Understanding Your Rights After an Injury

Industrial accidents can cause devastating injuries that can forever alter your life and the life of your family. Worker injuries cost employers more than $171 billion in 2019, with more than 4,500 preventable deaths on the job, according to the National Safety Council.

If you’ve been injured in an industrial accident such as an explosion or injury due work equipment, you may have a number of questions about what to expect and how to manage your future, and nowhere to turn for answers. You need guidance about what to do next and how to manage your finances while you’re out of work for an extended period. Trammell Piazza guides each client through every step of the process to help provide recovery from catastrophic workplace injuries caused by industrial accidents. Below are common questions and options to consider when an industrial accident or severe workplace injury has impacted you or a loved one.

Common Questions in Industrial Accident

Do I need an attorney after an industrial accident? 

If an industrial accident at your workplace caused your injury, time is of the essence. Evidence disappears quickly from worksites, and a matter of hours could be the difference between having a case or not.

Reaching out to legal professionals is the first important step to getting your questions answered and protect your interests when you have suffered an industrial accident. It’s especially important that you or a loved one call an attorney as soon as possible, as your employer’s insurance company is already building its case to limit the financial costs they will have to pay to compensate for your injury

Should I file for workers’ comp. or personal injury?

In many instances, the workers’ compensation system is an efficient and effective means to provide for workers’ medical needs and loss of work due to an injury on the job. Workers’ comp. is a no-fault system that compensates the injured employee regardless of who’s at fault.

Workers’ comp. Provides for medical expenses and a portion of lost wages immediately, and you can still collect workers’ compensation even if you pursue a civil third-party personal injury claim against your employer or another entity. When an industrial accident has caused an employee to be severely injured, workers’ compensation may not be enough to cover all your expenses and medical bills. If your employer or any contractor paid by your employer played a role in the accident they may be found liable for your injuries and their impact on your life. Find out more about Third Party Liability here.

Do I have a good case for a personal injury claim for a worker injury?

In some instances of workplace injuries, especially in cases of severe or catastrophic injuries, a personal injury lawsuit may help recover financial and non-financial damages that can compensate for the loss of earnings and quality of life suffered by the employee.

Filing a personal injury legal claim may not always be a legal remedy, depending on the circumstances of your case. In cases such as when your injury was due to an accident caused by the negligence or deeds of another entity unrelated to your employer, you may have a civil case against them. See What are Your Rights When You are Injured at Work for more.

How long can an industrial accident injury claim take?

Most civil claims in serious workplace injuries take a year or more to resolve. Trammell Piazza Law Firm works on a contingency basis, which means we are paid once your settlement or financial judgment is resolved.

What are the types of worker injuries suffered in an industrial accident? 

Working in an industrial environment can be dangerous. Whether you’re 50 stories up, 50 feet below the ground, or anywhere in between, you may be entitled to compensation if you’re injured in an accident.

Article: Understanding Your Employer’s Responsibilities under OSHA

Employers must comply with federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) standards to ensure safe, healthful working conditions for their employees. Find out your employer’s responsibilities under OSHA.

Trammell Piazza Law Firm will work to get you the compensation you deserve if you’ve been involved in any of the following accidents:

  • Mechanical or design defect
  • Failure to warn or label equipment
  • Struck by an object or equipment
  • Safety shutoff malfunction
  • Explosions, fires and burns
  • Exposure to Hazardous Material
  • Caught in, crushed by or pinned/compressed by an object

Can you sue your employer?

When an employer’s negligence has clearly contributed to an industrial accident or worker injury due to continued unsafe work conditions or failure to properly apply safety training and protocols, you may have a claim against your employer outside of workers’ compensation.

In some cases, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will fine employers for not maintaining a work environment that is ensuring the safety of workers and protection of their health. The more egregious the violation, especially if the cause of the accident has been found in violation of OSHA regulations, the more likely you may be able to receive damages beyond what is applied under the workers’ compensation system.

OSHA violations fall into four categories, each with a distinct penalty.

  • Willful – A willful violation is when the employer intentionally and knowingly commits a violation or the employer acts with plain indifference to the law. OSHA may levy penalties ranging from $5,000 to a maximum of up to $70,000 for each willful violation.
  • Serious – A serious violation is a violation where death or serious physical harm would likely result from the hazard, and where the employer knew, or should have known, about the hazard. A serious violation can result in a mandatory penalty of up to $7,000.
  • Other-than-Serious – A violation that has a direct relationship to safety and health but probably would not cause death or serious injury is considered an other-than-serious. OSHA may levy a penalty of up to $7,000 for each violation of this type.
  • Repeated –  A repeated violation is a violation that is the same or similar to a previous violation. OSHA may levy penalties of up to $70,000 for each repeated violation.

If your employer has been fined by OSHA for violating safety standards, you are more likely to have a case against them in your industrial accident injury.

Trammell Piazza: Contingency Fee Lawyers Who Fight For Your Rights

A respected law practice with a breadth of legal expertise, Trammell Piazza’s team of lawyers and legal experts are focused on providing the utmost attention and expertise to every case we work.

Trammell Piazza’s experienced personal injury trial lawyers fight to achieve fair and reasonable compensation for financial and personal impact caused by a life-altering injury so that you can focus on getting the care you need to achieve your best outcome and quality of life.

We have handled complex third-party settlements for catastrophic workplace injuries, construction accidents and injuries due to defective or faulty equipment or machinery, inadequate safety measures, and workplace negligence.