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Who Is Liable for Severe Injuries or Death Suffered at Work?

By Dallas Personal Injury Attorney on May 30, 2024

Workplace accidents in Dallas are unfortunately common, and they frequently have devastating consequences for workers and their families. Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure a safe working environment, so they can be held liable for negligence or failure to adhere to safety regulations that cause injuries or fatalities.

If you have suffered catastrophic injuries or if a loved one has died due to a work-related incident, a knowledgeable workplace injury lawyer can investigate the accident and discuss your options for seeking compensation. This may include money to cover your medical bills, income replacement, rehabilitation, and other expenses.

Available compensation may include workers’ compensation benefits, claims and lawsuits against employers who are workers’ comp nonsubscribers, and lawsuits against negligent third parties.

How Workers’ Compensation Applies to Dallas Workplace Accidents

Texas is the only state where workers’ compensation is optional for employers. Workers’ compensation is an insurance system in Texas that provides benefits to employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. This no-fault system is designed to ensure that workers receive medical care and compensation for a portion of the income they lose while they are unable to work. It also offers benefits to families of workers who have died as a result of workplace accidents.

Workers’ compensation in Texas places limits on the ability of employees to sue their employers for workplace injuries. When an employer subscribes to workers’ compensation insurance, they are typically granted immunity from most personal injury claims made by employees. This trade-off is known as the exclusive remedy provision.

Employers who subscribe to workers’ compensation insurance are generally protected from personal injury lawsuits by employees. Workers’ compensation provides relief for medical bills that injured workers might be faced with, but it may not cover all the costs associated with a workplace injury. The program also provides death benefits for the victim’s survivors that may include burial costs and partial wage replacement.

Understanding Employer Liability in Dallas and Throughout Texas

A safe work environment is a fundamental right for all employees. In Dallas, employers are legally required to implement and maintain safety standards to prevent workplace accidents. This duty involves providing proper training, equipment, and safety protocols to minimize risks. For instance, in construction, this could mean ensuring scaffolding is secure and that workers are equipped with helmets and harnesses. In an office setting, ergonomic furniture could be used to prevent strain injuries. When employers disregard these obligations, they not only risk the well-being of their staff but also face the possibility of legal action for any injuries that may occur due to their negligence.

Employer negligence occurs when an employer fails to take reasonable care to prevent harm to employees. In the context of workplace accidents, this can mean neglecting to follow safety protocols, failing to repair hazardous conditions, or not providing adequate safety equipment. If an employee in Dallas is injured as a result of such negligence, the employer may be held liable for the damages incurred. This liability can cover medical expenses, lost wages, and even compensation for pain and suffering. Proving negligence requires demonstrating that the employer knew, or should have known, about the dangerous conditions and did not take appropriate action to rectify them.

In Texas, comparative negligence may apply. This legal principle allows for the apportionment of fault among all parties involved, including the injured worker. For example, in a case where an employee was found to be 20 percent responsible for their injury due to failure to follow safety guidelines, their compensation would be reduced accordingly. Texas courts have also considered employer defenses such as the assumption of risk, where an employee knowingly engages in a dangerous activity.

Third-Party Liability for Catastrophic Injuries and Fatalities

If you or a loved one was seriously injured or killed due to work-related activities, you might be able to seek additional compensation beyond workers’ comp benefits. A third-party lawsuit seeks compensation from parties other than your employer whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This liability extends to include damages for medical costs, lost income, and other related expenses incurred by the injured party.

The liability of third parties hinges on the nature of the work arrangement and adherence to safety protocols. For example, when workplace accidents are caused by defective equipment, the manufacturer can be held liable under product liability laws. The responsibility lies with manufacturers to ensure their products are safe for use and free from defects that could cause harm. If an investigation reveals that an injury was due to equipment malfunction or a design flaw, the manufacturer can be sued for damages, even if they were not directly involved in the workplace incident.

Parties that may be subject to a third-party lawsuit for workplace injuries and fatalities include:

  • Property owners
  • Private contractors
  • Drivers
  • Equipment Vendors
  • Manufacturers of faulty equipment

Wrongful Death Lawyers in Dallas Know How to Win

The Lenahan Law Firm handles all cases on a contingency basis, so you won’t owe us anything unless we win you a payout. Founding partner Marc C. Lenahan is a lifetime member of the prestigious Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and our firm has a perfect 10.0 Avvo rating. The independent rating agency Super Lawyer also gives us high marks based on peer reviews and independent research.

Our experienced Dallas wrongful death attorneys are prepared to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call (214) 295-1008 to schedule a FREE consultation with our firm today.

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Posted in: Workplace Accidents

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