Workplace Related Injuries? Know your Legal Rights
According to a 2013 release from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 3 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2013. Of that figure, nearly 2.9 million (94.9%) involved injuries. While the number of workplace injuries has been declining in recent years, it is still staggering.
Workers in the oilfield, on offshore oil and natural gas rigs, and in other industrial type workplaces are at a heightened risk of suffering workplace injuries. Many of these injuries are preventable. Oftentimes, workplace injuries are caused by someone other than an employer or a co-worker and there may be a legal claim available to the injured worker. Workplace injuries should be properly investigated by an injury attorney Consultations with an injury lawyer are confidential. An injury lawyer can help injured workers understand their legal rights.
If you've suffered an injury in the workplace, you might think that the only compensation you can receive will come from your employer's workers' compensation insurance. According to Houston injury attorney Erin Copeland, “in most situations, this is true. However, there are some important exceptions.” There are situations in which you may be able to sue for your workplace injuries. For example:
• If you were injured by a defective product, you might be able to bring a products liability injury lawsuit.
• If you were injured by a third-party (someone who is not your employer), you might be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit.
• If you were injured because of your employer's intentional or egregious conduct, you might be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit.
• If your employer does not carry workers' compensation insurance, you might be able to bring a non-subscriber lawsuit.
If there is any possibility that the workplace injuries were caused by someone else’s wrongful conduct, the accident should be investigated by an experienced injury attorney. Although workers' compensation can provide money and benefits to an injured worker, benefits are usually quite low and do not compensate the injured worker for things like pain and suffering and other types of claims. Workers' compensation also does not provide punitive damages to punish for poor safety controls or dangerous conditions in the workplace. “That's why it's important for injured workers to know their legal rights and find out from a lawyer if they can file a lawsuit outside of the workers' compensation system,” says Houston based injury attorney Erin Copeland.