Worker Killed in Houston Tunnel Accident

The Houston Fire Department confirmed that a worker died in an accident in northeast Harris County. The worker died at a construction site while working in a tunnel. 

The accident occurred in the area of the Northeast Water Purification Plant near Timber Forest Drive and Water Works Way. No other details were available about the worker’s death or the circumstances that lead to death.

Filing Claims for Injuries That Occur on the Job

Workers who are injured on the job may have more than one option for seeking compensation for their injuries, financial losses, and other damages. The injuries and damages caused by a workplace accident can be catastrophic. 

Most construction workers are at a high risk of being injured or killed at work. Hazards include working at great heights, working with heavy machinery, working with hazardous materials, and working with electricity and other utilities. 

For most workers and their families, it can be difficult to know what to do. Fortunately, a workplace injury lawyer can help you decide which of the following options gives you the best chance of maximizing recovery. 

File a Workers’ Compensation Claim for a Workplace Accident

Workers’ compensation insurance covers most workers in Texas. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system that ensures injured workers receive the medical care they need after being injured at work. Workers may also receive other benefits, such as temporary income benefits and impairment income.

However, workers’ compensation does not compensate a worker for all financial losses and damages caused by a workplace accident. For example, workers’ compensation does not reimburse the worker for all loss of income incurred because of a workplace injury. 

A worker is not entitled to receive compensation for pain and suffering damages and other damages that might be included in a personal injury lawsuit.

File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Workplace Accident

It is true that you cannot sue your employer in most cases when workers’ compensation covers your injury. However, there are limited exceptions to that rule if the employer intentionally caused harm to the worker or was grossly negligent. 

You may also file a personal injury lawsuit against other parties who might be liable for your injuries. For example, if a defective product caused your workplace injury, you might have a claim against the product’s manufacturer. 

Suppose you were involved in a car accident while on the job that was caused by another driver, you could sue that motorist for damages. Likewise, if you fall and are injured while performing job duties off the job site, the property owner might be liable for your damages under premises liability laws.

By filing a personal injury claim, you could receive more compensation than you would receive in a workers’ compensation claim. Personal injury claims can include damages for pain and suffering, permanent disability, future losses, and loss of quality of life.

A workplace injury lawyer can assess your situation to determine all legal avenues available to you for filing an injury claim.

Filing Claims for Fatalities in the Workplace

If a worker dies, the family may also have more than one course of action it can take to recover compensation for damages. The family may receive death benefits under workers’ compensation. 

However, the family might have a wrongful death claim against a third party. Much like the personal injury lawsuit for a workplace injury, a family may receive more compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit against a third party than the family would receive under workers’ compensation. 

Your Time to File a Claim for a Workplace Injury is Limited

Whether you choose to pursue a workers’ comp claim, personal injury lawsuit, or wrongful death claim, your time to file your claim is limited. Workers are required to file an injury claim within 30 days from the date of the injury. They should notify the employer immediately about the injury.

Personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death lawsuits generally must be filed within two years from the date of death or date of injury. If you do not file your claim before the deadline, you lose your legal right to file a lawsuit.

However, there are exceptions to the rule. Your time to file a claim could be much shorter. For example, cases involving government entities have short deadlines for filing a notice of claim. The deadline could be as short as 90 to 180 days.

Therefore, meeting with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after you are injured is best for you. The same is true if you have lost a loved one in a workplace accident.