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Winning Compensation for Fatal Workplace Accidents on Behalf of Surviving Family Members
Have you have lost a loved one in a job related accident? No one can fill that hole in you or your family’s life. But it’s likely that it wasn’t “just an accident” in a “things happen all the time” world. You can seek justice against the negligent parties who caused thi9s fatality through the state’s workers’ compensation program and possibly through the civil courts against the employer. And it is also possible that supplemental wrongful death lawsuits can be brought against any liable third party who contributed to the death of your beloved family member.

This type of loss places excruciating strains on any: family emotionally and financially; often approaching what seems to be a breaking point because the sudden financial expense, amplified by the absence of emotional support from that lost loved one. You, the victim’s surviving family members deserve both fiscal relief and peaceful closure from this loss.

The fatal work accident attorneys at our Texas Law Officess can help you understand your options are and help you build and execute a plan that produces financial and emotional relief. Lean on us during your family’s time of healing. Fatal workplace accident insurance claims and lawsuits can be very complex and emotionally-charged. We help defend your legal rights and build strong wrongful death legal claims against all defendants. And the first step, typified by this Web page, is explaining your options and helping you understand the difficult days ahead of you; but also the ultimate peace that your quest for compensation will bring.

How to handle your claim or civil injury case after a fatal workplace accident depends upon the actual details of the case and the events that led up to your loved one’s fatal mishap. You must know whether or not your loved one’s employer had workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp provides a certain amount of reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages, and a modest death benefit. But you also must know what form of negligence, if any, was displayed by your loved one’s employer during the time leading up to the accident. You must also know what to do if any contractors, subcontractors or authorized visitors to your loved one’s place of employment might also be liable for the accident. And you need to know whether, in the eyes of the law, your loved one was an employee or merely a contractor. Winning civil compensation depends on the answer to each one of these questions that an investigation by your fatal workplace accident lawyer will reveal.

Resolving worker injury cases is frequently very complex due to the factors mentioned above, as well as others that may influence any fatal workplace injury case. But that’s not all. The occasional ambiguities of some of Texas’ workplace laws come with loopholes that employers and their insurance companies can leverage in their attempts to justify their unfair refusal of the rightful claims of thousands of injured workers every year. This is why it’s virtually certain that inexperienced lawyers who are not aware of those technicalities fail to win a fair and appropriate settlement in fatal workplace accident cases. And it’s certain that those with no legal experience who represent themselves in such cases are doomed to fail.

There are a Variety of Types of Workplace Accidents
From serious incidents like a fall from a large building, to seemingly benign mishaps like slipping on a wet floor, any workplace accident can be potentially fatal. Some of these mishaps, include, but are not limited to:

Construction site accidents.
Industrial accidents.
Explosions in pipelines, gas wells, or oil fields.
Fires in the workplace.
Accidents involving work-related motor vehicles.
Slipping and falling.
Criminal activity such as robbery or assault.
In a fatal workplace accident, the victim’s loved ones can pursue restitution by either filing a workers’ compensation claim or a wrongful death civil lawsuit. However, non-attorneys usually struggle with either process since several factors can affect the family’s ability to file a workers’ comp claim or succeed with a properly filed lawsuit. So you must begin at the proper beginning.

Was the Employer a Workers’ Comp Subscriber or Non-Subscriber? This is the First Question
Thanks to our lawmakers (and the political influence of the insurance company lobby) grasping workers’ compensation laws not an easy task when a workplace injury happens. State law does not require Texas companies to purchase workers’ comp insurance. Because of this, workers’ comp injury cases are divided into two distinct types that require different methods and strategies to resolve. Employers who carry worker’s comp are known as “subscribers.” Those who don’t are “non-subscribers.” So in order to proceed with your claim or civil case, you must first know if your loved one’s employer is a one or the other.

Did You Know?
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Workers’ comp benefits are paid out of a pool of funds that are provided by private insurance carriers who participate in the program. Basically, workers’ comp is “no fault” insurance because those covered by workers’ comp are reimbursed, regardless of how the accident occurred or who was at fault. But in exchange for that no simpler fault coverage, the amount of money a family receives when their loved one is killed in a workplace accident rarely covers the total expenses suffered by the surviving family.

Injured workers or their families have little recourse to receive higher compensation directly through workers’ comp because by paying for injuries through the program’s “umbrella coverage,” subscriber employers are generally protected from civil lawsuits arising from workplace accidents. And by denying workers the traditional civil venues of damage compensation, the rights of employees and their family survivors to be fairly reimbursed are severely limited because workers comp benefits are generally far below traditionally fair-market compensation levels. These workers comp “benefit cap” amounts rarely, if ever, fully compensate death benefits and other fair damages to families of employees who are killed in a Texas workplace accident. The exception to this inability to sue is employer gross negligence.

Unless the employer has committed gross (or willful) negligence that produces the wrongful death, the subscriber-employer cannot be sued. And unless the facts of the case are clearly overwhelming, such blatant negligence is very difficult to prove. In a wrongful death workers comp claim, an insurance company that is assigned to the fatal workers comp claim is responsible for negotiating a settlement with the surviving family members; again, with benefit caps. This makes the odds highly unlikely that the victim’s survivors will receive the fair and appropriate compensation to which they are entitled without suing the grossly negligent employer.

But on the other hand, in order to receive restitution from a non-subscriber to workers’ comp, the surviving family must file at least one lawsuit. Fortunately, for the injured plaintiff, there are much lower standards of proving traditional subscriber negligence. And these same standards also apply against a non-subscriber in a civil case. So if you can file a lawsuit against a non-subscriber, it’s much easier to prove true liability against that employer, general contractor or subcontractor, or any third party, for accidents in the workplace due to that lower proof-of-negligence standard.

An experienced fatal workplace accident attorney with our Law Firms can get correctly determine your deceased loved one’s employer’s workers’ comp status, so you know what legal avenues are available to you. Once we have identified the nature of this employer’s worker’s comp standing, our attorneys will know how to process your case and move forward.

In Subscriber and Non-Subscriber Claims, Supplemental Third Party Lawsuits also Help Compensate Family Members of Deceased Employees
There is another practical avenue of receiving fair injury compensation aside from workers’ comp. The family members of deceased employees can file a suit against someone other than the subscribing employer – known as a third-party – if an investigation proves that others were involved in the accident that led to the death of your loved one.

Third-party claims and lawsuits arise when someone other than the employer may have done something negligent to cause your family member’s fatal injury. If a faulty piece of machinery caused the death, then the manufacturer may be held liable through a defective product lawsuit. If the owner of the property did not provide safe working conditions, then he or she could be held accountable. If a contractor or another employee negligently caused the injury, then they could be held accountable as well. These are the most common examples but there are others.

In workers’ comp cases, surviving family members can sue the responsible party or parties, but not the subscribing employer. Experience, and the ability to properly investigate not only the accident scene but the roles these third parties played in the fatal construction accident is required in order to determine all parties responsible and make them pay for the injuries they caused. And in non-subscriber claims, third party lawsuits are a rightful measure that may be open to the surviving family members. A skillful wrongful death lawyer can devise a plan of attack that offer the best opportunity to secure compensation in a complex Texas work-related claim when more than one party is found to be liable.

Gross Negligence Can Play a Big Part in Your Wrongful Death Legal Action
Two types of negligence could have led to the wrongful death of your family member: standard negligence or gross negligence. In order to file a successful lawsuit against a workers’ comp non-subscriber, you need only prove standard negligence. But if the employer subscribes to workers’ comp insurance, then you must prove gross negligence in order to bring suit. As we mention, gross negligence is held to a higher standard of proof and requires a solid case. The slightest error in investigation, strategy or execution of your case could ruin it, and let the subscriber-defendant escape unpunished for their negligence. When it comes to proving gross negligence against a workers’ comp subscriber in civil court, inexperienced attorneys or non-lawyers have a very small chance of navigating this tedious legal process successfully: usually when it comes to “proving up” these more serious gross negligence charges. For over 30 years, our fatal work accident attorneys have been litigating wrongful death lawsuits. We know how to properly investigate, then build the strongest case to prove gross negligence against a workers’ comp subscribing employer if the facts of the case justify this option.

Commonly speaking, the difference between standard negligence and gross negligence is a matter of degree. Standard negligence is a solitary error, a temporary lapse in concentration or judgment. But gross negligence is reckless disregard for the safety of others. For example, consider a construction worker accidentally drops a brick off the top of a building, killing another worker below. This worker has merely committed standard negligence. However, if the same worker entertains him or herself and co-workers by occasionally tossing bricks off the building and the falling object then kills someone, this is most-likely gross negligence. In the first example, it’s possible that nobody could have foreseen the accident. But in the second, the worker should have been stopped from his or her practice of tossing bricks off the building in order to maintain safety. The accident could have been predicted and avoided, and gross negligence has likely been committed. Also, it is conceivable that, if the employer had foreseen this calamity, he too might become a defendant through a respondent superior based civil suit since in many cases; employers are viewed as being liable for the actions of their employees while they are on-the-job.

In a Workplace Wrongful Death, Non-Subscriber Employers Are Subject to the Law’s Full Weight
Workers’ comp insurance, costs less than traditional commercial insurance. But it’s still pretty expensive. Even so, almost half of Texas employers choose not purchase workers’ comp. When an on-the-job accident happens to them, they do not have workers’ comp to protect them from civil lawsuits. And that’s good news for surviving family members. But if they are to receive the compensation for their loved one’s fatal workplace injury from these non-subscribing employers, surviving family members certainly require the investigative assistance and legal skill of a local work accident attorney to get to the bottom of the facts surrounding the accident, and then to file an insurance claim or lawsuit and see it through in order to receive fair compensation.

This legal process begins when the victim’s family, also known as the plaintiff, files a claim with the employer, notifying him or her of the injury and the amount of fair reimbursement the family expects. If the employer is insured, the matter us usually handed to an insurance company, which either tries to negotiate a settlement, or disputes the plaintiff’s allegations outright. If negotiations progress in-good-faith between plaintiff and the insurance company, then the case is settled and fair damages are paid to the plaintiff family. But often, work-related injury cases are hotly contested because so much money is involved in wrongful death. And the survivors must file a lawsuit to win the compensation that it deserves. As the injured party, the plaintiff holds the burden of proving that the employer’s negligence caused the injury, resulting in those high medical bills, funeral expenses, lost present and future income, pain and suffering, as well as pain and suffering by the surviving family members.

If the employer has private coverage, then he or she isn’t likely to agree to pay your family for the negligence-related death. That’s because the insurance company doesn’t want them to. Plus, most employers know that paying an expensive insurance claim is certain to lead to significantly higher coverage rates. And their insurer consistently reminds them of that fact. our Law Firms’ fatal work accident attorneys’ experience in these matters has revealed that most non-subscribers, their insurance companies and attorneys try to use a pair of traditional defenses to avoid paying the survivors of employees who are killed on-the-job the restitution they deserve.

The Sole Proximate Cause Defense in a Non Subscriber Work Fatality Case
Proving non subscriber employer negligence requires the strongest possible case by way of an intensive physical and forensic investigation of the accident scene, witness corroboration, and the testimony of expert witnesses. As soon as the accident occurred, the insurance company’s lawyers begin building their defense against you, trying to prove your loved one was liable for the fatal accident. However, in a nonsubscriber case, the family of the decedent is not required to prove gross negligence. Establishing standard negligence is sufficient to have a successful claim.

The first liability defense afforded non-subscribers after a fatal workplace accident to one of their employees is to turn the tables of sole proximate cause back on the deceased worker. They claim that the victim was the only one to blame for his or her own injuries. In order to invoke the sole proximate cause defense, non-subscribing employers will try to defame your deceased loved one’s reputation by proving he or she was a careless or irresponsible employee and caused the fatal accident. They’ll often introduce other employees as witnesses to back them up. Sometimes they dive into your loved one’s private life to try and prove their “irresponsibility in life equals the same behavior on the job.” And since insurance companies are very astute, and their attorneys very shrewd, when it comes to fighting your claim or civil case, your own cunning Bexar County on the job wrongful death lawyer comes in handy when it’s time to turn the tables of liability back on the negligent employer. And when you think about it, not is only the burden of proof on the plaintiff, but also the burden to “disprove” whatever the defense throws against the wall, hoping it will stick.

The Second Popular Defendant Tactic: Questioning the Employer-Employee Relationship
Once the sole proximate cause option has been exhausted by non-subscribers to avoid liability after a fatal workplace accident, many clever employers will change the argument and say that your loved one was technically not an employee but rather, a contractor. They will then claim the issue of compensation does not apply because of this.

Employers are not responsible for injuries that befall their contractors. So, many of them hire their employees and say they’re contractors, going so far as to try and create a paper trail to back this up, when that is not always so. But the employer believes he can deny that an employer-employee relationship existed between your deceased family member and his or her company, and deny your claim on that technicality. The simple logic is a matter of why they should they be responsible for an injury to a person who was never an employee to begin with?

While many companies claim they hire their employees as contractors or as temp workers through a third-party, many times the employer knows full-well that an actual employer-employee relationship exists and the survivors of a fatally injured worker can still obtain compensation. So don’t be misled by this tactic: we certainly won’t. Even though the employer claims your family member was a contractor, he or she was likely still classified as an employee, which entitles you to recover compensation for your loved one’s fatal workplace injury.

A skillful and well-seasoned Texas/ Texas fatal work accident attorney knows how to disprove this employer deception and verify the employer-employee relationship by meeting at least one the following standards:

Social security or taxes have been withheld from your loved ones paycheck by the employer.
The essential equipment for the job was supplied to your loved one by the employer.
Your loved one’s work was regularly managed, overseen or inspected by the employer.
A specific work schedule was set by the employer. Your loved one was not free to come-and-go as they pleased.
The employer required your loved one to sign a document that limited his or her rights while working for the employer. The most common examples are taking a drug test or signing a document that states compliance with an employee handbook.
Your loved one was employed for an undetermined period of time and not just for a single job.
Your loved one was paid a salary or an hourly wage, not on a “by-the-job” basis.
In cases where a worker is borrowed from another company, or a third-party agency, the rules for determining the working relationship are related, but there can be some crucial differences. Some of these conditions may include:

If the borrowing employer has the power to hire or fire a borrowed worker at any time, the worker is clearly an employee.
Most of the time, if the borrowing employer is allowed to pick a particular worker, then the worker is an employee. If the agency that provides the worker is allowed to send any worker they choose, the worker is a contractor.
If the worker must provide tools and equipment necessary to do the job, that person is a contractor. If the employer provides them, the worker is likely an employee.
If a third party or agency can substitute the borrowed worker for another at-will, the worker is a contractor. If the lending agency cannot, then the worker is an employee.
If the worker is borrowed indefinitely, then the worker is an employee. If the worker is borrowed for a specific project with a specific date of completion, the worker is a contractor.
If a worker is being borrowed or “leased” because of a skill that is unique or hard-to-find, then the worker is a contractor. But on the other hand, if an employer borrows a worker to fill a position that just about anyone can fill, then the worker is an employee.
If the borrowing employer agrees to pay the worker’s social security and withholding income tax, then the worker is an employee. If the borrowing employer does not accept this responsibility, then the worker is a contractor.
Our lawyers conduct a meticulous investigation to clearly demonstrate the existence of one, and usually more of these standards to prove an employer-employee relationship existed for your loved one. We depose co-workers, review contracts and examine pay stubs to establish that your family member was in fact, an employee when the fatal work injury was suffered.

Also, if your loved one was hired by an employment agency to work at an “employer’s” company and suffered a workplace-related accidental death, your attorney must determine if the employment agency has workers’ comp. If so, then you would file a workers’ comp wrongful death claim against the employment agency, which would most likely make the company where your loved one actually performed the work a third-party contributor to the accident. Also, if your loved one’s employer loaned him or her to another company where the fatal accident occurred, the issue of workers’ comp subscription with your loved one’s employer comes into play and the company where your loved was fatally injured will likely be treated as a third-party defendant in any civil claim or suit.

This brings another important point to mind. As we have previously told you, workers’ comp claims are less-than adequate when major injuries are involved, including wrongful death. So the traditional way for a deceased worker’s family to receive fair damage compensation is to file a workers’ comp claim and supplement it with the appropriate number of third party claims or lawsuits, beginning with the company where your loved one was working at the time.

All Defendants Fight to Avoid Paying Damages in Wrongful Death Workplace Lawsuits
In all non-subscriber and third party fatal workplace injury cases, many defendants will have large insurance companies with lots of good attorneys to aggressively represent them. The rest will be “self-insured” or uninsured. And every defendant does everything they can to wiggle out of paying damages to surviving family members.

Non-subscribers’ insurance companies have attorneys either on staff or permanent retainer. They are very good defenders of their clients against claimants like you who try to sue them. Insurance companies are belligerent in their resistance. And from the opening gavel, they cry for relief from yet another nuisance suit. But they don’t always win, especially when you have an experienced lawyer who knows how to counter every obstacle they place in our path.

But as bad as the insurance companies can be in a fatal injury claim or lawsuit, they are subject to a certain amount of regulations that surround their deportment during their legal defense. But employers who are self-insured or have no insurance whatsoever are not bound by such rules; or any rules at all, other than those surrounding criminal behavior. And some defendants don’t even respect those. So they will often blatantly display underhanded behavior when survivors of a fatally injured worker take legal action against them to recover damages. And that behavior runs the gamut from questionable to obscenely illegal if they think they can get away with it.

You will likely deal directly with a company officer if the self-insured firm is a small one. This person’s salary is tied directly to company profits. Restitution that is paid for any injury comes directly out of company funds (or a bond if they have one). So by compensating you, your deceased loved one’s employer is literally taking money out his own pocket. So it comes as no surprise when a sneaky, self-insured company officer uses any and all means to oppose your claim in order to protect his company’s, and his personal, assets.

Many times we’ve seen self-insured companies deliberately destroy evidence as well bribe or intimidate witnesses. They sometimes even resort to physical threats against witnesses or others they see as “friends of the plaintiff.” This is why every time we represent a client against a self-insured company, the first thing we do is to file motions in court to prevent anyone within the company from behaving inappropriately against our clients. Sometimes these motions include clear demands that they make no attempt to communicate with our clients in any way without one of our attorneys present.

Every Defendant Fights to Avoid Paying Damages in Wrongful Death Workplace Lawsuits
In all non-subscriber and third party fatal workplace injury cases, many liable employers will have large insurance companies, represented by lots of good attorneys to aggressively defend them. The rest will be “self-insured” or uninsured. And every defendant does everything they can to wiggle out of paying full wrongful death damages to surviving family members.

Non-subscribers’ insurance companies are very good defenders of their clients against claimants like you who try to sue them. Insurance companies are belligerent in their resistance. And from the opening round, they cry for relief from yet another nuisance lawsuit. But they don’t always win, especially when you have an experienced lawyer who knows how to counter every one of the many obstacles they place in our path.

But as bad as the insurance companies can be in a fatal workplace injury claim or lawsuit, they are subject to a certain amount of regulations that surround their legal defense. But employers who are self-insured or have no insurance at all are not bound by such rules; or any rules for that matter, other than those surrounding criminal behavior. And some defendants don’t even respect those. So they will often blatantly display underhanded behavior when survivors of a fatally injured worker take legal action against them to recover damages. And that behavior can be questionable; even downright illegal if they think they can get away with it.

You will likely deal directly with a company officer if the self-insured firm is a small one. This person’s salary is tied directly to company profits. Restitution that is paid for any injury comes directly out of company funds (or a bond if they have one). So by compensating you, your deceased loved one’s employer is literally taking money out his own pocket. So it comes as no surprise when a sneaky, self-insured company officer uses any and all means to oppose your claim in order to protect his company’s, and his personal, assets.

Many times we’ve seen self-insured companies deliberately destroy evidence as well bribe or intimidate witnesses. They’ll even occasionally resort to physical threats against witnesses or others they see as “friends of the plaintiff.” This is why every time we represent a client against a self-insured company, the first thing we do is to file motions in court to prevent anyone within the company from behaving inappropriately against our clients. Sometimes these motions include clear demands that they make no attempt to communicate with our clients in any way without one of our attorneys present.

The Dangerous Risks of Wrongful Death Self-Representation
Let us give you a couple of facts as you deliberate whether or not to hire a lawyer to represent your grieving family.

You are not an attorney and just don’t have the depth of knowledge or experience to thoroughly investigate a workplace accident, or effectively negotiate a fair settlement with insurance companies, or successfully argue so complicated a case in court. And you certainly don’t have the time to do this by the “legal numbers” because there’s too much involved. And the odds of success by lawyers who have little or no experience in these matters aren’t much better than yours.

Just having basic legal knowledge in such matters comprises little more than a third of what is fully needed to win fatal workplace injury cases against any employer or liable third party. Successful negotiation and, when-necessary, litigation requires a keen knowledge of civil procedure and the ability to develop the right strategy to battle the defendants, their insurance companies and lawyers. Having your opponents respect is also a critical element. Do you think they’ll respect you or your neophyte lawyer? This is why highly regarded fatal workplace accident attorneys who have spent years taking on, and defeating, the insurance companies and their lawyers are your most-powerful weapon in your fight for compensation. Doesn’t the memory of your loved one deserve this?

You only have one chance at fair compensation for your loved one’s accidental death in the workplace. Make it your best shot.

We Help You Recover From the Shocking Loss of Your Beloved Family Member
The fatal work accident attorneys at our Texas Law Officess help you win the compensation you deserve. Once retained, our wrongful death lawyers:

We have been litigating and resolving workplace wrongful death cases locally, and all over Texas for over 30 years. We have successfully negotiated countless settlements and argued many cases against every major insurance provider in the nation. We have a history of success and won numerous fair settlements for our clients on behalf of their deceased loved ones. Insurance companies know our track record and don’t want to see us in court. As a result, they often offer our clients attractive settlements without the stress and uncertainty of a jury trial.

The fatal workplace accident attorneys with our Law Firms do whatever is necessary to help you obtain justice and fair restitution for the loved one that has been taken from you. To find out how we can help, call 1(800) 862-1260 (toll free) or fill out the form at the top of this page for a free consultation that will be the first step to finding peace of mind in memory of your dearly departed family member.
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Wrongful Death Lawsuits When Others are Negligent Help Families Heal from Fatal Accidents that Befall their Loved Ones
If you have recently lost a loved one in an accident you certainly have many questions that need answers quickly: how did it happen? Who is to blame? Do you have grounds for a lawsuit? Do you need the assistance of an experienced attorney in Texas specializing in wrongful death? at our Texas Law Offices, our lawyers and staff dedicate their lives to helping grieving families recover from the sudden, tragic loss of a loved one.

We know how overwhelmed you and your family are right now. And we can help you find the answers that will give your family peace of mind. After they lose a loved one in a tragic accident, most families want to know what legal remedies they have, but they just don’t know. This is the reason for this primer. We want to let you know about the legal issues involved with a wrongful death case, the different options you have for seeking compensation and the many obstacles you will face. The law states that you have a right to seek compensation for such a tragic loss; both tangible and intangible. But it doesn’t automatically award such remedy. You must ask for it and be prepared to back your claims up in court, if necessary.

What is the Goal of a Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
There are three main objectives to a Texas wrongful death lawsuit

To hold any and all negligent parties who caused someone else’s death to be legally accountable for their actions.
To use monetary incentive to force all negligent parties to change his or her ways so that he or she will not continue to recklessly kill more innocent people in the same manner.
To relieve the heavy financial burden placed on the family of the victim by the untimely and traumatic death of their loved one.
at our Texas Law Offices, we empathize with your feelings that no amount of money can compensate your family for the loss of a beloved member, or even come close to filling the hole your loved one’s death has created in your lives. We know you’re in a great deal of emotional pain. But in your grief, you shouldn’t have to suffer economically as well. Like you, we too want justice against the negligent defendants who caused your loved one’s death. But just as important is the fact that we also want to make sure you and the rest of your stricken family can begin to emotionally recover from this horrible tragedy by helping you recover financially. And given the high price of funeral expenses and medical bills alone, legal damages you are able to rightfully receive help your family get back on your financial feet, as well as supply the means to move on with your lives without fearing the unknown.

What Constitutes a Valid Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
Without a clear understanding of the law, many people in your situation aren’t aware of whether or not they may be able to seek legal action against a negligent party through a wrongful death lawsuit. So to begin at the beginning, here is a list of basic conditions that had to have existed, or may have existed, in order for a wrongful death lawsuit to be pursued:

The victim must have died as a result of the negligent behavior or another person or entity. This negligent behavior could have been the direct cause or in legal terms, the proximate cause of the fatal accident. Proximate cause means that the liable party played a contributing role leading up to the accident. The negligence may be willful, or the result of oversight or inattentiveness: simply a mistake in the defendant’s judgment
The victim must have a surviving family member or beneficiary that can pursue legal action.
The victim or the victim’s family must have incurred some form of financial loss, known as damages, as a result of the fatal accident.
If these basic aspects existed in regards to the accident that claimed the life of your loved one, you may be able to seek legal action against the liable parties through a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court. If you are unsure whether or not these circumstances may have existed in regards to your possible case, contact one of our local Texas wrongful death attorneys toll-free at 1(800) 862-1260 to discuss the merits of your wrongful death case.

It should also be known that a civil lawsuit can be pursued regardless of whether or not a liable party is also facing criminal charges, since the purposes of each type of case are different. And if criminal charges were considered against any negligent parties, but weren’t filed, that has no bearing on your right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court. But if they are brought, even if the defendant was not held criminally liable, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t civilly liable for the death of your loved one.

For example, a distracted driver may strike a pedestrian, resulting in that pedestrian’s death. In most instances, criminal charges will not be brought against the negligent driver. If the same driver had been drunk at the time of the fatal pedestrian accident, then criminal charges likely would be brought against the driver. In either instance, the driver can still be held civilly liable for their actions behind the wheel through a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas, regardless of the status of the criminal charges that may or may not have been brought.

Damages That are Usually Awarded after a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Wrongful death damages are financial compensation amounts that have been established to reimburse the family members for any emotional or financial pain they have incurred as a result of the death of their loved one. Spouses, children, parents and siblings all have the right to participate in wrongful death damage suits but there is a clear line of just who has standing to ask the court for civil relief since only one family member can file a wrongful death suit. Spouses are usually first in line. After the spouse (who can opt to “stand mute before the court” in order for another relative to assume legal standing) come children (oldest to youngest), then parents of adult wrongful death victims, and then siblings.

Wrongful death damages may include compensation for:

Medical expenses incurred by your family member prior to death along with medical bills the deceased victim-relative may have been required to pay had he or she not died.
All funeral expenses the family was suddenly required to pay.
Absence of the financial support the deceased victim provided to the family prior to the untimely death.
The mental and emotional pain and suffering forced upon your family that was caused this beloved family member’s death.
Loss of the unique familial love and companionship your family must live with after this tragic and unforeseen death.
Property that was damaged in the accident that killed your loved one, if any.
Lost salary due to the time your beloved victim would have spent in the hospital recovering had he or she merely been injured instead of killed.
Diminished future earning capacity due to long-term disability.
Physical pain and suffering to your relative caused by the accident.
The mental and emotional turmoil your unfortunate family member might have experienced due to both the accident itself and the expected recovery process.
Compensation for possible disfigurement the accident might have caused.
Seeking wrongful death damages and survival damages requires different strategies. Your Texas wrongful death attorney must take into account all of the individual losses of every family member before working with the family member who is actually filing the claim. And considering that some of these damages are intangible, and open to interpretation (and exception by the defense), computing them is an extremely complex process.

The Four Elements to Proving Wrongful Death Liability in Court
Anyone can file a lawsuit for any purpose in Texas. What really matters is being able to What really matters is being able to file a successful personal injury lawsuit that you can clearly win. In order for your case to be successful, you must have evidence to meet your burden of proof in each of the four elements that make up a successful personal injury claim. They are Duty, Breach, Causation and Damages. A brief overview of all four is below. But be certain to ask your wrongful death attorney for a better explanation of how and why these elements fit into a sequentially-presented wrongful death lawsuit:

Duty: The first element of a successful lawsuit is the ability to clearly show that the defendant owed your family member a duty of care to act in a way that wouldn’t harm your loved one. People owe each other the duty to behave as reasonable as possible in order to avoid hurting others. This means not only avoiding unreasonably careless activities, it also means the defendant must take affirmative (clear) precautions to protect others from getting hurt in the same way a reasonable person would do. A reasonable person duty of care is applied to personal injury and wrongful death law, although that level of duty or care can vary depending on who the defendant is, the environment in which the accident occurred and other circumstances surrounding the fatal accident. There is no universal way to establish a level of duty that applies to every case. But duty is always present in everything we do. And the level of duty the defendant owed your loved one must be clearly proved.

Breach: After showing that the defendant owed your loved one a duty of care, you must now prove that the defendant breached that duty. Proving a defendant breached the duty of care that was owed you usually requires bringing clearly unambiguous evidence to court to show exactly what the defendant did – or failed to do – that constituted the breach. If your case goes to trial, the jury will consider your evidence of alleged breach, along with all of the circumstances involved in the accident, and determine whether the defendant did or did not breach the duty of care to your loved one in that fatal accident.

Proving negligence is the most common way of showing how a defendant violates his duty of care. Negligence refers to what you believe as simple carelessness. If a defendant is careless, even during the critical moment when your accident occurred, he may be held responsible for the injuries that result. But sometimes negligence can be viewed as willful, or on-purpose. In this case, you must prove that the defendant didn’t care that his or her actions violated the duty that was owed to your family member, or breached that duty out of spite.

Causation: The ability to prove causation is a critical part of any personal injury lawsuit. It’s just not enough to show that a defendant breached the duty of care he owed your loved one. You must also demonstrate that his actions were the direct cause to the fatal injuries. This is not always easy, especially since your deceased family member is around to make these charges. Furthermore, the defendant you in your wrongful death lawsuit will probably try to prove that the injuries were caused by someone else. This is where witnesses and other forensic evidence helps fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle. If there were criminal charges, all the evidence presented in that trial can be used in your wrongful death case against the defendant. But simply-put, if you can’t make this crucial link between the defendant’s actions and your family member’s fatal injuries, your case will quickly unravel and you’ll lose.

Damages: Let’s talk a little bit more about damages. If you are successful in proving the defendant’s liability, the final step finds the defendant paying damages. And we’ve told you what damages can be won earlier in this article. But they must be carefully calculated and fairly presented. Now is not the time to try and gouge the defendant for every last dollar unless you can clearly justify every dollar. One of the biggest mistakes that personal injury victims make who don’t hire lawyers is failing to account for all of their damages. Once you collect money from a defendant, you can’t go back and ask for more compensation later. So it’s important to get it right the first time and sue the defendant for all you’re entitled to compensate for both your tangible and intangible losses.

In a sense, building a solid wrongful death personal injury lawsuit is a lot like building a house. Establishing the defendant’s legal duty can be likened to laying the house’s foundation. Showing how the defendant breached that duty is a lot like constructing the frame and the walls. Clearly identifying what caused the defendant to breach that duty to your deceased family member can be exemplified by the roof. And damages is where the person who built your house hands you the bill.

Having an effective and aggressive Texas Texas wrongful death attorney to steer you through these hazardous civil action waters is indeed a powerful weapon in realizing your lawsuit’s success.

Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death Lawsuits also Happen in Bexar County
Medical malpractice is another sub-category of wrongful death lawsuits. But they can be especially thorny because recent tort reform in Texas has made it significantly more difficult, but not impossible, for wrongful death survivors to seek legal restitution through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

While tort reform was intended to prevent frivolous lawsuits from tying up our state’s court system, it also made it very complicated for legitimate medical malpractice lawsuits to proceed against negligent medical professionals. Another issue surrounds legal duty on the part of healthcare professionals which is very high, and thereby harder to conclusively prove.

And as if those weren’t enough, damage caps now exist on the amount of money that a jury can award (or that your attorney can effectively negotiate on your family’s behalf) in one single medical malpractice lawsuit. Though there might be an exception or two that might apply to up that figure somewhat, that cap amount is $250,000. This means that a bereaved family may not be able to win fair compensation for their loss that is commensurate to the actual damages they have incurred if their lawsuit is limited to one offending healthcare provider.

But even though damage caps and other complications surrounding medical malpractice make it more difficult to win fair judgments, there is still a way for families of those who have suffered wrongful death to recover fair monetary value. When we investigate a medical malpractice claim that has resulted in a wrongful death we work to identify all liable parties. And if more defendants are identified, it creates a “piggyback” formula. If, for example, a surgeon, nurse and medical technician become defendants in your loved one’s wrongful death, the total cap amount could approach $750,000.

We also must share with you the fact that many attorneys hesitate at the prospect of representing clients in medical malpractice cases because of their challenging nature in the wake of recent tort reform, in addition to the many complicated technical aspects often involved in such wrongful death lawsuits. But our Texas wrongful death lawyers are familiar with all of the obstacles posed by medical malpractice cases, and are prepared to help you win full and fair compensation from one healthcare professional (or several, if our investigation reveals them) for your family’s loss due to the negligence of a medical professional that caused the death of your loved one.

Texas Workers’ Comp Laws Can Determine Your Legal Strategy after Wrongful Death
If your loved one’s death occurred while on the job, there are specific guidelines you must follow in order to win damages. And we’ll warn you right now, in some instances you will not be able to receive just and fair compensation for the work-related accident that took your beloved family member due to the restrictions of workers’ comp.

And about half of these tragic work-related events might involve workers’ compensation insurance, in which case this issue is the first one that must be sorted out when planning any legal strategy involving a wrongful death. An employer covered by workers’ comp in Texas is immune to lawsuits in the event of a wrongful death, but with one specific exception. If a worker is killed due to gross negligence by their employer, a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought against that worker’s comp subscribing employer. Otherwise, a bereaved family can seek compensation for their loss only through the workers’ compensation insurance policy. And workers’ comp death benefits are far from generous.

A Texas wrongful death attorney’s experience with both wrongful death and fatal work accident cases is a big help as you seek justice against such a negligent employer. But the standard of proof is quite high if you are to establish an employer’s clear guilt of gross negligence.

This is where the fatal work injury attorneys with our Law Firm can investigate the accident in order to find other liable defendants who may have also been involved in some way, even if it was not overtly, in contributing to the accident. This “third party” involvement is quite common in fatal workplace accidents. It is similar to our search for other defendants in medical malpractice cases. I the event that multiple parties bear some liability for the death of a worker, a bereaved family may be able to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit against every one of these additional liable defendants, in addition to seeking compensation through the workers’ comp policy that is carried by your family member’s employer. This formula allows bereaved families to receive damage awards as third party suits are “piggybacked” onto the worker’s comp claim. In addition, fatal injury accidents in the workplace can also be caused by defective products or machinery, which opens the manufacturers to a possible third party lawsuit as well through a defective product lawsuit.

Sorting out all of these issues can be quite challenging for those with little to no legal experience. But an experienced, tenacious Texas TX wrongful death attorney with our Law Firm is ready to use all his knowledge and skill to work for you, so your loved one will not have died in vain.

Some of the Challenges You Will Face to Your Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Most wrongful death defendants are likely covered by some sort of liability insurance policy. Since wrongful death often usually produces large damage amounts that are requested by the decedent’s family, the settlement or jury award to pay these damages from a wrongful death lawsuit may be a very large amount of money: often a much larger amount that would have been awarded had the victim lived.

So, an insurer that holds such a large policy will likely do whatever it can in order to avoid paying out such a sizable sum. This callous behavior, even if the evidence clearly proves the insured defendant was negligent in causing the wrongful death rarely changes; regardless of the bereaved family’s obvious need for just compensation. This is another reason why your wrongful death case requires aggressive legal action in order to succeed against a liable defendant’s insurer.

These insurers and the lawyers who defend the insurance companies typically attempt to pass blame for a fatal accident onto any party that may have been involved in the accident. They will even resort to calling your loved one’s actions, or lifestyle, into question in the hopes of having the thwart your family’s wrongful death. They might also try and pass the liability down to any third parties who might also be third party defendants in your civil action. It’s sort of like throwing a bunch of rattlesnakes into a burlap bag. They turn on each other. And their charges against each other only serve to cloud the issue and increase the chances that all will get off Scott-free.

Unless you and your Texas wrongful death attorney in Texas have meticulously built a strong case with clear, relevant evidence that can speak on your loved one’s behalf, an insurer may be able to argue them, and their negligent clients and themselves out of liability for a fatal accident, and off the hook of paying any compensation whatsoever to your family. And this means defendants escape justice for the wrongful death of your loved one. With over two decades of experience in taking-on these types of insurers, our Law Firm is well-acquainted with their methods and tactics, and how to counter every one of them. This means that we can make sure that you’re treated fairly by the insurance companies that have no interest at all in anything other than keeping their money and denying you yours.

Time itself can also be a challenge to wrongful death lawsuits. For instance, the statute of limitations for a Texas wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of death. While this timeline can be extended in certain situations surrounding gross negligence, or if criminal charges have been filed against the liable party, or if defendants have conspired to keep the facts of the accident a secret, a victim’s family usually has only two years to seek legal action against that defendant. While this may sound like a long time, it really isn’t. A thorough investigation must be conducted. And some investigations can take a year; even more in some cases; especially if there are a large number of liable parties who may have been involved. Because when you’re ready to file, all your ducks must be lined-up perfectly.

In addition, all defendants need to have their assets researched in order to assure that they can pay the damages they will owe you and your family once they have been judged to be guilty. Because if the defendants cannot afford to pay you, filing a lawsuit against them is merely a waste of time.

And the more time that passes between the fatal accident and your legal action, the more harm you may do to your case. Evidence can disappear, or can even be removed by those who wish to avoid being held accountable for their actions. Witnesses become harder to track down. Or they may forget critical details in surrounding your loved one’s fatal accident. Or they may have been “encouraged” by defendants to forget. This is why it is critical for investigators to be on the scene of a fatal accident as soon as possible after it has occurred. And this is why it is so very important that you not hesitate in calling a Texas wrongful death attorney if you want to build a strong legal case that delivers fair compensation for your loved one’s wrongful death.

Our Wrongful Death Attorneys Speak for Your Loved One and your Bereaved Family
We truly feel your pain and suffering over the loss of your loved one. All of us have been there. And we empathize when a wrongful family member’s surprising death produces one of the most devastating experiences that a family must endure. The pain and suffering by the family, the loss of income, the flood of bills that just don’t stop and the fact that life still must go on always makes a tragic wrongful accidental death to a family member overwhelming for the survivors. We know that you’re going through a difficult time right now. This is why we are committed to helping you make sure that the negligent behavior, whether it’s by one, or several liable defendants, does not create even more emotional and financial stress for your family: today or in the future. And we know you also don’t want another family to have to endure the same sad fate in the future because these same negligent parties were not called to legally account for their actions.

So please bear this advice in mind. Before you speak with an insurance company, or accept even a single dollar of payment or compensation from anyone, or sign anything, or attempt to file a lawsuit on your own, you must contact a competent lawyer. If you don’t do this immediately, your family will continue to suffer financially as well as emotionally.

With a successful track record in wrongful death cases throughout the U. S., Texas wrongful death attorney our lead attorney, along with his associates at our Texas Law Offices can help you win fair and just compensation and seek justice for your loved one’s untimely death. Both insurance companies and their defense attorneys know and respect us because we’ve likely already beaten them in the past. This means that, once we’ve taken your case, investigated it thoroughly and created strong evidence that can be used in court to justify your full, fair compensation claim, the insurance companies see discretion as being the better part of valor, and choose to negotiate with us in good faith and pay a fair out-of-court settlement for all of the damages that you and your bereaved family are rightfully owed. That means your wrongful death suit won’t have to go through an agonizing, grueling trial; and your family can begin to put its life back together, with more-assured financial security. And yet, if a trial is necessary to fully defend your and your deceased loved one’s compensation rights, we are always prepared to fight for you in court as well. The insurance companies know, and fear, that too.

Contact our Texas, Texas wrongful death lawyers, toll-free, at 1(800) 862-1260 or fill out the form at the top of this page for a complimentary, confidential legal consultation. We can answer all your questions surrounding the possible pursuit of a wrongful death civil suit in Bexar County or anywhere in Central Texas. Our goal is to help you and your family emerge from this difficult time: fully compensated for your loss from every liable defendant for their negligent behavior

Your family deserves what you are rightfully owed from this preventable tragedy. And with that peace of mind, all of you can move forward with your lives, and your loved one can finally rest in peace.
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our Law Firm Helps You Understand Your Legal Rights after a Work-Related Injury in the Texas / Texas Area
What happens after you’re injured on the job? Hopefully, it’s not serious, and you’ll be able to quickly return to work. But if the injury is serious, who pays for your injuries, lost time or, other damages owed because you’re permanently disabled, or your loved one was killed on the job?

How to handle your claim or civil injury case depends upon the actual details of your injury and the events leading up to the accident. You must know whether or not the company you work for had workers’ compensation insurance, which pays reimbursement for medical expenses, a portion of your lost wages and some disability. You also need to know what to do if your employer does not have workers’ comp coverage. And you also must understand whether, in the eyes of the law, you are an employee or merely a contractor. Your ability to obtain compensation depends on the answers to each one of these important questions when determining how to go about receiving recompense for your on-the-job injuries.

Resolving such cases is often very complex due to the three factors mentioned above, as well as other issues that influence any job-related injury case. Furthermore, the complexity and occasional ambiguity of some of our laws allow employers and their insurance providers to unfairly refuse the rightful claims of thousands of injured Texas employees every year. It’s almost certain that inexperienced lawyers will fail to secure a maximum work-injury settlement in accident insurance claims or civil cases. And it’s all but a lock that those with no legal experience who choose to represent themselves in such matters are virtually certain to fail in their legal quest.

Texas work accident attorney our lead attorney and his professional team at our Texas Law Offices have invested over 30 years experience into fairly resolving injury claims and civil cases on behalf of employees who are injured on-the-job. We use our expertise and skill to help you clearly understand the laws involved with such a case and all of the legal avenues that are open to you arising from work accident-related injuries. And we are just as adept at representing surviving family members when their beloved family member accidentally dies on-the-job. We believe that honesty is the best policy in sharing all of the challenges you will face so you can make the most-informed decisions in the interests of your family: something your employer or his or her insurance company considers a bother from the moment the mishap occurs.

Employers are exclusively concerned with protecting their own assets. Some employers will attempt to hide whether or not they have workers’ comp insurance. Often, they evade any responsibility and mislead you in order to avoid liability. Some might argue that you aren’t an employee to begin with and don’t owe you anything. With the help of their insurance companies and attorneys, employers will accuse you or your deceased loved one of being the actual cause of the tragic mishap. An experienced work accident attorney knows how to counter the tricks of your employer, his lawyers, pushy, underhanded insurance adjusters and their greedy corporate officers.

Clarifying Your Employers Workers’ Compensation Status Comes First
Our state lawmakers (and the insurance lobby) can be thanked for today’s difficulty in understanding workers’ compensation laws. No company, regardless of size, is required by the state of Texas to purchase workers’ comp insurance. Right now, maybe one employer in two subscribes to the program. So, workers’ comp injury cases are generally divided into two distinct types that require wholly different methods and strategies to resolve. Employers who carry worker’s comp are referred to as “subscribers.” Those who don’t are “non-subscribers.” In order to know how to proceed with your injury compensation strategy, you must first determine whether or not your employer is one or the other.

Workers’ comp benefits originate from a “pool” of funds. It is stocked by private insurance carriers that participate in the program. This pool protects subscriber-employers from lawsuits and generally disregards the legal rights of employees to be fairly compensated when the employer is truly negligent, because it limits, or “caps,” the monetary compensation an injured employee can receive. If your employer subscribes to workers’ comp, it provides some reimbursement to injured employees who are injured on the job site: primarily expenses directly linked to medical bills. It’s basically “no fault” insurance because those covered by workers’ comp are reimbursed, no matter how the accident occurred or whose fault it was. But many times the amount of money you receive doesn’t cover the actual expenses of an on the job injury, especially if it is severe. And we’ll go over that in greater detail later.

But on the other hand, in order to receive restitution from a non-subscriber to workers’ comp, an injury victim must file a lawsuit in civil court. Fortunately, for the injured party, the prerequisites that encourage companies to subscribe to “no fault” workers’ comp insurance are not as stringent. And these same lower standards of proving subscriber negligence also apply against a non-subscriber in a civil case. So it’s not as difficult to assess true liability against a non-subscribing employer for on-the-job accidents.

Since workers’ comp is cheaper than traditional employer liability insurance, one would think all companies would be smart and purchase workers’ comp. But there’s no accounting for those who run the risk of not subscribing to workers’ comp, because it is comparatively cheaper. So many employers still choose to roll the dice, save their money and take the risk of being a non-subscriber. Then, when the odds catch-up with them, they try to avoid a lawsuit and fake having workers’ comp once one of their workers is injured. These employers may try to quickly pay you benefits you would receive from workers’ comp: or ask you to sign what they may represent as a “standard release” when offering a reimbursement check in order to further their deception and get off the hook. But it’s a trick so don’t fall for it

This is one of many examples of how you benefit from an experienced Texas workplace accident attorney to get to the bottom of your company’s workers’ comp status, so you know what legal recourse is available to you. Once we identify the nature of your employer’s workers’ comp standing, we can then move forward together to secure your fair injury and damage compensation.

Workers Comp Subscribers are Well-Insulated from Civil Lawsuits Most of the Time
When they subscribe to workers’ comp insurance, employers get far more than just pool coverage that produces lower benefit payments. They are also virtually immune to civil lawsuits. Unless the employer has committed gross negligence resulting in wrongful death, they cannot be sued in civil court if one of their employees is injured or accidently killed at work. And the facts of the case must be clearly overwhelming in order to prove gross negligence. So whichever contributing insurance company is responsible for negotiating a settlement; again, with benefit caps, the odds are highly unlikely that the victim, or the victim’s survivors if a death has occurred, will receive the equitable compensation to which they are entitled.

In a perfect world, insurance providers would be concerned with tending to the legitimate needs of injured people. All legitimate victims would receive fair compensation for all medical bills, lost salary, pain and suffering. But this is not a fair world, in spite of what some of these insurance companies try to say in the altruistic tone of their advertising and public relations’ campaigns. Insurance companies are in business to generate profits. Helping people is secondary at-best. And those who underwrite the workers’ comp pool are no exception. All Insurance companies try to avoid fairly compensating injured employees every year in Aggieland and all throughout the Lone Star State. Those who participate in the state’s insurance pool are just doing it with the permission of the legislature and the State Insurance Board.

But there are two possible avenues to receiving injury compensation outside the purview of workers’ comp. However, one of these exceptions involves a worker’s fatality. The other allows the injured employee to file a suit against someone other than the subscribing employer, which is commonly known as a third-party lawsuit:

If your love one’s death occurred at work and the accident was a direct result of the gross negligence by his or her employer, then you as a surviving family member may file a wrongful death lawsuit. In one case, our attorneys were hired by the loved ones of a construction worker who died after a fall from a crane. The workers comp subscribing employer had ordered the worker atop the rig without an OSHA-mandated safety harness. When the man plummeted to his death, the employer rushed to a construction supply store, purchased a safety harness, attached it to the dead man and then called 911. Our investigators uncovered this willful deception by interviewing the co-workers, and hit him with a very expensive (and successful) gross negligence wrongful death lawsuit. Sometimes there’s truth to the saying that it’s not the act itself that gets you in trouble, it’s the cover-up.
In many cases, someone besides the employer may have done something negligent to cause a workplace injury. If a faulty piece of machinery caused the injury, then the manufacturer may be held accountable through a defective product lawsuit. If the owner of the property did not provide safe working conditions, then he or she could be held accountable. If another employee or a visiting contractor or one of the contractor’s employees negligently caused the injury, they could be held accountable. Under such circumstances, you can sue the responsible party or parties, but not your subscribing employer. Experience, and the ability to properly investigate the accident scene and the roles these third parties played in the mishap is vital in order to properly identify all of the responsible defendants and make them pay for the injuries they cause. A skillful Texas work accident attorney with our Law Firm can devise a successful plan of attack for workplace injury cases that offer the best opportunity to secure fair compensation in a complex Texas work accident claim.

Winning Compensation from Non-Subscriber Defendants is More Clear-Cut: but Still Not Easy
We’ve already mentioned that many employers choose not to purchase workers’ comp. But some don’t secure any form of insurance. If you are to receive the compensation you deserve from non-subscribing employers, you certainly need the assistance of a skilled Texas work accident attorney to file a lawsuit and see it through in order to receive the fair compensation you deserve as a result of their negligence: either through their insurance or some other way.

In order to punish non-subscribing employers for creating more legislation, Texas workers compensation laws enable the victim to secure much greater damages than if the employer had purchased workers comp insurance. And as we have already said, the workplace accident victim must merely prove standard negligence, which means the employer only committed a sole error or momentary lapse in safety. As you can guess, the laws governing these principles are extremely intricate. So in order to succeed you a crafty accident lawyer to assist you through every intricacy of this challenging legal process is a powerful weapon.

It begins when the victim, also (the plaintiff) files a claim with the employer, notifying him or her of the injury and the fair restitution amount that the victim expects. The employer can agree, which seldom happens. Most of the time the employer has some sort of insurance of surety bond to cover such disputes. If they have insurance, they just had it over to their carrier in which case you and your attorney try to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company: which will probably dispute your allegations outright.

But if negotiations progress in-good-faith, usually because your attorney builds a very strong case through his investigations, then the matter is settled, you are fairly compensated and that’s the end of it. But often, work-related injury cases are contested and you must file a lawsuit to win the compensation you are entitled to. As the injured party, you, the plaintiff, holds the burden of proving that the employer’s negligence caused the injury: resulting in those high medical bills, lost salary, pain and suffering. Fortunately if you can prove simple negligence, that task is much easier than trying to prove gross negligence.

Defendants Try to Claim that you are the Sole Proximate Cause of the Workplace Accident
If your employer is a workers’ comp insurance non-subscriber, then he or she isn’t likely to suddenly become altruistic and agree to pay you for the harm you’ve suffered due to that negligence. Our experience in these matters has revealed that most non-subscribers try to use a couple of general defenses to avoid paying injured employees the restitution they deserve.

The only actual defense afforded non-subscribers after an employee suffers an injury is to claim the worker caused his or her own injuries or, in legal terms is the sole proximate cause of the harm. In order to invoke the sole proximate cause defense, non-subscribing employers will literally add insult to your injuries and soil your reputation by proving you were a negligent employee and caused your own injuries. They try to hold you alone responsible for them.

While your employer may have been too cheap to buy workers’ comp coverage, you can be sure that he or she will think nothing of paying thousands of dollars to an experienced and shrewd lawyer who knows how to make victims appear responsible for their own injuries. You need your own cunning Bexar County work accident attorney to place fault back where it belongs, the negligent employer.

The Other Non-Subscriber Defense: Questioning the Employer-Employee Relationship
The sole proximate cause defense is not the only option for non-subscribers to deflect liability after an injury has been suffered by an employee. But many clever employers begin avoiding liability even before accidents occur by trying to distance themselves from you as an employee, and their responsibility to fairly compensate you. Some even begin constructing that paper trail to prove their argument from the first day you show up for work.

Texas Employers are not responsible for what happens to contractors’ if they are injured at work. So, many companies will claim to hire their employees as contractors. By calling you a contractor, your employer believes it’s possible to deny that an employer-employee relationship existed between you and the company, and then they will tell you that you don’t have a legal claim to compensation for your injury-related damages. Their logic is simple: why should they be responsible for an injury to a person who was technically never their employee to begin with?

While many employers try to claim they hire their employees as contractors or as temp workers through a third-party, the employer knows an actual employer-employee relationship exists in many of these cases, and an injured worker has a right to fair compensation. So don’t be fooled by this ploy. Even though your employer claims you are a contractor, you are likely still considered an employee in the eyes of the law, and are entitled to recover compensation for injuries suffered on the job.

A skillful and well-seasoned Texas workplace accident attorney knows how to prove the employer-employee relationship by meeting at least one the following standards:

Social security or taxes have been withheld from your paycheck by your employer.
The essential equipment for the job was supplied to you by your employer.
Your work has been regularly managed, overseen or inspected by your employer.
A specific work schedule has been set for the job by your employer. You are not free to come-and-go as you please.
Your employer requires you to complete a task or sign a document that limits your rights while working for the employer. The most common examples are taking a drug test or signing a document that states you comply with an employee handbook.
You have been employed for an undetermined period of time and not just for a single job.
You are paid by a salary or an hourly wage and not on a job-by-job basis.
In cases where a worker is borrowed from another company, or a third-party agency, the rules for determining the working relationship are generally similar. But there can be some crucial differences. Some of these conditions may include:

If the borrowing employer has the power to hire or fire a borrowed worker at any time, the worker is clearly an employee. Otherwise, the worker is a contractor
Most of the time, if the borrowing employer is allowed to pick a particular worker, then the worker is an employee. If the agency that provides the worker is allowed to send any worker they choose, the worker is a contractor.
If the worker must provide them, that person is a contractor. If the employer provides them, the worker is an employee.
If the employment agency can substitute the borrowed worker for another at-will, the worker is a contractor. If the lending agency cannot, then the worker is an employee.
If the worker is borrowed indefinitely, then the worker is an employee. If the worker is borrowed for a specific project with a specific date of completion, the worker is a contractor.
If a worker is being borrowed or “leased” because of a skill that is unique or hard-to-find, then the worker is a contractor. But on the other hand, if an employer borrows a worker to fill a position that just about anyone can fill, then the worker is an employee.
If the borrowing employer agrees to pay the worker’s social security and income tax, then the worker is an employee. If the borrowing employer does not accept this responsibility, then the worker is a contractor.
Our lawyers conduct a thorough investigation to demonstrate the existence of one of these standards and prove an employer-employee relationship exists. We depose co-workers, review contracts and examine pay stubs to establish that you were in fact an employee when you suffered your workplace injury.

A couple other important “wrinkles:” If you were hired by an employment agency to work at an “employer’s” company and suffered a workplace-related injury (or a relative was accidently killed) your attorney must determine if the employment agency has workers’ comp. If so, then you would file a workers’ comp claim against the agency, which would then make the company where you actually performed the work a third-party contributor to the accident. Also, if your employer loaned you out to another company where the accident occurred, the issue of workers’ comp subscription with your employer must first be clarified, then the company where you suffered your injury will likely be treated as a third-party defendant in any civil claim or lawsuit.

This again brings another important point to mind. As we have previously told you, workers’ comp claims are less-than adequate when major injuries are involved, including wrongful death. So the traditional way for an employee to recover fair damage compensation is to file a workers’ comp claim against the employer of record (assuming that employer subscribes) and then supplement the claim with the appropriate number of third party claims or lawsuits.

Your Opponents Fight Very Hard – and Sometimes Unfairly – in a Workplace Accident Liability Case
In all non-subscriber and third party workplace injury claims defendants can have large insurance companies and lots of attorneys to oppose you. Or your employer will be “self-insured” or uninsured. At this point it makes little difference as all fight very hard to avoid paying for your injuries.

Non-subscribers are represented by insurance companies who have attorneys either on-staff or on permanent retainer. And they are very skilled at defending insurance companies from people who try to sue them. Insurance companies are in the business of collecting high premiums, and then avoid paying claims. They are confrontational and intimidating from the start. But they don’t scare an experienced work accident attorney like those with our Law Firm who know every trick they pull, and how to counter it.

But self-insured employers who are liable for workplace injuries or those who have no insurance whatsoever are a different animal altogether. They resort to anything that will work for them once an injured worker takes legal action to recover damages. Some of their tricks are shameful at-best. Others are nothing but illegal.

You will seek a settlement from an officer of the self-insured company or maybe even directly from your employer if it is a small company. In either event, the income of whomever you deal with is likely tied directly to company profits. Any damage amount paid to you for an injury comes directly out of those profits. So by compensating you, your employer literally takes money out his own pocket. We are rarely surprised when a sneaky, self-insured company officer uses any and all means to deny your claim in order to protect his company’s (and his personal) assets.

Self-insured or uninsured employers can deliberately dispose of evidence and sometimes even pay witnesses to “disappear.” Other times they’ll bribe or intimidate witnesses, even you: sometimes going so far as resorting to physical threats. This is why every time we represent a client against a self-insured company, the first thing we do is to file motions in court that prevent anyone with the company from behaving inappropriately against our clients. Sometimes these motions include a clear demand that they make no attempt to communicate with our clients in any way without one of our attorneys present.

OSHA Is of Little Use in Your Injury Liability Claim or Legal Case
You are probably familiar with the Federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). This government agency maintains minimum standards of safety for all American employers and their workplaces. You might think OSHA will help you with compensation. Nothing could be further from the truth. OSHA is not a direct advocate for injured workers. All it does is oversee the worker environment in the U.S. And for the past 30 years, OSHA regulations, and the fines levied for employer non-compliance with their regulations have lost many of their teeth.

While OSHA sets workplace safety standards and fines violators, those fines were set long ago and no longer carry the proper financial motivation to assure compliance with these legal standards. Many of these fines were established 25-30 years ago. And thought they might have encouraged compliance back then, inflation and other economic factors make many OSHA fines a mere slap on the wrist. Plus, over the years OSHA has become more restricted in the actions and investigations it can take due to more restrictive staff and budget limitations. Today, OSHA has been all but emasculated when it comes to preventing workplace injuries before they happen.

Furthermore, OSHA cannot make any direct effort to help injured workers secure compensation for the damages they have incurred. Only after an accident will OSHA investigate negligence, and their reports are designed to stop further problems. And even though that data might serve as general evidence at a trial, for your purposes OSHA is basically closing the barn long after the cow escapes. Even if OSHA does investigate your employer after your accident, they will provide no specific evidence that will benefit your case. Only a competent, experienced Texas workplace accident attorney can help you secure the fair compensation you are entitled to.

You Must Take Action to Protect Your Case Right Now: Here’s Why
The first thing you need to understand is this. Before you speak with an insurance company, or accept even a single dollar of payment or compensation from your employer, or sign anything, or attempt to file a lawsuit on your own, you must contact a competent lawyer.

Your employer or its insurance provider wants you to accept an inadequate settlement, so they can save their money. Don’t be taken advantage of. As a matter of fact, it’s never a good idea to even discuss any details of your intentions, or anything else surrounding the injury with your employer, or his or insurer, or anyone outside of your family, without a lawyer protecting your interests.

Then, you must realize the critical importance of acting swiftly. In work accident cases, the evidence begins to fade (or is altered) immediately following the accident. The physical details of the accident scene can change quickly. Witnesses change their stories or forget what they saw because the mind is a mysterious thing. Sometimes, they’ve even been paid to forget, or to “take a nice long vacation.” If you wait too long to hire an attorney and put your counsel to work investigating the trail of evidence, then you are doing irreparable damage to your ability to secure the rightful compensation you deserve.

An experienced Texas workplace accident lawyer with our Law Firm helps injured you deal with your challenging (and contentious) work-injury case. We have spent over 30 years accumulating the necessary expertise to help injured workers just like you, receive the compensation they deserve for their medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering and disability.

You can put our experience to work for you. If you want to know what your rights are, how to proceed with your claim and how much compensation you can reasonably expect to secure, then we can answer your questions. Call our Law Firm now at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll free) or fill out the form at the top of this page for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

You’ve been hurt once. Don’t let those who negligently caused you work accident injury victimize you and your family even further.

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Oil and Gas Production Workers Must Fight to Win Damages When They’re Injured on the Job
After years of lying dormant, the oil and natural gas patch in Texas is again abuzz with action. High market demands for these petroleum commodities and shrinking inventories have found the oil and gas companies trying to squeeze every bit of petroleum out of the ground. And in the doing, they are pushing workers to, and past, the limit of their endurance to meet this never ending demand for oil and natural gas. And they’re also using machinery that is being worked 24/7 or older devices that are well past their prime and ability to perform safely.

So when you consider all of these elements, you probably understand why pipeline and drilling rig jobs can often be some of the most dangerous work in the world,

With all this pressure on the employees who work to bring profits to the drillers in the oil patch or out in the Barnett Shale, a lot of drugs are taken by these workers so they can perform at a high level for days on end: which comes as little surprised when one learns that drilling contractors and subcontractors are not the most diligent when it comes to drug-testing their workers. Countless accidents produce a disproportionally large number of broken bones, debilitating injuries and even deaths because of the petroleum industry’s obsessive campaign to cut corners (and their costs) and to push workers over the brink of their physical ability: all designed to make their rigs profitable while the money (and demand) are sky-high.

Serious injuries in oil and gas drilling accidents, or anywhere in the Texas oil production industry, are inevitable for a variety of other reasons as well. Many are caused by worn or defective equipment. Explosions happen with a certain amount of frequency. Negligence or carelessness can lead to heavy objects falling, such as pipes or other drilling equipment, as well as a host of other missteps and mishaps. And often, employees must work lots of overtime and seldom see an off day for a week or even longer. Many work double shifts for several days straight because the money is good and the employers are willing to pay big money for productive workers who show-up early and stay late.

But if you are visiting this Web site, you may have been injured on an oil or gas drilling platform, or pipeline mishap. And you probably wonder if someone other than you must bear the fair financial burden for this accident. You need full compensation for your injuries, lost work time and other damages, not some ten-cents-on-the-dollar offer that falls short. You probably feel alone and want to know who fights for your rights. And if you’re a surviving family member of someone who has been killed in such an accident, will someone fight for your rights too?

Texas workers’ compensation insurance pays about half of the job-related injuries in Texas. So you must know whether or not your petro-employer has this coverage; even if it rarely covers all of the reimbursement needs for your medical expenses if your injuries are serious. But there are compensation supplements to workers’ comp which we will discuss in a bit. You also need to exactly who is responsible for your injuries and the level of neglect that led to them, especially if any third party past your employer had a hand in causing your injury. The success of your quest to obtain compensation depends on the ability of you, and your oil and gas rig injury attorney to get to the bottom of the accident, its causes, and identify every liable party.

Resolving petroleum production worker injury cases can be very complex. And in their rightful attempts to recover fair payment for their injuries, workers are fighting the most powerful companies in the world. Their influential petroleum industrial complex employers see these injured workers as a nuisance and an obstacle to the millions of dollars they stand to make.

The oilfield injury legal team at our Texas Law Officess has over 30 years of experience in fairly resolving injury claims and civil cases on behalf of injured drilling rig and pipeline workers. If you’ve been down this road before, you know that inexperienced lawyers fail to win fair injury settlements in oil rig drilling accident cases. And you also know it’s virtually impossible, for drilling workers without legal experience to ever succeed if they represent themselves against these industry giants.

Does your Petroleum Employer Subscribe to Workers’ Comp? This we Must Know First
Oil drilling companies, like every other Texas business, are not legally required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. So, work injury cases are divided into two distinct types that require altogether different methods and strategies to successfully resolve. Employers who carry worker’s comp are “subscribers.” Those who don’t are “non-subscribers.” So the first element to successful injury compensation is determining whether or not your employer is a subscriber or a non-subscriber.

Workers’ comp is nothing more than a coverage “pool” that is maintained by participating private insurance carriers who contribute to this “umbrella coverage.” For companies that subscribe to workers’ comp it affords almost universal protection from civil injury lawsuits by employees. But because injured workers are denied the opportunity to receive fair injury compensation against workers comp subscribing employers in court, their chances of seeing reflective reimbursement for their actual damages in the case of serious injury are severely compromised since workers comp benefits rarely pay actual damage amounts that are found in civil judgments if they are severely hurt or ultimately disabled.

There are some employee benefits as workers’ comp does pay for virtually all of the medical bills in any job-related injury. Workers are covered, no matter how the oil or gas drilling accident happened or who was at fault. But when it comes to the peripheral damages that are an outgrowth of work injuries such as lost wages: the disability, the pain and suffering, the wrongful death, workers’ comp never covers the total value of the harm done to you from the job-related injury. So simply-put, if your injury is not severe and you can return to work relatively quickly, then workers’ comp is not that bad of a deal.

But if a petroleum production worker has suffered crush injuries, or broken bones, massive head injuries, amputations, horrible burns from blowouts and explosions or dismemberment, and workers’ comp is their only avenue of financial remedy from those injuries, they will never be fully repaid for their full damages. And the surviving family members won’t fare much better either in the case of wrongful death in the oil and gas patch, unless gross negligence can be proven. And we’ll go over that in a minute. But on the other hand, the subscriber-employers to workers comp are doing just fine through the program’s protection from civil lawsuits.

A lot of Texas employers, including a large number of drilling contractors (and sub contractors) often run the risk of not subscribing to workers’ comp. Then, when an injury occurs, they try to avoid a lawsuit with the injured worker by claiming to have workers’ comp, when they in-fact, don’t. They offer to quickly pay workers’ comp benefits, after they make the employee sign an official-looking “workers’ comp release.” But all this blatant fraud does is allow them to wiggle out of a very expensive non-subscriber civil lawsuit, and the money they offer will never fully cover your full damages; so don’t be fooled.

In order to receive full restitution from a non-subscriber to a workers’ comp oilfield injury or pipeline accident, the victim’s only avenue is to file a lawsuit. An experienced petroleum injury attorney can quickly determine your company’s true workers’ comp status, then share every legal option available to you that will deliver the just compensation for your injuries, pain, suffering, lost income, disability or wrongful death of your beloved family member.

Identifying all Negligent Parties in Connection with Petroleum, Your Rig, and Pipeline Injuries
Once your employer’s workers’ comp status is known, you and your attorney now encounter the two possible avenues to receiving injury compensation outside the purview of workers’ comp. Don’t get confused. You still might have civil remedy through workers’ comp. if it applies to your case. But a lot of non-subscribers and third parties are not protected by that umbrella of civil invulnerability.

But that exception to workers’ comp civil protection occurs if gross negligence is suspected to have led to an employee’s fatal injury. If a petroleum employee dies as a result of a workplace injury caused by gross employer negligence, surviving family members may file a civil suit against that employer. Gross negligence is defined as having willful disregard for the safety of others’. In such cases, an employer shows by his behavior that he doesn’t care what happens to his workers or doesn’t create or maintain a safe workplace. All he wants is for the well to produce or the pipeline to deliver the most petro-products possible; the consequences be damned. Creating a safe workplace is not a priority for these employers.

But if the negligence does not cause a fatal injury, regardless of whether your employer subscribes to workers’ comp or not, the most practical strategy to receive fair compensation involves third-party claims and lawsuits against those other than the employer who have done something negligent and caused injury to the drilling or pipeline employee. If an electrician failed to properly wire a rig and caused a worker to be fatally shocked, or the operator of a crane dropped a large pipe on an employee, they, and their employers, could be additional “third party contributors” to the accident.

Or if a faulty piece of machinery caused the injury, then the manufacturer may be liable through a defective product lawsuit. The owner of some leased equipment that was not maintained properly could be responsible for its malfunction, and your injuries. If the owner of the rig or pipeline did not provide safe working conditions, there might be another liable party. The same accusation might be made against the corporation that hired anyone to oversee the drilling rig or offshore platform. With so many different companies involved in any single petro-project at any given time, the list of liable parties to your accident can be lengthy.

And if you sue any responsible third parties, you are not prevented from filing an appropriate workers’ comp claim against your employer because it’s basically “no fault insurance” and is going to be paid anyway. This is often how our clients receive just compensation amounts for their oil or gas production injury. We combine that workers’ comp claim and at least one third party lawsuit. Sometimes, the total compensation strategy can involve more than one third-party defendant.

You probably have a better appreciation of just how tricky it is to get to the bottom of such intricate accident cases. And often, these accidents must be tirelessly investigated. Experience, and the ability to properly investigate not only the accident scene but the roles these third parties played in the oil or gas rig mishap is absolutely necessary in order to determine all parties responsible and make them pay for the injuries they caused. A skillful Texas petroleum rig and pipeline accident lawyer can investigate, and then design the best strategy to win the just compensation that is deserved by those injured victims in a complex Texas oil and gas drilling or pipeline injury case.

Non-Subscriber Lawsuits Can Be a Wild Ride, but Ultimately Deliver the Needed Compensation
You know that generally, half of Texas employers subscribe to workers’ comp. And though we’re not certain, fewer than one-in-two drilling companies, individual “wildcatters,” or pipeline companies likely subscribe to it. Many “petro production” employers live a hand-to-mouth existence. This makes them cheap and they try to cut corners whenever and wherever they can. Workers’ comp insurance, even if it costs less than traditional oilfield liability insurance, is still quite expensive simply because of the inherent dangers involved in petroleum production and pipeline delivery. So many oil and gas drilling employers don’t purchase workers’ comp. And they’ve probably been defendants in a non-subscribing injury claim or civil case. So they know what to expect and how to counter the claims of the workers they hurt. Therefore, if you are to win the compensation you deserve from a non-subscribing employer, the assistance of a skilled oil, gas or pipeline injury attorney to file a lawsuit and aggressively pursue them to pay you that fair compensation is a necessity.

Usually, the victim, or plaintiff, files a claim against the non-subscribing employer (or third party defendant) that officially notifies them of the injury and the amount of fair restitution the victim expects. Defendants will most often hand the matter over to their insurance company if they have one; or their attorney if they don’t. Often, when that happens the insurer will immediately dispute the plaintiff’s allegations. From this point forward, the value of your oilfield injury lawyer becomes a clear asset to your claim or civil case. After your experienced attorney investigates all aspects of the accident, and builds a solid claim, direct negotiations might deliver a fair settlement to pay all your medical bills, your lost income (past, present and future) pain, suffering and the rest of your legitimate damages. But on the other hand, your oilfield injury case might turn into a full-fledged lawsuit in civil court. As the injured party, you, the plaintiff, holds the burden of proving that the employer’s or third party’s negligence caused the injury which produced the legal damages you rightfully seek.

Oil Patch Defendants Always Say it’s Not Their Fault: it’s Yours
Drilling or pipeline employers who don’t subscribe to workers’ comp insurance rarely pay you without a fight. After all, if they’re so cheap they don’t know what good a deal that workers’ comp is and ignore the bargain. So what makes you think they’ll treat your civil damage suit any differently? Nor is any third party against whom you’ve filed an injury claim liable to behave any differently either. They want to get the most for the least. It’s an oil patch given.

Now some – a lot actually – will have private liability insurance coverage. And those insurers don’t want your employer to pay-up either. Nor does it take a rocket scientist to understand why insurance carriers threaten their policyholders with much higher premiums if they’re thinking about settling with you, which is contrary to the wishes of their insurance company because it’s their money that pays you. Our experience in these matters has told us that most non-subscribers, their insurance companies and attorneys most-often use either of two traditional defenses to avoid paying injured employees the damages restitution they deserve. And sometimes they use both before the trial is over.

The primary non-subscriber liability defense after an oil or gas drilling, or pipeline, employee suffers an injury is to turn the tables and charge the plaintiff with sole proximate cause. This means the defendant is claiming that the victim was totally to blame for his or her own injuries. In order to invoke the sole proximate cause defense, these employers, their insurance companies and attorneys can often say and do anything to soil your reputation as a worker (or even as a human being) by claiming you were careless or irresponsible and caused your own injuries. Maybe they’ll accuse you of being drunk on the job, or high on drugs (ironic isn’t it?). And since insurance companies’ attorneys are very good (and very shrewd) when it comes to fighting your claim or civil case, without your own cunning Texas/ Texas petroleum rig and pipeline injury attorney to turn the tables of liability back on the negligent employer, or third party, and their lawyers, you are in a way, taking a knife to a gunfight.

Defendants Question the Employer-Employee Relationship to Wiggle out of Paying You
Many employers think it’s clever to dodge responsibility for employee injuries by calling you a contractor rather than an employee to begin with. Now sometimes that might be true. But most of the time, many of them say their employees are contractors (or subcontractors) and essentially try to pass the blame (and liability) down the line. It’s a daisy chain of non-responsibility that has been going on since the day driller John fell down and broke his hip on Dad Joyner’s Daisy Bradford rig in East Texas. By claiming this, your employer tries to use that technicality to deny the existence of an employer-employee relationship between you and his company. Their claim: “Why should we be responsible for an injury to a person who was never our employee to begin with?”

But just because these drilling employers hire their employees as contractors or as temp workers through a third-party doesn’t make it so! Many times the employer knows a true employer-employee relationship exists and the injured employee has the right to obtain compensation against this non-subscriber. So don’t be misled by this subterfuge. A skillful, well-seasoned oilfield accident lawyer knows how to disprove this employer denial of liability and corroborate the employer-employee relationship by meeting at least one the following standards:

Social security or taxes have been withheld from your paycheck by your employer.
The essential equipment for the job was supplied to you by your employer.
Your work has been regularly managed, overseen or inspected by your employer.
A specific work schedule has been set for the job by your employer. You are not free to come-and-go as you please.
Your employer requires you to complete a task or sign a document that limits your rights while working for the employer. The most common examples are taking a drug test or signing a document that states you comply with an employee handbook.
You have been employed for an undetermined period of time and not just for a single job.
You are paid by a salary or an hourly wage and not on a job-by-job basis.
In cases where a worker is borrowed from another company, or a third-party agency, the rules for determining the working relationship are related, but there can be some crucial differences. Some of these conditions may include:

If the borrowing employer has the power to hire or fire a borrowed worker at any time, the worker is clearly an employee. Otherwise, the worker is a contractor
Most of the time, if the borrowing employer is allowed to pick a particular worker, then the worker is an employee. If the agency that provides the worker is allowed to send any worker they choose, the worker is a contractor.
If the worker must provide them, that person is a contractor. If the employer provides them, the worker is an employee.
If the employment agency can substitute the borrowed worker for another at-will, the worker is a contractor. If the lending agency cannot, then the worker is an employee.
If the worker is borrowed indefinitely, then the worker is an employee. If the worker is borrowed for a specific project with a specific date of completion, the worker is a contractor.
If a worker is being borrowed or “leased” because of a skill that is unique or hard-to-find, then the worker is a contractor. But on the other hand, if an employer borrows a worker to fill a position that just about anyone can fill, then the worker is an employee.
If the borrowing employer agrees to pay the worker’s social security and income tax, then the worker is an employee. If the borrowing employer does not accept this responsibility, then the worker is a contractor.
our Law Firms conducts a thorough investigation to demonstrate the existence of at least one, and often many, of these standards to clearly prove an employer-employee relationship existed for you. We depose co-workers, review contracts and examine pay stubs and other financial documents to establish that you were in fact an employee when you suffered that serious on-the-job injury.

A couple wrinkles on this topic that might come into play: if you were hired by an employment agency to work at their “client employer’s” company and suffered a workplace-related accidental (or your loved one was killed), your Bexar County oil and gas rig injury lawyer must determine if the employment agency has workers’ comp. If so, then you would file a workers’ comp claim against the agency, and a third party claim against the company where the work was actually performed. Also, if your employer loaned you out to another company and the accident occurred there, the issue of workers’ comp subscription with your employer must be answered first and the company where you suffered your injury will likely be treated as a third-party defendant in any civil claim or suit.

And to amplify a previous point, we have told you that workers’ comp claims are less-than adequate when major injuries are involved: including wrongful death. So the traditional way for an employee or surviving family to recover fair damage compensation is to file a workers’ comp claim against the employer of record if it applies, and then supplement the claim with the appropriate number of third party claims or lawsuits. And if worker’s comp doesn’t apply to your accident liability scenario in any way, then its straight non-subscriber claims or cases across-the-board.

No Matter who is Holding the Money, They don’t Want You to Have it
In all non-subscriber and third party oil and gas rig or pipeline injury claims, defendants either have large insurance companies with lots of good attorneys that stand in your way, or are “self-insured,” or (worse) uninsured. And all at the defendant’s side do everything they can, legally or (in some cases) illegally to avoid paying your rightful damages. And it’s also possible that one of the corporate petroleum giants is drawn into your claim in which case, you’ve bitten off way more than you can chew if you are an petroleum production worker who decides to seek damages from them by yourself, or with an under-experienced oilfield injury lawyer.

Non-subscribers’ insurance companies, regardless of whether they’re big corporate giants, or the smaller mutual companies (which are owned by their policyholders rather than stockholders) have one thing in common. Both of these opponents have attorneys either on staff or permanent retainer who are excellent defenders of their oil industry clients against injured claimants like you who try to get “their” money. They are always offensive and aggressive against you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t win against these well-armed lawyers, their insurance companies or corporate drilling companies. But you must have a rightful cause for claim, airtight evidence, and an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you; one who knows every trick they pull, and the best way to overcome each one.

But as bad as the insurance companies can be in an oil patch injury claim or lawsuit, some legal guidelines govern their behavior when they oppose you. However on the other hand, self-insured (or non-insured) contractors and subcontractors who are liable your injuries are not bound by any codes of conduct at all. This means they can, and do, use every underhanded trick they can think of to wiggle out of all employer injury damage claims and lawsuits. And they are not above bending or breaking legal ethics, or even the law, to avoid paying those rightful damages.

In these cases, you deal directly with an officer if the self-insured drilling or pipeline company is a small one. This person’s salary comes directly out of company profits. Your injury claim will also come out company funds. Do you see the money trail? It comes from the same well. By compensating you, your employer, or that third-party, literally takes money out his own pocket. A sneaky, self-insured company officer uses any and all means to oppose your claim in order to protect his company’s, and personal, assets.

Self-insured drilling contractors and subcontractors have been found to deliberately destroy evidence, bribe or intimidate witnesses, and even plaintiffs and their families. Sometimes those threats can be physical. And once in awhile they make good on such physical threats. This is why every time we represent a client against a self-insured company; we quickly file motions in court to prevent anyone within the self-insured company from behaving improperly against our clients. Sometimes these motions include clear demands that they make no attempt to communicate with our clients, or their families, in any way without one of our Texas oilfield injury attorneys present.

What You Must Do (and Not Do) Right Now to Win Oilfield Injury Compensation
Up to now, we’ve avoided offering actual free legal advice. But now it’s time for the most important piece of advice for anyone who is thinking about seeking damages in a personal injury lawsuit against a drilling contractor or pipeline owner. Before you speak with an insurance company, or accept even a single dollar of payment or compensation from your employer, or sign anything, or attempt to file a lawsuit on your own, you must contact a competent lawyer.

Your employer or its insurance provider wants you to accept a “lowball” settlement and quietly disappear. Don’t let them take advantage of you. You should never discuss any details of your intentions, or anything else about your injury, with your employer, a third party, anyone with the insurance company, or even your co-workers without a lawyer protecting you.

Then, you must realize the critical importance of acting swiftly. In oilfield accident cases, the evidence begins to quickly fade. Witnesses change their stories, or forget what they saw, or have even been paid to forget. If you wait too long to hire an attorney and put him on the investigative trail, then you seriously endanger your ability to win the full and fair restitution you and your family deserve.

We’ve helped one drilling worker two different times, win two different lawsuits, against two different defendants when he was working in two different oilfields, but suffered falling pipe injuries both times. Another time, we were able to secure a very fair compensation package for an oilfield worker’s family when he suffered a fatal head injury while spinning drill pipe. There isn’t much in the oil patch that our knowledgeable petroleum accident investigators haven’t seen, or uncovered.

An experienced oil and gas rig injury attorney with our Law Firms will help injured oilfield employees seek, and win, fair damage awards anywhere in Texas, including the Barnett Shale. But bear in mind that you only get one chance to file (and win) your case. If you lose, or settle for less than you are capable of winning, that’s your only shot. You don’t get another.

Put our years of experience to work for you. If you want to know what your rights are, how to proceed with your claim and the level of compensatory damages you can win from your oilfield injuries, we can answer your questions. Call our Law Firms now at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll free) or fill out the form at the top of this page for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.
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Looking for a Workman’s Comp Lawyer in Texas Texas? Call the Workplace Injury Attorneys at our Texas Law Officess
If you’re injured on the job, we hope it wasn’t serious and that you’ll recover quickly and return to work. But what if that injury is serious and wasn’t your fault? What if someone’s negligence has landed you in the hospital? Who pays for your injuries, lost time or, benefits-owed because you’re permanently disabled? What if, rather, your loved one was killed in on the job?

Or, more commonly, your seriously injured family member is likely in no position to protect your family’s compensation fresh out of emergency. Has someone other than law enforcement been asking for him? Beware.

Fair compensation to you and your family all depends upon the actual details of the case and the events leading up to the accident. There are some basic questions that must be answered, quickly; before any compensation strategy can be developed. You must know whether or not the company you work for has workman’s comp insurance. It will reimburse for medical expenses, some of your lost wages and a modest amount of disability. You also need to know what to do if your employer does not have workman’s compensation coverage because the answers drastically affect your compensation strategy. And you also must clearly be able to establish that you are an employee not a contractor: and then prove it. Your ability to win an insurance claim or civil trial hinges on the answers to every one of these important questions in determining how to go about winning payment for your on-the-job injuries and the many expenses arising from it.

Three times out of four, resolving such matters is often very complex due not only to the three factors mentioned above, but other issues that influence any job-related injury case. And if that’s not enough, the complexity and innate ambiguities of some of our worker’s compensation laws allow employers and their insurance providers to unfairly refuse the rightful claims of thousands of injured Texas employees every year. Inexperienced lawyers fail to secure a maximum work-injury settlement in negligent accident insurance claims or civil cases. And those with no legal experience who choose to represent themselves in such matters are virtually certain to fail in their quest for financial justice.

Texas workman’s comp attorney our lead attorney and his professional team at our Texas Law Offices have over 30 years of hard fought experience in fairly resolving job injury claims and civil cases for employees who are injured at their place of employment. Through an experienced attorney’s guidance, you will clearly understand the laws involved with such a case and point-out all of the legal avenues that are open to you following your serious work accident injuries.

We are just as adroit at representing surviving family members when their beloved mother, father, daughter or son has been killed on-the-job due to someone’s negligence. This is why we are sharing all of the challenges you will face, in order to make the best-informed decisions in the interests of your family. And your employer or his or her insurance company no longer cares about your interests, only theirs: from the moment the mishap occurred, if not before.

Employers (and insurers who underwrite their liability policies) are solely concerned with protecting their own assets. Some will attempt to hide whether or not they have workers’ comp insurance. Often, they will evade the truth and mislead you in order to avoid their liability for an employee’s injury. Some might argue that you even aren’t an employee to begin with. Because of this, they swear they owe you nothing. With the help of their insurance companies and attorneys, these employers will accuse you of being the actual cause of your own injury in a variety of pernicious ways. An experienced workmans compensation attorney in Texas TX knows how to counter the tricks of your employer, their pushy, evasive insurance companies (and adjusters) along with the lawyers who represent all defendants: even the less legally obvious ones.

Starting at the Beginning: Determining the Employer’s Workers’ Compensation Status
We can thank our lawmakers (and the insurance lobby who pays for their lunches and nice vacations) for today’s difficulty in understanding workers’ compensation laws. No employer is required by the state of Texas to purchase workers’ comp insurance which is why roughly one in two employers do. So, workers’ comp injury cases are divided into two separate types that require various methods and strategies to resolve. Employers who carry worker’s comp are known as “subscribers.” Those who don’t are “non-subscribers.” Determining if your employer is the former or the latter must first be made before moving forward with your injury-related reimbursement insurance claim or civil case.

Workers’ comp benefits are paid out of a “pool” of funds. This pool is replenished by private insurance carriers that participate in the state worker insurance program. It pays injury claims while it protects subscriber-employers from lawsuits and generally disregards the legal rights of employees. Whether the employer is negligent does not figure into the equation. Workers’ comp reimbursement amounts are limited or “capped.” So when an employee is seriously hurt, the monetary benefits available to them often fall way short of what is actually needed to return to physical and fiscal health. Now workers’ comp does provide some compensation to employees who are injured on the job site. But it works best if the employee is not seriously injured and can return to work relatively quickly. It’s basically “no fault” insurance because those covered by workers’ comp are reimbursed, no matter how the accident occurred or whose fault it was. And subscribing employers cannot be sued by their employees for the more appropriate amount of fair damage compensation. You’ll learn why that is in a bit.

But on the other hand, in order to receive restitution from a non-subscriber to workers’ comp, an injury victim must first file claim with the employer’s private liability insurance company, or a lawsuit in civil court if the employer’s insurance company resists payment, or is not covered by any insurance at all. Fortunately, for the injured party, the prerequisites that have been established to encourage companies to subscribe to “no fault” workers’ comp insurance are not as stringent as they once were. And these same lower standards of proving subscriber negligence, also apply against a non-subscriber in a civil case. So it’s not as difficult to prove simple liability against a non-subscribing employer for on-the-job accidents due to these relaxed standards. It seems straightforward but in truth, things are seldom as simple as they seem.

Since workers’ comp is cheaper than traditional employer liability insurance, one would assume all companies would be wise and purchase workers’ comp instead. But there’s no accounting for those who live dangerously (and pay higher rates) by not subscribing to workers’ comp, because it is comparatively cheaper than private liability coverage. So many employers still choose to roll the dice and take the risk of being a non-subscriber. Then, when the odds catch-up with them, they try to avoid a lawsuit and lie to you by claiming that they have workers’ comp. These employers may even try to quickly pay you the amount you would normally receive from workers’ comp , then ask you to sign what they may represent as a “standard workers’ comp release” in order to further their deception and get off the hook for the actual damages you are owed. But we don’t fall for this rather consistent employer trick. Neither should you

This is one of many examples of how you benefit from an experienced Texas workman’s comp lawyer to get to the bottom of your company’s workers’ comp status, so you know what legal avenues are available to you. Once that is done, we can then move forward together to the actual work of securing your injury compensation and protecting your family.

Third Party Liability and the Single Exception When Workers Comp Subscribers can be Sued for Negligence
Subscribers to workers’ comp insurance are very pleased to be getting inexpensive pool coverage that produces lower benefit payments to seriously injured workers. But they’re absolutely tickled pink to also be virtually immune to civil negligence lawsuits. Unless the employer has committed gross negligence (also called willful or malicious negligence) resulting in wrongful death, they cannot be sued if one of their employees is injured on the job, or has been killed at work. And evidence of that negligence must be clearly overwhelming in order to for this exception to apply. This means that the insurance underwriter the state has chosen to pay traditional workers comp claim is also on the hook for damages that this employer who is guilty of gross negligence is liable for. Do you think they want to pay six figures worth of damages they “assumed” would be no more than low-five figures?

In a perfect and fair world, insurance providers would be concerned with tending to the legitimate needs of injured parties, and victims (or their families) would receive fair payment for all medical bills, lost salary, pain, suffering, disability and death. But the world is neither fair nor perfect. Insurance companies are in business first, to generate profits: not help people. And those who underwrite the workers’ comp pool are no exception. All insurance companies try to avoid fairly compensating injured employees every year in Aggieland and all throughout the Lone Star State. Those who participate in the state’s insurance pool are just doing it with the help of the legislature.

But aside from subscriber gross negligence in causing a wrongful death there is another weapon in your fight to receive just compensation for your serious injuries outside of (or in addition to) workers’ comp which can impact the final compensation amount.

In many cases, someone besides the employer may have done something negligent to cause a serious workplace injury. If a faulty piece of machinery caused your injury, the manufacturer may be held accountable through a defective product lawsuit. If the owner of the property did not provide safe working conditions, then he or she could be held accountable. If another employee or a visiting contractor or one of the contractor’s employees negligently caused the injury, then they could be held accountable. All of these are general examples of “third party liability.” And you can sue any responsible third party or parties, but not your subscribing employer. Experience, and the ability to properly investigate not only the accident scene but the roles these third parties played in the accident is required in order to properly identify all of the parties responsible and make them pay for the injuries they cause. A skillful Texas workmen’s compensation attorney with our Law Firms can devise a plan of attack for workplace injury cases that offer the best opportunity to secure compensation in a complex Texas work accident claim like this.

Success Against Non-Subscribing Defendants and Third Parties isn’t Easy Either
We’ve already mentioned how it comes as no surprise that many employers neglect to purchase workers’ comp, or any other form of insurance. If you are to receive the compensation you deserve from non-subscribing employers, you really can’t do it right without the assistance of a skilled Texas work injury attorney to file an insurance claim lawsuit and stubbornly see it through to the very end in order to receive the fair compensation you deserve as a result of this employer’s negligence.

In order to punish non-subscribing employers for not participating in this state-run program, Texas workers comp laws enable the victim to secure much greater damages than if the employer had purchased workers comp insurance. And as we have already said, the workplace accident victim must merely prove standard negligence, which means the employer only committed a sole error or momentary inability to maintain safety. On the surface of it, that’s enough to win. But as you can guess, the laws governing these principles are extremely intricate and a crafty accident lawyer’s assistance is of value during this challenging legal process.

It begins when the victim, also known as the plaintiff, files a claim with the employer, notifying him or her of the injury and the amount of money the victim expects as fair repayment. The employer can agree. But that rarely happens. Most of the time the employer has some sort of insurance of surety bond to cover these matters. If they have insurance, they just hand this matter over to their carrier. Then you and your attorney try to negotiate a settlement, although the insurance company will probably initially dispute your allegations outright just to see how serious you are.

But with a strong workman’s comp attorney and equally strong case, negotiations can progress in-good-faith, usually because your attorney’s very strong case shows you mean business. Then the matter is often settled, you get a fair compensation check and everyone returns to their regular lives. But often, work-related injury cases are contested and the plaintiff must file a lawsuit to win the compensation. As the injured party, the plaintiff holds the burden for proving that the employer’s negligence caused the injury, resulting in those high medical bills, lost salary, pain and suffering. Fortunately if the injured victims can prove simple negligence, winning that lawsuit is much easier.

Defendants Try to Turn the Tables of Liability Back on You or Your Loved One: Sometimes in Ludicrous Ways
If your employer is a workers’ comp insurance non-subscriber, then he or she isn’t likely to suddenly change his or her nature and agree to pay you out of the goodness of their heart or because it’s the right thing to do. Our experience in these matters has revealed that most non-subscribers try to use a couple of typical defenses to avoid paying injured employees the restitution they deserve.

The only reasonable defense afforded non-subscribers after an employee suffers a serious injury is to claim the worker caused his or her own injuries or, in legal terms is the sole proximate cause of the harm that befell them. In order to invoke this defense, non-subscribing employers will literally add insult to your injuries and soil your reputation by proving you were a negligent employee and caused your own injuries. They’ll call your general character in-question in order to convince a jury that you are such a reprehensible person that you don’t deserve a penny from them. They try in any way they can to hold you alone responsible for your injuries; or infer that you’re a lowlife who is just out to get your employer.

While your employer may have been too cheap to buy workers’ comp coverage, you certainly won’t be surprised that he or she will think nothing of paying tens of thousands of dollars to an experienced and shrewd lawyer who knows how to make victims appear negligent for their own injuries. You need your own cunning Texas Texas workmans compensation lawyer to place fault back where it truly belongs, the negligent employer.

The Other Popular Defense Tactic: Claiming You are a Contractor, Not an Employee
The sole proximate cause defense is not the only way that non-subscribers have to deflect liability after a serious injury suffered by an employee. But once that one has failed, many clever employers try to avoiding liability by trying to distance themselves from you as an employee, and their responsibility to fairly compensate you. Some even begin building that paper trail to prove their argument from the first day you show up for work.

Texas Employers are not responsible for what happens to contractors when an accident occurs at their place of business. So many companies will claim to hire their employees as contractors. By calling you a contractor, your employer tries to deny that an employer-employee relationship existed between you and the company. Then their attorneys or insurance companies will tell you that you don’t have a legal claim for damages. Their “pretzel logic” logic is simple: why should they be responsible for an injury to someone who was never actually an employee to begin with? It’s a popular dodge. But many times the facts prove otherwise.

For while many employers try to claim they hire their employees as contractors or as temp workers through a third-party, deep-down the employer knows an actual employer-employee relationship exists in many of these cases, and the injured worker deserves compensation from them. So don’t be misled by this shady ploy. Even though your employer claims you are a contractor, you are likely still considered an employee in the eyes of the law, and are entitled to recover compensation for injuries suffered on the job.

Here are some of the ways in which a skillful and well-seasoned Texas workmans compensation lawyer proves the employer-employee relationship by meeting at least one the following standards:

Social security or taxes have been withheld from your paycheck by your employer.
The essential equipment for the job was supplied to you by your employer.
Your work has been regularly managed, overseen or inspected by your employer.
A specific work schedule has been set for the job by your employer. You are not free to come-and-go as you please.
Your employer requires you to complete a task or sign a document that limits your rights while working for the employer. The most common examples are taking a drug test or signing a document that states you comply with an employee handbook.
You have been employed for an undetermined period of time and not just for a single job.
You are paid by a salary or an hourly wage and not on a job-by-job basis.
In cases where a worker is “borrowed” from another company, or a third-party employment agency, the rules for determining the working relationship are related, but there can be some critical differences. Some of these conditions may include:

If the borrowing employer has the power to hire or fire a borrowed worker at any time, the worker is clearly an employee. Otherwise, the worker is a contractor.
Most of the time, if the borrowing employer is allowed to pick a particular worker, then the worker is an employee. If the agency that provides the worker is allowed to send any worker they choose, the worker is a contractor.
If the worker must provide them, that person is a contractor. If the employer provides them, the worker is an employee.
If the employment agency can substitute the borrowed worker for another at-will, the worker is a contractor. If the lending agency cannot, then the worker is an employee.
If the worker is borrowed indefinitely, then the worker is an employee. If the worker is borrowed for a specific project with a specific date of completion, the worker is a contractor.
If a worker is being borrowed or “leased” because of a skill that is unique or hard-to-find, then the worker is a contractor. But on the other hand, if an employer borrows a worker to fill a position that just about anyone can fill, then the worker is an employee.
If the borrowing employer agrees to pay the worker’s social security and income tax, then the worker is an employee. If the borrowing employer does not accept this responsibility, then the worker is a contractor.
our Law Firms conducts a thorough investigation to demonstrate the existence of one (or more) of these standards to clearly prove your employer-employee relationship existed. We depose co-workers, review contracts and examine pay stubs to establish that you were in fact, an employee when you suffered your serious workplace injury.

A couple other things that are important. If you were hired by an employment agency to work at an “employer’s” company and suffered a workplace-related accidental death, your attorney must determine if the employment agency has workers’ comp. If so, then you would file a workers’ comp wrongful death claim against the agency, or a non-subscriber civil suit if not. In either case, this would then make the company where you actually performed the work a third-party contributor to the accident. Also, if your employer loaned you out to another company that may have been run by a friend, and then the accident occurred at that company, the issue of workers’ comp subscription with your employer comes to mind and the company where you suffered your injury will likely be treated as a third-party defendant in any civil claim or suit.

And we remind you again, workers’ comp claims are less-than adequate when major injuries are involved, including wrongful death. So the traditional way for an employee to recover fair damage compensation is to file a workers’ comp claim against the subscribing employer (assuming that employer subscribes) and then supplement the claim with the appropriate number of third party claims or lawsuits. And if no workers’ comp exists, it’s simply non-subscriber and third party actions across-the-board. Whatever route is taken, if any of the above scenarios exists, with an experienced attorney you can seek at least two sources of compensation: which makes the total amount collected a more just amount.

Your Opposition is Indeed Dangerous Without an Experienced Local Workplace Injury Lawyer
In all non-subscriber and third party workplace injury claims defendants can have large insurance companies and lots of attorneys to oppose you. Or your employer will be “self-insured” or uninsured. Regardless, all fight very hard, to avoid paying for your injuries.

Non-subscribers are represented by insurance companies who have attorneys either on-staff or on permanent retainer. And they are very skilled at defending insurance companies from people who try to sue them. Insurance companies are in the business of collecting high premiums, and then avoid paying claims. They are confrontational and intimidating from the start. But they don’t scare an experienced work accident attorney like those with our Law Firm who know every trick they pull, and how to effectively counter each one.

But self-insured employers or those who have no insurance whatsoever and are liable for serious workplace injuries are a different and very dangerous opponent. They resort to anything that will work for them once an injured worker takes legal action to recover damages. Some of their tricks are shameful, and a few downright illegal.

You will seek to settle with an officer of the self-insured company or maybe even directly from your employer if it is a small company. And often they will have an attorney with them in order to make you uneasy or settle quickly. In either event, the salary of whomever you deal with is likely tied directly to company profits. Any damage amount paid to you comes directly out of company coffers. So by compensating you, your employer literally takes money out his own pocket. We are rarely surprised when a sneaky, self-insured company officer uses any and all means to deny your claim in order to protect his company’s (and his personal) assets. If his lawyer is present, they’ll probably run the “good cop/bad cop” game at you, with the attorney playing the heavy and the employer ostensibly “acting in your best interests,” (yeah, right!).

Self-insured companies can also deliberately dispose of evidence and bribe or intimidate witnesses: even you. They sometimes resort to physical threats. This is why every time we represent a client against a self-insured company, the first thing we do is to file motions in court that prevent anyone with the company from behaving inappropriately against our clients. Sometimes these motions include a clear demand that they make no attempt to communicate with our clients in any way without one of our attorneys present.

The Damages You Stand to Win in Civil Court for an on-the-job Injury
Your tangible (or obvious) financial losses are called special or economic damages. Most of the time, examples of special damages include lost wages, loss of earning capacity for the period of time you can’t work because of the injury, and your medical bills. Sometimes, the cost of medical treatment can be easy to calculate. Other times these costs are not, especially if your medical treatment continues longer than expected, or the full extent of your injuries is unknown. Then the task of calculating special damages is more complex. Calculating loss of earning capacity is often a complicated matter. If you’re unable to return to work, you must account for the time-value of money you’ve actually lost, as well as hypothetical promotions, raises, and career changes when calculating how much you’ll demand that the defendant compensate you for income you are unable to earn in the future, regardless of whether it takes months or years for you to recover.

Intangible non-economic losses are called general damages. These damages include compensation for your emotional suffering associated with the accident. The amount of general damages that a case is worth depends almost exclusively on the circumstances surrounding the injury and the degree of pain and suffering. This is why general damages can vary greatly from case to case even if the physical injuries are very similar. After you’ve been injured in or around , personal injury legal advice you find online is almost never sufficient to help you understand the amount of general damages you may be entitled to. Because general damages are relative and subject to many different factors, call our Law Firm for a free consultation to find out what your case is really worth. After we ask you some important questions about your situation, we’ll be in a position to give you an understanding of how a jury will put a price tag on your pain and suffering and other emotional losses, or the amount that may be recovered through aggressive negotiation with those liable for your injury.

It’s Most Important to Begin Protecting Your Rights as an Employee Now, Before it’s too Late
Insurance companies only agree to a settlement that benefits you if you are protected by an attorney with a history of success in court. While insurance companies and their lawyers are eager to take on non-lawyers and inexperienced attorneys, they fear us. When we file a claim, the insurance companies are inspired to settle for a fair amount. They want to avoid a trial, especially if they already know they have a weak case. As a result, our clients can often get back to living their lives again quickly and with a minimal expense because we’ve negotiated a fair settlement on their behalf.

It is quite likely that you are a family member of one who has been seriously hurt in a truck accident, but because of his or her current situation, is not capable of beginning this extremely important mission of protecting your family’s clear and fair compensation rights. So it is on you, the family members, to take the bull by the horns and begin this quickly.

It is critical to move swiftly. In work accident cases, the evidence begins to fade and degrade immediately following the accident. The physical details of the scene itself can change quickly. And witnesses change their stories, or forget what they saw, because the mind is a mysterious thing. Sometimes, they’ve even been “encouraged” to forget, or to “take a nice long vacation.” If you wait too long to hire an accident attorney and put your counsel to work investigating the valuable trail of evidence, then you are doing irreparable damage to your ability to secure the restitution you deserve.

An experienced Bexar County workman’s comp lawyer with our Law Firms helps injured Texas employees deal with their challenging work-injury cases. We have spent over 30 years building and utilizing the expertise required to help injured workers just like you to receive the compensation they deserve for their medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering and disability through effective negotiation or successful litigation if the latter becomes necessary.

Put our experience to work for you. If you want to know your rights, how to proceed with your claim and how much compensation you can reasonably expect to secure, then we can answer your questions. Call our Law Firm now at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll free), or fill out the form at the top of this page for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

You’ve already been hurt. Don’t let those who negligently caused your serious work accident injury victimize you and your family once again. We’ll help you fight for what is rightfully yours.
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Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas for an Elderly Family Member’s Death?
In most of Texas wrongful death claims, there are often large financial losses that the family members who have lost a loved one may have incurred. And sometimes that wrongful death may go undetected (or even hidden) for a long period of time.

But on the other hand, in the event of a wrongful death of an elderly loved one who is living in a nursing home (which are commonly referred to these days as “assisted living” or “elderly care” centers) the comparative financial losses incurred may be less severe. But that does not mean that a wrongful death lawsuit against a negligent care giver cannot be pursued if negligence or some other civil tort was the cause. In such claims, damages sought are often for the emotional or mental stress experienced by the victim or the victim’s family. This and other physical pain and suffering can be compensated for through a wrongful death lawsuit in the event of an elderly family member’s wrongful, untimely death.

The Common Causes of Elderly Wrongful Deaths
Wrongful deaths that result in the passing of an elderly loved one can happen in a variety of ways. Most of them arise from the negligent behavior of healthcare givers entrusted with providing for such a person. All-too-often we see tragic news stories about unneeded deaths involving nursing home abuse or neglect. Lack of proper care can also be a contributing factor, such as when bed sores form and cause infection leading to a death. Additionally, your elderly loved ones may have suffered a wrongful death because of medical malpractice, in which the medical professional (doctor or nurse) responsible for their care can be held liable for their death, depending on the specifics of your parent or grandparent’s passing.

When it comes to medical malpractice suits, it should be noted that recent tort reform has made seeking compensation through such a lawsuit much more challenging than a few years ago. These changes were enacted in order to prevent frivolous lawsuits from being brought against medical professionals. But the changes also made it more difficult for a legitimate medical malpractice suit to be brought against a negligent medical or other licensed healthcare professional (or assisted living center).

And to further complicate matters, wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuits have certain financial “caps,” which means that surviving family members could only stand to see a certain amount in compensation if their insurance claim or civil case produces a successful outcome. And yet, with such a cap in place, the compensation received through such a claim is often less than what will usually adequately cover the actual damages. An experienced wrongful death attorney with our Law Firm can assist a family seeking compensation for their loss through other possible legal routes, especially if more than one defendant (a third party) is identified through an attorney’s investigation. So the financial shortfall sometimes experienced by the malpractice benefit caps in the wake of a medical malpractice lawsuit might be supplemented through legitimate third party negligence lawsuits to produce a more accurate total damage award.

Calculating Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
When specific financial losses have occurred, calculating fair compensation is relatively straightforward since a specific dollar amount is tied to the damages incurred. However, in a wrongful death case, the plaintiff’s lawyer must be able to justify the surviving family members’ (the plaintiff’s) amount of damages sought. And since emotional or mental stress, as well as pain and suffering (all known as “non-economic damages”) can often be quite subjective and subject ot interpretation, Almost universally, it takes the knowledge and assistance of an experienced Texas wrongful death lawyer malpractice attorney like those with our Law Firm to place clear value on these damages and help a plaintiff justify the total and true value of the harm they, and their recently deceased elderly loved one, has experienced to a civil judge and jury.

It is certain that the defendants in any wrongful death or medical malpractice suit involving a senior citizen will be disputed by the defendants’ their insurance company and the attorneys who represent them. They will without doubt try and paint a much less than threatening environment provided by their assisted care client than it actually is: then ask for complete relief, or a much smaller damage payment to the plaintiffs than they seek.

But the courts do take physical pain and emotional stress into consideration when awarding compensation in regards to a wrongful death, especially one that involves medical malpractice or elderly care. But it often requires the help of an experienced legal professional to ensure that a plaintiff is fairly compensated for their loss: either through fair negotiation or a civil trial should the latter be necessary.

Investigations into the Circumstances Surrounding the Death of an Elderly Loved One who Lived at an Assisted Care Center are the Sole Responsibility of Surviving Family Members
The cold hard truth of the matter when it comes to the death of an elderly person is this. Old people die. And because of this, something must be clearly out-of-line in order for that death to come to the attention of the County Medical Examiner. In two recent news stories on 60 Minutes, both of which surrounded the investigation of suspicious elderly deaths in Southern California and Louisiana nursing homes, it was discovered that less than five in 100 such deaths were even investigated by the Los Angeles County and Orleans Parrish Medical Examiners.

They just took the word of the doctor-of-record at each center that the causes of all deaths were natural and nothing out of the ordinary happened. So the attention of these medical examiners never came into play immediately after all of those deaths. Besides, they had backlogs of cases due to the fact that their undermanned and overworked staffs had plenty of on their plate already without opening that “assisted care center” wrongful death can-of-worms.

But when 60 minutes producers took a sample of suspicious deaths in both locations and investigated on their own, they found one-in-fifteen to be of “suspicious cause” and investigated further. Three of the Southern California deaths were found to have been caused by a minimum wage employee who was tired of “putting up with old people who complained all the time.”

This was a stark lesson indeed. And it underscores the problem that unless there are absolutely glaring inconsistencies in the death of your elderly loved one and it’s stated cause, a third-party investigator (like 60 Minutes) with solid experience in getting to the bottom of such tragic deaths is a necessity in proving malpractice or wrongful death of a loved one who died while living in assisted care.

our Law Firm has over 30 years of investigating wrongful death and medical malpractice cases. In addition to our solid investigative team, we also have an honor roll of medical experts who can get to the bottom of your deceased elderly loved one’s suspicious death. And if your fears have merit, our investigations are critical elements as we build the strongest medical malpractice or wrongful death case for you and your family.

The Current State of the Assisted Care Industry: and Why it’s Important in your Wrongful Death or Malpractice Claim
Choosing to admit your elderly loved one in a nursing home or some other assisted living center was probably a decision that you did not easily arrive at. And as you investigated the possible centers, attempting to choose the best one for your loved one, it is certain that you saw many that proudly pointed to happy residents who were active and well-cared for. But it is certain that with some of them, some “managed care centers” were little more than “managed image marketing.” And they do it quite well, especially to the uninitiated.

Monthly fees at assisted living centers range from $1,500 – $7,500: with the majority falling in the $2500-$3500 range. That’s well over $30,000 a year for “average” care. And rare is the instance where more than half that amount is covered by Medicare, Social Security or some other reasonably-priced supplemental insurance (all combined). The rest comes out of your family’s pocket. With so much money being spent, you certainly expect the best care and service possible for your loved one. Many times you get it, or seem to. But just as often, when you lift the veil and peek into the nursing home and assisted care industry, you’ll find that you don’t always get what you pay for.

Usually, no more than 10% of assisted living center employees make more than $35,000 a year (on-average). The rest serve as “assistants,” which is a nice way of saying “minimum wage employee.” These are the people who have the most contact with your elderly loved one. And their jobs are not easy. That employee in Southern California who was charged in those three wrongful deaths was just such a “minimum-wage point person” who just got tired of making $300 a week (with overtime) to perform a thankless and sometimes unpleasant job. When he was on trial, he said, under cross-examination, “I just finally had it with emptying bed pans and giving sponge baths to all those old people who did nothing but complain all the time.”

Under such environments like this, is it any wonder that so many wrongful deaths occur in assisted living centers? Like we said, what you are sold isn’t always what you get when the assisted care center, is either lax in its duty to care for your grandparents or parents, or the “suits” cut corners in trying to squeeze every dime out of their facility by cutting corners. And if their center’s negligence caused a wrongful death, they assume that their general chances were excellent that no one would listen to the complaints of these elderly patients, or their families because they were covered by medical examiner inaction. Had it not been for a private investigation their offenses would have never been detected.

Insurance Company Opposition to your Civil Damage Claims will be Very Aggressive
Just about every wrongful death lawsuit that involves medical malpractice will likely involve some type of insurance coverage for the assisted living center, the doctor-of-record and other healthcare staff members because the nursing home laws of the State of Texas require it. As a result, an insurer that holds such a prominent policy will likely attempt to do whatever they can to avoid being judged responsible for paying out damages in the event of wrongful death due to negligence by an assisted living center’s healthcare or general staff.

This callous behavior, even if the evidence clearly proves the insured party was negligent in causing the wrongful death rarely changes, regardless of the bereaved family’s obvious need for proper compensation. This is a prominent reason why your wrongful death or medical malpractice case requires aggressive legal representation. These insurers (along with their adjusters and the lawyers who defend the insurance companies in court) typically attempt to make such blame disappear and claim that “this old person died of natural causes,” then ask for relief from what they are certain to charge as a frivolous lawsuit.

Unless you and your Texas medical malpractice attorney wrongful death lawyer have meticulously built a strong case with relevant evidence discovered through a stringent investigation that can speak for your elderly loved one who now cannot, an insurer may be able to argue themselves out of liability for this unfortunate, negligent death, and get their clients off the hook of paying no compensation whatsoever to your family. And this means no justice against the defendant. It also means this defendant feels safe in continuing this reprehensible behavior against someone else’s beloved parent, grandparent aunt or uncle, and make their families suffer.

With over two decades of experience in taking on these types of insurers, our Law Firm is well-acquainted with their methods and tactics, and how to counter every one of them. This means that we can make sure that you’re treated fairly by the insurance companies that have no interest at all in anything other than keeping their money.

Wrongful Death and Malpractice Statute of Limitations in Texas
The statute of limitations for a Texas wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of death. While this period can be extended in certain situations if gross negligence can be proven, or if criminal charges have been filed against a liable party, a victim’s family most often only has two years to seek legal action against a liable negligent defendant. While this may sound like a long time, it is not that long when a thorough investigation must be conducted. Deaths surrounding elderly people historically take longer than normal because sometimes the forensic evidence or the document that produces the “smoking gun” against the defendant may be very deeply hidden. One trick we find in such situations is altered documents, usually excellent Xerox copies of original forms that have been altered. It takes a very clever forensic document expert to spot the one or two pieces of paper buried under a mountain of forms; just like you see on CSI; but the document expert spent hours for his fifteen seconds on the show. It’s very difficult, tedious and time-consuming, with a lot of dead-end trails leading to nowhere.

Some of these kinds of investigations can take more than a year, depending on the circumstances surrounding the death, the number of liable parties, and determining which liable parties will be able to pay their share of the damages. Plus, once we find the “smoking gun document” we have to convince the county medical examiner to reopen a closed case (which they are loathe to do to begin with) and perform an autopsy. This is why we respectfully suggest that if you have any inkling your elderly loved one died suspiciously at a nursing home or assisted living center, and you have no religious convictions that preclude preservation, take steps to preserve the body prior to burial so that the medical examiner can conduct a fruitful examination. If our investigation inspires the medical examiner to reopen the case, and the cause of death is ruled as not being from natural causes or specifically matches the forensic or documented evidence we uncover, you will suddenly have a very strong case. And it becomes quite possible that a negotiated settlement may be reached as none of the defendants want to end up in court against our overwhelming evidence of neglect.

The longer you wait to contact a Texas/ Texas wrongful death attorney, the more harm you may unintentionally be doing to your case. Evidence can disappear, or can even be removed by those who wish to avoid being held accountable for their actions, or covertly altered. Witnesses become increasingly difficult to track down. Or they may forget critical details in connection to the wrongful death. Or they may have been “encouraged” by defendants to “take a long vacation;” even take a job with their employer in another state. This is why it is critical for investigators to begin their work as soon as possible so your Texas wrongful death lawyer can build a strong legal case toward fair compensation for your loved one’s wrongful death.

Wrongful death cases in Texas are subject to the “discovery rule” which states that the two years does not begin until the time that a reasonably prudent person would have known they had a cause of legal action. A perfect example if the differences in this discovery rule would be to compare a fatal auto accident and a wrongful death at an assisted care center. Wrongful death from an auto accident usually doesn’t take very long to determine if someone’s negligence led to the death of your loved one. So the discovery process usually begins relatively quickly.

But on the other hand, imagine that your elderly loved one and dies due to complications from taking the wrong drug (or dosage) administered by a nurse at the assisted living center. Then, ten years after this death it is determined that the drug was defective and that this defect was a direct cause of your loved one’s death. There might have even been medical bulletins released during the time your elderly loved one was being administered this drug. In this case, the family could likely file a wrongful death claim (in this case, not only against the nursing home but the maker of the drug) even though the standard two year window had expired. The idea behind this is that the plaintiff-surviving family did not know that they had a case until years later: which would extend the statute of limitations.

All plaintiffs have the right to a reasonable period of “discovery,” which means a good investigation into the causes of such deaths. Keep this in mind, especially if someone with the assisted care facility tries to shuffle you off quickly after the sad event of your elderly family members passing. They may want to close things out quickly to avoid suspicion.

Another Example of How the Statute of Limitations Can Be Extended
In cases where the defendant deliberately concealed their involvement or culpability in a death, the statute may be extended to allow the family of the deceased to pursue civil action against the defendant. In some situations, this concealment may be criminal. Or the concealment may have been part of a larger criminal enterprise. When this happens, the defendant may also be subject to criminal charges in addition to civil charges. And when a defendant must answer criminal charges as well, it invariably strengthens your civil case, even if the defendant is ultimately exonerated in criminal court.

You may not know that, since healthcare records are also legal records, that if a wrongful death has occurred at a hospital or assisted living center, and the patient-record documents have been altered to hide negligence as cause of death, in addition to civil action, the healthcare employee (and maybe the employer) is also subject to felony charges of altering a legal document by citing “respondent superior:” which states that employers of their employees’ illegal acts while at work are, by legal-definition, every bit as responsible for the criminal action or inaction of their employee. And with all the public interest in the state of nursing homes and elderly healthcare facilities, the Bexar County District Attorney will be very interested if we find legitimate evidence of a criminal cover-up by a senior care center in the event of your loved one’s negligence-based wrongful death.

Texas/ Texas Malpractice and Wrongful Death Attorneys at our Texas Law Offices Can Help You in the Event of a Suspicious Death of Your Elderly Loved One
Losing a loved one can be an emotionally trying time, especially if they were advanced in years and endured suffering at the end of their time in your lives. If your elderly loved one suffered a wrongful death due to the negligence of a person or entity, you likely have merit in seeking compensation for your loss. Through a wrongful death lawsuit (or accompanying medical malpractice or defective product suits), you could stand to be compensated for your loss, but you will also be working to ensure that the guilty defendant is held accountable for their negligent behavior – in both civil court and criminal court if the latter applies – so that a future death does not have to occur as a result of their poor or careless decisions.

We have a bit of free advice if your beloved grandparent, parent, elderly aunt or uncle has recently passed, and you feel uncomfortable about the circumstances surrounding the passing.

When it’s time to make that last visit with the center’s owners to pick-up your loved one’s belongings and sign the legal documents that end your relationship with the center, review them very carefully. And if you see anything resembling a liability release form, consider that to be unusual under the circumstances and ask if them to provide a copy for your attorney to review, prior to signing it. In fact, maybe you should have a wrongful death lawyer accompany you to this meeting to give you his view of the situation and also review everything you should sign. Remember, deception and fraud can extend the statute of limitations. But a good investigative and legal mind can usually tell you right away if he or she “smells something fishy.”

Texas wrongful death lawyer our lead attorney and his Texas/ Texas team at our Texas Law Offices have 30 years of experience in litigating wrongful death cases arising from negligent elderly care centers. We can help you secure a fair settlement (or court judgment) for your loss, even if it might appear minimal or nonexistent at-a-glance, after your elderly loved one’s passing.

We can tell you this. If you have a just case in which – upon investigation – proves negligence contributed to the sad demise of your elderly family member at the center, contact our Law Firm at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll free) for a free legal consultation. We work on contingency, and can apprise you of all your practical legal options. With experience in bringing cases against every major insurer in the state, and with a strong reputation among many defense attorneys, our Law Firm is well-positioned, highly-respected, and a firm that assisted care centers, their insurers and lawyers strongly wish to avoid.

We’ll use our “rep” and experience to help you get the justice you deserve for your loved one’s untimely passing. Your grandparents or parents, elderly aunts or uncles lived rich lives. Don’t allow them to be victimized in their last days by negligent people who still took them from you too-soon.

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If you’ve Suffered a Serious Work-Related Injury in Texas , You Must Know the Facts if You Wish To Win Compensation
If you’re injured on the job, we hope it wasn’t serious and that you’ll recover quickly and return to work. But what if that injury is serious and wasn’t your fault? What if someone’s negligence has landed you in the hospital? Who pays for your injuries, lost time or, benefits-owed because you’re permanently disabled? What if, rather, your loved one was killed in on the job?

It all depends upon the actual details of your case and the events leading up to the accident. And there are some basic questions that must be answered before any compensation strategy can be developed. You must know whether or not the company you work for has workers’ comp insurance. It will pay reimbursement for medical expenses, some of your lost wages and a modest amount of disability. You also need to know what to do if your employer does not have workers’ comp coverage because the strategies involved there are diametrically different from workers’ comp cases. And you also must clearly be able to establish that you are an employee not a contractor: then prove it. Your ability to win an insurance claim or civil trial depends on the answers to each one of these important questions in determining how to go about winning payment for your on-the-job injuries and the many expenses arising from it.

Resolving such matters is often very complex due not only to the three factors mentioned above, but other issues that influence any job-related injury case. Furthermore, the complexity and innate ambiguities of some of our worker laws allow employers and their insurance providers to unfairly refuse the rightful claims of thousands of injured Texas employees every year. Inexperienced lawyers fail to secure a maximum work-injury settlement in negligent accident insurance claims or civil cases. And those with no legal experience who choose to represent themselves in such matters are virtually certain to fail in their quest for financial justice.

on-the-job injury attorney our lead attorney and his professional team at our Texas Law Offices have over 30 years of hard fought experience in fairly resolving job injury claims and civil cases for employees who are injured at their place of employment. We help you clearly understand the laws involved with such a case and point-out all of the legal avenues that are open to you following your serious work accident injuries. And we are just as adroit at representing surviving family members when their beloved mother, father, daughter or son has been killed on-the-job due to someone’s negligence. This is why we are sharing all of the challenges you will face, in order to make the best-informed decisions in the interests of your family. And your employer or his or her insurance company no longer cares about your interests, only theirs: from the moment the mishap occurred, if not before.

Employers are solely concerned with protecting their own assets. Some employers will attempt to hide whether or not they have workers’ comp insurance. Often, they will evade the truth and mislead you in order to avoid liability for an injured employee. Some might argue that you aren’t an employee to begin with and because of this, they don’t owe you anything. And with the help of their insurance companies and attorneys, these employers will accuse you of being the actual cause of your own injury in a variety of pernicious ways. An experienced work accident attorney knows how to counter the tricks of your employer, their pushy, evasive insurance companies and their adjusters, along with the lawyers who represent both.

Starting at the Beginning: Determining the Employer’s Workers’ Compensation Status
We can thank our lawmakers (and the insurance lobby who pays for their lunches and nice vacations) for today’s difficulty in understanding workers’ compensation laws. No employer is required by the state of Texas to purchase workers’ comp insurance. Roughly one in two employers subscribe to the program. So, workers’ comp injury cases are divided into two separate types that require altogether different methods and strategies to resolve. Employers who carry worker’s comp are known as “subscribers.” Those who don’t are “non-subscribers.” In order to know how to proceed with your serious injury reimbursement, the first order of business is to determine whether or not your employer is one or the other.

Workers’ comp benefits are paid out of a “pool” of funds. This pool is stocked by private insurance carriers that participate in the program. It pays injury claims while it protects subscriber-employers from lawsuits and generally disregards the legal rights of employees. Whether the employer is negligent does not figure into the equation. Workers’ comp reimbursement amounts are limited or “capped.” So when an employee is seriously hurt, the monetary benefits they can receive often fall way short of what is actually needed to return to physical and fiscal health. Now workers’ comp does provide some compensation to employees who are injured on the job site. But it’s basically “no fault” insurance because those covered by workers’ comp are reimbursed, no matter how the accident occurred or whose fault it was. And subscribing employers cannot be directly sued for the more appropriate amount of fair damage compensation. And we’ll go over that in more detail in a bit.

But on the other hand, in order to receive restitution from a non-subscriber to workers’ comp, an injury victim must first file claim with the employer’s private liability insurance company or a lawsuit in civil court if the employer is not covered or has no insurance at all. Fortunately, for the injured party, the prerequisites that have been established to encourage companies to subscribe to “no fault” workers’ comp insurance are not as stringent as they once were. And these same lower standards of proving subscriber negligence, also apply against a non-subscriber in a civil case. So it’s not as difficult to assess true liability against a non-subscribing employer for on-the-job accidents due to these relaxed standards.

Since workers’ comp is cheaper than traditional employer liability insurance, one would assume all companies would be wise and purchase workers’ comp instead. But there’s no accounting for those who live dangerously (and pay higher rates) by not subscribing to workers’ comp, because it is comparatively cheaper than private liability coverage. So many employers still choose to roll the dice and take the risk of being a non-subscriber. Then, when the odds catch-up with them, they try to avoid a lawsuit and lie to you by claiming that they have workers’ comp when a worker is injured. These employers may try to quickly pay you benefits you would normally receive from workers’ comp , then ask you to sign what they may represent as a “standard workers’ comp release” in order to further their deception and get off the hook for the actual damages you are owed. But we don’t fall for this oft-used employer trick and neither should you

This is one of many examples of how you benefit from an experienced Texas workers compensation lawyer to get to the bottom of your company’s workers’ comp status, so you know what legal avenues are available to you. Once we have identified the nature of your employer’s workers’ comp standing, we then move forward together to secure your injury compensation.

Third Party Liability and the Single Exception When Workers Comp Subscribers can be Sued for Negligence
When they subscribe to workers’ comp insurance, employers get far more than just inexpensive pool coverage that produces lower benefit payments to seriously injured workers. They are also virtually immune to civil negligence lawsuits. Unless the employer has committed gross(or willful)negligence resulting in wrongful death, they cannot be sued if one of their employees is injured on the job, or has been killed at work. And the negligence must be clearly overwhelming in order to for this exception to apply. So whichever contributing insurance company is responsible for negotiating a settlement; again, with benefit caps, the odds are highly unlikely that the victim, or the victim’s survivors if a death has occurred, will receive the equitable compensation to which they are entitled without a trial.

In a perfect and fair world, insurance providers would be concerned with tending to the legitimate needs of injured parties, and victims (or their families) would receive fair payment for all medical bills, lost salary, pain, suffering, disability and death. But the world is neither fair nor perfect. Insurance companies are in business first, to generate profits: not help people. And those who underwrite the workers’ comp pool are no exception. All insurance companies try to avoid fairly compensating injured employees every year in Aggieland and all throughout the Lone Star State. Those who participate in the state’s insurance pool are just doing it with the help of the legislature.

But aside from subscriber gross negligence in causing a wrongful death there is another weapon in your fight to receive just compensation for your serious injuries outside of (or in addition to) workers’ comp.

In many cases, someone besides the employer may have done something negligent to cause a serious workplace injury. If a faulty piece of machinery caused your injury, the manufacturer may be held accountable through a defective product lawsuit. If the owner of the property did not provide safe working conditions, then he or she could be held accountable. If another employee or a visiting contractor or one of the contractor’s employees negligently caused the injury, then they could be held accountable. In such a case, you can sue the responsible party or parties but not your subscribing employer. Experience, and the ability to properly investigate not only the accident scene but the roles these third parties played in the accident is required in order to properly identify all of the parties responsible and make them pay for the injuries they cause. A skillful Texas workers’ compensation attorney in Bexar County with our Law Firm can devise a plan of attack for workplace injury cases that offer the best opportunity to secure compensation in a complex Texas work accident claim like this.

Success Against Liable Non-Subscribers is More Straightforward, but it’s Still Not Easy
We’ve already mentioned how it comes as no surprise that many employers neglect to purchase workers’ comp, or any other form of insurance. If you are to receive the compensation you deserve from non-subscribing employers, you certainly need the assistance of a skilled Texas work accident attorney to file a lawsuit and stubbornly see it through to the very end in order to receive the fair compensation you deserve as a result of this employer’s negligence.

In order to punish non-subscribing employers for not participating in this state-run program, Texas workers comp laws enable the victim to secure much greater damages than if the employer had purchased workers comp insurance. And as we have already said, the workplace accident victim must merely prove standard negligence, which means the employer only committed a sole error or momentary inability to maintain safety. That’s enough to win. But as you can guess, the laws governing these principles are extremely intricate. So in order to succeed you will need a crafty accident lawyer to assist you through every intricacy of this challenging legal process.

It begins when the victim, also known as the plaintiff, files a claim with the employer, notifying him or her of the injury and the amount of money the victim expects as fair repayment. The employer can agree. But that rarely happens. Most of the time the employer has some sort of insurance of surety bond to cover these matters. If they have insurance, they just hand this matter over to their carrier. Then you and your attorney try to negotiate a settlement, although the insurance company will probably initially dispute your allegations outright just to see how serious you are.

But with a strong attorney and equally strong case, negotiations can progress in-good-faith, usually because your attorney’s very strong case shows you mean business. Then the matter is often settled, you get a fair compensation check and everyone returns to their regular lives. But often, work-related injury cases are contested and the plaintiff must file a lawsuit to win the compensation. As the injured party, the plaintiff holds the burden for proving that the employer’s negligence caused the injury, resulting in those high medical bills, lost salary, pain and suffering. Fortunately if the injured victims can prove simple negligence, winning that lawsuit is much easier.

Defendants Often Claim That you are the Cause of the Accident and They Owe you Nothing
If your employer is a workers’ comp insurance non-subscriber, then he or she isn’t likely to suddenly change his or her nature and agree to pay you out of the goodness of their heart or because it’s the right thing to do. Our experience in these matters has revealed that most non-subscribers try to use a couple of typical defenses to avoid paying injured employees the restitution they deserve.

The only reasonable defense afforded non-subscribers after an employee suffers a serious injury is to claim the worker caused his or her own injuries or, in legal terms is the sole proximate cause of the harm that befell them. In order to invoke this defense, non-subscribing employers will literally add insult to your injuries and soil your reputation by proving you were a negligent employee and caused your own injuries. They’ll call your general character in-question in order to convince a jury that you are such a reprehensible person that you don’t deserve a penny from them. They try in any way they can to hold you alone responsible for your injuries; or infer that you’re a lowlife who is just out to get your employer.

While your employer may have been too cheap to buy workers’ comp coverage, you certainly won’t be surprised that he or she will think nothing of paying tens of thousands of dollars to an experienced and shrewd lawyer who knows how to make victims appear negligent for their own injuries. You need your own cunning on-the-job injury attorney to place fault back where it truly belongs, the negligent employer.

The Other Defense Tactic: Claiming You are a Contractor, Not an Employee
The sole proximate cause defense is not the only way that non-subscribers have to deflect liability after an injury has been suffered by an employee. But after that tactic has failed, many clever employers try to avoiding liability for your serious work injuries by trying to distance themselves from you as an employee, and their responsibility to fairly compensate you. Some even begin building that paper trail to prove their argument from the first day you show up for work.

Texas Employers are not responsible for what happens to contractors when an accident occurs at their place of business. So many companies will claim to hire their employees as contractors. By calling you a contractor, your employer tries to deny that an employer-employee relationship existed between you and the company. Then their attorneys or insurance companies will tell you that you don’t have a legal claim for damages. Their “pretzel logic” logic is simple: why should they be responsible for an injury to someone who was never actually an employee to begin with?

While many employers try to claim they hire their employees as contractors or as temp workers through a third-party, deep-down the employer knows an actual employer-employee relationship exists in many of these cases, and an injured worker deserves compensation. So don’t be misled by this shady ploy. Even though your employer claims you are a contractor, you are likely still considered an employee in the eyes of the law, and are entitled to recover compensation for injuries suffered on the job.

Here are some of the ways in which a skillful and well-seasoned Texas work injury lawyer proves the employer-employee relationship by meeting at least one the following standards:

Social security or taxes have been withheld from your paycheck by your employer.
The essential equipment for the job was supplied to you by your employer.
Your work has been regularly managed, overseen or inspected by your employer.
A specific work schedule has been set for the job by your employer. You are not free to come-and-go as you please.
Your employer requires you to complete a task or sign a document that limits your rights while working for the employer. The most common examples are taking a drug test or signing a document that states you comply with an employee handbook.
You have been employed for an undetermined period of time and not just for a single job.
You are paid by a salary or an hourly wage and not on a job-by-job basis.
In cases where a worker is “borrowed” from another company, or a third-party employment agency, the rules for determining the working relationship are related, but there can be some critical differences. Some of these conditions may include:

If the borrowing employer has the power to hire or fire a borrowed worker at any time, the worker is clearly an employee. Otherwise, the worker is a contractor.
Most of the time, if the borrowing employer is allowed to pick a particular worker, then the worker is an employee. If the agency that provides the worker is allowed to send any worker they choose, the worker is a contractor.
If the worker must provide them, that person is a contractor. If the employer provides them, the worker is an employee.
If the employment agency can substitute the borrowed worker for another at-will, the worker is a contractor. If the lending agency cannot, then the worker is an employee.
If the worker is borrowed indefinitely, then the worker is an employee. If the worker is borrowed for a specific project with a specific date of completion, the worker is a contractor.
If a worker is being borrowed or “leased” because of a skill that is unique or hard-to-find, then the worker is a contractor. But on the other hand, if an employer borrows a worker to fill a position that just about anyone can fill, then the worker is an employee.
If the borrowing employer agrees to pay the worker’s social security and income tax, then the worker is an employee. If the borrowing employer does not accept this responsibility, then the worker is a contractor.
our Law Firm conducts a thorough investigation to demonstrate the existence of one of these standards and many times, more than that. This clearly proves an employer-employee relationship existed for you. We depose co-workers, review contracts and examine pay stubs to establish that you were in reality, an employee when you suffered your serious workplace injury.

A couple other things that are important. If you were hired by an employment agency to work at an “employer’s” company and suffered a workplace-related accidental death, your attorney must determine if the employment agency has workers’ comp. If so, then you would file a workers’ comp wrongful death claim against the agency, or a non-subscriber civil suit if not. In either case, this would then make the company where you actually performed the work a third-party contributor to the accident. Also, if your employer loaned you out to another company that may have been run by a friend, and then the accident occurred at that company, the issue of workers’ comp subscription with your employer comes to mind and the company where you suffered your injury will likely be treated as a third-party defendant in any civil claim or suit.

And as we have previously told you, workers’ comp claims are less-than adequate when major injuries are involved, including wrongful death. So the traditional way for an employee to recover fair damage compensation is to file a workers’ comp claim against the subscribing employer (assuming that employer subscribes) and then supplement the claim with the appropriate number of third party claims or lawsuits. Whatever route is taken, if any of the above three scenarios exists, you can count on at least two sources of compensation: which makes the total amount collected a more just amount.

Your Opposition is Strong, and Dangerous Without an Experienced Local Workplace Injury Lawyer
In all non-subscriber and third party workplace injury claims defendants can have large insurance companies and lots of attorneys to oppose you. Or your employer will be “self-insured” or uninsured. Regardless, all fight very hard, to avoid paying for your injuries.

Non-subscribers are represented by insurance companies who have attorneys either on-staff or on permanent retainer. And they are very skilled at defending insurance companies from people who try to sue them. Insurance companies are in the business of collecting high premiums, and then avoid paying claims. They are confrontational and intimidating from the start. But they don’t scare an experienced work accident attorney like those with our Law Firm who know every trick they pull, and how to effectively counter each one.

But self-insured employers or those who have no insurance whatsoever and are liable for serious workplace injuries are a different and very dangerous opponent. They resort to anything that will work for them once an injured worker takes legal action to recover damages. Some of their tricks are shameful, and a few downright illegal.

You will seek to settle with an officer of the self-insured company or maybe even directly from your employer if it is a small company. And often they will have an attorney with them in order to make you uneasy or settle quickly. In either event, the salary of whomever you deal with is likely tied directly to company profits. Any damage amount paid to you comes directly out of company coffers. So by compensating you, your employer literally takes money out his own pocket. We are rarely surprised when a sneaky, self-insured company officer uses any and all means to deny your claim in order to protect his company’s (and his personal) assets. If his lawyer is present, they’ll probably run the “good cop/bad cop” game at you, with the attorney playing the heavy and the employer ostensibly “acting in your best interests,” (yeah, right!).

Self-insured companies can also deliberately dispose of evidence and bribe or intimidate witnesses: even you. They sometimes resort to physical threats. This is why every time we represent a client against a self-insured company, the first thing we do is to file motions in court that prevent anyone with the company from behaving inappropriately against our clients. Sometimes these motions include a clear demand that they make no attempt to communicate with our clients in any way without one of our attorneys present.

OSHA Is of Little Use in an Injury Liability Claim or Legal Case
Maybe you are familiar with the government organization, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). This federal agency maintains minimum standards of safety for all American employers and compiles data on workplace accidents all over the state. And you might think OSHA will help you attain compensation: forget it! OSHA is not an advocate for injured workers. All it does is oversee the worker environment in the U.S and assess fines against violators: often months (or years) after-the-fact. And for the past 30 years, OSHA regulations, and the fines levied for employer non-compliance have lost many of their teeth.

While OSHA sets safety standards in the work place and fines transgressors, the fines were set long ago and no longer carry the proper financial motivation to convince safety violators to comply with these government standards. Many of these fine amounts were established 25-30 years ago and thought they might have encouraged compliance back then, inflation and other economic factors have eaten away at OSHA fines, making them little more than a slap on the wrist today. Additionally, over the years OSHA has become more restricted in the actions and investigations it can make due to more restrictive staff and budget limitations. OSHA has been all but emasculated when it comes to preventing on-the-job injuries before they happen.

Furthermore, OSHA cannot make any direct effort to help injured workers secure compensation for the damages that have been inflicted upon them. Only after an accident has occurred will OSHA investigate negligence. Their reports are designed to stop further problems and are only general in nature. And though that data might be ready to present as general evidence at a trial, for your purposes OSHA is little more than closing the barn long after the cow escapes.

The Most Important Thing You Need to Do Today to Protect Your Rights as an Employee
The first thing you need to understand is this. Before you speak with an insurance company, or accept even a single dollar of payment or compensation from your employer, or sign anything, or attempt to file a lawsuit on your own, you must contact a competent lawyer. Your employer or its insurance provider or lawyer wants you to accept an substandard settlement and save their own money. Don’t be taken advantage of. As a matter of fact, we warn you to never talk about any details of your intentions, or anything else surrounding the injury, with your employer or his or insurer or attorney without your own experienced lawyer protecting your interests.

Then, you must realize the critical importance of acting swiftly. In work accident cases, the evidence begins to fade and degrade immediately following the accident. The physical details of the scene itself can change quickly. And witnesses change their stories, or forget what they saw, because the mind is a mysterious thing. Sometimes, they’ve even been “encouraged” to forget, or to “take a nice long vacation.” If you wait too long to hire an accident attorney and put your counsel to work investigating the valuable trail of evidence, then you are doing irreparable damage to your ability to secure the restitution you deserve.

An experienced Texas work injury attorney in Bexar County with our Law Firm helps injured Texas employees deal with their challenging work-injury cases. We have spent over 30 years accumulating the expertise required to help injured workers just like you to receive the compensation they deserve for their medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering and disability through effective negotiation or successful litigation if the latter becomes necessary.

You have the opportunity to put our experience to work for you. If you want to know what your rights are, how to proceed with your claim and how much compensation you can reasonably expect to secure, then we can answer your questions. Call our Law Firm now at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll free) or fill out the form at the top of this page for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

You’ve already been hurt. Don’t let those who negligently caused your serious work accident injury victimize you and your family once again. We’ll help you fight for what is rightfully yours.
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You Deserve Compensation If You Have Been Injured on-the-job: But Getting it is Another Matter
Have you recently been hurt on the job? If you have, it is critical that you seek the help of a Texas truck work injury attorney who specializes in these types of civil actions if you expect to receive the fair compensation you deserve. Most on-the-job injury cases are quite complicated. They can be some of the most difficult to win because there can be many diverse factors that impact a work-injury case. But in Texas, the greatest issue in determining if you can be successful in recovering fair damages for your injury is whether or not your employer subscribes to Texas workers’ compensation insurance. You must start here.

If your employer subscribes to “workers’ comp” then the employer is likely shielded from a workplace injury civil lawsuit. Workers comp cases are called subscriber cases. And by law, they are not subject to civil lawsuits in state court, although there is an exception which we will discuss in a moment. But if your employer does not subscribe to workers’ comp, one option is to file in a non-subscriber case through the state’s Division of Workers Compensation. But just as often, filing a civil case against the defendant is appropriate. But you must know where (and how) to file before anything can be done.

Employers pay a portion of their income to the state for this “umbrella insurance coverage” and though it is not inexpensive for them, they find that the amount of money they pay to this state-run “insurance pool” is often less than what they would pay to a traditional commercial liability insurance company. Today, not quite half of Texas’ businesses participate in the state’s workers’ compensation program.

The rest of Texas businesses are considered non-subscribers to the program. Many – but not all of them – carry some form of workplace liability insurance. So if you are injured on-the-job, and the injuries are significant enough to justify bringing a suit, you are certainly within your rights to seek legal compensation in court for your injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, disability and other damages through a civil lawsuit.

But some employers neither subscribe to the state workers’ compensation insurance program, nor do they carry liability insurance for their business. When that happens you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer, and possibly even other third parties who might also have been found to be liable for your injuries. And even if your employer subscribes to workers comp, but if your on-the-job injury is caused by a third party, you can bring suit against them, even if you can’t sue your workers’ comp subscribing employer.

Complicated, isn’t it? Of course it is.

This is why you need the help of an experienced attorney to determine whether your injury falls under the state workers’ compensation subscription rules or not. The local experienced work injury attorneys at our Texas Law Offices can effectively help you protect your rights as a worker and help win a fair settlement for your on-the-job injuries. But first, you need to know who is financially obligated to pay the damages owed to you.

How Workers’ Comp Works: Sometimes it Doesn’t Work Very Well for Those Who are Seriously Injured
Think of workers’ compensation is a form of state-managed insurance. It is nothing like a normal business liability insurance policy.

Thanks to recent tort reform on the part of business and insurance lobbyists, workers’ compensation is now designed to protect employers from lawsuits filed by their employees by basically eliminating their right to seek high compensatory damages directly from their employer and their insurance companies.

Workers’ compensation benefits are paid from a state-managed fund; even if the insurance policies themselves are provided by private insurance companies. And as we mentioned, not all Texas, employers subscribe to workers’ compensation insurance.

This insurance “pool” can benefit injured employees, but only to a point. If you are injured on the job and your employer subscribes to workers’ compensation, then you will likely be compensated; regardless of how the accident occurred or whose fault it was. But the downside for you, the employee is that the amount of money a seriously injured worker receives through workers compensation is VERY limited, and doesn’t always cover your medical bills, nor all of you lost wages due to the injury. So if your injury is a major one and you’re not able to work for several months, workers compensation can produce hardship for your family. Workers’ comp essentially works best and most efficiently for minor injuries where the injuries aren’t severe and the employee is able to return to work relatively quickly.

But there might be some good news. For seldom are on-the-job injuries cut-and-dried, even if many, primarily in the insurance industry, might want you to think they are. There are often other sources of compensation revenue that do fall under the workers’ comp injury liability umbrella that may have played a part in your injury, and are legally available to compensate you for your damages. But they’re not easy to find: nor is holding the defendants accountable a simple matter.

Third Party Responsibility for On-The-Job Injuries Justifies Additional Civil Action
We’ve already shown you why you cannot directly file a civil suit against your employer who subscribes to workers’ compensation, and that much of the time workers’ compensation cannot fully pay for your medical expenses and lost wages. This is where an experienced work accident attorney can help you find third-parties who may carry some responsibility.

We investigate every work accident site, review paperwork, interview witnesses and collect forensic evidence that points to every liable contributor to your accident. After careful review of all of the data, most of the time we find another liable defendant or two who are treated as third party defendants to your accident. And they can be sued in open court.

For example, let’s say you work in a warehouse. A truck that is owned by a transportation company hits you. You aren’t entitled to receive damages from your employer past those offered by worker’s compensation if he or she is a subscriber. But you can bring a lawsuit against the transportation company for your injuries. Here’s another example: let’s say instead, that you are injured by a piece of machinery or other equipment that your employer owns. Again, you can’t sue your employer. But if the equipment that caused your injury is proven to be defective, the manufacturer is liable for damages through a product liability lawsuit.

Sometimes multiple third-parties can combine to cause your injury. And regardless of whether your employer subscribes to workers’ compensation or not, these guilty third parties have a responsibility to compensate you for your at-work accident.

Construction site injuries often involve multiple third-party contributors to a work accident. The general contractor might participate in workers’ compensation. So he’s covered. But with so many other contractors and subcontractors scurrying around the job site, many accidents are bound to happen. And not all are covered through workers’ compensation. If a scaffold collapses and you are injured, the company that built the scaffolding could be liable. If defective construction equipment causes you injury, you can likely file a product liability claim against the product’s manufacturer.

The bottom line is that you may have options in addition to workers’ comp to seek payment for damages from your workplace injury. Our work injury lawyers assist you in identifying all likely defendants in your case.

One other thing: we’ve seen many examples where employers “pretend” to have workers’ compensation, but actually don’t. This employer might even further the charade and “pay” you workers compensation benefits after your injury. The first thing we do is investigate your employer’s claim of of being a subscriber to the workers’ comp program. If this claim turns out to be false, and again, if your injuries are significant enough to justify legal action, we will help you file a very strong non-subscriber lawsuit in civil court, and then vigorously represent you.

What Are the Deficiencies of Workers’ Compensation and What Are My Options?
If you suffer a job-related injury and your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, you typically receive up to 70% of your lost income. But there is a cap on this amount of $600 a week. So if you are a carpenter and earn $70,000 per year, are injured on the job and your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, you will receive only $600 per week for lost wages while you recover.

But if you suffer long-term disability and can never return to work, you will STILL ONLY RECEIVE $600 per week for the rest of your life, even though you previously earned about $1400 every week. Now you might receive an additional lump sum payment at the end of your recovery, but most of the time these payments are very small when you compare them to your total lost income, or any lost future wages if the disability is permanent.

There is another disadvantage to employees who are awarded workers’ compensation claims. The amount you receive does not account for lost future potential income. Let’s say you work at a grocery store while attending graduate school at night to earn a graduate degree in business. You are seriously injured on the job, unable to work and are also physically unable to continue your education. You will still receive ONLY 70% of your GROCERY STORE salary FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE (which is probably minimum wage or close to it) rather than the much higher salary you would have earned once you received your MBA.

This is why it is vital for you to have an experienced workplace injury attorney investigate your case. If your employer does not have workers’ comp, you must know so that you can seek a more reasonable settlement. But if your employer does have workers’ comp, you and your attorney need to immediately begin the search for third parties that are liable for the injuries suffered in your work accident, and aggressively pursue any legitimate claims you have against them. Our workplace injury legal professionals’ build very strong cases and fight for your right to receive the fairest compensation you are owed.

Third Party and Non-Subscriber Workplace Injury Defendants Work Hard to Wiggle Out
If your employer does not subscribe to the state’s workers’ compensation insurance program, you have a right to file a traditional personal injury lawsuit against that employer to compensate you for a variety of damages. They may include:

Income you have lost for the time you spent in the hospital.
Your diminished earning capacity if the injury produces long-term disability.
All of your medical-related expenses.
Property damage.
Your physical pain, suffering, and discomfort.
If you can prove that you are suffering mental or emotional distress due to the injury, you may also receive damages to cover these expenses.
One popular defense that is used by your employer (and his attorney) if he or she does not have workers’ compensation insurance and you file suit against that employer in civil court is a very simple one. Your employer will say that you were solely responsible for your injuries: the sole proximate cause. And since the burden of proof is on you, the plaintiff in your civil injury case, it is also on you to DIS-prove all countercharges.

Employers, with the help of their experienced attorneys and insurance companies (if they are insured) usually build a case against an injured employee’s claims by alleging that you alone are at fault for your workplace injury. You and your attorney must turn these allegations and the court’s attention around to where it belongs; your employer. Employers, with the help of their experienced attorneys and insurance companies (if they are insured) usually build a case against an injured employee’s claims by alleging that you alone are at fault for your workplace injury. You and your attorney must turn these allegations and the court’s attention around to where it belongs; your employer.

Let’s say you suffer a lifting injury while you are at work. Your employer will probably say that, since you were working alone at the time and there are no witnesses, your injury must be your own fault. But if our attorneys can link your actions and your injury back to your employer, it’s much easier to prove negligence by your employer and you the odds of winning your case rise significantly.

A couple of ways of proving employer negligence include focusing on their inability or refusal to provide proper safety training or equipment, or they didn’t find another employee to help you lift the heavy or cumbersome object. These are only two – of several – ways to possible employer negligence as a direct cause of your on-the-job injury.

In order to punish non-subscribing employers, Texas workers comp laws enable workplace accident victims to secure much greater damages than if the employer had purchased workers comp insurance. And the workplace accident victim must merely prove standard negligence to win their case, which means the employer only committed a sole error or momentary inability to maintain safety. In a way, once you get them into court, you’ve won more than half the battle because you have a lower standard to prove in order to win your case. But as you can guess, the laws governing these principles are extremely intricate. So in order to succeed you will need a crafty workplace accident lawyer to assist you through every intricacy of this challenging legal process.

But there are times when connecting your injury to your employer this way can involve other difficult to understand forms of legal liability. But Our experienced non-subscriber attorneys, who are thoroughly familiar with work injury law, know how to prove to a jury that your injuries were caused by your employer’s negligence and are not your fault but that of the defendants: non-subscribers or third party defendants.

Another Popular Defense Tactic: Claiming You are Not Really an Employee
The sole proximate cause defense is not the only option that non-subscribers have to deflect liability after an injury has been suffered by an employee. Many clever employers might anticipate an injury and begin avoiding liability for them even before accidents occur by trying to distance themselves from you as an employee, and their responsibility to fairly compensate you. Some even begin building that paper trail to prove their claim beginning the first day you show up for work.

Texas employers are not responsible for what happens to contractors’ on a jobsite injury. So many companies will claim to hire their employees as contractors. By calling you a contractor, your employer believes it’s possible to deny that an employer-employee relationship existed between you and the company, and then they will tell you that you don’t have a legal claim to compensation for your injury-related damages. Their logic is simple: why should they be responsible for an injury to a person who was technically never their employee to begin with?

While many employers try to claim their employees are contractors or temp workers who are employees of a third-party, the employer knows an actual employer-employee relationship exists in many of these cases, and an injured worker can still obtain compensation. So don’t be misled by this ploy. Even though your employer claims you are a contractor, in the eyes of the law you are likely still considered an employee, and are entitled to recover full and fair compensation for injuries that you have suffered on the job.

A skillful and well-seasoned Texas workplace injury accident attorney in Bexar County knows how to prove the employer-employee relationship by meeting at least one the following standards, and often more of them:

Social security or taxes have been withheld from your paycheck by your employer.
The essential equipment for the job was supplied to you by your employer.
Your work has been regularly managed, overseen or inspected by your employer.
A specific work schedule has been set for the job by your employer. You are not free to come-and-go as you please.
Your employer requires you to complete a task or sign a document that limits your rights while working for the employer. The most common examples are taking a drug test or signing a document that states you comply with an employee handbook.
You have been employed for an undetermined period of time and not just for a single job.
You are paid by a salary or an hourly wage and not on a job-by-job basis.
In cases where a worker is borrowed from another company, or a third-party agency, the rules for determining the working relationship are related, but there can be some crucial differences. Some of these conditions may include:

If the borrowing employer has the power to hire or fire a borrowed worker at any time, the worker is clearly an employee. Otherwise, the worker is a contractor.
Most of the time, if the borrowing employer is allowed to pick a particular worker, then the worker is an employee. If the agency that provides the worker is allowed to send any worker they choose, the worker is a contractor.
If the worker must provide them, that person is a contractor. If the employer provides them, the worker is an employee.
If the employment agency can substitute the borrowed worker for another at-will, the worker is a contractor. If the lending agency cannot, then the worker is an employee.
If the worker is borrowed indefinitely, then the worker is an employee. If the worker is borrowed for a specific project with a specific date of completion, the worker is a contractor.
If a worker is being borrowed or “leased” because of a skill that is unique or hard-to-find, then the worker is a contractor. But on the other hand, if an employer borrows a worker to fill a position that just about anyone can fill, then the worker is an employee.
If the borrowing employer agrees to pay the worker’s social security and income tax, then the worker is an employee. If the borrowing employer does not accept this responsibility, then the worker is a contractor.
our Law Firm conducts a thorough investigation to demonstrate the existence of one of these standards and prove an employer-employee relationship existed between you and your employer/defendant. We will depose co-workers, review contracts and examine pay stubs to establish that you were in fact an employee when you suffered an on-the-job injury.

But this topic brings a couple other important things to mind. If you were hired by an employment agency to work at an “employer’s” company and suffered a workplace-related accident, your attorney must determine if the employment agency has workers’ comp. If so, then you would file a workers’ comp claim against the agency, which would then make the company where you actually performed the work a third-party defendant in your accident injury civil case.

Also, if your employer loaned you out to another company where the accident occurred, the issue of workers’ comp subscription with your employer comes to mind and the company where you suffered your injury will likely be treated as a third-party defendant in any civil claim or suit.

This brings another important point to mind. As we have previously told you, workers’ comp claims are less-than adequate when major injuries are involved, including wrongful death. So the traditional way for an employee to recover fair damage compensation is to file a workers’ comp claim against the employer of record (assuming that employer subscribes) and then supplement the claim with the appropriate number of third party claims or lawsuits.

Your Opponents Fight Very Hard to Deny Your Accident-Related Legal Damages
In most non-subscriber and third party workplace injury claims or civil cases, defendants can have large insurance companies and lots of attorneys to oppose you. Or your employer will be “self-insured” or uninsured. Regardless, all fight very hard, to avoid paying for your injuries.

Most non-subscribers are represented by insurance companies that have attorneys who are either on-staff or on permanent retainer. And they are very good at defending insurance companies from people who try to sue them. They’re especially successful against opponents who have no attorney to represent them, or those who hire an attorney who is overmatched against them. Insurance companies are in the business of collecting high premiums, and then avoid paying legitimate claims. They are confrontational and intimidating from the very beginning. They can be dangerous and frustrating. But they don’t scare an experienced work injury attorney like those with our Law Firm who know every trick they pull, and how to neutralize each one.

But self-insured employers or those who have no insurance whatsoever, who are liable for workplace injuries are a different animal and very hazardous to your case. They resort to anything that will work for them once an injured worker takes legal action to recover damages. Some of their tricks are shameful while others can be viewed as downright illegal.

You will be seeking a settlement from an officer of this self-insured company or maybe even directly from your employer if it is a small company. In either event, the salary of whomever you deal with is certainly tied directly to company profits. So, any damage amount paid to you for an injury comes directly out of company income, not a policy or security bond. So when he or she compensates you, your employer literally takes money out his own pocket. We stopped being surprised long ago when we see a sneaky, self-insured company officer use any and all means to deny your claim in order to protect his company’s (and his personal) assets.

Self-insured companies have been known to deliberately dispose of evidence as well bribe or intimidate witnesses; maybe even you. They sometimes resort to physical threats. This is why every time we represent a client against a self-insured company, the first thing we do is to file motions in court that prevent anyone with the company from behaving inappropriately against our clients. Sometimes these motions include a clear demand that they make no attempt to communicate with our clients in any way without one of our attorneys present.

Win the Compensation Your Deserve from Your Job Related Accident by Hiring an Experienced, Local Workplace Injury Attorney with our Law Firm
Our lawyers can help you effectively seek fair compensation for being hurt on the job, through no fault of your own. If your employer has workers’ compensation insurance (or not), we will help you identify, then seek the proper compensation from liable third parties; even if their liability can only be proven based on obscure legal case law. And if your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, we can help you build the strongest non-subscriber lawsuit possible and counter the arguments that are used time and again by these employers and their shifty defense lawyers who help them avoid liability. We will immediately and thoroughly investigate your employer to clearly establish whether or not he or she has workers’ compensation insurance, and plan an effective strategy once that is learned.

But for your sake, please consider this bit of “free” advice.

Before you speak with an insurance company, or accept even a single dollar of payment or compensation from your employer, or sign anything, or attempt to file a lawsuit on your own, you MUST contact a competent lawyer. If you don’t do this, then you will be at the mercy of those who wish to deny you your rights to fair injury compensation.

If you contact us for a free consultation, we will be able to quickly tell you what your legal options are and how we can help you recover the appropriate compensation for your work-related injury.

The injury attorneys at our Texas Law Officess in have regularly secured fair and just compensation amounts for injured workers who were refused assistance by other firms. Not long ago we successfully handled a case for a worker who was injured on the job, but had initially signed-on to his job as an independent contractor. Eight different law firms told him he had no case because the company that hired him used contract workers. And yet, our firm still was able to successfully establish an employer-employee relationship. Because of that small fact, we won a seven-figure settlement for this injured – and very grateful – worker.

Our legal professionals at our Texas Law Offices have been helping injured workers receive the compensation they deserve for over 30 years. We have successfully investigated and resolved hundreds of high-profile work injury cases in our clients’ favor. We have faced-down virtually every major insurance carrier and work injury defense firm in the state. These corporations know how successful our attorneys are. Based on this, they often offer our clients sizable – yet fair – settlements once they we take on the case. This is because past-experience tells them they don’t want to face our lawyers in court.

The best outcome for your workplace injury produces a fair settlement for you without having to go to trial. But if a trial is necessary, we are more than willing to vigorously argue your case in order to win the fair judgment that you deserve from ALL defendants. We represent you to the best of our skill and ability. And if we’re able to secure fair compensation for you without taking your case to court, you can get back on your feet faster and resume living your life.

So if you or someone you love has been hurt on the job, work injury lawyer our lead attorney and his associates at our Texas Law Offices can help you collect the compensation you need and deserve, and bring those responsible for your work injuries to justice. Call us at 1(800) 862-1260.
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Sorting-out Your Full Legal Rights after a Workplace Injury at Your Texas Texas Job
Have you been injured on the job? First, we sincerely hope it is minor; you’ll recover quickly and be able to return to work. But if you’ve been seriously hurt, who pays for your injuries, lost time at work or, heaven forbid, benefits owed because you’re permanently disabled, or your loved one was killed in on the job?

How to handle your claim or civil injury case depends upon the actual details of your accident and the events leading up to it. You must know whether or not the company you work for had workers’ compensation insurance: which pays reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and some disability. You also need to know what to do if your employer is not covered by workers’ comp. And you also must understand if – in the eyes of the law – you are an employee or merely a contractor. Your ability to obtain full, fair compensation for your on-the-job injuries depends on the answers to each one of these important questions in determining how to go about receiving a reasonable damages payment.

Resolving such cases can often be very complex due to the three factors mentioned above and other issues that influence any job-related injury case. And if that wasn’t enough, the complexity and occasional ambiguity of some of our laws allow employers and their insurance providers to unfairly refuse the rightful claims of thousands of injured Texas employees every year. It’s almost certain that inexperienced lawyers will falter in their attempts to secure the highest reasonable settlement in a work accident insurance claim or civil case. And it’s all but a lock that those with no legal experience whatsoever who represent themselves in such a serious matter is virtually certain to fail as well in their quest for rightful compensation.

workers comp attorney our lead attorney and his professional team at our Texas Law Officess have over 30 years of their lives invested in fairly resolving injury claims and civil cases for employees who are injured on-the-job. We use our expertise and skill to help you clearly understand the laws involved with such a case and all of the legal avenues that are open to you following your work accident-related injuries. And we are just as practiced at representing surviving family members when their beloved family member has been accidentally killed on-the-job. This is why we believe that honesty is the best policy in sharing all of the challenges you’re likely to face. For it is you who must make the best-informed judgment in the interests of your family; which is something your employer and his or her insurance company no longer care about – from the moment the mishap occurred.

Employers must protect their own assets! Some of them will attempt to hide whether or not they have workers’ comp insurance. Often, they attempt to evade liability and mislead you, the injured employee. Some might argue that you aren’t an employee to begin with and don’t owe you anything. And with the help of their insurance companies and attorneys, they’ll accuse you of being the actual cause of your own injury. And that’s only the beginning of their mission to deny you. An experienced work accident attorney knows how to counter the tricks of your employer, his lawyers, and pushy, underhanded insurance adjusters.

Determining Employer Workers’ Compensation Status is the First Big Fork in the Road to Recovery
Thanks to our lawmakers (and the insanely affluent insurance lobby) understanding today’s workers’ compensation laws is a thorny challenge. No employer is required by the state of Texas to purchase workers’ comp insurance. Right now, roughly one in two do subscribe to the program. So, workers’ comp injury cases are divided into two distinct types that require completely different starting points (and strategies) to resolve. Employers who carry worker’s comp are referred to as “subscribers.” Those who don’t are “non-subscribers.” In order to know how to proceed with your claim, you must first determine whether or not your employer is one or the other.

Workers’ comp benefits are paid out of a “pool” of funds. This pool is stocked by private insurance carriers that participate in the program. The program also protects subscriber-employers from lawsuits and generally disregards the legal rights of employees to be fairly compensated when the employer is truly negligent, because it legally limits, or “caps,” the monetary benefits an injured employee can receive. If your employer subscribes to workers’ comp, it provides some compensation to injured employees who are hurt on the job. It’s like “no fault” auto insurance for employers because when they’re covered by workers’ comp injured employees are automatically reimbursed: no matter how the accident occurred or whose fault it was. But many times the amount of money you receive doesn’t come close to fully covering the actual expenses of an on the job injury if it is a severe one. And we’ll visit further with you about that in a bit.

But on the other hand, in order to receive financial restitution from a non-subscriber to workers’ comp, an injury victim must file an insurance claim and then, if-necessary, a lawsuit in civil court. Otherwise they receive nothing. Fortunately, for the injured worker, there is a small victory. In order for the legislature to “encourage” Texas employers to subscribe to workers’ comp, they lowered the standards of proof for negligence in the event of a civil case or claim against a non-subscriber. So it’s not as difficult to affix true liability against a non-subscribing employer for on-the-job accidents in court, and win fair compensation.

Since workers’ comp is cheaper than commercial employer liability insurance, one would assume all companies would be smart and purchase workers’ comp instead. But not every employer treats his business like a smart homeowner treats their home: the first check goes to the mortgage company and the second one goes to that (cheaper) insurance. So many employers still choose “live on the edge” and risk being a non-subscriber (or have no insurance at all). Then, when the odds catch-up with them, they run for cover to avoid a lawsuit. A favorite tactic of such people is to fake having workers’ comp once one an employee is seriously injured. These employers may try to quickly pay you benefits you would typically receive from workers’ comp and ask you to sign what they may represent as a “standard release” in order to further their deception and get off the hook. But it’s a trick so don’t fall for it: even if the document you sign “looks” official.

This is one of many tricks that awaits you without the benefit from an experienced Bexar County workers’ comp attorney to get to the bottom of your company’s workers’ comp status, so you know what legal recourse is available to you. Once we have answered this vital question, we can then move forward together to secure your just injury compensation.

The Single Exception That Allows Injured Employees to Sue Workers’ Comp Subscribers
Did You Know?
Our Texas work injury attorneys have won thousands of cases. Call us today to discuss your case. 1(800) 862-1260

We’ve told you that when they subscribe to workers’ comp insurance, employers get far more than just quick, no-fault and “capped” liability protection. They are also virtually bulletproof when it comes to civil lawsuits. Unless the employer has committed gross negligence that caused a wrongful workplace death, they cannot be sued.

In one case, our attorneys were hired by the loved ones of a construction worker who died after a fall from a crane. The employer had ordered the worker to work atop the rig without the mandatory safety harness. When the victim plummeted to his death, his employer rushed to a construction supply store, purchased a safety harness, attached it to the dead man and then reported the accident to the authorities. Our investigators were able to uncover this willful deception by interviewing the co-workers, and hit him with a very expensive (and successful) gross negligence wrongful death lawsuit. So there’s truth to the saying that it’s not the act itself that gets you in trouble, it’s the cover-up.

However, if standard negligence applies to the wrongful death, subscribing employers are off-the-hook. And the facts of the case must be clearly overwhelming in order to prove gross negligence. So whichever contributing insurance company is responsible for negotiating a settlement; again, with benefit caps, the odds are highly unlikely that the victim, or the victim’s survivors if a death has occurred, will receive the equitable compensation to which they are entitled if they go-it alone.

In a perfect world, insurance providers would be concerned with tending to the legitimate needs of injured parties, and victims would receive fair compensation for all medical bills, lost salary, pain and suffering. But this the real world and far from fair or perfect: in spite of what some of these insurance companies who participate in workers’ comp try to say in the altruistic tone of their advertising and public relations’ campaigns. Insurance companies are in business to generate profits not help people. And those who underwrite the workers’ comp pool are no exception. Insurance companies try to avoid fairly compensating injured employees every year in South Central Texas and throughout the Lone Star State. Insurers that participate in the state’s workers’ comp coverage pool are just doing it – while the legislature looks the other way.

But there’s another very effective avenue to receiving fair workplace injury compensation. It calls for the injured employee to file a claim or civil action against someone other than the subscribing employer, which is commonly known as a third-party lawsuit:

In many cases, someone besides the employer may have done something negligent to cause a workplace injury. If a faulty piece of machinery caused the serious mishap, the manufacturer may be held accountable through a defective product lawsuit. If the owner of the property did not provide safe working conditions, then he or she could be held accountable. If another employee or a visiting contractor or one of the contractor’s employees negligently caused the injury, then they could be held accountable. In such a case, you can sue the responsible party or parties but not your subscribing employer. Experience, and the ability to properly investigate not only the accident scene but the roles these third parties played in the calamity is required in order to properly identify all of the parties responsible and make them pay for the injuries they cause. A skillful work accident attorney can devise a plan of attack for workplace injury cases that offer the best opportunity to secure compensation in a complex Texas work accident claim like this.

Receiving Compensation from Liable Non-Subscribers is More Straightforward, but Still Quite Hard and Contentious
We’ve already mentioned how it comes as no surprise that many employers neglect to purchase workers’ comp, or any other form of insurance. If you are to receive the compensation you deserve from non-subscribing employers, you certainly need the assistance of a skilled Texas work accident attorney to file a lawsuit and see it through in order to receive the fair compensation you deserve as a result of their negligence.

In addition to lowering standards of proof against non-subscribers in the wake of a serious workplace accident, the legislature allows the seriously injured victim the opportunity to receive much greater damage amounts than workers’ comp payouts; and also offers a larger number of damage types than available through workers’ comp. They really wanted all businesses to subscribe to the program, didn’t they? But with all these exceptions and loopholes, you can guess that the laws governing workplace civil action are extremely intricate. So in order to succeed you will need a crafty accident lawyer to assist you through every complexity of this challenging legal process.

The great majority of non-subscriber compensation journeys begin when the victim, also known as the plaintiff, informs the employer his or her intent to recover compensation for his or her injury; and possibly a dollar amount that the victim expects as fair reimbursement. The employer can agree: but good luck with that. This employer has some sort of insurance or surety bond to cover these matters. If they have insurance, they just had it over to their carrier in which case you (and your attorney if you’re smart) try to negotiate a settlement; assuming that the insurance company doesn’t automatically dispute your allegations outright. But if negotiations progress in-good-faith, usually because your experienced work accident lawyer makes it clear that you have a very strong case. Then the matter is settled, you are fairly compensated and everyone returns to their regular lives.

But most often, work-related injury cases are contested by the defense and the plaintiff must file a lawsuit to win the compensation he or she deserves. As the injured party, you – the plaintiff – holds the burden for proving that the employer’s negligence caused the injury that left you with those high medical bills, lost salary, pain and suffering. Aren’t you glad that in this case you only have to prove simple negligence? Because with experienced legal counsel, that task is much easier than trying to adhere to higher standards of proof.

Defendants Will Certainly Charge you as Being the Sole Proximate Cause of the Accident
Your workers’ comp non-subscribing employer is certainly not likely to suddenly change his or her nature and agree to pay you for the harm you’ve suffered due to that negligence. Our experience in these matters has taught us that most non-subscribers’ insurance companies (and their lawyers if it comes down to a trial) begin their defense with a couple of relatively predictable strategies to avoid paying injured employees the restitution they deserve.

We’ve mentioned the sole proximate cause defense. And in on order to make an effective case your opponents will literally add insult to your injuries and soil your reputation by charging you were a negligent employee and caused your own injuries. They try to hold you alone responsible for them.

But this is the first step of their besmirchment campaign. Your character comes into question: ‘When did you stop beating your wife? and, Did we see you selling drugs on the job site?’ questions begin popping up. They have no shame (or aversion) to painting the wrong picture of you as they desperately try to wiggle out of paying rightful damages. So in addition to your burden of proof, you and your attorney have an equally-important burden of dis-proof. And insurance defense lawyers know how close to the line truth and lie they can go without stepping over it; yet still make their sinister points against you.

Your employer may have been too cheap to buy workers’ comp coverage. But you can be sure that he or she will think nothing of paying tens of thousands of dollars to defend themselves. You need your own cunning work accident attorney to place the spotlight back where it belongs; squarely on the negligent employer.

The Next Defense: Questioning the Existence of an Employer-Employee Relationship
The sole proximate cause defense has been thwarted. But there’s another defense trick awaiting you. Many clever employers begin avoiding liability even before accidents occur by trying to distance themselves from you as an employee, and their responsibility to fairly compensate you. Some even begin building that paper trail to prove their argument from the first day you show up for work.

Texas employers are not liable for what happens to contractors’, vis-à-vis jobsite injury liability. So many companies will claim to hire their employees as contractors. By calling you a contractor, your employer believes it’s possible to deny that an employer-employee relationship existed between you and the company, and then they will tell you that you don’t have a legal claim to compensation for your injury-related damages. Their logic is simple: why should they be responsible for an injury to a person who was technically never their employee to begin with?

While many companies try to claim they hire their employees as contractors or as temp workers through a third-party, the business owner knows an actual employer-employee relationship exists in many of these cases, and an injured worker can still obtain compensation. So don’t be discouraged by this ploy. Even though your employer initially claims you are a contractor, you are likely still considered an employee in the eyes of the law; and entitled to recover financial compensation for injuries suffered on the job.

A skillful and well-seasoned Bexar County workplace employee injury attorney knows how to prove the employer-employee relationship by meeting at least one the following standards; and often proves more than two:

Social security and/or withholding taxes have been deducted from your paycheck by your employer.
The essential equipment for the job was supplied by your employer.
Your work has been regularly managed, overseen or inspected by your employer.
A specific work schedule has been set for the job by your employer. You are not free to come-and-go from the workplace as you please.
Your employer requires you to complete a task or sign a document that limits your rights while working for the employer. The most common examples are taking a drug test or signing a document that states you comply with an employee handbook.
You have been employed for an undetermined period of time and not just for a single job.
You are paid by a salary or an hourly wage and not on a job-by-job basis.
In cases where a worker is borrowed from another company, or a third-party agency, the rules for determining the working relationship are related, but there can be some crucial differences. Some of these conditions may include:

If the borrowing employer has the power to hire or fire a borrowed worker at any time, the worker is clearly an employee. Otherwise, the worker is a contractor.
Most of the time, if the borrowing employer is allowed to pick a particular worker, then the worker is an employee. If the agency that provides the worker is allowed to send any worker they choose, the worker is a contractor.
If the worker must provide them, that person is a contractor. If the employer provides them, the worker is an employee.
If the employment agency can substitute the borrowed worker for another at-will, the worker is a contractor. If the lending agency cannot, then the worker is an employee.
If the worker is borrowed indefinitely, then the worker is an employee. If the worker is borrowed for a specific project with a specific date of completion and no further, the worker is a contractor.
If a worker is being borrowed or “leased” because of a skill that is unique or hard-to-find, then the worker is a contractor. But on the other hand, if an employer borrows a worker to fill a position that just about anyone can fill, then the worker is an employee.
If the borrowing employer agrees to pay the worker’s social security and income tax, then the worker is an employee. If the borrowing employer does not accept this responsibility, then the worker is a contractor.
our Law Firms conducts a thorough investigation to demonstrate the existence of at least one of these standards and prove an employer-employee relationship existed between the two of you. We will depose co-workers, review contracts and examine pay stubs to establish that you were in fact an employee when you suffered an on-the-job injury.

A couple other things that are important: if you were hired by an employment agency to work at an “employer’s” company and suffered a workplace-related injury or accidental death, your attorney must determine if the employment agency has workers’ comp. If so, then you would file a workers’ comp claim against the agency, which would then make the company where you actually performed the work a third-party contributor to the accident and subject to the full extent of civil law. Also, if your employer loaned you out to another company where the accident occurred, the issue of workers’ comp subscription with your employer comes to mind and the company where you suffered your injury will likely be treated as a third-party defendant in any civil claim or suit. Or maybe they’re both non-subscribers in which case, there are no civil restrictions.

This brings another important point to mind. As we have previously told you, workers’ comp claims are less-than adequate when major injuries are involved, including wrongful death. So the traditional way for an employee to recover fair damage compensation is to file a workers’ comp claim against the employer of record (assuming that employer subscribes) and then supplement the claim with the appropriate number of third party claims or lawsuits.

And finally, sometimes employers will deduct those Social security and withholding taxes and then put the money in their pocket, then try to claim an employer/employee relationship did not exist. They change their tune if we ask if the IRS will back them up. Then they change their tune really quickly. They know that we’ll know that truth in less than five minutes. Some people: and another benefit delivered by an experienced workplace injury lawyer.

Your Opponents Fight Very Hard in a Workplace Accident Liability Case
In all non-subscriber and third party workplace injury claims defendants usually have large insurance companies and lots of attorneys to oppose you. They have sneaky underhanded adjusters to thwart your claims and work behind the scenes to deny you. They also have attorneys either on-staff or on permanent retainer. And they are very skilled at defending insurance companies from people who try to sue them. Insurance companies are in the business of collecting high premiums, and then avoid paying claims. They are confrontational and intimidating from the start. But they don’t scare an experienced local work accident attorney like those with our Law Firm. We’ve seen their tricks and know what to do to cut them down to size.

But if your employer is “self-insured” or uninsured, they’ll fight just as hard to avoid paying for your injuries. But these people are a lot more dangerous to your legal rights, and maybe even pose a direct threat to you and your family’s physical well-being. They’re a different animal altogether. Insurance companies have at least some semblance of a code of ethics and oversight. But none of these concern self-insured or uninsured employers. So with them, the gloves come off. They resort to anything that will work for them once an injured employee takes legal action to recover damages. Some of their tricks are shameful at-best. Others are utterly illegal.

You will be seeking a settlement from an officer of the self-insured company or maybe even directly from your employer if it is a small company. In either event, the salary of whomever you deal with is likely tied directly to company profits. Any damage amount paid to you for an injury comes directly out of company coffers. So by compensating you, your employer literally takes money out his own pocket. We are rarely surprised when a sneaky, self-insured company officer uses any and all means to deny your claim in order to protect his company’s (and his personal) assets. Remember that construction accident guy who bought that safety harness? We see that in uninsured employers rather often.

Self-insured companies can deliberately dispose of evidence and bribe or intimidate witnesses. They sometimes resort to physical threats against you or your family. This is why every time we represent a client against a self-insured company, the first thing we do is to file motions in court that prevent anyone with the company from behaving improperly against our clients. Sometimes these motions include a clear demand that they make no attempt to communicate with our clients in any way without one of our attorneys present.

OSHA Is of Little Use in an Injury Liability Claim or Legal Case
You are probably familiar with this government organization, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). This federal agency maintains minimum standards of safety for all American employers. And you might think OSHA will help you attain compensation. Nothing could be further from the truth. OSHA does not file lawsuits on behalf of injured employees. All it does is oversee the worker environment in the U.S, crunch numbers and assess fines. And for the past 30 years, OSHA regulations, and the fines levied for employer non-compliance have lost most of their teeth.

OSHA fines were set long ago and no longer carry the proper financial motivation to convince safety violators to comply with these government standards. Many of these fine amounts were established over 30 years ago and though they might have encouraged conformity back then, inflation and other economic factors make many OSHA fines little more than a slap on the wrist. A $10,000 fine just doesn’t strike the fear in the hearts of employers like it did during the Reagan Administration. Additionally, over the years OSHA has become more restricted in the actions and investigations it can make, due to smaller staff sizes and operational budgets. Today, OSHA has been all but emasculated when it comes to preventing on-the-job injuries.

Furthermore, OSHA cannot make any direct effort to help injured workers secure compensation for the damages that have been inflicted upon them. Only after an accident has occurred will OSHA investigate negligence, and their reports are designed to stop future problems; not correct past mistakes or oversights. And though that data might be considered general evidence at a trial, OSHA is basically an example of closing the barn door long after the cow escapes: when it comes to aiding your compensation quest.

The Most Important Thing You Need to Do Right Now, and Why
The first thing you need to understand after a serious work injury is this. Before you speak with an insurance company, or accept even a single dollar of payment or compensation from your employer, or sign anything, or attempt to file a lawsuit on your own, you must contact a competent lawyer. All of your opponents want you to accept an substandard settlement, so they can save their own money. Don’t be taken advantage of.

Then, you must realize the critical importance of acting swiftly. In work accident cases, the evidence begins to fade immediately following the accident. The physical details of the accident scene itself can change literally overnight, especially if there is something to hide. And witnesses change their stories or forget what they saw because the mind is a mysterious thing. Sometimes, they’ve even been paid to forget, or to “take a nice long vacation.” If you wait too long to hire an attorney and put him to work investigating the trail of evidence, then you are doing untold damage to your ability to secure the fair restitution you deserve.

An experienced work accident attorney with our Law Firms helps injured Texas employees deal with their challenging work-injury cases. We have spent over 30 years accumulating the expertise required to help injured workers just like you to receive the compensation they deserve for their medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering and disability; as well as family survivors of wrongful death accident victims in the workplace.

You have the opportunity to put our experience to work for you. If you want to know what your rights are, how to proceed with your claim and how much compensation you can reasonably expect to secure, then we can answer your questions. Call our Law Firm now at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll free) or fill out the form at the top of this page for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

You’ve been hurt once. Don’t let those who negligently caused you work accident injury to continue victimizing you and your family.
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