In the greater Houston area, hundreds of thousands of workers are employed in the energy, transportation, maritime, shipping, manufacturing, construction, and other industries. Texas is a state where physically demanding, risky jobs are a constant reality. Whether you work at a construction site, a refinery, an oil or gas well site, a manufacturing facility, a warehouse, or in the maritime industry, there is always the risk of serious injuries on the job. For more than 25 years, the Houston work injury lawyers of The Callahan Law Firm have fought to secure fair compensation for hard-working people who have been hurt on the job. We help our clients seek the financial resources they need to treat their injuries, pay their bills, and support their families. We help workers as they recover from their injuries and try to get back to their normal lives. We understand all too well how negligent companies and their insurance carriers try to avoid responsibility and not pay injured workers the benefits and compensation they deserve. We have battled insurance companies for many years, and we know the tactics and tricks they use. And we use that experience and knowledge to advocate on behalf of people who have suffered workplace injuries. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation about your workplace accident with a work injury lawyer in Houston. When talking with us, you will learn more about your options for pursuing compensation for your injuries and losses.
Common Types of Workplace Accident Cases We Handle
At The Callahan Law Firm, our knowledgeable Houston work injury lawyers have successfully helped clients and their families recover full compensation for these types of work injury claims:
Industrial accidents – These accidents can have a lasting impact on your health and livelihood. If you were hurt on the job, contact us to discuss your what happened and how we can help. When an industrial accident was caused by a negligent third party, we work to get our clients compensation for medical care expenses, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, physical impairment, and more.
Heavy equipment accidents – If you were hurt in a heavy equipment accident while on the job, contact The Callahan Law Firm right away. Heavy equipment refers to heavy-duty vehicles, specially designed for executing construction tasks, most frequently ones involving earthwork operations or other large construction tasks. Founding attorney Michael S. Callahan is a former mechanical engineer and Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law. That makes him particularly qualified to handle these type cases.
Construction accidents – Construction sites rank among the most dangerous workplaces in the country. Construction workers face serious risk of life-altering injuries from scaffolding, cranes, forklifts, trucks, falls from heights, falling objects, fires, explosions, or exposure to toxic chemicals and materials. We work to hold the construction companies, site owners, equipment manufacturers and other responsible parties accountable when their actions or negligence caused your injury.
Railroad worker accidents – Railroad accident cases are different from most other workplace accident claims. Workers who are injured are not covered by standard workers’ comp laws but are instead required to seek compensation under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). The act allows injured railroad employees to pursue a claim against the railroad carrier, the carrier’s agents, or employees if their negligence caused the accident. It is crucial to hire an attorney who understands the specifics of how FELA claims need to be handled. If you have been hurt in your railroad job, contact us now.
Pipeline accidents – Pipeline construction and maintenance is hazardous work. Workers can be required to perform their duties not only above ground, but also below ground level or underwater. Far too many pipeline workers are injured in accidents involving heavy equipment, explosions, blowouts, fires, product defects, weld failures, welding mishaps, or due to dangerous and toxic gas leaks. If this has happened to you or someone you love, call us for help right away.
Explosion accidents – When an explosion happens, the resulting injuries can be severe and are often life-threatening. If you suffered severe burns, crushing injuries, vision or hearing loss, amputation, or other serious injuries in an explosion in Houston or anywhere in Texas, contact us to get the full and fair compensation you need and deserve.
Oil rig accidents – Whether working on land or offshore, Oil Rig Workers can be injured due to the negligence of a co-worker, their employer, or another company working alongside them. Both land-based Oil Rig Workers and Offshore Oil Rig Workers face the risk of fatal injuries, amputation, burns, paralysis, back and neck injuries, or other severe bodily injuries. If you have been injured offshore while working on an offshore oil rig, you may have a claim for damages under federal maritime law.
Offshore accidents – Offshore workers depend on their employer and co-workers to keep their vessel safe and seaworthy, adequately maintain tools and equipment, and exercise due care and caution at all times when out in the Gulf of Mexico or another waterway. If you have been hurt or if you lost a loved one in a maritime accident, it is important to talk with an experienced attorney to discuss your legal rights and what can be done to pursue a claim for your damages.
Statistics on Fatal Workplace Injuries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fatal work injuries in the United States numbered over 5,190 in a recent year. Traffic accidents were the most common cause of fatalities, with 1,982 deaths. Slips, trips, and falls caused 850 deaths, and 761 workers died because of workplace violence or animal injuries at work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that more than 10 percent (533) of all fatal work injuries in the United States occurred in Texas. Of the 533 fatal injuries in Texas, 498 occurred in private industry, and 35 in the public sector. Men were by far the most likely to suffer fatal injuries (493). Of the 40 women who suffered fatal injuries on the job, 22 occurred in transportation incidents.
Fatal occupational injuries in Texas resulted from these types of incidents in one year:
- Transportation incidents – 260
- Slips, trips, and falls – 88
- Contact with objects and equipment – 66
- Violence and other injuries by persons or animals – 57
- Exposure to harmful substances or environments – 54
- Fires and explosions – 7
People aged 55-64 were the demographic group with the most fatal injuries. The most injuries occurred in production, transportation, and material-moving occupations. The next highest number of injuries occurred in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations.
Nonfatal Work Injuries
Over 2.6 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses occurred in private workplaces in the U.S. in one recent year. In over 1 million cases, a worker missed at least one workday. In the private sector, 12 days was the average time out of work.
Most Common Types of Workplace Injuries
These nonfatal injuries were the most common:
- Sprains, strains, and tears – 266,530
- Injuries from slips, trips, and falls – 211,640
- Back injuries – 128,220
What Is a Third-Party Claim in a Work-Related Accident?
A third-party claim is a claim against someone (a company or individual) other than your employer (or a co-worker) that seeks to hold them responsible for their negligence in causing a workplace accident. You could have a third-party liability claim if you were hurt at work and the negligence of someone other than your employer (or a co-worker) caused or contributed to the accident and your injuries.
It is important to know that you can have a third-party workplace accident claim even if your employer was partially at fault for the accident. In that instance, the at-fault third-party can still be held responsible for their percentage of the negligence that caused or contributed to the accident and your injuries.
In addition, the fact that your employer had workers’ compensation insurance at the time of your workplace accident does not affect whether you have a third-party claim. In other words, even if your employer had workers’ compensation insurance, you could still have a third-party claim.
In Texas, the law does not require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer did not have workers’ compensation insurance at the time of the accident and is a “non-subscriber”, you may have a claim against your employer for negligence in addition to a third-party claim.
Understanding Third-Party Lawsuits in the Workplace
Here are a few examples of third parties that could be potentially liable for a workplace accident in Texas:
- The driver of a vehicle involved in a work-related car accident or truck accident
- The operator of industrial machinery such as a forklift or other heavy equipment
- A subcontractor (not your employer) on the work site
- A vendor performing tasks or supplying a product or equipment on the work site
- The general contractor
- The manufacturer or retailer of a defective product
A successful third-party workplace accident claim could allow you to recover compensation for all your accident-related losses, including medical expenses, lost income, loss of earning capacity, physical impairment, disfigurement, pain, suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and more.