Workplace, Scaffolding, and Industrial Accident Attorneys
People all across Texas work hard every day, even in jobs they know can be dangerous. Maybe you work at an oilfield, or at a plant, or on a pipeline, or scaffolding. You do everything you can to stay safe, but that does not make you immune to workplace and industrial accidents.
Slips, falls, falling objects, fires, explosions, poorly maintained equipment, and other risks lead to thousands of workplace injuries in Houston and all across Texas every year.
The dedicated work injury lawyers at Pierce Skrabanek have the knowledge, experience, and passion to put you in the best position to secure the compensation you need. After a workplace injury, we know all you want is to regain a sense of normalcy. We’re prepared to help you do just that. Call or email our industrial injury attorneys at (832) 230-2712 now for a free consultation.
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What are Workplace and Industrial Injuries?
People often use the terms “workplace injury” and “industrial injury” interchangeably, though there are differences between the two. “Workplace injury” or “workplace accident” is a broader term that refers to incidents that happen at any workplace during the course of employment. Such incidents can be unrelated to the job task or description. An example of this is when an employee with a desk job has a slip and fall accident unrelated to any of their duties while at the office.
“Industrial injury” or “industrial accident” can be more specific and refers to incidents or injuries common to a particular line of work. An example of this is when employees in manufacturing jobs sustain injuries due to chemical exposure. Industrial injuries can often be linked to repetitive movements or tasks that are repeated on a daily basis.
There can be much overlap between these various terms, and they may be used differently depending on the context. Regardless of the distinctions, you may be entitled to significant compensation if you have sustained injuries in a work setting.
Compensation for an Industrial 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.
While workers’ compensation is a commonly utilized insurance, it often does not cover every expense related to an industrial injury. In such cases, it may be necessary to pursue legal action so that the injury victim is fully compensated for losses. Damages from a lawsuit may cover:
- Hospital and medical expenses
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages (in cases where the injury involved intentional acts or extremely negligent behavior)
A skilled and experienced Houston industrial accident lawyer can help an employee recover the full array of costs associated with a work injury. If you’ve suffered a workplace or industrial injury, contact the lawyers at Pierce Skrabanek at (832) 230-2712 for a no-cost consultation to learn about your legal rights.
Notable Workplace and Industrial Injury Verdicts and Settlements
At Pierce Skrabanek, we take our client’s cases seriously and work hard to obtain the best possible award for each of them. Here are a few of our notable verdicts and settlements:
Verdict — $16.9 Million
Pierce Skrabanek secured a $16.9 million verdict on behalf of a seaman who contracted pneumonia while working on a rig in the Persian Gulf. The verdict also included a punitive damages award for $2 million.
Verdict in a Catastrophic Injury Case — $11.6 Million
Attorney Mike Pierce was part of a trial team that obtained an $11.6 million award for a worker who suffered the loss of most of his sight in a catastrophic injury. The original pretrial settlement offer was $300,000.
Verdict in Crane Accident Case — $1.72 Million
Pierce Skrabanek served as first chair trial attorney in a suit for a crane accident at the BP Texas City facility. The verdict was featured in Verdict Search’s Top Texas Verdicts of 2010.
Common Workplace Injuries
Almost all of the incidents our Houston industrial accident lawyers come across can 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 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.
Workplace Accident Statistics
In 2018, there were 5,250 workers killed on the job in the U.S., according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). That’s more than 100 deaths per week, or a staggering 14 workers killed per day. 21.1% of private industry worker fatalities in 2018 were in construction (one in five workers).
There are four causes of construction deaths that account for 58.6% percent of all construction worker fatalities, also known as the “Fatal Four”:
- Falls (33.5% percent)
- Struck by an object (11.1% percent)
- Electrocutions (8.5% percent)
- Caught in or between objects (5.5% percent)
So many of these tragic work-related injuries and deaths might have been prevented if the employer had made workplace safety a priority. Here are the ten most common areas of safety standard violations OSHA issues citations for:
- Fall protection (in construction)
- Hazard communication
- Scaffolding dangers
- Respiratory problems
- Control of hazardous energy
- Powered industrial trucks
- Fall protection (training requirements)
- Machinery and machine guarding
- Eye and face protection
Texas Workplace Accident Statistics
How does Texas compare to the rest of the country? Workplaces in our state present many injury risks and are far from perfect. In 2016, there were 545 fatal occupational injuries in Texas. This is a rate of 4.4 fatal injuries per 100,000 full-time employees. Nationally, there were 5,190 fatal occupational injuries recorded.
For non-fatal injuries and illnesses in private industry, the Texas incidence rate was 2.2 cases per 100 full-time workers in 2016. The national rate for non-fatal injuries was 2.9, putting Texas at just below the national injury rate.
Preventing Workplace Injuries
Many jobs will always carry a level of danger, and you can never be completely immune to a work accident. You and your employer can, however, take steps to put yourself in the best position to avoid an occupational injury. Here are a few steps:
Implement proper training. Ensuring that you and your coworkers know how to take precautions and use equipment the right way is arguably the best way to prevent any workplace injury.
Encourage employees to take breaks. Workers that are well-rested are less likely to make careless errors that can cause harm. Breaks and reasonable work schedules keep employees awake and alert.
Wear proper protective equipment at all times.
Double-check to make sure all materials are stored safely and securely.
Keep workplaces clean and uncluttered. This especially helps prevent trips, slips, and falls.
Have proper signage to warn workers of dangers. Much of this is covered by law.
Employee wellness and injury prevention programs are also mandated at many jobs. These programs have been shown to create safer workplaces.
You should always immediately report any hazardous working conditions to your employer. If they don’t respond adequately, contact a workplace safety oversight agency such as OSHA. If you are injured, you should contact an attorney.
What to Do If You Have Been Injured at Work
If your workplace accident requires medical attention, call 911 immediately. This is always the first step. Proper medical documentation will not only help your recovery, but it will also assist your case.
Tell your work supervisor right away. Your employer must know of the hazardous working condition within 30 days. Injured workers should also keep track of how much work they miss due to the injury.
After you have received a proper medical diagnosis, contacted your employer and recorded the time you’ve missed, it’s time to file a workers’ compensation claim. Do not file your claim until you have consulted an experienced work injury lawyer at Pierce Skrabanek PLLC. We have the experience you need to make sure your claim is thorough and seeks the maximum possible compensation available under Texas law.
Contact a Houston Industrial Accident Lawyer
Industrial accidents can be complex and may involve serious injuries. Don’t try to tackle a workplace injury lawsuit on your own. You should get an experienced work injury attorney on your side to steer you down the right path.
Building these sorts of cases is our job as lawyers. The work injury lawyers of Pierce Skrabanek are here for hardworking Texans like you.
We are always available for a consultation – and it’s always free. Call us today at (832) 230-2712 or contact us online. We’ll be waiting to listen and tell you what we can do to help you get your life back on track.
Frequently Asked Questions
This can happen in isolated incidents, or it can involve widespread injuries due to company-wide policy failures. Whatever the case, legal action can help the victim move forward toward a better life.
Workplace injury lawsuits require strong documentation and evidence to help support the claim. If you’ve been injured at work, you should gather:
- Any witness statements from co-workers or others
- Relevant work documents and communications
- Hospital records of the injury
- Any reports related to the accident
- Photos or videos of the incident
A qualified Houston industrial accident lawyer can help with gathering and presenting evidence for trial. Contact Pierce Skrabanek if you need assistance with any type of workplace accident claim.
Damages will be calculated based on several factors. There is no set amount for industrial accident settlements — each case will be different. Calculation factors include:
- The severity of the injury
- The degree to which the employer was negligent
- Whether the employee had any pre-existing medical conditions
A skilled injury lawyer will be able to examine the facts of the case as well as the relevant laws to determine how best to craft a strategy. Get in touch with us if you need legal representation for your work injury case. Our lawyers have the experience needed to deal with complex industrial accident injuries.
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