Can You Sue Your Employer for Workplace and Scaffolding Injuries?
Full-time workers spend a quarter of their life at work every week, and many employees put in more time and effort off the books. When your regular job duties cause harm, can you sue your employer for injuries? The law says, “Yes.”
The attorneys at Pierce Skrabanek have experience representing hard workers from various lines of employment, including oilfields and pipelines, manufacturing and chemical plants, and maritime jobs. We know that even when you do everything you can to stay safe, workplace, industrial, and scaffolding accidents can still occur due to safety failures, mismanagement, and negligence.
After a workplace injury, we know all you want is to regain a sense of normalcy. The dedicated work injury lawyers at Pierce Skrabanek have the knowledge, experience, and passion to help secure the compensation you need. Reach out to our Houston, Texas headquarters online or by calling (832) 690-7000 for a free, confidential consultation. We know what your losses are truly worth, and will build a case for the settlement or verdict you deserve.
What Qualifies as an Injury on Duty?
According to workers’ compensation law, injuries and illnesses are covered if they occur during the scope and course of one’s job duties. Examples of such injuries may include joint damage created due to repetitive motions (like operating a machine), or toxic exposure due to interacting with asbestos-containing materials. Employers should guard against these known risks with safety standards like joint braces and rotation work, or protective masks and decontamination procedures.
Failure to protect against known hazards may be considered negligence. Avoidable accidents and the injuries that result deserve full and fair compensation.
Scaffolding, Rooftop, and Rigging Falls
Pierce Skrabanek has a robust track record of representing some of the hardest-working individuals in the air, on land, and over seas — from roofers to oil rig operators to other maritime roles. When your workplace is inherently dangerous due to the nature of the job, there should be an excess of protections in place, not just the bare minimum. That includes protective gear, harnesses, and maintenance to clear the area of any unnecessary hazards.
Dangerous jobs don’t mean you should expect an injury, they mean you should expect abundant and redundant safety protocols.
There can be overlapping liability for injuries, including employers, property owners, and manufacturers. If you’ve been injured on the job, your priority is to heal and move forward as best as possible. Your attorney from Pierce Skrabanek will investigate your circumstances, gather and verify evidence, and build a case for a comprehensive settlement.
How Do I Claim Compensation for a Work-Related Injury?
In many cases, workers’ compensation may be able to cover damages for a workplace or industrial accident. This depends on several factors, including the individual employee’s contract, insurance policies, and state or county laws.
It is important that you consult with your own attorney before signing or agreeing to any offer from workers’ comp or your employer’s insurance company.
It is the job of insurance agents to save their company as much money as possible. That may lead them to lowball you with less compensation than you deserve. At Pierce Skrabanek, we have expert witnesses and decades of experience that indicate the true cost of your losses after an injury. We can help handle your workers’ comp claim, and pursue an additional lawsuit if it doesn’t cover your actual needs.
Your compensation should include full accounting for:
- All hospital and medical expenses, including follow-up care, medical devices, and pharmaceutical needs
- Your lost wages, lost earning capacity, and lost job-related benefits like health insurance or retirement contributions
- Compensation for your pain and suffering, from physical pain to emotional anguish caused to you and your family, including in cases of permanent scarring or disfigurement
If your case requires a trial, a judge or jury may award additional punitive or “punishment” damages in cases where the injury involved intentional acts or extremely negligent behavior. If you are the surviving family member of someone who lost their life due to a workplace injury, you may have the right to file a wrongful death claim to seek justice for the deceased.
What Are the Most Common Work-Related Injuries?
Workplace, construction, and industrial accident injuries can largely be grouped into the following categories.
- Slips, trips, and falls: Accounting for about 1/3 of all workplace injuries, these are easily preventable. Slips and falls from roofs, platforms, or scaffolding often cause broken bones, head injuries, and back injuries at work.
- Repetitive motion injuries: These injuries are caused by fixed-motion activities, like typing for hours on end. They can be prevented with proper workloads and break times, along with ergonomic equipment.
- Vehicle and moving equipment injuries: Workers operating vehicles and heavy machinery are often severely hurt when the equipment overturns, crashes, or malfunctions. This can lead to industrial accidents that cause neck and head injuries, broken limbs, and other traumatic injuries.
- Hazards in the workplace: Unsafe working conditions put employees at risk of chemical spills, fires, explosions, and more work-related accidents. Serious industrial and workplace accidents that cause injuries and fatalities are not uncommon in these hazardous working conditions. An attorney can hold employers accountable when they subject employees to these kinds of conditions.
- Electrical shocks: Getting shocked or burned can be very serious, if not fatal.
Every preventable injury is a failure to provide the protections you deserve as an essential builder, breaker, or service provider.
Is It the Company’s Responsibility to Prevent All Accidents at Work?
It is your employer’s responsibility to provide a safe working environment and prevent any and all avoidable accidents or injuries. Depending on what industry you work in, safety gear and procedures could entail:
- Protective gear like helmets, goggles, gloves, flame-resistant clothing, or steel-toed boots
- Decontamination protocols like fully functioning monitors, washing stations, and on-site chemical neutralization
- Safety management oversight and relief workers so that all who work in dangerous environments are alert and focused on the tasks at hand
- Railings, netting, or harnesses to catch falling objects or workers
- A robust maintenance schedule to ensure that where you work is clean, fortified, and emergency devices (like fire extinguishers) are up to date
If you were not properly trained or protected, it’s important to hold the responsible parties accountable for their failures and inactions.
Contact Proven Workplace Injury Lawyers
Workplace, construction, scaffolding, and other industrial injuries impact workers regularly in mild, persistent, and sudden injuries every day. We’re talking hundreds of fatalities and thousands of serious injuries every year in Texas and throughout the United States.
Avoidable accidents like slips, falls, falling objects, fires, explosions, and poorly maintained equipment cause needless pain, suffering, and loss every day. Your choice to pursue justice for yourself could help prevent future hardship and improve safety standards for others. This is done by holding negligent companies or individuals accountable. It is vital that you never underestimate your own value, and that you realize that justice for you and your family could lead to greater safety for your fellow workers and community.
Reach the attorneys at Pierce Skrabanek by calling (832) 690-7000 or by scheduling online for a free, confidential consultation. Once you decide on a legal course forward, your lawyer does all that is necessary to get it done. That leaves you free to focus on your legacy of good work, your life, and your loved ones.
Work-Related Injury FAQs
Notable workplace and industrial injury successes for our clients include:
- $16.9 million for a seaman, a verdict which included a punitive damages award for $2 million
- $11.6 million for a catastrophic injury case thanks to the work of attorney Mike Pierce (the original pretrial settlement offer was $300,000)
- $1.72 million in a crane accident case, and featured in verdict search’s top texas verdicts
These payouts mean better quality healthcare, financial stability, and crucial caretake aid for the families of injured workers.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than 100 deaths occur per week in most reporting years — that’s a staggering 14 workers killed each day.
Every death robs an individual of the joys they should have experienced in life. Each loss leaves loved ones grieving and coworkers traumatized. All are unacceptable.
There are four causes of construction deaths that account for 58.6% percent of all worker deaths. Also known as the “Fatal Four,” they are comprised of:
- Falls (33.5%)
- Struck by an object (11.1%)
- Electrocutions (8.5%)
- Caught in or between objects (5.5%)
So many of these tragic work-related injuries and deaths might have been prevented if the employer had made workplace safety a priority.
There is no one set timeline for a workplace accident lawsuit. They can range from several months to a few years to fully resolve, depending on the exact circumstances of the case. A workplace injury lawyer can push hard to make sure your case is attended to and moving forward.
There is a limited window in which to file a work-related injury lawsuit. Those filing deadlines are known as “statutes of limitations,” and may be as short as 1 year from the date of injury in Texas, depending on the claim. Contact a work-related accident lawyer from Pierce Skrabanek at (832) 690-7000 as soon as possible so you don’t miss your chance at recovery.
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