Work injuries and workplace accidents can take a severe toll on the injured and their families. Victims may suffer serious and catastrophic physical harm, resulting in expensive medical bills and other damages. Your injuries may also lead to time lost at work and mental pain and suffering. You deserve compensation for your losses. A Fort Worth work injury lawyer with the Law Office of Domingo Garcia can help you or your injured loved one seek recovery with an insurance claim or lawsuit against the parties liable for your injuries. We can take care of your case so that you can take care of yourself and your family.
You may be able to get compensation after your DFW, Fort Worth, TX work accident. This will depend on the type of claim you file.
Occupational Injuries and Fatalities in Texas
According to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), more than 178,000 reported non-fatal workplace injuries occurred in Texas in 2020. Industry sectors with the highest rate of reported incidents include:
- Health care and social assistance
- Retail trade
- Transportation and warehousing
- Accommodation and food services
- Professional and business services
- Wholesale trade
The TDI also reports that the construction industry had the highest number of fatal injuries in 2020, with 469 work-related deaths. Other sectors with a high rate of fatal work accidents include:
- Transportation and warehousing (96 fatal injuries)
- Natural resources and mining (54 fatal injuries)
- Professional and business services (45 fatal injuries)
- Manufacturing (29 fatal injuries)
We Assist Workers from Various Industries
Attorney Domingo Garcia and his team of personal injury attorneys help workers from various industries, including:
- Construction workers
- Commercial vehicle drivers
- Factory employees
- Warehouse workers
- Oil field workers
- Garbage and sanitation workers
- Farmers and agricultural workers
- And more
Our practice is not limited to the professions listed. If you suffered injuries on the job, our Fort Worth work injury lawyers can help you seek justice. If someone else’s negligent, wrongful, or reckless actions caused you harm, we will fight to hold them financially responsible.
Leading Causes of Work Injuries
According to the National Safety Council, the top three causes of workplace injuries in 2020 were exposure to harmful substances or environments, overexertion and bodily reaction, and slips, trips, and falls. These types of accidents account for 75 percent of all nonfatal injuries and illnesses resulting in days missed from work.
- Exposure to harmful substances and environments: Accidents of this type involve exposure to extreme temperatures, radiation, noise, electricity, traumatic and stressful events, and oxygen deficiency. Exposure to harmful substances also includes exposure to contagious and infectious diseases. Before the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, exposure was the fourth leading cause of workplace injuries. As of 2020, the NSC reports 43.5 exposure injuries and illnesses per 10,000 full-time workers, with those in the health care and social assistance sector most at risk. The average time lost at work due to exposure injuries is 13 days.
- Overexertion and bodily reaction: This type of injury results from excessive physical effort or repetitively performing the same task. Heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, turning, throwing, carrying, and holding can lead to overexertion and bodily reaction injuries, with the back being the most commonly injured part of the body. According to the NSC, this type of injury accounts for around 22 percent of all workplace injuries, and the most at-risk employees are those in the transportation and warehousing sector. The average number of days missed at work due to overexertion and bodily reaction injuries is 14.
- Slips, trips, and falls. Slips, trips, and falls are responsible for 18 percent of work injuries, and the most at-risk sectors are transportation and warehousing, and agriculture. The most common types of fall injuries include tears, sprains, and strains. The average time lost at work due to a fall is 14 days. The NSC identifies four types of slip, trip, and fall events:
- Slips and trips without falling: Injuries occur when a worker catches themselves from falling after a slip or trip
- Falls on the same level: Includes falls while sitting, slipping, tripping, and falling into or against an object on the same level
- Falls to a lower level: Includes falls from ladders, rooftops, scaffolding, collapsing structures, and falls through surfaces
- Jumping to a lower level: Categorized differently than falls because they are controlled and intentional but can still result in injury
Before 2020, the third leading cause of workplace injuries was contact with objects and equipment. This type of accident still accounts for more than 16 percent of workplace accidents. Incidents of this type include:
- A moving object striking a worker (including a motor vehicle or machinery)
- A worker getting squeezed, compressed, crushed, or pinched in equipment
- A worker getting caught, pinched, or crushed between shifting objects, stationary objects, or in a wire or rope
- A worker striking against an object or equipment
- Getting pushed or thrown into an object
- A worker getting caught or crushed by a collapsing structure, equipment, or material
- A worker being injured by vibration
Other types of workplace accidents include:
- Oil rig accidents
- Mining and excavating accidents
- Workplace assaults/violence
- Construction vehicle accidents
- Heavy equipment accidents
- Scaffolding accidents
- Fires and explosions
Work Injuries Can Upend Your Life
Work accidents can result in severe, permanent, and disabling injuries. You or your loved one may suffer from:
- Burns: Of course, fire and contact with hot surfaces cause burns, but burns can also result from exposure to electricity, radiation, and chemicals (including cement, acids, and industrial cleaners). According to the Cleveland Clinic, first-degree burns rarely require hospitalization, but second and third-degree burns can be moderate to severe. Potential complications of a third-degree burn include organ failure, pneumonia, severe infection leading to amputation or sepsis, and heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmia). Treating a serious burn may require surgeries, skin grafts, hospitalization, and care from a specialized burn center.
- Back and neck injuries: According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, back pain is the number one cause of disability in working adults. Back and neck pain can result from a sudden, traumatic injury (like a fall). . Back and neck pain can limit mobility, restrict day-to-day activities, and reduce your quality of life. Treatment for back and neck injuries includes nerve blockers, pain medications, physical therapy, injections for pain, and surgery.
- Broken bones (fractures): According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), falls and motor vehicle accidents are two primary causes of broken bones. Some fractures can be severe, resulting in multiple breaks, crushed bones, or bones that puncture the skin. While some broken bones heal relatively quickly with the aid of a cast or brace, other breaks may require surgery or time in traction. In addition, severe breaks can result in significant work loss and may leave the sufferer with permanent mobility issues or chronic pain.
- Hearing loss: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that nearly 25 percent of hearing problems in U.S. workers are due to occupational exposure. The leading causes of occupational hearing loss (OHL) are loud noises and exposure to ototoxic chemicals (solvents, metals and compounds, nitriles, pharmaceuticals, and asphyxiants).
- Eye injuries: According to the Cleveland Clinic, construction workers and people who work around chemicals, potential irritants, and lasers have a high risk of occupational eye injuries. Common eye injuries include burns due to chemicals/irritants, corneal abrasions, bleeding, and orbital (eye socket) fractures. The most common causes of injuries due to a foreign object in the eye are sawdust, dirt, shattered glass, and debris.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): Falls, explosions, and motor vehicle collisions are among the leading causes of TBIs, according to the Mayo Clinic. Moderate to severe head injuries can have a range of complications, including loss of memory, loss of balance and coordination, speech problems, behavioral changes, depression, loss of cognitive functioning, seizures, and coma. TBI sufferers may need surgery, rehabilitation, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and long-term nursing assistance.
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), work injuries cause a “significant portion” of SCIs. Symptoms of an SCI vary depending on the location and severity of the injury. Complete injuries leave individuals fully paralyzed below the injury site, while those with incomplete injuries experience some mobility and sensation below the point of injury. SCIs can also cause severe secondary conditions, including urinary tract infections (UTIs), pressure ulcers (bedsores), chronic pain, and respiratory problems. Individuals who suffer an SCI may become dependent on caregivers.
The above list by no means exhausts the injuries that workers can sustain during an accident. If you suffered a work injury of any type in Fort Worth, our lawyers are here to help you pursue the compensation you need to care for yourself and your family. We want you to have access to the treatment you need to heal, and we believe that should not come at the expense of your family’s savings or financial future.
Texas Workers Have the Right to a Safe Workplace
Employers in Texas owe workers a legal duty of care to provide a reasonably safe working environment. Additionally, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) oversees safety regulations for most private sector employers and employees in all 50 states. According to OSHA, federal law also guarantees workers the right to a safe working environment.
Under U.S. law, workers have the right to:
- Workplace health and safety training (in a language you understand)
- Work on safe machines
- Safety equipment, including gloves, harnesses, and lifelines for falls
- Protection from toxic chemicals
- View results of testing conducted to find workplace hazards
- Request an OSHA inspection or speak with an inspector
- Report an illness or injury
- Receive copies of their medical records
- Review records of work injuries and illnesses
Furthermore, workers have the right to speak out about health and safety hazards. It is illegal for employers to punish or retaliate against workers for citing violations, communicating with OSHA, or taking legal action.
Unfortunately, employers and supervisors do not always comply with OSHA standards. According to OSHA, the top 10 most cited safety standard violations are:
- Fall protection issues (construction)
- Respiratory protection issues (general industry)
- Ladder issues (construction)
- Lack of communication regarding hazardous materials (general industry)
- Scaffolding issues (construction)
- Lack of fall protection training (construction)
- Failure to lockout/tagout equipment and machinery (general industry)
- Lack of eye and face protection (construction)
- Forklift and other industrial truck issues (general industry)
- Machinery and machine guarding issues (general industry)
Liability for Your Work Injury
When an employer fails to uphold their duty of care and an employee suffers an injury as a result, that employer may be liable. However, in some cases, a negligent third party may be responsible. Our team can investigate your Fort Worth work accident and determine who or what caused your injuries. We can then assist you with an insurance claim or lawsuit against a non-subscriber employer or a third party.
Examples of liable third parties include:
- Electricians, plumbers, and other subcontractors
- Project managers
- Designers and architects
- A machine or equipment manufacturer
- A coworker
- A manager or supervisor
- A property manager
- A business or property owner
- A job-site supplier
- An entity in charge of building, equipment, or vehicle maintenance
The Elements of Negligence
Proving that another person’s reckless, wrongful, or negligent actions led to your injury and financial damages requires four essential elements. Let’s look at each element using an example. Say you suffered a fall from heights on a construction job due to your employer failing to provide fall safety protections:
- Duty of care: As mentioned, Texas and federal laws state that your employer has a duty of care to provide you with a reasonably safe work environment. OSHA also has regulations requiring fall protections.
- Breach of duty: Your employer breached their duty of care by failing to provide mandated fall safety equipment.
- Causation: Your fall resulted from the lack of protections and would not have occurred had the protections been in place.
- Damages: Your fall caused physical injury, financial losses, and pain and suffering.
Our Fort Worth work injury lawyers can help you gather evidence and construct your case. We will use our legal experience and knowledge of state and federal law to prove that someone else is responsible for your injury and should pay for your damages.
Our Fort Worth Attorneys Will Aggressively Pursue Compensation on Your Behalf
A serious and catastrophic injury can significantly alter your life. In addition to physical harm, you can suffer mentally, emotionally, and financially. If you have a permanent or disabling injury, there are ways your life may never be the same as before your work accident.
You deserve compensation for your tangible and intangible losses. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 41, you can recover:
Economic damages are your calculable financial losses, including:
- Medical bills: If you have a severe injury, a significant portion of your damages is likely medical expenses. Our Fort Worth injury lawyers can help you pursue reimbursement for your past and future medical needs, including emergency transportation and treatment, hospitalizations, medical procedures and follow-up care, doctor and hospital bills, physical therapy and rehabilitation, medications, medical devices, mobility aids, mental health services, long-term nursing care, in-home health care, and hospice.
- Lost wages: Another financial problem for many injured workers is their inability to continue working (or working their usual job) during recovery. Those who suffer a disabling injury may never be able to return to work or their previous position. We can help you recover pay lost due to your injury, including benefits, bonuses, and tips. In addition, if you must cut back on hours, change jobs, or leave the workforce, we can pursue compensation for the loss of your future earning capacity.
- Property damages: Depending on the circumstances of your work accident, you may have personal property damages. Awards cover the cost of repairing or replacing any property you own that sustained damage, including vehicles, tools and equipment, cell phones, electronics, and other items.
- Miscellaneous expenses: You may need to pay for services you cannot perform because of your injuries, such as cleaning, cooking, lawn care, and child care. You may also need to modify your vehicle or living space to accommodate your injury, including adding ramps, railings, or stairlifts. We can help you recover these and other costs resulting from your work accident.
Noneconomic damages compensate those injured for how their accident has affected them physically, mentally, and emotionally. Our lawyers can pursue noneconomic compensation, also called pain and suffering damages, for:
- Chronic pain
- Loss of limb
- Loss of a body part or bodily function
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Other quality of life reductions
According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 71, if your loved one suffered a fatal work injury because of someone else’s “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default,” you can pursue wrongful death compensation. Under the law, the deceased’s surviving spouse, children, or parents can take action. If no survivors bring a claim, the deceased’s personal representative (executor) can file suit on behalf of the deceased’s estate and beneficiaries.
Wrongful death awards may include:
- Medical bills related to your loved one’s fatal injury
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Your loved one’s lost income (including lost inheritance they would have saved had they lived)
- Loss of your family member’s support, love, services, care, and guidance
- Surviving family members’ pain and suffering
Rarely, injury victims will receive punitive damages. This form of compensation is not meant to award the injured but rather to punish the liable party for their wrongful actions. The court will only award punitive damages if it believes the wrongful party acted with intentional malice or gross negligence.
There is a cap on punitive damages in Texas. If your case qualifies for this type of compensation, our attorneys can tell you more.
We Want to Help You Get the Maximum Compensation Available for Your Work Injury
Every case is different, so it is hard to estimate your damages without first speaking to you during a consultation. However, factors that can affect the value of your case include:
- Your age
- Your wages at the time of your accident
- The length of your recovery/time out of work
- The severity of your injuries
- Whether you suffered a permanent or disabling injury
- The extent of your medical treatment
- Your expected lifecare costs
- The extent of your pain and suffering
Our lawyers will help you calculate your losses by reviewing your bills, receipts, and other proof of expenses. We can also work with medical professionals, economists, and vocational experts to understand more about the cost of your future treatment, your ability to work, how your injuries interfere with your day-to-day life, and the overall economic impact of your work accident.
Pain and suffering damages are subjective, but you can help by keeping a daily log detailing your physical pain, mental and emotional state, and ways your injuries interfere with your life.
Our Attorneys Have Secured Multi-Million Dollar Work Injury Settlements and Verdicts
Attorney Domingo Garcia has fought for injured clients for more than 35 years. He and his team of injury attorneys have won millions of dollars for those harmed by work accidents. Our case results include:
- A $26.5 million jury verdict for injuries caused by a failure to provide fall protection equipment training
- A $5 million settlement for a client injured in a construction scaffolding fall
- A $3.75 million settlement for a client who sustained a paralyzing injury due to improper guardrail maintenance
- A $1.55 million settlement for a worker injured during an off-shore incident
- A $1.075 million settlement for an oil field blowout incident
- A $2,100,000 settlement for a female employee that suffered a serious hand injury due to a piece of machinery missing a safety guard.
Let Domingo Garcia Advocate for You
You have enough on your plate recovering from your injury or caring for your hurt loved one. Our team can be your voice. We can shoulder your legal or insurance burden so that you can turn your attention to your recovery and your family.
Let our team handle the details. We will:
- Collect evidence: Building a strong case takes time and effort. We will do the work necessary to obtain medical bills, receipts, work records, and other documents related to your case. We can take photographs of your injuries and the site of your work accident, gather physical evidence, and track down available surveillance or cell phone footage. We can also locate and interview eyewitnesses and hire experts to testify on your behalf.
- File your case on time: According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, you have up to two years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, the court will likely throw out your case. An expired statute of limitations will also hurt your bargaining power when seeking an insurance settlement. Our lawyers will ensure you do not miss filing deadlines. However, do not wait too long to get started on your case.
- Communicate and negotiate: Our team will handle all phone calls, emails, and meetings with insurance agents and opposing attorneys. This saves you time and effort and prevents you from accidentally saying or doing something that could hurt your case. During negotiations, we will work tirelessly to secure the most advantageous outcome possible. However, if we cannot settle outside of court, we are not afraid to take your case to trial.
- Provide you with support and updates: Our team will stand by your side through every step of your case. We will help you get a medical examination and treatment, and we offer free consultations and medical care until we win your case. Additionally, we strive to promptly return your phone calls and emails, and provide you with frequent updates.
- Take your case on contingency: We believe everyone deserves quality legal representation, and your current financial situation should not be a barrier to seeking justice. Therefore, we charge nothing upfront or out of pocket. Our fees come from a percentage of your settlement or verdict, and we do not get paid unless we win.
How Can You Help?
You can help increase your chances of a successful case resolution by following these client do’s and don’ts:
- See a doctor immediately if you have not done so already
- Follow your doctor’s orders
- Save medical items, including prescription bottles, crutches, casts, wheelchairs, etc.
- Obtain and save receipts itemizing your expenses
- Inform your attorney of any change of address, contact information, or employment
- Keep your attorney updated on new or ongoing injuries or medical treatment
- Do not:
- Skip medical appointments
- Fail to inform your doctor about medical problems
- Discuss your case with anyone other than your health care providers and our legal team
- Post about your work accident or injuries on social media
- If the insurance company contacts you, do not go into detail about your accident, injury, or medical treatment (instead, direct them to your lawyer)
- Give a recorded statement to the insurance company
- Accept an initial, low-ball settlement
Reach Out for Help With Your Fort Worth Work Injury Case
Contact the Law Office of Domingo Garcia today to learn more about how our Fort Worth work injury lawyers can help you get your life back on track. A member of our team is available 24/7 to take your call, answer your questions, and get you started with a free case evaluation.