Work Injury Attorney
Workplaces can be very dangerous, especially in Texas—where so many are involved in the petrochemical, manufacturing, and shipping industries. Some workplace injuries we have handled include:
- Contractors burned while working at petrochemical plants,
- Crane collapses at worksites, crane injuries on ships,
- Collapsing scaffolding,
- Plant explosions,
- Trucking accidents,
- Shipping accidents and drowning,
- Scalding and burn injuries, and
- Toxic exposures.
The term “workplace injury” implicates several different laws, depending on who the negligent party is, where the accident occurs and how the accident occurs.
Many people in Texas who are injured while working are covered by workers' compensation insurance. Workers' compensation is basically a deal between your employer and the State of Texas. Texas allows a company to limit its risk and exposure to lawsuits by purchasing insurance to protect its workers. The deal offered by the State is, “if you (employer) have workers' compensation insurance to pay your workers when they get injured while working, you cannot be sued.” Some companies opt to take their chances without workers' compensation insurance. These companies are typically called "non-subscribers." Texas has a deal for these companies, too. It says “if you are not going to get workers' compensation insurance then you can be sued…and you cannot say it was your employee’s fault that he or she got injured. You also cannot blame his or her co-workers.” So, there is a price to pay for not having workers' compensation insurance. The two-pronged approach of rewarding companies that do get workers' compensation insurance and punishing those that don’t incentivize companies to protect their workers. Most companies in Texas opt to have workers' compensation insurance, but not all do. If you were injured while working and your company does not have workers' compensation insurance, you should call the Merman Law Firm to maximize your recovery.
Some people are injured while working but not by their employer or a co-employee. This typically involves contractors working at an unsafe worksite. For example, many of the victims of the huge BP plant explosion in Texas City were contractors who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. There are certain limitations placed on these types of accidents by the Texas legislature that protect the companies with unsafe worksites from suits by contractors. These obstacles can usually be overcome by an attorney that has experience dealing with these issues. Mr. Merman was one of the lead attorneys in a workplace-injury trial that resulted in a verdict for the contractor in excess of $11,000,000.
Sometimes people are injured at worksites because of defective products or materials. These cases typically are very complicated and require experts in fields like metallurgy, OSHA compliance, engineering (mechanical, environmental, structural, and civil), fire cause and origin, manufacturing and design. It is important to have an attorney that can evaluate the accident and find all of the wrongdoers to maximize recovery for the victim.
Docks can also be very dangerous places to work. Stevedores and longshoremen are responsible for loading and unloading the thousands of ships that dock in Texas ports each year. Like other land-based workers, there is usually worker’s compensation insurance (in this case LHWCA coverage). Also like other land-based workers, he is still allowed to sue a responsible third-party for injuries he gets while working. For example, if a longshoreman is injured because of a condition of the ship he is working on that is in the shipowner's control, he can sue the ship and its owner under a special provision of the admiralty code called 905(b). This allows a longshoreman to get basically the same protection as a Jones Act seaman.Offshore workplace injuries depend on where and how a person was injured to determine if the case is governed by the Jones Act, DOHSA, general maritime law or OCLSA. Our staff can determine what law applies to your potential case.
The Merman Law Firm is experienced in all aspects of workplace injuries. We have settled and tried cases that resulted in millions of dollars of recovery for our clients who were injured while working. Call the Merman Law Firm for a free consultation.