product liability & Work Accidents 3/26/2020 – gtg

A Products Liability Lawyer Can Help If You’ve Been Injured by a Defective Product in Texas

Any day, any time, you could be hurt or seriously injured by a product you believe in, and maybe even rely on. People like you are injured every day when they use what turn out to be defective products. They can range from commercial equipment to the over-the-counter headache medicine you use to a prescription drug to the crib that your infant sleeps in.

Physical injuries can range from ongoing, yet subtle symptoms over long periods of time if you are taking a defective drug, to immediate, catastrophically gruesome wounds suffered from a defective piece of machinery. Deaths often occur because of defective products. If you have been injured because of a defective or unsafe product, or if a loved one has suffered a wrongful death under these circumstances, you are entitled to claim liability damages against the manufacturer of that product. And one effective way to win your suit is with the help of a Texas defective product attorney with our Law Firm to be your legal partner who fights for the compensation you deserve.

Federal laws clearly require companies that design and manufacture products to follow precise guidelines unique to each product itself to assure that every one which is sold and used by the public is safe. This includes both consumer and industrial products or devices. Any time during the normal life of this product, if it is proven to be defective or unsafe to use, anyone who can legitimize a claim of injury from these products has every legal right to seek fair compensation for their injuries through a personal injury damage lawsuit against its manufacturer.

There are two types of general product liability cases. One surrounds negligence by the manufacturer. The other is known as strict liability, which essentially means that the product simply was a bad idea from the beginning. Familiarize yourself with the dynamics of product liability law and arm yourself with information to help you ask the right questions that must be satisfactorily answered by the lawyer who is the right one for you. Because you will certainly need one if you are seriously considering filing a product liability damage suit.

A product liability attorney with our Law Firm understands the subtleties of product liability law. We can quickly determine the best legal option that is available to you if you believe you have a legitimate damage claim on which to file a product liability lawsuit. We can thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your injury and help you be fairly compensated for the harm done to you by dangerous products.

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Deciding Which Negligence-Based Product Liability Claim to file is the First Step

For most people, understanding a negligence-based product liability lawsuit is relatively simple. A manufacturer can be in error in designing the product or the manner in which it was manufactured or developed. Deciding which of these two general areas of the product development process is responsible for the failure of the product is a very important starting point. And when our law firm takes on a product liability case, this is our very first question. But once a manufacturer is legally cited to be liable in either development process, those who are injured by it must be compensated if they ask for it.

When a product is inappropriately designed, the reasons involved are often the owner’s unacceptable disregard for its safety when it is used in the manner in which it was intended. Maybe one of a large series of substandard fluorescent light bulbs exploded during installation. You suffered chemical burns to your hands and head, and flying-glass cuts that produced nerve and eye injuries. The tubes may have been properly manufactured according to design specifications, but the specs turned out to be incorrect. In this case the design of the fluorescent lighting tubes was most likely improper. So the manufacturer was negligent when designing the tubes and can be held liable for any injuries that are caused by use of the product in the manner intended when it exploded when it was installed.

But what if a product is designed properly, but still causes an injury? The focus then turns to the way the product itself was manufactured, which is where the majority of defective product lawsuits are filed. In order to deliver their goods to the marketplace to meet demand, these days manufacturers find themselves cutting corners wherever they can in order to lower their costs (and raise their profits). Their profit margins are already very small to begin with. Saving even a half-cent per manufactured unit can make a difference between profit and loss when you factor in a half a million units. So if they find they can trim costs by using less-durable materials or cutting corners during assembly of the product, then they are able to meet their targeted unit cost. One consistent way to do that might involve the use of employees who don’t know their job as well as they should, or maybe uncertified workers are operating complicated manufacturing machinery, which means they work for a lower wage (and maybe longer hours at lower efficiency)..

Regardless of the reason, if there is negligence in the product’s design, or the way it was constructed, the owner and/or manufacturer is legally liable for injury damages when an unsafe product was used under the normal circumstances that were expected by the injured person. But proving your case in a manner acceptable to actually win that fair defective product compensation is an entirely different matter: and that is why you need an experienced Texas product liability lawyer.

A product liability attorney with our Law Firm understands the subtleties of product liability law. We can quickly determine the best legal option that is available to you if you believe you have a legitimate damage claim on which to file a product liability lawsuit. We can thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your injury and help you be fairly compensated for the harm done to you by dangerous products.

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Some Defective Product Lawsuits Surround Whether or Not You are Warned of a Product’s Dangers

Not only can negligence in a products design and manufacture be cited in a product injury lawsuit, the owner of the product (or the domestic distributor of a foreign-made product) can also be subject to civil liability for not warning the public of its dangerous product immediately upon learning of this matter. Manufacturers have been found guilty of negligence when they don’t meet their legal obligation to warn those who buy their products of the possible risks that may be connected to that product. And such failure to inform the public of these dangerous situations surrounding their goods makes them responsible for damages suffered when people are injured through normal use of their product.

This is why if there is even the remotest chance that a manufacturer’s product poses even the slightest possible danger to its consumers, you see or hear of a recall. As a matter of course, drug manufacturers’ television commercials with all their disclaimers and warnings are one example. It’s gotten to the point where the commercials take-up more time warning of a drug’s side-effects than the actual benefit of the product Fine print at the bottom of advertisements in magazines and newspapers is another example. Fast-talking announcers who you can barely understand during the last five seconds of a radio commercial are also complying with a manufacturer’s legal responsibility to warn customers of the potential risks associated with their product, even if the letter of the law that necessitates the warning sometimes falls short of the spirit to which the law is intended.

All of these examples exemplify the evidence that companies have learned the hard way that they must warn their customers of any dangers associated with their products, even if they are remote. And at least some of them learned this lesson first-hand, the hard way, at the end of a product liability lawsuit to them, or another company in their particular industry.

Strict Liability Claims: or Sometimes a Product Simply Wasn’t a Good Idea to Begin With
There are instances where a manufacturer has exercised reasonable due diligence in designing and creating a product. But once it hits the market they discover that something unforeseen has made it a dumb idea. This might happen when some people use it improperly, or in a manner not originally anticipated by the manufacturer. In these cases, they just didn’t think things through from the user’s perspective or if the product ends up being used in a way the manufacturer did not intend, or foresee, injuries occur. Even if the manufacturer issues a recall, they are still legally responsible for their products as long as they are in the hands of the consuming public. A recall is not a shield from liability for those who suffer an injury by using a product, although quick recalls can lessen some of the damage amounts that can be awarded because the manufacturer acted quickly to warn the public and moved heaven-and-earth to correct the problem. But even after all of that, people who are injured may still be awarded damages through a strict liability claim.

One famous example of a product that fell under strict liability guidelines occurred when a company manufactured and sold a game called “Lawn Darts.” The object of this outdoor game was for players to throw large darts with sharp, pointed ends across a lawn toward some target on the ground. But it doesn’t take much imagination to understand how dangerous this game could be if used improperly, or the players aren’t paying attention to those hazardous missiles. One person’s “harmless” game dart can become another’s perilous weapon. And though the manufacturer quickly issued a recall and then changed the front end of the darts from a sharp pointed edge to a large suction cup, it didn’t relieve them of responsibility for damages from injuries that arose from this “game.”

This example of a product that’s designed and manufactured properly, but is still a danger to the public, regardless of how it is used, is a classic example of how an experienced Texas product liability lawyer applies a strict liability claim when a product on the market is unsafe. People can be injured by well-made products that shouldn’t be on the market to begin with. It makes no difference if they are used properly or improperly.

Another example, many years ago, arose from the simple clip-on roller skates many children used in the ‘50’s and 60’s. Some enterprising kiddos attached them to pieces of wood and the skateboard was created. Several successful injury lawsuits arose from this “unintended use” of roller skates. However, it did create a new industry (skateboards) that came with very strong warnings and also the legal assumption that when the product was bought, that the user (or the parents) accepted the heightened danger of injury. This also brings to mind another issue of “assumed liability” on the part of the buyer of the product: which is another issue that must be taken into account when it comes to defective product lawsuits.

A product liability attorney with our Law Firm understands the subtleties of product liability law. We can quickly determine the best legal option that is available to you if you believe you have a legitimate damage claim on which to file a product liability lawsuit. We can thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your injury and help you be fairly compensated for the harm done to you by dangerous products.

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Class Action Suits: Some Lawyers Work for Their Money, but Others? Not so Much

You’ve probably seen a lot of commercials from Texas attorneys who ask if you’ve been hurt because of some substandard product. But if you take time to read some of the fine print at the end of the commercial, you might notice that the lawyer you are supposed to call is in Connecticut or Delaware or some other state other than Texas.

This is a commercial in the interests of a class-action lawsuit, which is basically getting a lot of people who have been similarly injured by a particular product and are suing the manufacturer on behalf of this “class” of people. Class action suits have their advantages in some states because a collection of plaintiffs often gets to go to the front of the line when it comes to filing their case and being placed on the court’s docket sooner. A class-action suit can be a remedy for you. But it’s not a free ride. Nor is it one of those situations where you just get on the filing list, then sitting back and doing nothing, hoping you’ll be on the “check mailing list” when it’s all over: even if that might be the implied message of the commercial.

The law firm that produced and aired the commercial will often recruit a firm or two in each state where the commercial appears, because that lawyer is not licensed in every state. Many times, these local or “front” attorneys in each individual state do very little work when it comes to preparing the case, but still get a nice fee (in this instance we like to call it more of a sales commission rather than a legal fee) to essentially do client intake work because all they do is fill out forms, maybe take a preliminary deposition or two and probably get a few thousand dollars per-client they send “up the line” for their trouble. For these firms it’s a low work/high return proposition. Some “easy money” law firms only handle these kinds of cases for out-of-state class action firms.

We’ve been asked to participate in these kinds of “assembly line” lawsuits by out of state class action firms many times. But unless there is real legal work involved, we respectfully decline these offers of “easy money” for a very simple reason. We represent clients. We don’t bird-dog for some other law firm. We prefer to represent clients rather than just signing them up and letting someone else do all of the work. We feel there are synergistic elements to class actions that can make them very satisfying to the law firms that are involved. But only if they are true legal participants and not just doing pseudo-legal work and shuffling papers (and plaintiffs) up the line. And we believe this kind of “faux legal representation” is not always ethical, or the out of state attorney-of-record might not have the sort of reputation we are comfortable with. And in law (like life) you are judged by the company you keep.

We are, however, very experienced in filing and arguing class-action suits. But those we are involved in finding your Texas product liability injury attorney with our Law Firm as the primary legal counsel of-record. Who knows? Your product liability case might be the first wave of what could become a class-action suit. In the long run though, it doesn’t really matter. We DO want you to know that you will never be a number to us. So if you see a commercial that leads you to an out-of-state lawyer remember what you might be getting into and call someone local. It’s always your best bet. If your injury is legitimate, fight the manufacturer on your own home turf, not someone else’s.

If you suspect you have been injured by a defective product, contact a product liability attorney in our Texas Law Office. We provide a free, comprehensive, and fully confidential legal consultation. We encourage you to ask any and every question you can think of in order to completely understand your defective product injury case and how it is best pursued. If you deserve to be compensated, we’ll help you get every penny you deserve.

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Effective Legal Assistance is the Right Antidote to the Poison That a Manufacturer’s Insurance Company Attorneys Will use Against You

Those who pursue a product liability claim without a competent product liability lawyer (or worse, by themselves) have about as much chance of winning compensation from the manufacturer as those who play Lawn Darts or ride skateboards if they’re 50. They can’t get out of their own way and end up stuck by lawyers who know what they’re doing. You will find yourself up against the manufacturer who’s worried about profits, a courtroom full of excellent attorneys, and finally the manufacturer’s insurance company. All work together to fight your claim at every twist and turn.

The opposing attorneys use every trick in the book, legal or otherwise, to convince a jury that your lawsuit has no merit; or if it does, that the damages you seek are unreasonably excessive. They also do everything they can to delay your day in court, while at the same time, the insurance company offers you a “low-ball” settlement amount that doesn’t come close to paying your medical bills, pain, suffering, lost wages and other damages the defective product has caused you or someone in your family, or maybe even your small child if that is the one who is injured or killed.

And sometimes these manufacturers, lawyers and insurance companies know a product is unsafe, but months before the injury caused by their product, some insurance actuary somewhere determined it was more cost-effective to pay a bunch of “low-ball damage claims” than to fix the product. But even in light of that fact, that still doesn’t stop them from trying to frustrate you at every turn. If you fight them alone, or with an attorney who is not well-versed in product liability law, you could be in for a very rude awakening, and no money that you rightfully should receive to pay the damages.

Isn’t your best strategy one that involves retaining a competent product liability lawyer in Texas who has experience arguing and winning cases involving defective product lawsuits?

The Texas Product Liability Lawyers of our Law Firms Stand Ready to Help You
The defective product lawyers of our Law Firm have helped many people who have been hurt by unsafe and defective products for more than 30 years. We’ve seen every trick that manufacturers and their attorneys try to pull in order to prevent you from collecting the damages you deserve if your injury justifies bringing such a liability claim

We thoroughly investigate every case, making it the strongest possible. We also investigate every defendant’s assets so we know who can afford to pay your legitimate legal claims of product liability. We are dedicated to your full recovery, physical and financial, by getting the largest, and fairest, damage award possible. Our Law Office has a long and rich history of successfully representing our clients, not only in court, but negotiating fair settlements without the need to litigate. And because most of these opposing lawyers and their insurance companies know us and our reputation for aggressively representing our clients, many of them would rather settle than take us on in a courtroom.

We help provide you with all of the legal leverage you need to force manufacturers of dangerous products to be responsible for their actions and compensate you and your family fairly for any injuries caused by their products.

If you suspect you have been injured by a defective product, contact a product liability attorney in our Texas Law Office. We provide a free, comprehensive, and fully confidential legal consultation. We encourage you to ask any and every question you can think of in order to completely understand your defective product injury case and how it is best pursued. If you deserve to be compensated, we’ll help you get every penny you deserve.

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Were You Hurt in a fall at a Construction Site? You May Be Owed Compensation for Your Serious Injury

Construction sites can be hazardous places. Those in the business know that. They also understand that one of the most common hazards facing even the most careful worker is on, around, or under construction scaffolding.

It doesn’t matter if the project is a two-story mansion, an industrial or retail building, a low-rise office, or a towering skyscraper: at some point, scaffolding is necessary in the construction (and maintenance) of most types of buildings. With all the building going on in Texas, there are likely as many scaffolds as there are construction workers.

You’re a conscientious worker. You do your best to stay safe at work and keep a safe work area. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still become a victim to a workplace injury anywhere on or near scaffolding. But this article is not limited to just that. You may have suffered some sort of injury from any construction or building maintenance site fall. Accidents happen, and, in many cases when the injuries are serious and caused by someone else’s negligence, you’re entitled to some form of fair reimbursement under Texas law for the financial losses you’ve incurred from the mishap. Such legal entitlements can include your medical bills, the pain you’ve endured, and your emotional distress. If the accident produces disability in some form, that too is a justifiable request. When your construction site fall injury is very serious, it can put a strain on your body, your finances, and of course, your family.

In the case of whether you fell from scaffolding, or scaffolding collapsed on you, or scaffolding collapsed while you were on it. You’ve been injured and you need help; real help. You are not without your rights. You must, of course, focus exclusively on your recovery. That’s important. But you can’t take short cuts that could hurt your claims and your legal case further down the road. The laws that made workers’ comp more complex in Texas are a serious challenge to your ultimate compensation when all this is done. And often there are parties that may talk a good game in pledging they have “your best interests” at heart. If this is you: one who has suffered an injury while working on a construction site by falling from scaffolding or some other height, or it collapsed on or under you, then you are right to consider seeking legal restitution to recover all appropriate damages.

Personal injury claims and lawsuits involving construction companies are complicated. The best legal strategies for your case differ because they are based on whether you are a subcontractor, contractor, or employee: and whether the construction company subscribes to workers’ compensation insurance or not. It’s a lot of territory to cover. And no two cases are mirror images of the other.

For instance, you should know that the laws which make non-subscribers liable for their employees’ injuries don’t apply directly to contractors. Often, construction companies think they can escape legal liability for injuries without even paying for workers’ compensation insurance by hiring contractors instead of employees. Unfortunately, this strategy all-too-often works for the companies, especially when they don’t have an experienced construction injury and workers’ comp attorney like our lead attorney when one is injured in a scaffolding accident.

It’s hard not to feel that the laws surrounding Texas workers’ comp and the contractors who benefit from it the most work to allow them to avoid all liability. Many personal injury firms will drop your case immediately upon initially learning you are not an employee, but not having the curiosity to really investigate that point. You hear so many urban myths about how a workers’ comp subscriber company makes them immune to lawsuits; or how employers can sometimes evade an actual “employer-employee” relationship by diving through a loophole in the law. But when held to the light of truth, they don’t always hold up when you have a team of experienced falling accident injury attorneys like those at our Texas Law Office advocate your case.

You can put the experience of a construction site/falling injury lawyer 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 for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

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

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Seek Medical Attention Immediately After Your Construction/Scaffolding Accident

If you’ve been hurt while on the job, the first thing you need to do is seek the proper medical attention. The doctor who treated your wounds has told you to continue your recovery treatment. Do it! We might be together for several months. And we’ll tell you right off the bat that our successful clients are typically those who do everything they can to recover from their injuries. After all, if you don’t care about your health why should they be asked to pay? Think about it.

Your health is of the utmost importance. Being examined by a medical professional is important both for your life and your case. If you need assistance seeking medical help that can take your personal and financial status into consideration, let us help. We have a large network of trustworthy medical professionals that we can point you to. In addition, we may be able to help you see a doctor at no cost to you. We can even show you how the time you take off from work to get care may be compensable by the defendant. Once you have left the emergency room or trauma center, whether you’ve been admitted to the hospital for a few more days or are recovering at home, your next step involves seeking legal assistance in order to assess your employer’s workers comp status, and begin the road to fiscal recovery as well.

Assessing Your Workers’ Comp Status Properly Dictates the Game Plan
The Texas Legislature enacted the Workers’ Compensation Act in 1992 and, according to that law; employers who choose to purchase workers’ comp get special incentives and unusual protection. These incentives don’t necessarily work in your favor if the injury is serious. The chief protection for employers who pay for workers’ comp coverage is that – with one most unusual exception – they cannot be sued for any more than a capped amount of compensation money. Essentially, one-in-two Texas employers subscribe to workers’ comp. It is optional for employers: not the norm for a majority of states in the state. Considering the benefits of workers comp, that’s a pretty low number. We suspect the percentage is even a bit lower than half in the construction industry.

Did You Know?
Our Texas Texas attorneys have won hundreds of construction accident cases. Call us today to discuss your case.

You need to know your Texas employer’s workers’ comp status. It determines your legal options in regards to what typically begins as your insurance claim. An employer that has workers’ comp is called a subscriber. An employer who does not have such liability coverage is labeled a non-subscriber. Knowing that simple fact makes a big difference in your case and determines how we approach it. It determines the starting point in how your claim is filed and what compensation you may be entitled to receive.

The right answer about whether an employer is a subscriber or a non-subscriber to Texas workers’ comp law is not always forthcoming. Very often employees of a company don’t even know. Sometimes employers give the wrong answer when asked. Sometimes the answer to the question is not clear and sometimes the company doesn’t have a clear cut policy for dealing with accidents on the job.

Workers’ comp is an expensive program and some companies choose not to buy it, reasoning that they can save money as long as no one is injured. If they were smart, they’d look at their business like all successful people when they financially protect their home and hearth. The first check every month goes to the mortgage company. The second goes for the insurance. That’s a smart plan. You might see the irony of it as we visit further. Even if it’s not cheap, workers’ comp rates, across the board, are less than market rates; even if the cost of workers’ comp for an employer is related to how risky the job is: the same holds true for commercial underwriters; just higher premiums.

However, inevitably there will be an accident that produces serious injuries. As a workplace attorney with more than two decades of experience working on behalf of scaffolding accident victims, our Texas work accident attorneys have encountered situations where companies have blatantly answered falsely when asked if they are a subscriber to Texas workers’ comp.

When the odds catch-up with these “subscribers in sheep’s clothing,” they try to avoid a lawsuit when there’s a serious injury. These employers may try to quickly pay victim’s benefits normally received from workers’ comp and ask them to sign what they may represent as a “standard workers’ comp release” in order to further their deception and get off the hook. Some of these forged forms look pretty professional too. But it’s a trick so don’t fall for it

You can put the experience of a construction site injury lawyer 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 for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

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

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Sometimes Workers’ Comp Benefits Work Well: Especially if Viewed as a Compensation Foundation

Workers’ comp benefits originate from a “pool” of funds. The pool is replenished by private insurance carriers that participate in the program. It protects subscriber-employers from lawsuits and generally disregards the legal rights of employees to be fairly compensated in the case of severe injury when the employer is truly negligent. This is 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 hurt on the job site: primarily expenses directly linked to medical bills and compensation for a certain amount of lost income during recovery. 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 somewhat relaxed. 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 lay the true liability at the feet of a non-subscribing employer for serious on-the-job accidents.

This is what we meant when suggesting that your construction site injury lawyer know how to work both sides of the workers’ comp street in order to get to the bottom of your injury compensation status. That’s because there’s a trump card to all of this. And it surrounds third parties to your scaffold or other fall injuries. If workers’ comp creates a void between what you’re getting and what you need to recover, third party defendants who had a hand in your injury could be exposed to our filing insurance claims or lawsuits against them. Rare is there a time where there is a single negligent act that contributes to your injuries and massive expenses like medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and rightful disability payments. Those same damages, and more, are available to the surviving family members of a loved one who was fatally injured in a scaffold or some other construction fall.

Much of the time, a total compensation package finds workers’ comp is the foundation and a successful third party claim or (judgments) to bringing the total damages received to a more appropriate level as the best legal recourse is available to seriously injured workers like you. you. Once we identify the nature of your employer’s workers’ comp standing and conduct a thorough investigation of all facets and parties involved, we can then move forward together to secure your fair injury and damage compensation.

You can put the experience of a construction site injury lawyer 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 for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

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

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The Type of Compensation that Injured Workers can Expect from Subscriber Companies

Workers’ comp does not include coverage or reimbursement for any pain, suffering, or even general damages, aside from the income and medical expenses specified. Wages you lost while you were absent from work, recovering from your accident, capped at a maximum of $600 per week, may be paid to you. Let’s say you’re a carpenter who earns $1,300 a week for 50 hours of work. It takes a month for you to recover enough to return to work. That means you earned 50 percent of what you normally take home. So your monthly budget has taken a big hit.

You are also entitled to complete reimbursement for all your medical costs, such as those surrounding medical treatment, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and other medical supplies you needed to recover from your injury. Ongoing treatment and medical needs are also potentially reimbursable. If you incur travel expenses in seeking medical treatment, supplies and prescriptions, those may likewise be recovered

But if you become disabled, other than a four figure initial payment sum, this formula and cap amount holds true even in the case where you’ve been permanently disabled and are unable to work for the rest of your life. In other words, you may have to make do with such paltry benefits for the rest of your life. You and your family might never get out of that “void” for if your compensation package is limited only to workers’ comp. Are you beginning to see the value of negligent third parties who can be proven liable and a become a rightful supplemental compensation source?

Liable Non-Subscribers to Workers’ Comp Can be Employers or Third Parties
Non-subscribing companies have an almost unlimited liability to be sued while a subscriber employer is protected against lawsuits and the damages assessed against them are much more limited. By choosing to not be forthright about their worker’s comp status, a liable employer may lead an injured employee to think that he or she has little in the way of redress and that the employer has little in the way of liability.

As we’ve mentioned, a non-subscribing (or uninsured) company may even try to pay an injured employee out of pocket (and usually off-the-books, while saying that the money is actually coming from an insurer or workers’ comp. Accepting such an explanation (and quick settlement which is a low-ball attempt) is certainly never in your best interest. Always keep this in mind: if you are injured or hurt in a scaffolding or other construction fall, you’re probably entitled to far more compensation than you would be receiving, regardless of the coverage. The hush money offered is almost certainly a pittance compared to what the law would likely find in your favor.

In order to further punish non-subscribing employers, Texas workers comp laws remove the damage cap that would be in place if the employer had purchased workers comp insurance. The crane accident victim must merely prove standard negligence, even if the employer only committed a momentary lapse in safety. As you can guess, the laws governing these principles are extremely intricate. So in order to succeed you will need a crafty crane-related accident lawyer to assist you through every complexity of this challenging legal process.

However, just because there’s no workers’ comp court red tape, that doesn’t mean it’s any easier to ensure your right to compensation. It’s a legal action like any other, and as with any such serious matter you need professional representation. The non-subscriber employers (actually, their insurance companies) will almost always contest your claims.

There are two special challenges that you need to anticipate when trying to collect from, or sue a nonsubscriber. The first one is this: even though they don’t carry workers’ comp non-subscribers usually carry some form of insurance, if they’re smart. It will be responsible for paying at least part of your claim: certainly larger than workers’ comp awards. Therefore, not only will your employer have an interest in defending against your claim, so will his or her insurance company because that’s what it’s for: to get them off the hook or pay the claim if their adjusters and lawyers fail in their attempt.

They have a team of sophisticated attorneys in thousand-dollar suits and insurance adjusters ready to attack your case. The adjusters you’ll see in a lawsuit like yours aren’t the same “friendly” adjusters who handle your fender-benders. For high-dollar cases like yours, insurance companies usually use their best people. The adjusters who work on these injury cases are highly trained and very experienced pros who have gotten to their current positions by denying claims and saving their employers money.

They will have teams of attorneys to try to pick apart your claims. They contest your statements. They file nuisance motions. They will do everything they can to make an accident look like you were the sole proximate cause, i.e. wholly responsible for the construction site accident. They will try to undermine any evidence you bring to prove the elements of your claim since you have the burden of proof. All they have to do is say “prove it.” If you can’t, everything stops right there. Here’s where your falling accident injury attorney’s investigative prowess and experience at countering even the most frivolous counter-charge turns the spotlight of truth back where it belongs: the spot where their client-defendant stands.

This is even more complex than it sounds. You must show that the defendant; be it your employer or that third party; is at least partially responsible for the accident, that the defendant’s negligence caused the injuries, and that you are entitled to a specific amount of damages as compensation for your injuries. It might seem like a one-strike-and-you’re-out system most of the time. If you miss evidence on even one of these points, your claim could stand to be dismissed. An experienced legal “pinch hitter” at least gets you three strikes; and a better chance of winning.

You can put the experience of a construction site injury lawyer 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 for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

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

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The Other Non-Subscriber Defense: Questioning the Employer-Employee Relationship

The sole proximate cause defense is not the only option non-subscribers use after an injury has been suffered by an employee. 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; and then tell you that you don’t have a legal claim 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, many times they know an actual employer-employee relationship exists and an injured worker has a right to fair compensation. So don’t be fooled. Even though your employer claims you are a contractor, you are likely still an employee in the eyes of the law and are due compensation for injuries suffered on the job.

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

Social security or taxes have been withheld from your paycheck by your employer.
The essential equipment or tools used 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 tools, 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.
We 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 of other important “things to consider:” 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 accidentally 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.

You can put the experience of a construction site injury lawyer 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 for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

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

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My Case Seems Open and Shut. Why Do I Need Representation?
Oh Really: who told you that?

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 like you. Insurance companies are in the business of collecting high premiums, and then avoid paying claims. That’s great news for policyholders when they get in trouble, right? 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 prevents 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.

Take Action: Contact our Law Firms after a Scaffolding Construction Site Fall
While your employer may have been too cheap to buy worker’s comp coverage, you can be certain that he or she will think nothing of paying tens of thousands of dollars for an experienced and shrewd attorney who knows how to make victims appear negligent for their own injuries, especially in a crane accident case. So not only are you saddled with the “burden of proof,” but you also must bear the burden of DIS-proving all these counter-charges that only serve to cloud the issue of liability. Here’s where your own cunning attorney to place fault back where it belongs, the negligent employer becomes a powerful weapon in your fight for fair damage compensation

Don’t accept a settlement from any defendant or any insurance company that waives those parties’ liability, and your right to ask for more if it becomes necessary. These types of offers are rarely fair. Unfortunately, they are usually legally binding. If you sign one of these documents without a lawyer or accept fast cash from one of the defendants, there may be little we can do to salvage your legal rights. Don’t do anything that is binding after your scaffolding accident until you’ve spoken to a lawyer.

You can put the experience of a construction site/falling injury lawyer 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 for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

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

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