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Can You Sue For A Work-Related Injury in Texas?

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  • Employer negligence in Kilgore, TX
  • Workers’ Compensation vs Injury Lawsuit
  • Negligence: Harmful substances

Suing for employer negligence in Texas

Everyone deserves a safe environment to work. If you have been injured on the job, then your employer could be held responsible if they failed to perform what was required of them to ensure that the workplace is safe.

Families of Texas firefighters sue employer of loved ones

In 2009, a dangerous firefighter training exercise turned fatal when two men, Corey Galloway and Kyle Perkins, fell 8 stories and died. The Kilgore firefighters had been on a vehicle with an extended ladder. The families of the men claim the men were not adequately trained to use the machinery. A jury ruled that both the Kilgore Fire Department and manufacturer E-ONE were both at fault for the death of Perkins due to gross negligence.

The two firefighters had been inside the bucket on the ladder when the platform hit a wall, knocking the door to the bucket loose. The men were not wearing safety belts at the time. The defense attorney claims that safety belts had not come with the apparatus, but the fire department acknowledged their necessity before the training accident.

Workers’ Compensation vs Injury Lawsuit

Work-related injuries into different categories.  If a worker is injured due to a defective piece of equipment or machine, then a product liability claim may be raised against the product’s manufacturer or distributor.  If a worker is instead injured in a motor vehicle crash or collision, there may also be a right to file a case against those who caused the collision.

However, if a worker is injured because of negligence of the employer or a colleague, the law generally restricts any legal claim against the worker’s employer or colleague, and limits the injured worker to remedies that are available under workers compensation. 
However, it is good to know that there is still an important exception to this general prohibition against suing an employer for work-related injuries. This is the case for those in the police force, as well as firefighters who are allowed to sue their respective employers if their negligence causes the injury or even death while on the job.

Injury: When Employer Negligence can Result in Lawsuit

Employers have a responsibility to keep their employees safe from harm.  This responsibility is especially relevant in industries that are dangerous, such as construction, maritime, and shipping industries.  Employers have to provide sufficient training for its employees on handling equipment, as well as provide adequate employees for a job, and to follow regulations for their employees.  Unfortunately, there are still employers who do not follow these basic guidelines, in which it is the employee who pays the price.

Employers may be held responsible for actions of omissions, which include:

  • Failure to properly maintain safety equipment
  • Removal of safety provisions from an equipment
  • Failure to provide proper training
  • Failure to properly assess new employees
  • Failure to provide clear and adequate instructions for a task
  • Failure to provide sufficient machinery, equipment, or assistance for a task
  • Failure to provide the right guidance when it comes to emergency procedures
  • Failure to follow the company’s guidelines, as well as the state and federal regulations
fault in personal injury case graphic preview

Who’s to Blame? | Infographic: Determining Fault in Personal Injury

In Texas, a personal injury case can still go forward if the plaintiff was partially at fault for the crash or accident. See what happens in a comparative negligence case if the insurance company successfully argues that the plaintiff was partially to blame for what happened.

Lead, Asbestos, and Other Harmful Substance: Employer Negligence

Some individuals also suffer workplace injuries after being exposed to harmful substances which include lead, asbestos, and other hazardous materials. Other types of injuries can come from operating heavy machinery that is faulty and defective.

If you have been hurt in the workplace, you may file for workers’ compensation without having to go through lengthy litigation. However, this prohibits you from filing a case against your employer, even if he or she was proven to be negligent. Thus, it is best to first contact a personal injury attorney before making any decisions on the course you will be pursuing.

Second Party in Employer Negligence Case

Furthermore, it may be the case that there is another party who is responsible for your injuries.  You can also take action against them, while at the same time receiving your workers’ compensation.  The possible negligent parties are:

  • The owner, or the person responsible for the property where you were injured
  • An employee from another company that you were working with
  • The manufacturer, seller or distributor of the defective equipment which caused your injury

Examples of injuries due to employer negligence:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Amputation
  • Back injuries
  • Cuts, abrasions, and burns