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Monthly Archives: September 2016
work injury attorney Brownsville Texas

Construction Injuries: How Work-Related Injuries Are Treated

By | Personal Injury, Work Injury, Workers Comp | No Comments

Man Dies After Elevator Accident At DFW International Airport

On September 1, 2016, NBC reported that a construction worker died after he fell into an elevator shaft at DFW International Airport.

The victim was a 55-year old construction subcontractor working at Terminal A at the airport. The area was walled off for remodeling.

The man did not die at the scene; instead, he was transported to a nearby hospital where he passed away due to his injury. The airport has since ceased construction pending an investigation of the accident.

While the reason for the man’s fall is unknown, this incident highlights a common issue seen on construction sites: fatal falls.

Falls Are Still Considered The Leading Cause Construction Site Deaths

According to OSHA, falls are the leading cause of death within the construction industry.

They state that in 2013 alone, there were 291 deaths. Sadly, these deaths are preventable and often attributed to incorrect safety procedures, negligent workers, or inadequate training.

Understanding How Work-Related Injuries Are Treated In Texas

Work-related injuries, regardless of fault, typically fall under workers’ compensation. In the state of Texas, workers’ compensation is state-regulated and provides coverage for injured employees.

Under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act, Title 5, Subtitle A, injured employees are entitled to compensation for medical bills and a portion of their lost wages.

Not all work injuries qualify for workers’ compensation, but if an employee receives workers’ compensation benefits, they do not have the right to sue their employer.

Employers do have a level of protection against lawsuits, but this protection only extends so far. For example, when the work-related injury results in death, there may be additional options for loved ones to recover their financial losses. Family members would need to consult with a McAllen personal injury attorney to determine the right actions to take based on the situation.

Filing Third Party Lawsuits In The State Of Texas

Workers’ compensation does carry death benefits. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, death benefits may be paid to any legal beneficiaries for the loss of a loved one due to a work-related injury.

Surviving family members may also receive compensation up to $10,000 to cover applicable burial costs.

Sometimes, there is a third party that may be liable for work-related injuries or deaths – and these parties do not have the same protections as employers.

For example, in the case of the construction worker that fell into the elevator shaft, the death could be attributed to a defective safety harnesses, poor maintenance, or other faulty equipment. In this instance, the manufacturer, distributor, or even the company responsible for maintaining the safety equipment could be held liable for the injuries or wrongful death that occurred because of the defect.

Also, surviving family members may be able to file a lawsuit through a personal injury lawyer if the worker’s employer was grossly negligent. That means if the employer knew there was a potential for injury and ignored it, the deceased’s family can sue them.

Texas law does have strict limitations as to which surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit; therefore, a personal injury attorney must be consulted. For example, in the state of Texas, surviving siblings cannot file a lawsuit for the loss of their sibling (see Texas Statute Section 71.001).

Finding Help For A Work-Related Injury From A McAllen Personal Injury Attorney

If you are the victim of a work-related injury, or you have lost a loved one due to a work-related accident, a McAllen personal injury attorney can help. Speak with Tijerina Legal Group today to explore your options. Our team can assist you with requesting workers’ compensation benefits, or if applicable, filing a lawsuit against a negligent third party.

Schedule a complimentary consultation now with your McAllen personal injury attorney at 956-777-7777 or contact our staff online. Read More

McAllen Personal Injury Lawyer

McAllen Man Dies In Devastating Crash, But Who Is At Fault?

By | Auto Accidents, Personal Injury | No Comments

A 28-year old McAllen man passed away in the hospital soon after his sports car flew off the highway one afternoon in San Juan. Police estimate the speed of the car to have been 100 m.p.h. and suspect that the driver was taking inhalants at the time of the accident.

The driver was ejected from his vehicle’s back windshield after the vehicle hit the guardrail, rolled over, and then crashed into a palm tree. Witnesses saw the man fly out from the car and land on a nearby grassy area, according to an article by Kristian Hernandez of The Monitor.

Inside the vehicle where inhalants and whippets paraphernalia (N2O cartridges also known as “whippets” in street slang), which led the police to believe that the man was under the influence at the time of the crash. Ultimately, speed and possible driving under the influence were the reasons for the tragic accident.

First responders found the man unresponsive, and the hospital declared him dead. He was not wearing a seatbelt and there were no other passengers in the vehicle at the time of the incident.

Driving While Using Inhalants Is Still A Crime

The use of inhalants is listed within the Texas statute (Texas Statute Section 485.001, Abusable Volatile Chemical) as an abusable chemical and could constitute a DUI.

However, for a person to be guilty of a DUI-DWI, there must be proof that the inhalant was hampering the individual’s ability to drive.

Had the driver struck any other vehicles or pedestrians at the time of the accident, a McAllen personal injury attorney would have been able to hold him (or his estate) liable for the injuries or deaths that he would have caused.

In this instance, it was a single vehicle crash, and no other victims reported.

While there is no liability for this particular accident (or further injuries), it does bring up the issue of reckless behavior and how it plays a role in a motor vehicle accident claim with a McAllen personal injury lawyer.

Reckless Behavior And Motor Vehicle Accidents

Texas Transportation Code Chapter 545 defines the proper use of a motor vehicle, including proper passing, speed, etc. Reckless driving is a criminal offense under Section 545.401. If a reckless driver were to cause an accident, they could be held criminally and civilly liable for the injuries and damages associated with that accident.

Furthermore, reckless driving opens the door to punitive damages for a personal injury attorney. Therefore, an injured party would not only receive compensatory damages (i.e. medical costs, lost wages, pain, and suffering), but their McAllen personal injury attorney may seek punitive damages too.

Finding Help from a McAllen Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are the victim of a motor vehicle accident – whether a reckless or drunk driver is to blame or not – contact an attorney right away. Tijerina Legal Group is here to work as your accident advocate. Our team will ensure you receive the compensation for your damages and hold those responsible answerable for their actions.

Schedule a complimentary consultation now with a McAllen personal injury lawyer at 956-777-7777 or contact our staff online.