Houston is known for its bustling industries, including the energy, shipping, manufacturing, construction, and transportation industries. These sectors employ thousands of workers in the greater Houston area and nearby area cities. However, industrial workplaces such as refineries, manufacturing facilities, and chemical plants contain countless hazards that can injure workers, especially if employers fail to follow proper safety protocols.
If you were hurt in an industrial accident in Houston or surrounding areas of Texas, you could be entitled to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and other damages you suffered.
An industrial accident is any accident that happens in the course of your work at an industrial facility. The cost of medical expenses can place an enormous financial strain on you and your family. If you aren’t able to work while recovering from your injuries, your primary source of income could quickly dry up.
Whether you are pursuing compensation through your employer’s workers’ compensation policy or a personal injury claim, you deserve a chance to seek financial relief to achieve a proper recovery and get your life back on track.
If you suffered injuries in an industrial accident, contact the Houston industrial accident lawyers at The Callahan Law Firm today for a free case evaluation.
Commons Causes of Industrial Accidents in Houston
Some of the most common causes of industrial accidents in Houston include:
- Operating machinery in a reckless manner
- Inadequate machine guarding
- Operating work vehicles such as forklifts in an unsafe manner
- Failure to follow established safety policies and procedures
- Failure to have in place adequate safety policies and procedures
- Failure to provide adequate training
- Failure to maintain equipment in a safe manner
- Unsafe work practices by sub-contractors
- Insufficient or defective personal safety equipment
- Inadequate emergency evacuation plans or fire prevention plans
- Lack of proper ventilation
- Storing toxic, flammable, or explosive materials in hazardous locations
- Poor communication between employers, supervisors, and employees
- Inadequate signage warning of hazardous materials or machinery
- Failure to clean up hazards, such as slippery surfaces
- Worker fatigue
If you were injured in an industrial accident, you should contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Our industrial accident attorneys have the resources to conduct a thorough investigation of the accident and determine its cause.
Common Types of Industrial Accidents
Industrial workplaces contain countless hazards that can potentially lead to injuries. Some of the most common types of industrial accidents in Houston include:
- Heavy equipment accidents
- Forklift accidents
- Accidents involving dangerous or defective machinery
- Electrocution accidents
- Chemical plant explosions
- Scaffolding accidents
- Falling objects
- Workplace slip-and-fall accidents
- Chemical spills
- Toxic chemical exposure
- Drilling rig accidents
- Oilfield explosions
Industrial employers have a responsibility to provide a safe work environment and ensure their employees have the equipment and training to do their jobs safely. If they fail to uphold this obligation, accidents are bound to occur.
Common Injuries Sustained in Industrial Accidents
Some of the most common injuries that industrial workers suffer in Houston workplace accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken and fractured bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Vision and hearing loss
- Lung damage after exposure to smoke or toxic chemicals
- Repetitive stress injuries
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4,764 fatal work injuries occurred in a single recent year. A worker was killed on the job every 111 minutes that year. Additionally, approximately 37 percent of all work injuries were transportation-related.
That same year, 672 workers were tragically killed after being exposed to toxic chemicals or substances. Meanwhile, 71 fatal workplace injuries were attributed to fires and explosions, 126 workers died after being exposed to electricity, and 468 suffered fatal injuries after being struck by an object in the workplace.
Potential Sources of Compensation for a Houston Industrial Accident
In many states, employers must provide workers’ compensation coverage to their employees. However, in Texas, employers are not required to offer workers’ compensation. Employers who do not provide workers’ compensation insurance are known as non-subscribers.
The Texas Workers’ Compensation Act offers protections to employees and employers when the employer chooses to purchase a workers’ compensation policy. If an employer is a subscriber to workers’ compensation and a worker is injured on the job, the injured employee would look first to their employer’s workers’ comp policy for benefits.
In Texas, an employer generally cannot make a claim or recover against his/her employer if the injury is caused by the negligence of that employer. Workers’ compensation typically covers medical expenses and lost wage benefits. It can also provide death benefits to surviving family members of someone killed on the job.
Still, there are situations in which you might be able to bring a lawsuit against your employer, even if your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, such as:
- If an employee suffers a fatal injury because of the gross negligence of the employer, surviving family members can pursue a lawsuit on that basis.
- If your employer doesn’t offer workers’ compensation and you suffer injuries due to their negligence, you could bring a personal injury lawsuit against them.
Another option would involve a personal injury claim against a company other than your employer whose negligence caused or contributed to your injury. This is known as a third-party claim. Examples include an injury caused by the negligence of another company or one of its employees, an injury caused by a defective product designed, manufactured or sold by another company, or another motorist in an on-the-job traffic accident.
Through a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you could also recover additional damages that aren’t available under workers’ compensation policies. In addition to medical expenses and lost income, you could recover compensation for non-financial damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment and disfigurement.
How Our Lawyers Can Maximize Your Recovery After an Industrial Accident in Houston
Whether you are pursuing a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit against your employer or a third party, you need the support of an experienced legal professional to help you maximize your potential compensation. Your attorney can exhaust all avenues of potential compensation by identifying all parties responsible for your injuries.
Industrial accidents can have a devastating impact on your life and the life of your loved ones. Depending on the nature of your injuries, you might require ongoing care for years to come. If you become disabled, you might not be able to do the same job you did before, or you may be limited to work that pays less. And unfortunately, in all too many cases, industrial accident victims will never work again.
Contact Our Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys Today
The industrial accident attorneys at The Callahan Law Firm can walk you through every step of the claims process, gather evidence to support your case, develop your case to maximize its value, negotiate with the insurance provider on your behalf, and take your case to trial by jury when necessary. We are here to provide you with the support you need during this pivotal time in your life.
If you were injured in an industrial accident, contact a Houston industrial accident attorney at The Callahan Law Firm today for a free case evaluation.