If you have been injured in a work-related accident, you may think that applying for workers' compensation benefits is the only available option for getting medical care expenses covered and your wage losses at least partially reimbursed. You may have even been told this by your employer, a supervisor or a co-worker. What you need to know is that this may not be accurate in your case.
In fact, many workplace accident victims have valid personal injury claims they could pursue against negligent third parties and even against their own employers. It is also a commonly held misconception that you cannot apply for and receive workers' compensation benefits while still retaining the right to sue a third party or employer.
Generally speaking, job-related injuries that are caused by the ordinary negligence of a worker's employer or by the actions of a co-worker will not create a valid legal cause of action for personal injury.
Texas, however, does allow workers to pursue personal injury lawsuits against employers for gross negligence, which has been defined as an act or omission involving subjective awareness of an extreme degree of risk, indicating conscious indifference to the rights, safety or welfare of others. In our experience, this level of negligence is most common among employers in the already dangerous fields of industrial operations, manufacturing, construction and oil drilling.
Injured workers may also seek to recover compensation for injuries and other damages from any third parties whose actions (or employees' actions) caused or contributed to causing the accidents. Such third parties typically include manufacturers of defective products, outside vendors and service providers, and employers who have workers present at a job or construction site.
If you do have a viable personal injury claim, and we can accept your case, rest assured that our law firm will spare no amount of effort or resource to see that you receive the compensation you deserve. If you want or need the kind of legal help we offer, contact us at 903.759.2200 for a free consultation with one of our attorneys. We handle workplace accident and injury cases on a contingency basis, which means that you will not be asked to pay our firm any legal fees unless we obtain a verdict or settlement on your behalf.