You and your family rely on a steady paycheck to make ends meet. If you suffer a catastrophic injury while at work in Tyler or Longview, Texas, or if your loved one passed away from a work-related injury, you could be looking at severe financial trouble, to say nothing of the accident’s physical and emotional consequences on your life and health.
A Tyler work injury lawyer from the Law Office of Domingo Garcia can work to win you enough compensation to make up for the money you have lost and get your family back on their feet. We can even offer free medical treatment until your case is settled.
Our Work Injury Lawyers Can Handle Your Case
After a devastating work injury, your primary concern should be getting better to the extent possible. This may include:
- Getting immediate medical attention
- Following all of your doctor’s recommendations, up to and including surgery, taking all prescribed medications, and keeping all appointments
- Taking time away from work and resting so your injuries have time to heal
At the same time, you have only a limited time to collect compensation for a work injury that occurred in Tyler, Texas. The state’s statute of limitations, found in Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, gives you just two years to begin legal action for damages. A lawyer from the Law Office of Domingo Garcia can enable you to start your lawsuit on time while you remain focused on your health.
Some time periods for work injuries are even shorter. For instance, under Texas Workers’ compensation law you have only one year to formally file your claim.
Our expert work injury lawyers offer a free consultation so you can know your and your family’s rights and time limitations after a work injury.
How Your Work Injury Case May Go
While it is hard to predict what path your case will follow, an attorney from Domingo Garcia can guide you through every twist and turn. Here are just a few of the legal tasks we can complete to make your case stronger and fight for the money that is rightfully yours:
- Collect documentary evidence like medical records, photos, videos, inspection reports, and so on
- Speak to witnesses, coworkers, and industry experts about what happened and how it happened
- Determine how much compensation you are entitled to based on the evidence
- Identify who the liable party is based on the evidence—when it comes to work injuries, there may even be more than one party you can sue
- Contact the liable party and their insurance company, letting them know that you expect compensation and why
- Negotiate with the insurance company for enough compensation to cover your injuries
- Prepare to take your case to court, if negotiations are unsuccessful or unfeasible
- Represent you in the courtroom and argue before a judge and jury about why you deserve the amount of compensation you are seeking
- Fill out all necessary paperwork and submit it within the legal deadlines so your case is not dismissed on a technicality
- Shield you from the liable party and their representatives by handling all communications with them
If you ever have questions about what is happening with the case, what your rights are, or what services we offer, we encourage you to ask. Our team is always happy to address client concerns.
How We Make Your Experience Easier
All too often, we have seen the devastating impact that work injuries have on workers and their families. At the Law Office of Domingo Garcia, we are committed to making our clients’ legal journey as smooth and stress-free as possible. That is why, in addition to the services listed above, we can:
- Offer a free, over-the-phone case review that informs you of your rights while placing you under no obligation to hire us
- Speak with you in either English or Spanish
- Charge no attorney’s fees unless and until you receive compensation
- Have our insurance company cover your medical bills until your case is over
- Contact you with frequent case updates so you always know what is happening
- Help you make important decisions, such as when to settle and when to go to trial, if you are ever unsure of what to do
Our firm wants to be there for you during this difficult, painful time. The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we can start fighting for the compensation you need.
You Could Collect Work Injury Damages
We want you to receive whatever amount of money fairly reflects all of your losses. We can even calculate the exact amount on your behalf: in one construction accident case involving unsafe scaffolding, for instance, we settled for $5 million.
Your settlement (or jury award, if the case goes to court) should include compensation for financial as well as physical and mental harm.
For Financial Harm
Reimbursement for your monetary losses, also called “economic damages,” can include:
- Loss of wages, including salary and other benefits you could not earn because your work injury forced you to take time off
- Lost earning capacity, if your injury means you can never return to your old job full-time or at all
- Medical expenses, for any treatment you needed because of the work injury
- Miscellaneous expenses, if the injury prevented you from fulfilling other obligations (e.g., cleaning the house) and you hired others to do them for you
For Physical and Mental Harm
Your injuries themselves and the trauma resulting from them are often the hardest things to deal with after a work injury. These non-economic damages could include:
- Pain and suffering, for the physical and psychological wounds caused by the workplace accident
- Disability, if the work injury has cost you the ability to use any part of your mind or body, either temporarily or permanently
- Disfigurement, including scars from burns, scrapes, cuts, and other injuries
- Reduced quality of life, if you can no longer participate in activities or socialize with others in the manner you are accustomed to doing
Can My Lawyer Pursue Wrongful Death Damages?
Yes. If the worst occurs and your loved one sustains a fatal injury at work, one of our work injury lawyers who serve Tyler can file a wrongful death suit on your family’s behalf.
Wrongful death damages could include any or all of the following:
- Loss of financial support, if you relied on the deceased worker’s wages to pay your bills, support your children, and so on
- Funeral expenses, for whatever money you spent on burying and/or cremating your loved one
- Bereavement, if losing your loved one has caused acute grief and anguish
- Loss of companionship, if the deceased provided not just financial but emotional stability, safety, and security
In addition, if your loved one was unable to complete a personal injury lawsuit before they passed away, you could collect whatever money they would have won had they survived. The team at Domingo Garcia can figure out exactly what you should ask for.
The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in Texas is the same as it is for personal injury cases: Two years.
What Are Your Rights After a Work Injury?
After suffering a workplace injury, you have the right to:
- Delay providing anyone with a statement about your work accident until you have spoken with one of our attorneys
- Talk to us before you sign anything from the insurance company or anyone else
- File a suit against any individual or organization who contributed to the accident, including your employer or a government agency
If your doctor has already said you can never recover from your injuries, you may wonder what is the point in asking for compensation. After all, no amount of money can ever help you regain your health or allow you to work and enjoy life as you used to do.
The Law Office of Domingo Garcia has handled many work injury cases. We can tell you that, even if the money cannot get you your old life back, it can make it much easier for you to:
- Pay medical bills and other expenses
- Hold the liable party accountable for the damage they did
- Take the time you need to figure out where to go from here
How do Work Injuries Happen?
Each occupation has its own unique hazards, so the accidents you are likely to suffer at work vary depending on what your job is. According to Page 6 of reports released by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), the most common events that lead to nonfatal workplace injuries in Texas (as of 2020) are the following:
Harmful or Toxic Substances
Some jobs require employees to work with substances or within an environment that poses inherent dangers to human health. For instance:
- Welders encounter extremely hot objects that give off sparks
- Medical professionals are exposed to bacteria, viruses, and other contagions
- Construction workers may encounter asbestos while working in old buildings
- Oilfield workers or miners could breathe in toxic fumes
Harmful substances and environments accounted for 23,760 nonfatal injuries. Of these, 14,040 injuries occurred to those working in education and health services, meaning that workers like nurses and doctors are at the greatest risk of being exposed to a harmful substance.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Falling at work accounted for 13,590 on-the-job injuries. The TDI divides falling accidents into three categories:
- The worker slips or trips but does not fall down
- The worker falls on the “same level” they started on—for instance, in a hallway.
- The worker falls down onto a lower level from where they started—for instance, they tripped down the stairs or fell off scaffolding.
Different industries are more likely to cause different types of falls. For instance, tripping without falling was most common among those in the finance sector, while falling on the same or a different level was most common among those working in the trade, transportation, and utilities sectors.
Pushing Too Hard
Many people take pride in their work and want to do the best job possible. However, overexerting yourself can quickly lead to injuries. Workers pushing themselves beyond their limits was the third most common source of workplace injuries, with 13,120 injuries occurring that way.
Overexertion can occur in several ways, but the usual “culprit” is trying to lift more than you can carry. This was most common among trade, transportation, and utilities workers, though education and healthcare workers are also susceptible.
The fourth most common cause of Texas workplace accidents in 2020 was events involving equipment, tools, machinery, or other objects workers must use to do their jobs. Such accidents can happen in Tyler and Longview when:
- An object falls and strikes the worker
- An object strikes a worker from another direction, or they are thrown against an object
- A worker is crushed inside of or beneath an object
Overall, equipment-related work injuries are most likely to happen to trade, transportation, and utilities workers, who must often use large vehicles and heavy tools. Such accidents also happen to manufacturing workers.
Other Work Injury Causes
Less frequent causes of nonfatal workplace injuries include:
- Transportation accidents such as being hit by a forklift or truck
- Intentional or unintentional injuries inflicted by a person or animal such as leaving tools and toxic substances unsecured
- Fires caused by negligent electrical work or careless use of flammable chemicals
- Explosions caused by reckless demolition work or gas leaks
What Are Common Work Injuries?
Page 5 of the TDI data lists the most common types of injuries sustained by Texas workers in 2020. Across all industries, the top five most common work injuries were:
- Sprains, strains, or tears (17,050 injuries)
- Pain and soreness (5,740)
- Fractures (5,650)
- Cuts, lacerations, and punctures (5,100)
- Bruises and contusions (4,550)
Your industry determines which types of injuries you are most likely to suffer while on the job, as well as what body parts are most likely to be affected by your injury. Here are a few examples:
- Head injuries were most common among trade, transportation, and utility workers, followed by manufacturing workers. These groups were also most likely to suffer an amputation
- Heat burns were most common among leisure and hospitality workers
- “Multiple traumatic injuries” affected more education and healthcare workers than those in other fields
- Trade, transportation, and utility workers suffered more back injuries than any other type of worker
Who Suffers the Most Work Injuries?
The data clearly shows that some industries are more dangerous than others: Page 3 of the TDI data shows that workplace injuries were most common among those in:
- Education and health services (21,090 injuries)
- Trade, transportation, and utilities (18,640)
- Manufacturing (7,430)
Industry is not the only indication of a given worker’s risk of injury. Page 2 shows who is likely to suffer a work injury based on:
- Gender: Men and women are about equally likely to be injured at work.
- Age: Workers between the ages of 25 and 44 sustained just over 45 percent of all work injuries.
- Race: Latinos made up 28 percent of all work injuries, followed by white workers at 23.6 percent and Black workers at 8.7 percent.
No matter who you are or what field you are in, a work injury can destroy your health, your career, and your personal life. The Law Office of Domingo Garcia does not want you to have to cope with such an injury by yourself. Our lawyers serve Tyler and would like to fight for justice in your case.
How Your Employer Can Prevent Work Injuries
Tyler and Longview employers can break the law and endanger their employees in a variety of ways. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that the most common employer oversights include:
- Failing to provide proper fall protection to construction workers
- Failing to provide proper respiratory protection
- Providing construction workers with ladders that do not meet federal standards regarding weight-bearing capacity, construction, and so on
- Failing to inform workers about dangers or hazards in their workspace
- Providing construction workers with scaffolds that do not meet federal standards
It is your employer’s job to keep their workers safe by following all applicable laws and regulations. They can also protect you by:
- Using high-quality materials that will not collapse or expose workers to harmful substances
- Training employees in the use of all tools and substances they require to do their jobs, and provide refresher courses as necessary
- Allowing employees to take time off if they are injured or sick without fear of penalization
- Ensuring all machinery and tools are in good condition, and not forcing employees to use equipment that is outdated, broken, or otherwise unsafe
- Providing employees with sufficient time to eat meals and take breaks during the workday
How You Can Prevent Work Injuries
While you cannot control the actions of others, there are steps you personally can take to ensure your workplace is as safe as possible. The safety precautions you can take depend on what position you hold, what industry you are in, and what resources your employer provides (or withholds from) you. They include:
Following Workplace Rules
Your employer probably has guidelines for employees to follow regarding:
- How and when certain tools must be used
- How to store tools and other objects when they are not in use
- How to clean your workplace and yourself after you finish work
- What types of objects you can and cannot use (e.g., cell phones, cigarettes)
These rules are in place to protect you and all of your coworkers. By following these rules and refraining from horseplay or “goofing around,” you can help maintain a safe working environment.
Taking Care of Yourself
If you come to work exhausted, sick, drunk, or high, you are more likely to make a mistake that injures yourself or someone else. Make sure to:
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Stay home if you are sick
- Eat a proper diet
- Refrain from excessive drinking or recreational drug use during the workweek
- Avoid taking a new medication during the workweek until you know if and how it will affect your performance
It is always better to stay home if you are not feeling well rather than to risk infecting others or making a serious error. Unfortunately, not all employers are willing to give employees the time and space they need to care for themselves. Pressuring employees to work when they should be recuperating can quickly lead to serious injuries.
Reporting to OSHA
If you notice a potential violation at your workplace, you can report it to OSHA. Tyler workers fall under the jurisdiction of OSHA’s Richardson, Texas, office. You may get in touch with them via fax, mail, email, or phone, or you can file a complaint on OSHA’s website.
Holding Those Responsible for Your Work Injuries Accountable
If you or a loved one were injured because of someone else’s negligent or illegal behavior, you should not have to bear the consequences alone. The Law Office of Domingo Garcia can investigate your case and figure out:
- Which parties contributed to the accident
- How much each party should pay
- How to approach each party to ask for compensation
Workplace accidents could have one or more liable parties, including:
- Your employer: More than anyone else, your employer is supposed to look out for your welfare and make sure you have the necessary tools to protect yourself. If they did not do so, you can take legal action.
- A coworker: If your coworker was not following workplace procedure, you could seek compensation from them.
- A supplier: The tools and materials you use on the job come from suppliers, who must follow their own sets of rules regarding quality and safety.
- A manufacturer: Sometimes, tools or vehicles malfunction due to an inherent flaw. Manufacturers of faulty products can be held responsible if someone gets hurt while using their defective product.
- A government agency: It is the government’s job to regulate businesses and make sure they do not cause accidental or intentional harm to employees. Failure to oversee a business could make them liable for any resulting injuries.
The potential presence of multiple liable parties is part of what makes work injury cases so complex. If you miss one, you could end up settling for far less money than you deserve, and that party would not face any consequences for what they did to you.
The team at Domingo Garcia wants to fight for your rights and hold every single liable party in your case accountable. We can do everything possible to secure both a fair payout and a fair outcome.
After a Work Injury, Depend on Us
The attorneys at Domingo Garcia have spent over 35 years helping Texans like you recover fair compensation after devastating work injuries. Call today for a free case review if you’ve been injured in Tyler or Longview, Texas. Our team would be happy to tell you more about how our lawyers serve clients in Tyler—and how we charge no attorney’s fees upfront.