The city of Houston and the state of Texas both suffer workplace injury rates higher than the national averages. While many employers work hard to protect their employees from the dangers inherent to their occupations, there are other companies that loosen their standards and allow accidents to happen. But most of these accidents are preventable. When a company is negligent and fails to uphold its duty to create a safe working environment, fatality and serious personal injury can result.
If you were hurt on the job, an experienced Houston work injury lawyer from The Mejia Law Firm can discuss your legal options with you and your family. A workplace accident can have serious and long-lasting repercussions on the life of a family. You should never be forced to carry the heavy financial burden of a company’s negligence.
What Are the Most Common Workplace Injuries?
Depending on the type of job you have, there may be different dangers you face at the workplace—and different injuries that can result. Too many injuries are the result of unsafe working conditions, conditions which are usually a violation of OSHA workplace safety standards. We’ll discuss these standards below. As Houston work injury lawyers with experience representing victims of on-the-job injuries in our area, we often see the following types of injuries:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Severe muscle strain
- Back injuries
- Sprains, strains, tears, and other soft tissue damage
- Skull, head, and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Loss of fingers, toes, hands, or feet
- Injury resulting in amputation
- Permanent disability
- Burns from fire and explosion
- Crushing injuries
- Chemical burns
- Illness from exposure to toxic chemicals
- Repetitive motion injuries
What Are the Most Common Workplace Safety Violations?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets out guidelines to hold corporations and organizations accountable and keep them operating at their safest levels. When the safety regulations defined by OSHA are disregarded, accidents of a very severe nature can occur. In a high-hazard field like the construction industry or other physically-intensive fields, employees engage in perilous activities on a daily basis. It is all the more imperative in these industries observe OSHA’s guidelines, ensuring the safest possible conditions for workers, as well as remaining in compliance with legal regulations.
Every year, OSHA publishes the top ten most frequently cited safety standards. The following is a list of the most widespread safety violations in 2020:
- Failure to protect from falls
- Failure to communicate the hazards of dangerous chemicals
- Inadequate protection from respiratory illness
- Scaffolding issues
- Unsafe ladders
- Failure to protect from the hazards of energy sources (like electrical, mechanical, or hydraulic)
- Industrial truck safety issues
- Unmet requirements for fall protection training
- Inadequate eye and face protection
- Unsafe machinery and machine guarding
What’s the Difference Between a Work Injury Claim and Workers’ Comp?
When you’ve been injured in an accident at work, your first thought may be to file for worker’s compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation exists to protect employees who are injured while performing their job duties. In a workers’ compensation case, you don’t need to determine who was at fault for the accident. Worker’s compensation claims do not seek to prove that the company was negligent and caused your injury. The benefits you can receive through workers’ comp are generally limited to your medical bills and the wages you lost.
But these benefits may not be enough to cover all the losses you suffered. In cases when a company violates the duty of care it owes you as an employee and you are hurt as a result, it may be in your best interests to file a personal injury claim. This would allow you to seek damages such as medical expenses and lost wages, but also pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, and other economic and non-economic damages. When you file a work injury claim against your employer, proving fault becomes an important factor in your case. You will need a skilled work injury lawyer to represent you if you decide to file a work injury lawsuit.
Work injury law and workers’ compensation can be complicated. If you are injured at work, reach out to a Houston work injury lawyer for advice about the best legal option for you.
The Mejia Law Firm Works to Protect Victims of Negligence at Work
Sadly, many companies cut corners in an effort to save time and money. At The Mejia Law Firm, we believe that profits should never come before the safety of employees. We value the lives of our Houston community members, and we devote our legal practice to standing up for their rights. Contact a Houston work injury lawyer to learn more about how we can help you recover after an injury.