what they can to deny or minimize injured worker’s claims and compensation. Each year hundreds of Texans are denied their fair and rightful compensation for their injuries and losses. Though workers’ compensation protects employers from lawsuits, in many cases filing a legal action is the only way injured workers have to receive their rightful and just compensation. If you’ve been injured in a worksite accident, a skilled and experienced workers’ compensation attorney from our Law Office can let you know if your situation allows you to take legal action against a negligent employer to secure your full and fair compensation

An experienced attorney will use one of two exceptions to worker compensation law that permit legal actions to be filed for a worksite accident, mishap, or death, even though the employer subscribes to workers’ compensation. If gross negligence on the part of the employer results in an employee’s death, his family can file a wrongful death claim for the work-related accident.

Furthermore, it is entirely possible that the work-related mishap or fatality is a result of actions and negligence by third parties. In many cases, third parties such as shippers, trucking companies, contractors, vendors, parts manufacturers, suppliers, etc., may have partial or complete liability for an on-the-job accident. In order to successfully identify all the responsible parties for your pain and suffering will require the knowledge of an extremely experienced attorney. Our Law Office workers’ compensation attorneys have over twenty years of experience investigating and wining workplace personal injury and wrongful death claims and they’ve mastered the art of identifying all responsible parties and holding them accountable for their carelessness, recklessness, and negligence.

Non-Subscriber Employers
Non-subscribing employers, also known as non-subscribers, are those employers who do not purchase state-sanctioned workers’ compensation insurance. The procedures and process for filing claims and seeking compensation from non-subscribers are fundamentally different than when dealing with subscriber employers, and it can be a very torturous ordeal.

The primary difference between the two types of employers is that an employee who has suffered a workplace injury while employed by a non-subscriber is that he or she can easily file a legal action against their employer for their pain and suffering. The arena for action, so to speak, for these cases usually moves to the courtroom instead of in a workers’ comp administrative bureaucracy. Because these claims are settled in a court of law, this arena tends to favor an injured employee who can retain an aggressive and experienced attorney. Be that as it may, a workmans’ comp lawsuit is almost never an easy battle. An injured employee who works for a non-subscriber has more legal rights, but that doesn’t mean he or she has the experience and understanding to prosecute their own cases. The law involved is too complex for a non-lawyer to comprehend, so it is necessary for an experienced and trial-tested workers’ compensation attorney to take your case and give you a much-increased chance of recovering the full and fair compensation you need to recover from your injuries and for your pain and suffering.

To start, you have to first file a claim with your employer. If you and your employer do not reach an agreement regarding a plan of action in regard to your claim and compensation, then you must file a lawsuit to seek the compensation you need for your injuries and losses. The problem is that once your case goes to trial, you bear the burden of proof for showing your harms and suffering are due to your employer’s carelessness or negligence in providing a safe work environment. Further, it is your responsibility to “prove” how much monetary compensation you deserve in terms of lost and future lost wages, medical expenses, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.

Texas law allows for a lower threshold to demonstrate the burden of proof and employer liability in non-subscriber claims so as to punish employers for not signing on to Texas workers’ comp. This fact generally works in favor of injured and harmed employees.

Frequent Problems in Nonsubscriber Work Injury Cases
There is only one defense for employers to evade responsibility for a workers’ comp claim and that is the “sole proximate cause” defense. What this defense argues is that the injured or harmed employee is wholly and completely responsible for his or her own pain and suffering due to his or her own carelessness, recklessness and/or negligence. The Texas Workers’ Compensation Act of 1993 had the intent of protecting businesses and give them protection against expensive injured workers’ lawsuits. Texas workmans’ comp law is in part created to punish non-subscribers in order to persuade these employers to buy state-sanctioned insurance in the hope of reducing the amount of work-related injury lawsuits that were clogging up the Texas judicial system’s resources and further protect injured employees while offering more Texas employees coverage. The only defense left to non-subscribers is the sole proximate cause defense.

Since this is the only allowable defense for non-subscriber employers, they use this defense in almost every case. In order for an employer to prove sole proximate cause, they will take whatever underhanded measures they can to show to the judge and jury that you were the cause of your own harms and injuries.

Though non-subscriber employers took the risk to opt-out of workmans’ compensation insurance to save money and assets, you can almost guarantee that they will spend their profits and use their assets to hire aggressive and skilled defense teams to protect their businesses and corporate interests. Their defense teams will devote all of their energies to proving your carelessness in the workplace so they can deny or minimize the compensation that is rightfully yours for your harms and injuries.

Employers and their insurance carriers will attempt to bully you into accepting a minimal and far less than adequate settlement that will not cover your medical expenses and lost wages resulting from your accident. They know how to deceive and influence work accident victims by convincing them that the insurers in fact truly have the victim’s situation and interest at heart and that the proposed settlement is not only fair, but the best one the victim could possibly get. The reality is however, they are only concerned with saving money for the employers and their insurance carriers, with the intent of protecting their own assets at the price of your own well-being.

Texas law admits of only one other option for employers to get out of paying workplace injury claims, and that is to deny the existence of an employer-employee relationship with those injured in the workplace. If the injured worker is in truth not a “real” employee, then the employer in question cannot be expected to pay employer benefits to those who are not on the regular company payroll. Many employers will conceal and complicate the nature of the relationship with certain workers who are not regular employees. For example, many employers contract out work to vendors, builders, truckers, security personnel, etc. and classify these workers as contractors. State law does not compel non-subscriber employees to provide the same safety standards to contract employees. It follows that by denying this as an employer-employee relationship, employers avoid responsibility for the harms and injuries contract workers receive in the workplace.

What is a Contract Employee?
It is much more difficult to claim that no employer-employee relationship exists with contract workers than trying to prove a sole proximate cause claim since these claims are rather easily dismissed. Before any work agreement is signed, employers will attempt to show you that you are not an employee, and in the event of a workplace injury, employers will immediately begin to try to convince you that you were never part of their workforce. They use language to confuse the relationship; they hire you as a “contractor,” to show you that you do not have certain rights and protections, yet they have you do all the work of regular employees. If you are somehow harmed or injured in their workplace, they will then be able to argue that they are not liable for your injuries and thus they can avoid paying you compensation. Employers may think that certain employees are contractors, but Texas law may classify you in truth as an employee, with the result that they are in fact liable for injuries and harms you’ve suffered in the workplace. They may in fact be liable for your medical expenses and lost and lost future wages.

So that an injured worker can receive compensation for his or her injuries, the harmed employee in this situation also carries the burden of proof to establish an employer-employee relationship. A skilled, aggressive, and experienced workers’ compensation attorney has access to over twenty years experience to help you prove that an employer-employee relationship existed with your non-subscriber employer and our Law Office workers’ comp lawyers can help you receive full and fair compensation that is your right.

Texas law holds you to be an employee if one or a few of the following conditions are met:

The employer in question withholds taxes and Social Security from your paycheck.
The employer in question provides all the necessary equipment for your work.
The employer in question expects you to abide by a specific work schedule and work for defined periods of time.
The employer in question managed, guided and inspected your work during your work shift.
The employer in question has you give up some of your traditional employee rights by signing a document or contract you to mandatory drug testing or signing a confirmation that you’ve received and read an employee handbook.
The employer in question has hired you for an indefinite period of time and not just for a single job.
The employer in question pays you an hourly wage or salary and not on a case-by-case basis.
Our Law Office workers’ compensation attorneys will depose and interview your coworkers and examine any material evidence that can establish the existence of an employer-employee relationship–whether our attorneys have to comb through employment contracts, pay stubs, time cards, and other forms of solid evidence.

OSHA Cannot Help You
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, known as OSHA is a federal government agency charged with setting minimum safety standards for all employers in the United States. OSHA’s mandate is valuable; it is to ensure the health and safety of employees in the workplace by updating standards and punishing employers for violating federal health and safety regulations. OSHA’s mandate however, is very limited in scope and it can provide no assistance to you in the event of a workplace accident or injury. OSHA suffers from limited resources and budget constraints, so its investigative ability is hampered and diminished, and its enforcement regime is long outdated. OSHA generally does not arrive at workplace accident sites until long after the incident or injury has happened, and its federally determined fines for employers have not been increased in decades. These facts do not give employers incentive to improve the safety of working conditions.

OSHA’s only influence is in helping employers avoid future accidents and injuries by providing regulations and guidelines after the fact. After an accident or injury has occurred, OSHA investigators will write a report with recommendations to improve workplace safety, and then follow up on the employer’s actions to follow OSHA’s recommendations. OSHA’s report will contain no specific evidence of aid to you and OSHA does not rule on accident liability as such. OSHA’s sole focus is to improve the safety and health of workplace conditions.

Simply stated, OSHA’s mandate is not to help you prove your case and secure you your rightful and fair compensation. Only a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you seek and receive the necessary compensation you need to recover and rebuild your life.

What Can I Do?
It is critical that you do not sign away your right to take legal action in exchange for the minimal compensation you will be offered. As we just mentioned, most employers and their insurance carriers will try to convince or manipulate you into taking an insignificant settlement offer. You should not even discuss your accident with your employer or his insurance carrier without the presence of your attorney.

It is of the utmost importance that you move quickly to find a reputable attorney so that he or she can begin to gather and examine all available evidence. The usefulness and integrity of evidence begin to decay quickly immediately after an accident happens: witnesses lose memory, surveillance video gets erased or reused, pay stubs and accident logs get thrown away or lost, broken machinery or blood gets fixed or cleaned up; the list is endless. If you wait too long to retain the services of an attorney, you could be doing incalculable harm to your case and claim, and you may lose the ability to receive your full and fair compensation.

The workers’ comp attorneys at our Law Office have been aiding injured Texans receive the compensation that is their right for over twenty years. We have a reputation for protecting our client’s rights and helping them to receive their rightful compensation for their injuries and losses.

In order to determine whether your employer is a subscriber or non-subscriber, and/or if Texas law considers you an employee and what your potential worker’s rights are, call us toll-free for a free consultation and to discuss your potential legal alternatives and to let you know if we can help you to begin to rebuild your life.

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Fatal Work Accident Attorney

If You Need Information From A Texas Wrongful Death Lawyer: Our Fatal Work Accident Attorneys Can Help You With Workplace Wrongful Death Lawsuits

One of the most tragic and overwhelming experiences a family can endure is losing a loved one in a workplace accident. Family members of a deadly work-related mishap may wish to seek justice by initiating a wrongful death legal action, but in their grief, they may not know where to turn.

Because a fatality is involved, wrongful death lawsuits are very difficult and complicated, and work injury jurisprudence only makes these cases additionally technical. Wrongful death claims are a type of legal action that you do not want to engage in on your own; you will need the aid and expertise of an experienced and skillful attorney. Our fatal work accident attorneys can inform you regarding how these lawsuits are prosecuted, what difficulties you will face, and how the fatal work accident attorneys at our Law Office can help you seek and attain the justice and compensation that is rightfully yours.

Familiar Types of Lethal Job Site Accidents
Most deadly worksite accidents occur in dangerous occupations like heavy construction, heavy industry, working oil rigs, and the like, but no workplace is immune from a fatal accident. Job site fatalities can happen nearly any place and at any time, and they can be caused by drivers, by careless, reckless and/or negligent coworkers, by an unsafe work area, or by merely tripping on a stair. In nearly every on-the-job mishap or incident, and whether someone is killed or not, the injured worker or his or her loved ones can seek compensation through various means, and this is almost always an arduous process. With each accident, there are a number of factors that affect the way the case must be dealt with, and many questions must be answered before you can choose from alternative plans of action. For example, did the owner of the workplace carry workers’ compensation or not? Was the employer grossly negligent in providing a safe and secure job site? Was your family member a regular employee or a contractor? Are there any responsible third parties? Your legal options will change as each of these, and many more, questions are answered, and your legal choices must be made to address each and every issue. As we mentioned above, filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim can be exceedingly complex and time-consuming, even well before litigation becomes an option.

Why Are Workplace Accidents So Complicated?
Deadly workplace accident lawsuits in Texas are made much more difficult due to the fact that the state allows workers’ compensation insurance. Workmans’ comp is not a standard insurance policy in that it is supported by and highly regulated by the state. Yes, workers’ comp insurance usually does provide settlements to injured workers and their loved ones, but these settlements are rather small and they are usually not even close to being sufficient compensation for one’s injuries or for the deceased’s bereaved family. But what most Texans do not know about workers’ comp, is that it was signed into law in order to protect businesses and corporations from lawsuits. After decades of pro-business interest lobbying, lawmakers put significant barriers in place in order to prevent injured employees or their families from easily pursuing litigation against careless, reckless, or otherwise negligent employers. In order to take legal action against a negligent employer for a personal injury or wrongful death suit, very specific conditions have to be met. Most non-lawyers are unaware that these types of cases are very exclusive. It is just a fact that if workmans’ comp insurance is not taken into consideration in your instance, you simply will not be successful. Fortunately, our very experienced and aggressive fatal work accident attorneys are extremely skilled in handling workman’s compensation issues and can ensure that your family receives both justice and full and fair compensation.

Gross Negligence MUST be Proven in A Fatal Workplace Accident
There are two basic standards of negligence to consider when considering a deadly worksite accident legal action, and they are gross negligence and standard negligence. If the employer in question does not subscribe to workers’ comp insurance, then the standard you will need to meet is standard negligence in order to receive compensation for your loss and suffering. But, should your loved one have been killed in a worksite where the employer carries workmans’ compensation insurance (these employers are called subscribers), in order for the employer to be found responsible for your family member’s death, you must be able to show gross negligence. The standard of proof to establish gross negligence is considerably higher than to show standard negligence, and in order to prove gross negligence, you must have an absolutely concrete case. Most non-lawyers and many attorneys without considerable experience many times will make tiny mistakes when pursuing these claims, mistakes that will let a negligent employer escape responsibility for their careless part in the accident. But what is important that you should know is that it is not a concern if the employer was negligent or not. In fact, the employer in question can admit to being negligent, and he or she may even admit that the employer’s negligence led to the death of your family member, but it will not matter if you cannot establish gross negligence. Most non and inexperienced lawyers do not know this, and they believe that just because an employer admits to being negligent, the case is already won. Never believe this.

The difference between the two standards of negligence has to do with the egregiousness of the negligence. Normally, standard negligence is basically a simple mistake or a fleeting slip in paying attention that causes the mishap and injury. For example, a roofer sets a ladder upon unstable ground and causes another roofer to fall off of the ladder. In this case, generally, the employer can be held responsible by a legal principle known as respondeat superior. Respondeat superior means that an employer can be held responsible for the actions of his or her employees, and in this example, the employer likely would be found guilty of standard negligence. An employee made a simple mistake due to an error in judgment and as a result, caused a job-site injury, but this is not gross negligence.

Let’s take a different example. Now we will assume that the employee in question has a history of ladder accidents due to careless or reckless behavior and several employees have been hurt by his actions, and he has demonstrated that he simply does not care about safe ladder placement. It becomes safe to assume that this worker should not be allowed to place ladders for other roofers to use, since you can also assume more accidents will happen. Now if another worker is injured or killed due to a ladder accident where this employee had a hand in placement, then it is likely that this employer can be found guilty of gross negligence since the accident was foreseeable (since this employee has a history of ladder placement accidents) and preventable (the employer could simply prohibit this employee from placing the company’s ladders). Since the employer did not take active measures to improve job-site safety by banning this employee from placing ladders, the employer then becomes liable for gross negligence.

We can take another example and consider electrocution when laying power lines. If the electrocution was caused by some sort of bizarre incident that no one could even foresee, and if all the workers were following necessary safety and security protocols, then the electric company would more than likely not be found guilty of gross negligence, and the incident would be nothing more than a tragic mishap. But however, if workers and foremen repeatedly warned their employer about unsafe protocols and procedures, and if experts in laying power lines had warned that certain procedures and practices were unsound, then you can almost be assured the electric company would be responsible for gross negligence.

Contact our Fatal Work Accident Attorneys to Discuss Your Situation
The undertaking of proving gross negligence is usually very difficult. And very often, the success of wrongful death lawsuits comes down to a painstakingly thorough and detailed examination of the accident site, through the in-depth interviews with witnesses and by testimony from experts in the applicable topic. Non and inexperienced lawyers just do not know, nor do they have the resources to build the necessary concrete case and then present the facts and evidence in such a way that is admissible to a court of law. Even though this is difficult enough, you must also consider that the negligent employer’s legal defense team will be doing everything in its power to defend the negligent employer while at the same time proving that your loved one is the guilty and negligent party.

Our Law Office attorneys are dedicated to ensuring that you and your family receive the justice and full and fair compensation that you deserve for your loss and pain and suffering. We will do whatever we can to help you prove your case, whether you need us to negotiate a just settlement, litigate in court, or simply answer your questions. We have over twenty years of experience in the courtroom, in conducting detailed and thorough investigations and resolving personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. We have won hundreds of court actions against every major insurance carrier in the United States. Insurance carrier defense teams know of our success and reputation, and they usually are very cooperative with our legal teams so they do not have to meet us in a court of law. Put simply, we have the skill, experience, and know-how to level the playing field between you and powerful corporate and insurance legal defense teams; and we can help you receive the justice and rightful compensation for your loved one’s death and your resulting loss. If you’ve lost a family member in a workplace mishap, call us toll-free for a free legal consultation to discuss your settlement and legal alternatives, and to help you attain the justice that is your right.

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Workers Comp Lawyer

If You are Looking for a Workers’ Comp Attorney, Call our Law Office

A seasoned and effective workers’ comp lawyer can be of a great deal of help to you should you suffer an injury resulting from a workplace accident. And these kinds of accidents come in many varieties; some can be relatively minor, where you can return to work either immediately after a small amount of treatment or the next day.

Others can be catastrophic, and lead to months – if not years – of extensive rehabilitation and keep you out of work for a very, very long period of time. In some instances, this kind of injury can mean you will never be able to return to work. Should you experience a work-related injury, there may be a chance that you can get just restitution for the physical and emotional trauma you are going through.

Workplace accidents often occur without any warning, and with devastating consequences. They can be caused by malfunctioning or faulty equipment, negligence on the part of the company or a fellow worker, or some other entity, and can involve falls, vehicle accidents, body parts entrapped in machinery, falling debris, or many other different circumstances that can cause a great deal of personal harm. In Texas, the law states that, if an accident occurs, the employer could be held liable for your injuries and the expenses and other unfortunate consequences that result from the accident. But there are a lot of things that people may assume concerning these kinds of events; one of the most common being that the employer or the employer’s insurance company will choose to “do the right thing” and compensate that worker for any losses he or she may incur. The cold fact is, however, that oftentimes this could not be further from the truth. Most of the time quite the opposite takes place – the employer and insurer will try and deny workers’ injury claims, thus leaving them on their own to deal with the crushing financial burdens created by the accident.

When a company or insurance provider chooses to fight a claim, the result is usually a lawsuit filed by the worker in order to get fair restitution for the physical, mental and monetary costs associated with the accident. In these cases, the worker filing the claim – referred to as the “plaintiff” in legal parlance – has to carry the burden of proof. In other words, he or she has to prove that the negligence of the employer or another entity led to the accident. If that injured worker is you, it is imperative that you immediately get in touch with an experienced workers comp lawyer who can help you meet that burden of proof and prevail against those responsible for your injury.

You will notice a theme throughout this article – the critical importance of you seeking experienced legal representation. We will stress this point repeatedly; it really can’t be stressed enough. There is an incredible number of hurdles that you, the plaintiff, will have to surmount in order to successfully pursue personal injury litigation. These hurdles will make your case extremely complex. If you have a novice lawyer, or worse yet, you try to take on this litigation on your own, your chances of winning are basically nil.

It could prove to be the worst mistake you’ll ever make; if you leave that courtroom a loser, then you will be responsible for all of your medical expenses. That could lead to financial ruin. The workers’ comp lawyers with our Law Office have two decades of experience in handling personal injury cases involved with workers’ compensation claims. We are extremely adept at helping injury victims get the just restitution they deserve for their injuries and we can help you navigate through all the legal complexities you will face, and thoroughly explain all legal options you have.

Is My Employer a Workers Compensation Insurance Subscriber?
The answer to the above question may be the most important one surrounding your case. There are many states in this country that require companies to pay for, or “subscribe to,” workers’ compensation insurance. Texas, however, does not. A lot of companies in Texas choose to subscribe to workers comp insurance, even though it can be very expensive. The reason is the protection from lawsuits workers comp insurance provides, as will be explained in detail later. Companies that choose not to purchase workers comp insurance are known as “non-subscribers,” and they are much more exposed to litigation than is a subscribing company, as you will see later in this article. Whatever the case, it is vital to ascertain whether your employer is a subscriber or a non-subscriber. You must seek legal assistance in order for you to completely comprehend the rights you have, and to determine the best legal avenue to pursue. While your litigation will differ greatly depending on whether your employer is a subscriber or non-subscriber, both kinds of cases will be filled with complexities and intricacies that inexperienced lawyers and legal laymen will find extremely daunting, to say the least. We know how to pursue litigation no matter what side of the workers’ comp fence your company resides.

How Does an Employer Benefit from Workers Comp?
The benefits to an employer from being a subscriber to workers’ compensation insurance can be enormous, as was touched on earlier. Basically, a subscriber is buying much more than just an insurance policy; it’s buying lawsuit protection. An injured worker cannot sue a subscribing company. Workers comp can provide some compensation to an injured employee to help cover a portion of medical expenses and lost pay, but the amount provided normally doesn’t come close to paying for all the medical bills an injured worker accrues and is woefully inadequate in covering lost wages. And just because you suffer a workplace injury, that does not automatically guarantee that you’ll get even that relative pittance. Workers comp payments come from the insurance provider, and many times that insurer will be determined to deny a claim and thus not have to pay anything to the injured worker. At the very least, that insurer will do whatever it can to pay the least amount of money it can possibly get away with. There are several instances in Texas every year where an injured worker’s injury claim is denied flat-out thanks to the efforts of an extremely aggressive insurance provider. But an experienced workers comp lawyer can work to ensure you do not have to suffer a similar injustice.

Even though a subscribing company is shielded from a lawsuit, there are other legal methods you can employ to get fair restitution for your injury. There may be an exception that applies to your case that may allow you to take legal action against your employer, or you may be able to take action against a responsible third party, such as the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment that may have led to the accident that caused your injury.

Exceptions in Workers Comp Cases
There are two very important exceptions regarding the workers’ compensation system that may help workplace accident victims or their families seek fair restitution. First, if a workplace accident occurs on a workers comp subscriber’s job site, and it results in the death of a worker, and it can be proven that the employer’s gross negligence led to the death, then the victim’s family can file a wrongful death lawsuit against that employer.

And for workers who suffer an injury, there may be a way to pursue legal action against another party. There could be multiple persons or entities to blame for the injury; a contractor, fellow employee, or an outside third party could have caused the accident. The workers’ comp lawyers at our Law Office know how to thoroughly explore all aspects of your case to identify and pursue legal action against those responsible third parties and find other means of obtaining compensation for injury victims.

What Happens if My Employer is a Workers Comp Non-Subscriber?
Personal injury litigation involving a claim filed by a worker against a non-subscriber workplace in a completely different manner than those regarding subscribing companies. When the Texas Legislature enacted workers comp law, it did so with the intention of trying to lighten the burdens of an incredibly overwhelmed state legal system. The thinking was, if the instances of worker’s injury lawsuits could be lessened, the entire legal system might be able to work much more efficiently. That’s why subscribers are shielded from lawsuits involving the workplace. Consequently, the law looks unfavorably toward companies that choose not to subscribe to workers comp insurance. You can say the law, in effect, “punishes” non-subscribers to leaving them wide open to personal injury litigation. It is far easier for injured workers to gain just restitution for medical expenses, lost pay, and pain and suffering from a non-subscribing company than it is a subscriber. The obvious difference is that an injured worker can sue a non-subscriber. And since there is no workers compensation claim to file in this kind of case, a victim will not be subjected to the onerous bureaucracy associated with the workers’ comp claims process.

But while it may seem like a slam-dunk, that it would be very simple to win a personal injury lawsuit against a non-subscriber, in reality, it’s not. A plaintiff, in this case, does, indeed, have more rights. But that in no way means the process is an easy one. These kinds of cases have a lot of complexity surrounding them; and experienced attorneys – by either working for the defense to minimize compensation awarded or for the plaintiff to increase compensation – can use these complexities to the benefit of their client. The attorneys at our Law Office are extremely familiar with non-subscriber personal injury litigation and can put that experience to use for you in making sure you are fairly compensated for the injury you have suffered due to the negligence of your employer.

Sometimes a claim can be resolved amicably out of court. Many times, however, that doesn’t happen and a lawsuit gets filed as a result. As stated before, when a case goes to trial, the plaintiff bears the burden of proof. Your side must prove the accident that led to your injury was caused by the employer’s negligence, and that you have incurred lost wages and lost future earning potential, medical expenses, and both emotional and physical pain and suffering as a result. This is another key difference in cases involving subscribing and non-subscribing defendants. In any case, involving a subscriber, “gross negligence” has to be proven – basically, the plaintiff has to prove that an employer habitually and recklessly created a hazardous workplace environment and that an injury-causing accident was inevitable. In a case involving a non-subscriber, however, the plaintiff needs only to prove “standard negligence,” meaning that someone’s momentary lack of focus led to the accident. This may be much easier to prove, but it still comes with several pitfalls.

Problems Involving Non-Subscriber Work Injury Claims
A non-subscribing company has but one legal defense tool it can use to try and defeat a personal injury claim, and it is called “sole proximate cause.” As we explained previously, a non-subscriber’s legal defense options are limited in this manner as a way of being punished for not purchasing workers’ compensation insurance. It can be exceedingly difficult for a non-subscriber to win a personal injury case as a result, and thus this can be a huge advantage to the plaintiff. But again, that is in no way meant to infer that winning such a case will be easy. As you will see, the sole proximate cause defense can lead to a highly emotional case that can leave lasting effects on both sides.

Sole Proximate Cause
The “sole proximate cause” defense means that the employer will maintain that you, the plaintiff, were solely responsible for the accident that caused your injury. If you were injured as a result of the accident, you were 100 percent to blame for your injury. And if this case goes to trial, the employer will always try and use the sole proximate cause defense. As a result, prepare for personal attacks on your reputation, because your employer will basically do whatever it can to paint you as an irresponsible, incompetent employee.

Non-subscribers aren’t stupid enough to not have insurance; in fact, those policies can be quite expensive. Therefore, you can guarantee the insurance provider will aggressively work to protect that policy. Specialized operatives will be dispatched to try and defeat your claim. These highly paid professionals aren’t like a typical insurance agent you may encounter after a little fender-bender. These are normally not very pleasant people to deal with; their only purpose is to ensure you leave the courtroom with nothing so that their insurance company’s bottom line is protected.

Those agents are but one component of the insurance company’s defense team. The other component will be a team of well-trained and highly skilled defense lawyers who will work to prove you were the sole cause of the accident that injured you. The insurance company could not care less about what you’re going through, the bills that are piling up, and the pain you’re experiencing on a daily basis. All it cares about is making money, and you are in the way of that. In order for them to continue making a profit, insurance companies work to defeat claims like yours every week; the more claims they can defeat, the higher their profit margin. By employing the services of the experienced workers’ comp lawyers at our Law Office, you will have someone on your side working in your best interests to see that you get all of the compensation you deserve.

The Employer/Employee Relationship
There may be one other method a non-subscribing company will use in order to defeat a claim. Even though it could be as flimsy as the sole proximate cause defense, it still must be taken seriously. And, it can be difficult to combat. What a non-subscriber might do to avoid having to pay your claim is to try and prove that you, in fact, were never really an employee of the company, but a contractor. If they can prove that an employer/employee relationship never existed, they can successfully avoid paying your claim. In Texas, contractors are responsible for their own safety in the workplace. Thus, if the company can prove you were a contractor, they cannot be held responsible for the accident that resulted in your injury. Our law firm has dealt with this kind of tactic many times; even if the company that hired you always saw you as a contractor, that doesn’t mean that you’ll be regarded that way in the eyes of the law. There are many ways to prove that the employer/employee relationship was in full effect at the time of your accident.

Again, though, the burden of proof lies with you, the plaintiff, in establishing that the employer/employee relationship did, in fact, exist. There are quite a few methods we use to establish that relationship. If any of the following took place, it is likely you will be considered an employee of the company in the eyes of the court.

The employer withheld Social Security or taxes from your paycheck.
You were paid either hourly or through some sort of salary: weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.
You signed a document that in any way limited your rights, such as a form stating you read and understood the company’s employee handbook, or a form stating that you agreed to submit to a company-mandated drug test.
Your employer inspected, managed, or otherwise oversaw your work on a regular basis.
Your employer established a definitive work schedule for you. For example, you had to be at work at a certain time, were only allowed breaks at certain times, and could not leave until a certain time signified the end of the workday.
Your employer, and not yourself, was responsible for providing the tools and equipment necessary for you to perform your job.
The workers’ comp lawyers at our Law Office know how to use documented evidence, such as pay stubs, other paperwork, or the testimony of co-workers, to successfully prove the existence of an employer/employee relationship. Doing so will vastly improve your chances of winning just restitution in a personal injury lawsuit involving a non-subscribing company.

Why You Can’t Count on OSHA to Help
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, is a federal agency that plays a vital role in trying to ensure the safety of workplace environments throughout the United States. You’ve probably seen their guidelines posted somewhere at your job, maybe in the break room or the main office. So seeing those guidelines may lead you to think that if you suffer some sort of work-related injury, you can count on OSHA to help you win any litigation that may take place. As important as that agency is, however, the unfortunate truth is it can’t really help you at all.

OSHA serves a vital role, but as vital as that role is in our country, the agency will be of no use to you in your case. OSHA investigators are stretched thin because of budgetary limitations, so there’s probably very little chance they will be able to be present at every workplace accident scene. Even if they do show up, however, their only role will be to put together a report on what happened and make recommendations to your employer on how to prevent such an incident from occurring again. This is typically a very general report used by the federal government, and normally not very specific to your case. And OSHA is not particularly concerned with who is to blame for the accident; all they want to do is enforce federal safety requirements and try to ensure that the accident doesn’t happen in the future.

OSHA’s main goal is deterrence, but even in this aspect, their hands are pretty well tied. OSHA can levy a fine against a company that violates safety regulations, but their fine schedule is seriously outdated. It hasn’t been updated since the 1960s. To put that into perspective, a gallon of gas didn’t even cost 50 cents back then. So OSHA fines normally don’t amount to much more than a slap on the wrist of the offender. The intentions of the agency are noble, but it doesn’t really have as much power as you may think. And as we already said, you can forget about OSHA being of any help in your personal injury case.

So You’ve Suffered a Workplace Accident Injury. What Happens Next?
The workers’ comp lawyers of our Law Office have won thousands of personal injury cases and helped injury victims just like you reap millions and millions of dollars in awards, getting the compensation they deserve for the physical and emotional trauma they’ve experienced, and the medical expenses and lost wages they’ve incurred. And we’d like the chance to do the same thing for you. As soon as you possibly can, call us toll-free for a confidential and free consultation regarding the specifics of your case. If you hire us, we will immediately launch a thorough investigation of all the aspects of your accident. Time is of the essence in doing so, because critical evidence can often disappear if it is not gathered quickly enough. And without that evidence, your chances of winning a lawsuit are greatly damaged.

One thing you should NEVER do when you’ve suffered an injury due to a workplace accident is to sign any sort of document that will eliminate your right to sue. You’d be surprised how many injury victims will fall victim to an aggressive insurance adjuster or defense lawyer and sign away their rights in exchange for a quick settlement. They soon realize the devastating mistake they’ve made, however, when they see what kind of pittance they’ve signed for; a pittance that won’t come anywhere close to providing them just compensation for the lost wages and medical bills they’ve incurred.

Do NOT let that happen to you. Call us as soon as you possibly can so that we can go over the details of your case, clearly spell out all of your legal options, and then get to work in order to ensure you get the just compensation for your injury that you deserve.

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