Manufacturing jobs provide a good living for many people in Houston and throughout Texas, but working in a plant, fabrication facility or factory can also be extremely dangerous.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports more than 373,000 manufacturing workers nationwide suffered nonfatal injuries at work in one recent year, including almost 140,000 cases where the injured employee missed at least one day at work.
Additional BLS research shows more than 21,000 manufacturing workers in Texas suffered a non-fatal accident on the job in the same year. Because accidents in plants and factories frequently involve industrial machinery, heavy equipment, dangerous chemicals, and busy work environments, manufacturing workers often suffer extensive, life-altering injuries when they are injured on the job. In some cases, an injured worker might never return to work or be limited in the work they’re able to perform.
If you have been injured in a manufacturing plant or factory accident in Houston or anywhere in the state of Texas, contact The Callahan Law Firm immediately. Our attorneys have more than a quarter-century of experience helping working people get the compensation they need and should receive under the law after workplace accidents. We are ready to do the same for you.
For more information, contact our Houston office for a free consultation with a factory accident lawyer in Houston.
Were You Injured in a Manufacturing Plant or Factory Accident in Houston?
If you’ve been hurt while on the job, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits which should pay for certain medical care and a portion of your lost wages.
However, if you were injured because of the fault of some other company or one of its employees, or because of a defective product, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim and file a lawsuit against that company for compensation in addition to any benefits you may receive under the workers’ comp system. This is known as a third-party claim.
In Texas, there is also what is known as a non-subscriber claim. If your employer is a non-subscriber which means it does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, and your injury resulted from the negligence of your employer or a co-worker, you may be able to pursue a claim and file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer for your damages.
How Our Attorneys Can Help Your Case
The Callahan Law Firm can help if you have been injured at a factory, fabrication facility, or another manufacturing facility by:
- Reviewing the circumstances of the accident to determine what happened and who is responsible for your injuries
- Documenting the full extent of the physical, financial, and mental injuries you have suffered due to the accident
- Gathering evidence to demonstrate how another party is liable for your injuries
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf
- Negotiating with the insurance company and its attorney to help you secure as much compensation as possible
Bringing a personal injury case to trial, when necessary
Types of Manufacturing Plant and Factory Accidents in Houston
Some of the common types of factory and industrial accidents in Houston include:
- Heavy equipment accidents – Heavy industrial equipment such as forklifts are commonly used in manufacturing operations to lift and transport materials. If a forklift driver or other heavy equipment operator is not paying attention or the equipment malfunctions, the result can be catastrophic.
- Insufficient safety training – Employers must take worker safety seriously, starting with proper safety training. If workers do not know how to safely use their equipment or use unsafe techniques to carry out their duties, they can easily get hurt. A typical example of poor safety training is not training workers to lift heavy objects properly.
- Lack of safety guards on machinery – Industrial machinery can crush, sever, or otherwise severely injure factory workers if adequate safety guards are not in place to prevent workers from being caught or stuck.
Failure to provide protective gear – Depending on the work being done at a plant or other manufacturing facility, workers may need eye protection, gas masks, gloves, and other protective equipment to stay safe. If a negligent employer fails to provide this equipment, it is the workers who will pay the price.
- Truck accidents – Trucks of all types and sizes – tractor-trailer trucks, box trucks, tanker trucks, and other work trucks – are a necessary part of the work at manufacturing facilities and factories. When the drivers of these vehicles are careless, don’t follow safety rules, or are in a hurry, it is the workers at the facility who suffer the consequences.
- Slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall – Slippery floors, loose debris, stray cords and cables, unsafe stairwells, and other fall hazards are common at many manufacturing plants and other industrial facilities. Even an apparently minor fall can cause significant brain damage, joint injuries, or other serious injuries.
- Lathe accidents – Lathes are complicated machines used for cutting, drilling, and other industrial applications. If they are misused or malfunction, they can cause horrific injuries.
Broken or defective safety equipment – While safety equipment is an essential part of preventing manufacturing plant and other factory accidents, workers can still suffer severe injuries if the safety equipment is damaged or does not work correctly.
- Falling object accidents – Many manufacturing facilities have workers doing jobs on multiple levels, which places workers on lower levels at risk of being injured by something falling from above.
Common Injuries from Factory Accidents
Some of the most common injuries from Houston industrial accidents include:
- Crush injuries
- Broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Paralysis – whether paraplegia or quadriplegia
- Amputation injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Overexertion injuries
- Chemical exposure
- Respiratory illnesses
- Injuries to internal organs
- Catastrophic injuries
Potential Sources of Compensation for People Hurt in Houston Factories and Manufacturing Plants
There are two main ways you can be compensated for your injuries after a Houston plant accident.
If your employer had workers’ compensation coverage at the time and your injury happened on the job, you can file a claim for workers’ comp benefits. These benefits are generally limited and include payment of certain medical care the insurance company decides to pay, a portion of your lost wages, and possibly a payment based on your impairment.
The second is to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. The lawsuit allows you to seek compensation for damages in addition to those covered by workers’ comp, such as all reasonable and necessary medical care, the full extent of your lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment, disfigurement, and potentially more. A personal injury lawsuit can be filed against a company that caused or contributed to your injury. It is most often based on negligence, product defect, and/or gross negligence.
And, in Texas, if your employer did not have workers’ compensation insurance at the time of your injury, and the injury was caused by the negligence of your employer or a co-worker, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer for your damages.
Statute of Limitations on Manufacturing Accident Claims in Houston
In the state of Texas, the general rule is that a lawsuit based on negligence or product liability must be filed not later than two years from the date of a factory or manufacturing plant accident. If you fail to do so, you will likely lose the right to ever make the claim. There are exceptions to this two-year rule which is why it is essential to consult with an experienced injury lawyer to discuss your rights.
Contact Our Workplace Accident Lawyers Today
If you’ve been injured in a manufacturing plant or factory accident in Houston or elsewhere in the state of Texas, the workplace accident lawyers of The Callahan Law Firm are here to help you pursue full compensation under the law. Contact us today for a free consultation.