April 01, 2019
Hurricane Harvey caused historic damage to south Texas. Many homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed. As a result, federal disaster relief funding led to a massive rebuilding effort.
Rebuilding meant jobs, and jobs are good. But not all contractors are honest, and some contractors also treat their workers poorly, including failing to protect their health. Many workers came into contact with environmental (toxic) hazards. Others were made to work in unsafe conditions, without proper tools or equipment, or follow unsafe practices. Many people were injured, and some were even killed.
Workers injured on construction or industrial jobs should seek solid legal representation from an experienced Houston work injury attorney, to determine their rights, and obtain their assistance in seeking compensation for their injuries.
Protecting the Immigrant Workforce
The Hurricane Harvey cleanup would not have been possible without thousands of workers, including many immigrants. Sadly, the rights of immigrant workers are often misunderstood, and this can lead to immigrants thinking they have no rights when they are injured on the job. This is wrong! If you are injured on the job, you have rights, regardless of your immigration status.
Read More: Texas Undocumented Workers have Rights.
Some unscrupulous employers may ignore safety rules laws designed to protect workers, and these employers frequently try to take advantage of immigrant workers who are injured. They may ignore injured workers, or even use threats or intimidation. An experienced work injury lawyer knows the law. Do not fall victim to threats or intimidation! When injuries occur, only an experienced work injury lawyer can advise an injured worker of his or her rights. If you or a loved one is injured on the job, call an experienced Houston work injury attorney. We at Sandoval & Waldman can advise you of your rights if you are injured on the job.
Texas Official Worker’s Compensation vs. Nonsubscriber Employers
Texas does not require all employers to carry Texas Official Worker’s Compensation insurance. Companies who have Texas Official Worker’s Compensation cannot be sued by their employees – the only remedy is a claim for Texas Official Worker’s Compensation benefits. Employers who do not participate in such coverage are called “Non-Subscribers.” Employees of Non-Subscribers who are injured on the job can sue their employers for negligence. Some employers use the term “worker’s comp” to describe their private employee benefit program. This is particularly true of “big box store” companies, and several other large companies. Do not be fooled! Unless the employer has Texas Official Worker’s Compensation, you can sue the company for all your damages under the law, if you are injured on the job due to the negligence of your employer or a coworker! These damages include past and future medical care, loss of income, pain and suffering, physical impairment, and disfigurement.
Third Party Cases
Regardless of whether your employer is a Non-Subscriber or has Texas Official Worker’s Compensation, if your injury was caused by a defective piece of equipment or the negligence of a third party (someone other than your employer or a coworker), you also (in most cases) have a right to sue for all your damages.