Too often, insurers deny injury claims, and workers are left with no way to pay for medical care. If you’ve been injured on the job, you need an attorney who knows how to hold insurers and employers accountable.
The Evans Law Firm has helped many injured workers in Texas get the compensation they need to handle their expenses, lost wages, and ongoing healthcare needs. We handle personal injury cases on contingency, which means our fee comes from the settlement you receive, so you don’t have to worry about paying for legal help up-front.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were about 324,700 cases of musculoskeletal injuries – work-related strains, sprains and tears – in 2015 that required time off work. Those injuries were the most common across all occupations, followed closely by injuries from falling, slipping, or tripping (238,610).
The median time away from work to recover from injuries was eight days, but in some occupations, the recovery time was much longer. Tractor-trailer drivers with musculoskeletal injuries had a median time away from work of 30 days.
Some occupations have a much higher rate of injury than others. And in the construction occupation, workers also face a higher risk of fatal injuries.
The BLS National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries reported 924 fatalities in the construction industry in 2015, which was the highest number of fatalities since 2008.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration calls the most common mechanisms of deadly construction injuries the “Fatal Four.” In 2014, those four injury types accounted for 545 of the 899 total construction fatalities:
- Electrocution (74)
- Struck by object (73)
- Caught in/between; entrapment (39)
- Falls (359)
OSHA issued a proposed rule in 2016 to develop standards for workplace violence prevention in healthcare and social assistance occupations. Workers in those professions, such as nurses, doctors, paramedics, health aides, therapists, and pharmacists, suffer from workplace violence injuries at a rate four times higher than all other occupations.
In 2014, among healthcare occupations, workers in nursing and residential care facilities had the highest number of violence-related injuries (4,690), followed by hospital workers (3,410). Among the total 11,100 violence-related injuries in healthcare professions were 14 homicides.
When a Texas employer does not participate in the state workers’ compensation program, it is still required to report injuries. However, that rule doesn’t apply to certain farm and ranch workers, so agricultural workplace injuries may be underreported in Texas.
OSHA reports that 5,816 agricultural workers nationwide died from work-related injuries between 2003 and 2011. Common causes of injuries include tractor rollovers and falls. Also common are chronic injuries, such as burns, illnesses, or respiratory damage from chemical exposure, and noise-induced hearing loss.
Job Loss a Concern for Injured Workers
The Texas Department of Workers’ Compensation 2014 report to the Legislature said workplace injury claims had decreased since 2003 for many reasons, one of which could be underreporting.
Workers may fear that reporting their injury could jeopardize their jobs. And a Texas Department of Insurance analysis found what could be a correlation between injury reports and terminations. The TDI found 21 percent of workers injured on the job were later fired. Of those workers, 26 percent were fired within one week of reporting their injury to their employer.
Worker Rights and Responsibilities
Workers injured on the job may not realize that they must fill out and submit the Employee’s Claim for Compensation for a Work-Related Injury or Occupational Claim Form to the state workers’ compensation department. Failure to do so could jeopardize benefits.
When an employer participates in workers’ compensation, employees must seek medical care from an approved provider list. But when the company doesn’t participate in workers’ comp, workers have the right to see any doctor. Corporations may employ their own doctors and pressure injured workers to see those doctors for a medical evaluation, but seeking independent treatment is the best way for workers to get an honest assessment of their injuries.
An Advocate for the Injured
If you’ve suffered a workplace injury, you need an attorney who will protect your rights and work to get you the compensation you deserve. Don’t wait to get help. Request your free consultation today by filling out our online form, or calling us at 1-855-414-1012.