In 2020, employers in private industry in the United States reported 2.7 million job-related injury and illness cases. If you’re injured on-the-job in or near the Houston area, you should arrange at once to discuss your rights and legal options with a Houston workplace accident attorney.

What are the most common workplace injuries? What are your rights if you’re injured on-the-job in Texas? What steps will you have to take to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and your related losses and damages?

Keep reading this brief discussion of workplace injuries and your rights, and these questions will be answered. You will also learn how a Houston workplace accident lawyer will work to recover the compensation you need if you are injured on-the-job.

Can Workplace Injuries Be Avoided?

Most workplace injuries could be avoided by taking the proper precautions and adhering to the workplace safety guidelines set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The three most common types of workplace injuries are:

  1.  slips, trips, and falls
  2.  injuries related to overexertion
  3.  injuries related to contact with equipment

If you are suffering from any type of workplace injury, do not wait to seek medical attention. Even if it seems trivial, an untreated injury can slowly – or sometimes, quickly – develop into a dangerous medical condition.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Slips, trips, and falls are the most common type of workplace injuries and the leading reason why claims are filed for workers’ compensation benefits. These injuries include:

  1.  slipping on icy, oily, sticky, or wet floors
  2.  tripping due to clutter, poor lighting, or curled-up rugs or carpets
  3.  falling from roofs, ladders, or scaffolding, especially in construction work

Overexertion Injuries

Injuries caused by overexertion – such as repetitive strain injuries – may cause incapacitating pain and a loss of productivity. Employers should provide training about performing the job’s physical tasks correctly to avoid injuries.

To counter the possibility of overexertion injuries, employers should allow frequent breaks and ensure that physical tasks are performed correctly. If you suffer an injury due to overexertion, see a doctor. As mentioned above, untreated injuries can become serious medical conditions.

Injuries Related to Equipment

The injuries that are sustained in accidents related to equipment and heavy machinery include but are not limited to traumatic head injuries, hand injuries, injuries to limbs and fingers, stress fractures, and broken bones. These types of injuries may be caused by:

  1.  falling debris, tools, or materials
  2.  being caught in gears or wires
  3.  heavy equipment tipping over or excessively vibrating
  4.  bumping, falling, walking, or being pushed into walls, an object, or equipment

Accidents related to equipment are usually avoidable by staying aware of your surroundings, following established safety procedures and policies, wearing the proper protective equipment, and by not wearing jewelry or loose clothing.

What Other Workplace Injuries Are Common?

Slips, trips, and falls, injuries related to overexertion, and injuries related to equipment are the most common types of workplace injuries, but workers are also frequently injured in fires and explosions, traffic accidents, and by electrical hazards or exposure to dangerous substances.

If you sustain an on-the-job injury for any of these reasons, obtain medical treatment immediately, notify your employer that you’ve been injured, and then schedule a consultation promptly with a Houston workplace injury lawyer to discuss your options for compensation.

What Are an Injured Worker’s Options for Compensation?

Depending on the details of a workplace accident and injury, an employee who is injured on-the-job in Texas may have several options for recovering compensation:

  1.  Most but not all workers injured on-the-job qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
  2.  Some injured workers may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
  3.  Some injured workers may qualify to file a “third-party” personal injury claim.

When Should You Speak to a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?

Workers’ compensation is the insurance system that replaces lost wages and provides medical benefits for workers who are injured on-the-job. In exchange for workers’ comp benefits, injured workers waive their right to sue employers for negligence and personal injury.

If your employer provides workers’ compensation coverage, after you’ve been injured, and after you’ve been examined and/or treated by a medical professional, schedule a consultation with a Houston workplace accident attorney – even before you apply for workers’ comp benefits.

Your lawyer will ensure that your rights are protected and that your application for workers’ compensation benefits is accurate and complete. If for any reason your workers’ compensation claim is denied, your lawyer will appeal that decision on your behalf.

What Are Third-Party Injury Claims?

If any party apart from your employer played any role in the accident that injured you, you may be able to recover additional compensation by filing a third-party personal injury lawsuit. Your lawyer can determine if you qualify to file a third-party claim.

Let’s say, for example, that you’re a delivery driver and you’re injured on your route by a negligent driver in a traffic accident. You will qualify for workers’ comp benefits, and you may also file a personal injury claim to recover compensation from the motorist who injured you.

A third party could be a contractor, a subcontractor, a vendor, an equipment, vehicle, or vehicle parts manufacturer, or any party other than your employer who may have liability for your on-the-job accident and injury.

Will You Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

If you are partially or fully disabled – or expect to be partially or fully disabled – for more than a year, you may qualify for disability benefits through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSD) programs offered by the Social Security Administration.

If you are expected to recover fully and return to work within a year, you will not be eligible for SSI or SSD benefits. Your Houston workplace accident lawyer will tell you if you should apply for these benefits, and if so, your lawyer will guide you through the application process.

What Else Should You Know About Workplace Injuries and Your Rights?

On-the-job injuries can be devastating. The worst injuries – spinal cord and brain injuries, for example – may require life-long care and treatment, but even lesser injuries can keep you away from your job for weeks or months.

Your first meeting with an attorney is provided with no cost or obligation. You’ll need compensation if you’re injured on-the-job, and you’ll also need a good attorney’s help. If you’re injured at work, schedule a consultation at once with a Houston workplace injury attorney.