Is Workers’ Compensation Your Only Recourse for a Workplace Injury?
Texas Workers’ Compensation laws were implemented in Texas way back in 1913. Like similar statutes in other states, their purpose was to stem the potential flow of lawsuits arising from employees getting hurt on the job. Today’s workers’ compensation system largely accomplishes that goal; employees’ medical costs and related expenses are paid for by the company’s insurer, and the employer avoids litigation costs associated with a personal injury lawsuit.
With that said, workers’ comp is not the only recourse for a person who suffers an injury at on the job. If you have been hurt on the job, whether your employer has coverage or not, contact a San Antonio workplace injury attorney to discuss your case and protect your rights.
If you have experienced falls, auto accidents, crush injuries, or any of the following injuries, please contact our office today.
- If the employer does not carry workers’ compensation. Texas is the only state that allows employers to “opt-out” of the workers’ compensation system. Employees of these companies would then file a personal injury lawsuit just like they would in the case of any other accident where injuries were present. As a result, they might be entitled to compensation that wouldn’t otherwise be provided under workers’ compensation.
- Being injured by a third party. Of course, if an employee is injured by someone else (even a co-worker), he or she can probably file a personal injury lawsuit against that individual. For instance, if a building maintenance worker was run over by a water delivery truck, he could sue both the truck driver and the water delivery company for damages in addition to collecting workers’ comp.
- Being injured by a toxic substance. Most chemicals, cleaners, and lubricants are clearly labeled to warn users about any toxic qualities or dangers. But if a worker is injured in a manner which was not disclosed by the manufacturer – say, by suffering burns from a machine cleanser which did not identify any toxic properties – then he or she could possibly file what’s known as a “toxic tort” against the maker of the product.
- Being injured by a defective product. Every product is expected to perform its function properly and safely. But when this doesn’t happen and someone gets hurt, the product’s manufacturer can be targeted in a defective product lawsuit. This might apply if a construction worker sustained severe lacerations from a sharp blade that dislodged from a power tool.
- Being injured by an employer’s “intentional or egregious conduct.” This category covers injuries that stem from working conditions which are dangerous and/or illegal. An example might be a worker who suffered third-degree burns while being trapped in a burning warehouse whose emergency exits were padlocked by order of the supervisor. These lawsuits also may allow the plaintiffs to collect punitive damages as well as money for mental anguish or pain and suffering.
If you have been injured on the job, it’s vital to retain the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer. The law offices of Ronald A. Ramos, P.C. has litigated numerous cases involving on-the-job accidents in San Antonio and Laredo. For a free, in-person or phone consultation, contact our office today.Law Offices of Ronald A. Ramos, P.C.