Tier 1 Product Liability

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3 Things That Can Ruin Your Case
Who is Liable?
Determining Value in a Products Liability Case
Cost to Pursue a Case
Where Should You File? – County or Federal Court
Defective Automobiles
Defective Boats
Tire Defects/ Rollovers
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Houston Products Liability Lawyer

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Houston Products Liability Lawyer

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Grossman Law Offices Has Been Winning Defective Products Liability Cases For Over 20 Years

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Since the founding of Grossman Law Offices in 1990, Houston injury attorney Michael Grossman has been helping those injured due to another’s negligence. This article is intended to explain products liability law, highlight some of our successes, and demonstrate how the attorneys at Grossman Law Offices should be your first choice to represent you in your Houston-area product liability claim.

How Do Product Liability Cases Work?

Product liability laws are generally all-encompassing in order to provide potential plaintiffs with all avenues of recovery to ensure that they receive the compensation that they deserve as a result of their injury. When an individual brings a product liability suit, all parties that are part of the chain of distribution will be considered potentially liable. Parties that are considered a part of the chain of distribution are all parties that had some level of involvement with the product from the design, to the sale of the product. This would include any manufacturers, sellers, delivery agencies, and all other similar parties. The thought process behind holding all these parties liable is that it is the responsibility of all parties to ensure that a safe product is being sold.

When you are pursuing a product liability cause of action there are generally two different avenues you will pursue, either a wrongful death claim or an injury claim that arose out of the defective product. Each of these types of injuries will have different recovery options. When you are dealing with a wrongful death cause of action you will typically be seeking reparation for the lost assets the deceased individual would have provided absent the death. These types of assets include loss of income. You will also seek monetary relief for your emotional losses as well as any medical expenses that your loved one may have incurred arising from the defective product injury prior to their death. An injury claim will seek relief for lost wages you may have had to incur from any absence from work. Other payments will be for pain and suffering and medical bills as well among other recoverable damages.

Example Cases

Grossman Law Offices have handled a multitude of very diverse cases in the product liability context. We have a history of success in these types of cases, whether they are defective medicine, tires, vehicles, toys, or even boats. A few highlights of our past successes: our ability to win a case where a woman suffered injuries to her back and broke several bones as a result of a defective throttle assembly in a boat. Another case where we were successful was where our client was injured while walking through a public park when a nearby bird-feeder burst into flames. We have also won cases for auto defects and many other different product liability causes of action. There isn’t a product liability case that we are not prepared to handle.

Why Experience is Necessary

Experience matters in several different trains of thought. You want an attorney that has been successful in these types of cases because they will know what to do, and how to present your evidence in the best possible light for you.

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Most cases will never see the inside of a court room, the settlement offers that you will receive will not only be based upon the quality of your case but mostly on the defendant’s belief in their likelihood of winning the case at trial. Defense lawyers know that any case we represent will not be an easy victory in trial, and they are more likely to avoid trial be increasing their offers.

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a defective or faulty product, know that you have rights. The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices are here to help you get the results that you are seeking. We have handled a multitude of different cases just like yours and may be able to help you recover as well. To discuss your recovery options with us call 1-855-392-0000; you will be glad you did.
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3 Things That Can Ruin Your Product Liability Case

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » 3 Things That Can Ruin Your Product Liability Case

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Steps to Take and Things to Avoid in Order to Preserve the Value of Your Products Liability Case

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All personal injury matters are a process, not an event. You cannot simply make accusations that a product was defective and be compensated for your damages. With the assistance of a qualified attorney you must effectively prove that the product was defective, the manufacturer is liable, and that this defect was the proximate cause of your injuries. There are many things that you must do to have a successful product liability claim, but here are a few things that can ruin you case: disposing of the product, waiting too long to pursue the claim, and hiring the wrong law firm.

Disposing of Product

When a manufacturer produces a product or a drug, they typically make thousands or even millions of these products. In some product liability cases, all examples of a particular product are defective. In this situation everyone who owns this defective product could potentially be hurt and each person who is injured by the product will suffer the same affects. If you own or possess that particular faulty product then it is presumed that you will suffer the same affects as anyone else. However, a lot of other products fail on an individual basis; therefore you need to possess this particular product to prove that it was defective.

In cases where we need the distinct product which was defective, the product itself cannot be disposed of before the case ever goes to trial. Our attorneys are skilled and practiced in protecting evidence which is the foundation of your claim. For instance, we have litigated defective auto cases which require the vehicle to be put in storage through the duration of the case. This allows us to properly preserve the evidence, prove that it has not been tampered with, and allows us to use the evidence at our disposal. If you mistakenly dispose of the defective product, or allow it to become altered in any way, the basis for your entire claim could be destroyed.

Waiting Too Long to Pursue the Claim

If you wait too long to pursue the claim, you run the risk of not having all the evidence necessary to prove your case. Many prospective clients have waited too long to hire anyone and by the time they called us, all the evidence had already been completely eradicated. As mentioned above, many product liability claims revolve around one specific piece of evidence. By waiting to file a claim against the manufacturer, the evidence can easily be destroyed or lost.

Additionally, victims can wait too long to file a product liability claim and the statute of limitations can expire. You are allowed a very narrow amount of time to file your personal injury or wrongful death claim. Once this time passes, you are completely barred from filing suit. Many people wait too long to file their product liability lawsuit and ultimately receive nothing because the statute of limitations has passed. But here’s the tricky part. Not everyone can intuitively identify when their statute of limitations begins, so they may very well think that their two years has not run out, but they are basing this on the wrong starting date.

Hiring the Wrong Law Firm

Product liability cases generally involve severe life=threatening injuries and the defendant typically will have many assets. Therefore, a lot of attorneys will see these cases as a payday, but most law firms are ill equipped to take the necessary steps to get to that point. In other words, some firms want the case but they don’t have the means to actually work the case properly. There are numerous reasons why a law firm may be ill equipped to handle your claim:

They do not understand how or where to file a product liability lawsuit.

They do not have the necessary connections to prove your injury.

They do not have the necessary resources to execute your claim.

Many law firms are not qualified to handle your product liability claim because they do not know how to handle such a complex lawsuit. Product liability claims involve being proficient with intricate details of the defective product and the resulting accident. Furthermore, not every law firm has attorneys which are licensed to practice in both state and federal courts. Many product liability claims must be filed in federal court and many attorneys are simply not licensed for federal court. Grossman Law Offices has attorneys who are licensed to practice in both state and federal court and we are very familiar with handling such complex claims.

Grossman Law Offices has a great deal of connections which are necessary in the success of your claim. Proving a product liability injury often requires numerous expert witnesses and scientists who are capable of recreating the accident. Without these invaluable connections your claim could be greatly harmed and you may not reach a successful outcome. Our attorneys have used many expert witnesses in past claims to prove injuries and convince the jury of our client’s need for compensation.
And finally, many law firms do not have the capital necessary to pursue your claim. Product liability cases are incredibly expensive and often the attorney will have to pay out of pocket to secure evidence and have experts pursue analysis. Additionally, our attorneys will probably have to travel and, simply put, many law firms do not have this disposable income to adequately pursue your claim.

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Grossman Law Offices is dedicated to helping our clients seek the justice they deserve. We are passionate about helping victims like you and we put your needs before ours. To learn more about important aspects of your product liability lawsuit, contact Grossman Law Offices at 1-855-392-0000.
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Responsibility for Injury Due to a Product Defect

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Responsibility for Injury Due to a Product Defect

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Who All is Responsible for an Injury Caused by a Defective Product?

Did You Know?

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Our Houston defective product attorneys have won thousands of cases. Call us today to discuss your case. 1-855-392-0000

We trust that the products that we purchase for ourselves and our loved ones are intended to be safe. We believe that if we use a product to clean our house, to entertain our children or to use for our health will not cause us any harm. Products that we purchase are part of our way of life in the Houston area.

Many of the products that are exposed to the public are supposed to be created under the federal guidelines but sometimes they are not. The reason why some of the products are not made according to federal guidelines is that the manufacturers are wanting to rush the product to the markets without properly testing it. When this happens the product becomes defective causing several people to become injured by the product. Meanwhile, the manufactures are still making a profit.

Who is liable?

In theory, everyone who is involved in the chain of distribution can be held liable for the injuries that you suffered and a lawsuit can be brought against them. This can include the people who manufactured, created, designed, sold, and marketed the product.

Sometimes everyone in the chain of distribution can be difficult to identify because there are so many entities involved in the manufacturing and distribution of the defective product. The most common defendants identified are the manufacturer and the retailer. The manufacturer is the company that designed, marketed and tested the product. The retailer is the company or companies that sold it.

Who can sue?

If someone bought the defective product and suffered injuries then they can bring a products liability lawsuit. However, that’s not the only person that can bring a products liability lawsuit. If you did not buy the product but you suffered injuries because you used the product or someone else used the product and you suffered injuries then you can also bring a products liability claim.

Elements of Products Liability

If you are intending to file a products liability claim for your injuries, then you must first prove that the product was defective, you suffered an injury, the injury was caused by the defective product, and you used the product the way it was intended for it to be used.

Theories of Product Liability

Once you have shown the above elements in a products liability case, then there are several theories that can be raised. You must show that the product was manufactured poorly, the product was defectively designed or the product did not include warnings or instructions about how to properly use the product.

A product that was manufactured poorly is the most common reason because all you need to show is that there was something wrong with the product when it was manufactured. For example, you purchased an expensive coffee pot from a store in the Galleria mall in Houston. You take the coffee pot home and begin to use it. You fill the coffee container with water and then you add the coffee grounds. While the coffee is brewing, the coffee pot gets too hot and explodes causing the glass to cut your arm while the hot water hits your face, causing first-degree burns. Because of the faulty coffee pot and your injuries you can bring a products liability lawsuit against the manufacturer and the retailer who sold it to you.

A defectively designed product involves multiple products of the same type that are flawed or defective. An example of this would be several coffee pots that were made by the same manufacturer and they all exploded causing first-degree burns.

Products that do not include warnings or instructions are just as dangerous as the first two theories. Because the manufacturer has failed to warn you about the dangers then you are unaware of the possibilities that can occur.

Defective products in the Houston market contribute to hundreds of accidents daily. Our attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have successfully litigated products liability cases against the manufacturers and the retailers for our clients in Houston. Our attorneys have over 20 years experience and will vigorously fight for your rights. Call us any day or night at 1-855-392-0000 to receive a free consultation.

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How Much is my Product Liability Case Worth?

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » How Much is my Product Liability Case Worth?

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Determining the Value of a Products Liability Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Case

We have found that the question which is often asked by our clients is “How much is my products liability case is worth?” However, the appropriate question is “How much compensation is enough for me?”

In our opinion, a settlement is not in our client’s best interest unless it covers past and future losses. A settlement might not be enough for the injuries that you have incurred. A settlement might warrant only enough for you to cover your medical bills but it might not be enough to take care of your lost of income, your mental anguish that you are suffering due to the accident, or any other financial needs that might need to be compensated.

Each Case is Different

Imagine that you are driving a SUV and the tire blows out. You are paralyzed from the waste down. Is a million dollars enough? Is two million dollars enough? What about three million dollars? The appropriate answer is: enough compensation is the amount that pays for the full impact that you sustained to your lifestyle. Costs such as the need for special vehicles if you were are no longer to walk, the accessible equipment in your home to make it easy for you to move around, long term treatment of healthcare, and any other additional resources to assist you with the future physical injuries that might occur.

Now think about this example, imagine that your loved one is killed by suffering from a dangerous drug like Pradaxa or from a car accident because the airbags failed to deploy. Your spouse is now gone because of the recklessness of someone else. Your spouse was the primary breadwinner for your family. You were dependent on their income to take care of the household. Is it fair to have enough compensation for your pain & suffering to be without the one you love? Or is it enough to make up for the loss of income your loved one who would have continued to make if they had not died.

What is Next?

Did You Know?

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Our Houston Texas attorneys have won hundreds of defective product cases. Call us today to discuss your case. 1-855-392-0000

There are practical limitations for obtaining these types of results. By hiring an experienced attorney from our law firm, you will be afforded the highest quality of legal services possible. Our attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have been successfully fighting to provide our clients in the Houston area with the adequate compensation that they deserve for over two decades.

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Our attorneys understand that your life will never be the same after the accident and enough compensation might not be enough. However, our attorneys will ensure that with the devotion of their time and dedication to your needs, the compensation awarded to you will be enough. Contact our office at 1-855-392-0000 to discuss your legal matter further.
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How Much Does a Products Liability Case Cost?

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » How Much Does a Products Liability Case Cost?

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What Costs Can I Expect When Filing a Products Liability Lawsuit?

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People are always inquiring of how much it would cost to pursue a products liability lawsuit. This is not a strange question because a lot of people are reasonably concerned that this type of lawsuit would be cost-prohibitive and that they would not be able to be compensated accordingly for their losses. One of the main concerns centers on the idea that attorneys fees would end up being out of control. However, that is not the case and the purpose of this article is to address these concerns. As you will discover that in reality the risk for you as the injured party is fairly low.

What Does Grossman Law Offices Charge for a Products Liability Lawsuit?

Our law firm works exclusively off of a contingency fee arrangement in product’s liability cases. A contingency fee arrangement basically means that we charge you nothing at all straight off the bat. In the event that your case ends up being successful then we will take a portion of the proceeds that are received as compensation for our services. Therefore, if you don’t get paid – neither do we. Essentially, if your lawsuit is not successful then we will receive nothing at all for our time and services.

Moreover, we assume all financial risk. Our attorneys will invest hundreds or even thousands of hours into a case even though we may not receive anything for our efforts. As previously stated, the way that we get paid is that we keep a percentage of your award in the event that your lawsuit reaches a favorable outcome, but only if the case is successful.

The typical price range for fees rendered under a contingency fee arrangement is one third of the winnings. However, there are certain situations where the fees may be higher if the circumstances make the case more risky for our firm. For instance, if you hire us the day before your statute of limitations expires. We may still choose to take your case but considering that time is of the essence in that situation, a higher fee may be appropriate in order for our firm to be adequately compensated proportionate to the risk we are assuming.

Costs

In addition to fees, clients will have to repay any costs that we put into a case. Some clients prefer to pay for court costs out of their own pocket, and when the case is resolved they simply pay us for our attorneys fees alone. But when a client cannot afford to pay out of pocket for attorney’s fees, we will pay the client’s court costs for them and we’ll be paid back out of the winnings.

For instance, in the event that a settlement agreement is not a possibility, we will file suit on your behalf and take your case to trial. In doing so we will have to pay the court a few hundred dollars for the filing fee and we will have to pay for other such expenses including the services of a court reporter and a process server.

The way it works is that we will advance our own money to pay for these expenses in order for your lawsuit to progress. If and only if we win your case for you will you have to reimburse us for these expenses.

In the event that we do not win the case, we will completely absorb the loss of all of the attorney time and expenses that we put into your case. This is an incredibly rare outcome and should only occur if the defendant that we file suit against happens to enter into bankruptcy or some other unanticipated event. Nevertheless, if this occurs we will bear the financial burden of the loss. You will suffer no out of pocket expenses whatsoever.

A vast majority of cases that our firm handles are capable of being settled out of court without having to file suit, which eliminates the need to put expenses into a case.

Why You Shouldn’t Be Scared of Costs

We are bound by the ethics rules of the State Bar of Texas, and just so we’re clear, that means that if we break said ethics rules we may forever be barred from the practice of law (read: we don’t break the rules). One of the rules that we are sworn to abide by is that we cannot unfairly charge a client for costs. We can’t charge interest and we can only ask a client to reimburse us for costs out of their winnings and only when we substantiate the costs to the client.

The costs that we expend to make sure you have a strong case for recovery are usually fairly insignificant compared to the award that will be received if we are successful with your claim. For instance, our firm recently resolved a seven-figure truck accident case and the total expenses that we put into the case after a year of litigation was only $15,000. Now, $15,000 is not a small amount, but compared to the money that we made for our clients and the advantage it gave to our clients, it was put to good use.

What Are Some Typical Costs Associated With Filing a Lawsuit?
An example of costs or expenses would include the filing fee that we have to pay to file a lawsuit. This will usually be about a four $100 fee for a court reporter to appear on day of trial or depositions. In addition, with a products liability lawsuit your case will likely require and report from an expert witness (typically an engineer). Hiring an expert witness to provide testimony to make sure you have all the proof you need to win could range from $2,000 to $20,000.

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In sum, the attorneys at Grossman Law Offices are highly qualified and have more than the necessary experience to ensure that your products liability lawsuit is based on the best theory of recovery available. We can state without reservation that what we bring to the table is worth every penny that we charge. We are the first to admit that hiring a lawyer is not exactly cheap, but it is better than the alternative. Attempting to pursue a product liability cause of action without an attorney would be a near impossible feat. Considering the highly technical nature of these types of lawsuits, you need the best representation available in Harris County. That is exactly what we can offer you at Grossman Law Offices.

We have been handling personal injury lawsuits all over the state of Texas for upwards of twenty years and will provide you with the same customer satisfaction that we have with every client we have represented in the past. To discuss your potential product liability cause of action, contact us at 1-855-392-0000.
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Harris County Court vs. Federal Court

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Harris County Court vs. Federal Court

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Do You Know Whether You Should File Your Case in Federal Court or in the Local Harris County Court System?

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There are many different courts in Harris County that you could potentially file your case in. Determining which court to file your case in depends on different factors like what type of case it is and what legal remedy you are trying to pursue. However, there are also times when you will be able to file your case in federal court. Grossman Law Offices has over twenty years of experience and has handled over a thousand cases, many of them in Harris County.

Harris County Justice of the Peace Courts

Harris County Justice of the Peace courts are the lowest level of courts in Harris County and basically serve as a small claims court. When you are suing someone and are claiming damages that are $200 or less, they must be filed in this court. However, you can also file claims up to $10,000 in this court. One of the types of cases you can file in a justice of the peace court is a personal injury claim, so long as the damages requested are less than $10,000. You need to file a personal injury claim within two years of the action that gave rise to your claim.

Harris County Probate Court

Harris County Probate Court is a court that generally deals with probate matters like the distribution of a will. However, certain cases involving personal injury claims can also be brought in front of a probate court. For example, a wrongful death suit that involves survival damages can be brought in a probate court by the victim’s estate on behalf of the victim.

Harris County District Court

Harris County District Courts are courts that have what is called general jurisdiction, meaning that most cases are going to be filed here. Any case that involves damages in an amount greater than $200 can be filed in one of Houston’s 26 District courts, depending on where the incident occurred and where the parties reside. There is no upper limit to the amount of damages that can be awarded by a district court. Most personal injury cases will be filed in district court and must be done so within 2 years of the action that gave rise to the claim.

When Would I Be Able To File My Claim in Federal Court?

There are certain instances where you will be able to file your claim in Federal District Court instead of a Harris County Court. The way you should think of it is you are always able to file your case in a Harris County Court, but you need to be able to prove that you are allowed to file your case in Federal Court. There are two requirements that must be met in order to file a case in Federal Court, the amount in controversy and diversity of citizenship.

The amount in controversy for a case to be filed in Federal Court is $75,000. In other words if the amount of damages you are claiming in your personal injury case is for more than $75,000 than you may have the option to file your case in Federal Court if the next requirement is met.

Diversity of citizen ship means that the two opposing parties, the plaintiff and the defendant, are not from the same jurisdiction, or state. For example, if you live in Houston and are a Texas Citizen, and are in a car accident with someone who is a citizen of Louisiana, if you decided to bring suit against them diversity of citizenship would exist. If both of these requirements are met, then you will be able to file your case in Federal Court.

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You Need An Experienced Attorney to Help You Pick The Right Court

Determining the right court to file you potential claim in can be difficult without the assistance of an experienced attorney. Our attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have over two decades of experience and have helped many of their clients determine the right Harris County Court to file their claim in.
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Injuries Caused by Automobile Defects

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Injuries Caused by Automobile Defects

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General Overview of Injuries and Death Caused by Automobile Defects and the Failure of Car Safety Features

For over 22 years, our law firm has represented clients in the Houston area that have been injured in automobile accidents. Many of the accidents were the result of the automobile being defective. Automobile defects can occur in many different ways. This article will provide an overview on the common types of automobile defects.

Air bags

In recent years, air bags have been a common defect in automobiles. Air bags are known to cause serious injuries or even death. However, air bags are never known to be defective until you are involved in an accident and then they fail to deploy or they deploy improperly. When air bags were designed for the automobile, they were designed to minimize the impact of the accident and to protect your body from being crushed into the steering wheel. But apparently, this wasn’t happening.

During the making of the air bag, no one considered that many people sit closer to the steering wheel while they drive or that children sit in the front seat. So when or if the air bag did deploy, the impact was 10 times worse and adults were suffering head and chest damages and children were instantly being killed. Due to the increase of accidents caused by the defective air bags, children are no longer allowed to sit in the front seat until they research a certain age.

Tires

We all know that tires are one of the most important components on an automobile. Without tires, then the car cannot move. However, when we buy a car we are expecting that the tires on the car to have been properly balanced and rotated; or when we buy new tires we expect them to be safe. Sometimes, this is not always the case. Thousands of tires are being recalled regularly because manufactures are neglecting their duty to keep them maintained. People are having car accidents because the tires are blowing out in the middle of the highway. The treading of the tires are separating and falling off the rim or the tires themselves were not properly mounted on the rim. Whatever the case may be, many people are suffering from injuries due to the defect of tires.

Brakes

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Brakes are also a very important component on an automobile. Brakes are used in the automobile to allow the car to stop or slow down. Sometimes brakes can fail without warning. Brakes can be defective because the brake pads were worn out, the brakes were installed improperly, the brake lines were rusty or the brakes lines were leaking. Any of these and more can cause a major accident.

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Accidents that are caused by automobile defects do not always involve your automobile. You can also be injured by someone else’s automobile that had a defect. If you have been involved in accident that was due to an automobile defect then call our office more information. Allow us to assess your case and provide you with the legal representation that you need. Contact our office at 1-855-392-0000 to receive a free consultation.
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Defective Boats and Watercraft

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Defective Boats and Watercraft

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Has a Defective Boat or Personal Watercraft Caused an Accident or Other Serious Injury?

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Boating accidents can happen more frequently then you think. Sometimes this is caused by operator error but other times it is caused by a defect in the boat itself. When a boating accident is caused by a defect in the boat and you are injured as a result, there may be a way for you to receive compensation for your injuries. Grossman Law Offices has over two decades of experience helping clients understand and use their rights.

What is a Defect?

There are three main ways that something can be defective. They can be defective as manufactured, defective as designed, or have a warning defect. The two most common types of defects for boats and other watercraft are design defects and absence of a warning.

A design defect means that the entire line of products is defective because of a faulty design. For example, if a boat uses a certain kind of motor, and that entire line of motors has a tendency to overheat and explode, this would be a design defect.

The other kind of defect commonly associated with boats and watercraft is an absence of a warning. This kind of defect is split into two categories, an inadequate warning and a lack of a warning. An inadequate warning is a warning that does not disclose all of the risks associated with a product. A lack of a warning is a complete lack of a warning about the danger of using a product.

A warning defect can arise in boat and watercraft accident cases because boats and watercraft can be potentially dangerous if not used correctly. For instance, if a boat manufacturer does not warn you that if you drop the anchor on the right side of the boat it may cause the boat to capsize, it would be a warning defect.

What are Some Common Types of Boat and Watercraft Defects?

There are some common types of design and warning defects in boats and watercraft. One defect is a failure of the hull of the boat. This means that the hull is made in such a way that it’s not able to protect the boat or is easily damaged. If the hull of a boat fails, this usually leads to it sinking.

Another common defect is engine failure. This means that there is something that causes the engine or motor of a boat to either malfunction or become destroyed. The best-case scenario is that the engine simply stops working and you are stuck. However, the worst-case scenario is that the defect causes the engine to catch fire or explode resulting in serious damage to the boat and possibly to you.

Yet another type of defect is instrument failure. For example, imagine you are driving your boat on Lake Conroe, but the boat’s depth gauge is defective and fails to warn you that you are about to enter shallow water. As a result of the defective depth gauge you then crash your boat on the bottom of the lake resulting in damage to your boat and injury to you.

You Need An Experienced Attorney

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Like all product liability cases, boat and watercraft defect cases can be very complex because of all the elements that have to be satisfied in order to prove a design or warning defect. Also, there are some defenses, like misuse, that the defendant can use to try and avoid liability.

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Our attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have over twenty years of experience and have dealt with many products liability cases involving boats and other watercraft. They have helped many Houston clients determine their rights under the law and get the compensation they deserved. If you were injured in a boat or watercraft accident that was caused by a defect, call today for a free consultation at 1-855-392-0000.
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Accidents Caused by Defective Tires

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Accidents Caused by Defective Tires

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Has a Defective Tire or Blowout Led to an Accident Causing Injury to You or a Loved One?

Tires are infamous for being the cause of a car accident. Manufacturers have repeatedly been forced to recall tires on all types of vehicles due to some sort of defect which is likely to cause an accident which may harm you and your family. A tire can be defective due to negligent construction, faulty design, or by the way in which it was wrongfully implemented. Under the right (or rather wrong) circumstances you can suffer significant injury or, in some cases, even death. This article will explain how we expect our tires to perform, what happens when they fail to meet that expectation, who is entitled to file suit, who may be responsible for your accident and it will specifically discuss tire problems associated with SUVs.

What We Expect From Tires

The tires on your car are probably one of the most crucial aspects of your vehicle. They are the one thing that directly connects your car to the road. Your tires grip the ground when driving, turning, and stopping and if they fail to function properly, the result can be catastrophic.

Every tire will eventually fail; this is inevitable. The tread on your tires will wear down over time and will, one day, need to be replaced; however, tires should function properly for a reasonable amount of time and all tires should function in a fairly similar fashion. Tires will generate consistent grip until their capacity has been exceeded, but you are generally given a judicious amount of warning up to this point by way of tire screeching.

Additionally, we expect the tire to withstand a great deal of weight we put on it. If a tire fails simply from transferring weight onto it, then the tire is not functioning adequately and is considered defective. We require tires to perform properly in varying weather conditions including very cold and extremely hot roads. If a tire does not function as expected in these foreseeable circumstances then it is likely that the tire is faulty and its inherent defect is the cause of the car accident.

What Happens When a Tire Fails?

The first thing that happens when a tire fails is that one corner of the vehicle automatically falls to the ground due to the almost instantaneous deflation. This shift in weight consequently compromises the grip of the remaining three tires. A large portion of steering a vehicle and being able to turn is reliant upon being able to transfer weight between the four wheels to effectively maneuver. Anytime one of the four tires fails, the entire car is put in danger and has a high probability of crashing.

Who Can Bring a Claim?

If one of the tires on your car failed and caused you to crash, then you and every person in your vehicle at the time of the accident has standing to file a personal injury claim. If the tire of another vehicle failed causing it to collide with you, then you would also have standing in this situation. Basically it does not matter whether it was your tire, or the tire of another car, if you were injured due to the defective tire you the court will allow you to bring a claim against the tire manufacturer.

Furthermore, if your loved one was killed due to a defective tire you may have standing to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the tire manufacturer. In this instance, you were not personally or directly injured by the faulty tire; however, as a result of your loved one’s death you have been indirectly injured by the manufacturer’s negligence and have a valid claim against the responsible company. It is important to note that when you file a wrongful death claim you are suing for your own personal damages, and not filing a suit on behalf of your deceased loved one. In contrast, a claim for survival damages is filed on behalf of your loved one for the suffering or financial loss they endured prior to succumbing to their injuries.

Who Should I Sue?

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There are multiple people who may be responsible for your injuries. Who you can sue depends entirely upon what specifically caused the problem. Was the tire designed poorly? There is an n engineer who designed the tire. If the tire was defective in the design, meaning that it was not balanced correctly, it called for too little or too much air for the tire then it would be considered faulty and could cause a massive car or truck accident due to this defective design. Did the manufacturer negligently produce it? This might occur if the manufacturer used the wrong material in the construction of the tire.

Or did the manufacturer install the wrong tire for the specific car? For instance, a Prius requires a very different tire than a Ford F150. If the manufacturer installed a tire that does not properly fit the car or is not strong enough to hold the weight of the car, then it could explode while you are driving it or it could become separated from the car while it is in motion. Our attorneys can help assess your accident and inspect the tire to determine which part was defective and, in turn, who is responsible.
Unique Problems With SUVs

It seems like we most often hear about tire problems in SUVs. There are continually reports on the news about horrific accidents involving SUVs which were caused by defective tires. The reason for this is largely due to the theory of weight transfer. Remember, each tire greatly impacts the transfer of weight throughout the vehicle; when one tire is compromised the balance of the car is also compromised.

With SUVs sitting much higher off the ground than other vehicles, the transfer of weight has a much greater effect on the vehicle. SUVs are heavier, they sit higher above the ground and when for example, the front right tire explodes then the entire weight of the car is suddenly thrust to the front right side of the vehicle. This is another reason why many SUVs roll over in accidents such as this. They have such a great amount of force moving in that compromised direction and the vehicle is incapable of remaining balanced.

Must I Have Personally Purchased the Tire to Have Standing?

No. Under the theory of products liability, it is irrelevant whether you personally purchased the defective product. All that matters is whether you were injured by the faulty tire. Essentially, the benefit of the purchase extends to everyone who has been harmed by the defective tire. And as mentioned above, you do not even have to be physically injured in order to file a products liability claim against the tire manufacturer. If your loved one was wrongfully killed due to this defective product, you will have standing for a wrongful death claim based on product liability.

Investigating a Defective Tire Claim

The most important aspect of investigating defective tire claims is this: WE NEED THE TIRE. Without the actual tire which we believe to be defective, we will have no proof that the specific tire in question was defective and that defect is the proximate cause of your injuries. It is also for this reason that you need to contact us immediately. The sooner you contact Grossman Law Offices the faster we can locate the tire, preserve it as evidence, and test it for defects.

First, we will visually inspect the tire. Our attorneys are very experienced defective tires and it is sometimes very obvious just by looking at the tire that it was faulty. Sometimes by assessing the cosmetic issues of the tire we can either confirm the defect which we believe to have caused the accident and potentially eliminate other possibilities. After a visual inspection, if we still believe your accident was the result of a faulty tire, we will then have our engineers conduct tests and thoroughly analyze the tire. After they have methodically and systematically studied every part of the tire, our expert engineers will then render an official opinion. If the engineer’s findings are favorable to your claim we will then use their findings as foundational evidence to support your claim. At that point we will file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer and any other responsible parties in order to seek damages for your injuries.

After commencing a claim, our attorneys will then conduct a thorough investigation during discovery. In discovery we will request and carefully review internal documents from the tire manufacturer, tire engineers, and car manufacturer which may prove that the responsible party had knowledge of the tire’s defect yet still allowed it to be put on the market. We may find reports from when the tire was in the testing stage which establish that the tire did not perform adequately and therefore was defective in design. Or we may uncover documents from the manufacturer which show that the tire should have been constructed with one specific type of material, but through our expert engineer’s inspection we have proof that the faulty tire was constructed with inferior material proximately causing your accident.

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If you have been injured or your loved one has been killed due to a car accident caused by a defective tire, Grossman Law Offices can help you. Through our experience we have learned many unique skills to investigating defective tires and proving your claim in court. We have a great deal of experience dealing with manufacturers and car companies which is invaluable when fighting for your compensation. We understand how these large companies work and we know how to best hold them accountable for their failures. Grossman Law Offices has helped hundreds of families injured in car accidents and we want to help you too. We know that you and your family are probably experiencing an incredibly difficult time right now and we are confident that we can help you reach a favorable outcome in your personally injury claim. If you believe that your car accident was caused by a defective tire, call Grossman Law Offices at 1-855-392-0000.

Tier 1 Workers Comp Nonsubscriber more

Employer’s Duties

Employer’s Duties
Employer’s Obligation to Provide PPE
Theories of Liability Used in Nonsubscriber Cases
All About OSHA
What is OSHA?
When Does OSHA Investigate?
What does OSHA Investigate?
OSHA Fines and Penalties
By Occupation
Safety Guidelines for Commerical Fishermen
Safety Guidelines for Product Line Workers
Safety Guidelines for Plumbers
Safety Guidelines for Concrete Workers
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The Employer’s Duty of Care Owed to Employees

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » The Employer’s Duty of Care Owed to Employees

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What Duty of Care Does an Employer Owe Their Employees and How Does it Apply to Workplace Accidents?

The Occupational and Safety Health Administration, otherwise known as OSHA, is a government entity that defines and manages an employer’s responsibility for the safety of its employees. The administration outlines in detail the requirements that an employer must comply with in order to protect their workers from being harmed or even killed while on the job. OSHA has created standard requirements that companies must follow in order to protect their workers from hazards and dangerous work accidents. But what exactly are the employers required to do?

Standard Duty of Care

Employers are required to perform a standard duty of care. This means that a company must comply with a reasonable duty of care to ensure the protection and safety of its employees. The employer must act as a reasonably prudent person would act in the same or similar situation. This might entail removing any obviously dangerous or potentially hazardous material. Or simply providing extra safety devices in a situation where a reasonably prudent person would determine them necessary. For example, every time you go into a public building with a staircase there is always a hand rail to assist people in walking up and down the staircase. This is considered a reasonable action. The building owner understands that people will occasionally lose their balance when traversing a staircase and it is reasonable to provide a hand railing to prevent anyone from falling and hurting themselves. Therefore, they have fulfilled their standard duty of care.

Basically, an employer’s standard duty of care is to make sure that the work environment is as safe as possible in order to prevent potential work accidents. Another prime example would be the ventilation system at your work emitting a harmful or irritating chemical. Rather than simply providing its workers with masks to protect their nose and throat, under the standard duty of care the employer must do its best to diminish or eliminate altogether these toxic fumes. If the company simply wants to supply these masks as a cheap alternative to ventilating the air they are violating this duty of care. The reasonable standard of care would require the company to fix the ventilation system if that is a possibility.

If it’s not possible to completely fix the problem, then it would become the employer’s duty to provide other methods for protecting the health of the workers. If you have suffered an injury while working you will need an attorney who has extensive knowledge and understanding about employer responsibilities and work related injuries. Grossman Law Offices can help you understand your rights as an employee and help you seek recovery from all responsible parties.

OSHA Requirements for Duty of Care Can Be Job Specific

OSHA has declared that certain jobs have a higher duty of care than simply a general duty of reasonable care. OSHA states that the employer must act with a greater effort to preserve the health and safety of their employees in certain types of jobs. Some jobs have a greater potential and threat of harm and therefore these types of employers have a greater responsibility for ensuring the safety of their workers.

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For example, construction companies or companies that regularly work with hazardous materials owe a greater standard of care to their employees. Construction company employees are constantly surrounded by dangerous materials and vehicles and OSHA specifically outlines requirements that these companies must adhere to in order to protect its workers. Companies that work with hazardous materials like highly contagious viruses and diseases would have their own job specific requirements since their employees are exposed to extreme dangers on a daily basis.

Some cases are job specific and it’s important to discuss your case with a qualified attorney. Your attorney should have first-hand knowledge of work accident cases and be able to explain to you the duty of care that your employer owes you as a worker. The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have over 20 years of experience handling workplace accidents. If you have been injured while working and would like to speak with one of our attorneys to discuss your rights call us at 1-855-392-0000. We’re here to help you day or night.
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The Employer’s obligation to provide PPE

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » The Employer’s obligation to provide PPE

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Has the Failure of an Employer to Provide Personal Protective Equipment Resulted in the Serious Injury to You or the Death of Another?

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There are certain types of employment that warrant employee’s wearing special protective equipment so that they are not injured. When an employee is injured on the job, their employer may be held liable for these injuries. The amount of financial compensation that may be received for these injuries will turn on the specific circumstances of the accident that you were involved in. The Occupational Safety Health Administration requires employees to use personal protective equipment (PPE) under certain circumstances. If the employer is obligated to provide you with this equipment, then they are going to have to have some kind of program in place to ensure that their employees wear their protective gear and that they comply with OSHA requirements. Legally speaking, the question that naturally arises is whether or not it is your employer’s fault if you were not wearing personal protective equipment and you suffered an injury.

Depending on the type of occupation that you have and the hazards that you are exposed to will determine what you have to wear. Employer liability comes about when your employer fails to inform you of these dangers and provide you with the appropriate protective gear. If this occurs you may be able to assert employer negligence in order to recover for your losses. OSHA is an agency that is responsible for ensuring that employees are safe and work under nonhazardous conditions. Therefore, when an employer chooses to disregard these regulations they should be held liable for any ensuing injuries. This article will discuss the types of equipment often used and whether you may be capable of holding your employer liable based on their failure to provide you with the necessary protections.

What are the Employer’s Obligations?

Employers and employees alike should ensure that there is a safe work environment. However, there are certain obligations that are specifically imposed on employers. They are responsible for performing ‘hazard assessments’ of the work environments to evaluate any potential hazards. Secondly, they must identify what the necessary PPE is for their employees and make sure it is provided. They then have to train their employees in the using the equipment correctly. The maintenance of the protective equipment is also their responsibility and they must replace any damaged or worn out equipment. Lastly, they should continuously review and update their PPE program to make sure that it is running effectively and providing the protections it was intended to.

Types of Personal Protective Equipment

Eye and Face Protection
There are many hazards that can present serious dangers to the face and the eyes in certain types of occupations. If the employee happens to be exposed to chemical substances, acids or flying particles then they should have protection provided for their eyes and face. Common injuries that occur to this part of the body in the workplace are actually caused by improper eye protection that fails to guard the employee from these hazards. Consequentially, the employer must make sure that the protective face and eye equipment fits each worker properly and will protect him or her from these dangers.

The common types of eye and face protection that are used include goggles, face shields, welding shields, laser safety goggles and safety spectacles.

Ear Protection
When an employer is evaluating what types of hearing protection to provide to their employees, OSHA has a list of factors that may guide them in the right direction. They need to consider how long the employees are around this noise and the loudness of it. They also must look to whether or not the employees are moving between different work areas that have different noise levels and whether the noise is generated from a single source or a number of different sources.

The common types of ear protection that are used are earmuffs, pre-formed or molded earplugs and single-use earplugs.

Foot and Leg Protection
If employees are employed in an occupation where they are exposed to possible foot and leg injuries then they should be required to wear protective footwear. This also applies if your job exposes you to poisonous materials or dangerous substances that could injure any exposed body part such as your foot or legs. Some scenarios where foot and leg protection would be necessary would be if you work with heavy objects that may roll onto your feet or work or sharp objects that could penetrate through the soles or tops of shoes. Moreover, if you are exposed to molten metal or work around hot wet surfaces or when electrical hazards exist.

Some examples of foot and leg protection are toe guards, safety shoes, combination foot and shin guards, and leggings.

Body Protection
Additional equipment should be work if there are inherent dangers of bodily injury associated with a certain profession that cannot be eliminated. Examples would be if you were exposed to temperature extremes, hazardous chemical et cetera. There are certain types of fabric that can protect you from these dangers such as treated wool and cotton, leather, dock, paper-like fiber, and rubberized fabrics.
Head Protection
Last but not least, protecting employees from suffering head injuries is incredibly important. This is because head injuries typically result in life-long injuries or even death. Hard hats are the most common type of personal protective equipment because there are a number of jobs that involve potential head injuries. Some of these jobs would be carpenters, plumbers, welders, electricians, and many more. There are several different types of hard hats, all of which provide excellent protections to ensure that employees do not suffer one of these traffic accidents.

Does Your Employer’s Negligence Matter?

Under Texas law if your employer subscribes to workers compensation you are barred from suing them for their negligence. Worker’s compensation is a state-regulated form of insurance that employer’s may purchase in order to limit their liability significantly against employee injuries on the job. Basically, if they fail to provide you with personal protective equipment you cannot sue them for their negligence. You may only recover against them under worker’s compensation.

Comparatively, if they are a nonsubscriber failing to provide you with this equipment will constitute negligence and that alone may be enough for you to win your case. A nonsubscriber is an employer who has chosen not to opt into state run worker’s compensation.

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All of these different elements can seem confusing at first glance, however with the right attorney in charge of your lawsuit you stand to receive a sizable sum in compensation for your loss. Work injuries can be both physically and financially crippling, especially in the event that you are not able to return to work and suffer lost wages. The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have been representing clients all over the state of Texas in their personal injury lawsuits. We can guarantee you that we will work diligently on your case so that you are capable of receiving the maximum recovery you truly deserve. To discuss your lawsuit in greater detail and receive a free consultation contact Grossman Law Offices at 1-855-392-0000.
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Theories of Liability Against Nonsubscribers

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Theories of Liability Against Nonsubscribers

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Some of the Most Common Theories of Liability Which can be Used Against a Nonsubscribing Employer

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Under Texas law, work injury cases asserted against employers who have elected to abstain from participating in Texas’ workers’ compensation program (often referred to as “nonsubscribers”) are predicated upon claims that the employer caused their employee’s injuries through their negligence.

However, unlike injury cases caused by employers who have elected to participate in Texas’ workers’ compensation program (where there is an assumption that an employer must pay for an employee’s injuries), workers injured by a nonsubscribing employer will need to prove that the employer is liable for their injuries because they acted negligently.

It’s important to note that although there are several different theories that can be asserted against a negligent employer, if your attorney can prove that they are even marginally liable for your injuries, you will likely be able to hold them liable for the full extent of your injuries.

Common Theories of Liability Against Nonsubscribing Employers

Although a nonsubscribing employer can be liable for injuries it causes its employees through a variety of negligence theories, we’ve identified the following as some of the more common ones.

Failure to Provide a Reasonably Safe Workplace
A central pillar of Texas employment law mandates all employers, regardless of industry, to provide their employees a “reasonably safe” working environment. However, defining what is “reasonably safe” may be a difficult endeavor, and many of the other theories discussed below are somewhat derivative of this simple duty.

A key component of providing a safe workplace may include providing employees adequately safe “personal protective equipment” (sometimes referred to as “PPE”). For example, an employer machine shop is probably required to provide all employees at risk of suffering eye injuries protective eye wear.

Failure to Adequately Train Employees
Similar to the duty to provide a safe workplace, Texas law requires employers to train employees so that they fulfill their job duties in a manner where they don’t injure themselves and are prevented from injuring coworkers. For example, companies involved in industries where lifting heavy objects is required must train their employees to lift heavy objects with appropriate technique and support.

Failure to Adequately Supervise Employees
The final common theory of liability we’ll discuss in this article is an employer’s duty to adequately supervise their employees. Within this requirement is the mandate to enforce safety policies appropriately. Thus, if you were injured as a result of your employer’s failure to adequately supervise one of your coworkers, you may be able to assert a workplace injury lawsuit against your employer to recover the compensation you need to recover from the injuries they negligently caused.

Our Experienced Workplace Accident Attorneys Can Help Apply These Theories of Liability (and more) to Your Accident Case

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As you may have already concluded, prevailing in lawsuits where even the most common theories of liability are asserted against nonsubscribers likely requires the assistance of an experienced workplace accident attorney. Our attorneys have proudly represented Houston’s workplace injury victims for over twenty years, and may be able to put the skills and resources they’ve developed as a result to work for you.

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If you would like information regarding how our firm may be able to help you recover the compensation for your injuries in a workplace injury case we invite you to give us a call any time, day or night, at 1-855-392-0000.
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All About OSHA

What is OSHA?

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What is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and What is Their Purpose?

What is OSHA? “OSHA” stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. As an agency of the United States federal government it’s goal is the safe and healthy working conditions of American workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Act, sometimes called the OSH Act, created OSHA in 1970. It’s headquarters are in Washington, DC, with about 2,300 employees and an annual budget of around $500 million.

If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you need a skilled accident attorney with experience dealing with OSHA and its regulations. Call Grossman Law Offices now to get help. Our staff is standing by to support you and your family.

OSHA Today

As of 2012, OSHA is overseen by the U.S. Department of Labor and headed by an Assistant Secretary of Labor: epidemiologist Dr. David Michaels. OSHA’s goals are to provide and require the following to and from employers and employees in order to create safer working conditions across the country.

Standards
Training
Outreach
Education
Assistance
Compliance
Protection
To meet its goals, OSHA sends compliance officers to work sites all over the country to inspect and report on violations of worker safety laws. Inspections are generally a) scheduled in advance at workplaces in which dangerous activities are taking place, or b) surprise inspections due to worker complaints or serious workplace incidents. OSHA also enforces several federal “whistle blower” laws which give employees and other insiders rights when they disclose misconduct in government and private enterprises. OSHA often works with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in enforcement actions against responsible companies and parties.

Some specific jobs and workplaces are exempted from OSHA. This means that they are not subject to OSHA’s regulations. Examples are mines and quarries, airline flight crews and family farms. These exemptions exist because either the workplaces are regulated by other agencies (like mines and aircraft) or because compliance enforcement would not be efficient (like family farms).

Are you protected by OSHA regulations on your job? Can you make a complaint to OSHA about an injury you suffered while working? Should you? What are your rights? This is a complicated area of the law, one that requires experienced legal representation. Allow Grossman Law Offices to guide you through this unfamiliar and important process.

What About State Laws?

As in other areas of the law, federal laws regarding worker safety allow state laws to offer workers more protection, but not less. OSHA sets a floor that the states can build on but not go beneath.

OSHA Problems

People have been severely criticizing OSHA for decades. It has been argued that the agency simply does not do enough to protect workers with it’s 2,200 inspectors being responsible for over eight million work sites. Despite a significant budget and staff with powerful regulations on its side, OSHA has only secured a grand total of about a dozen criminal convictions in its more than 40 years of existence.

Furthermore, from 2000-2010, OSHA issued a total of four (4) safety and health standards. This was by far the smallest number issued in any decade of OSHA’s existence. Some have blamed the presidential administration in office during most of that time, which was apparently uninterested in passing or enforcing any meaningful regulations on businesses. During that time, an average of 14 workers a day were killed on work sites in the United States for a total of about 50,000 men and women over that 10-year period.
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Legal Assistance

To be sure, OSHA has a colossal job and is simply understaffed and under-budgeted to do it. If one of your loved ones is one of the approximately 5,000 people killed on the job each year in this country, help is available to your family.

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If you are injured on the job, help is available to your family. Call the veteran legal professionals at Grossman Law Offices today at 1-855-392-0000
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When Does OSHA Investigate an Accident Case?

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » When Does OSHA Investigate an Accident Case?

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What Needs to Happen Before OSHA Starts an Investigation Into a Workplace Accident Causing Injury or Death?

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The Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1971 established the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). OSHA is a federal agency that establishes and enforces workplace safety polices in an effort to prevent workplace accidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Act provided a responsibility to all employers to provide a safe work environment for their employees. OSHA is responsible for investigating work places that they suspect to be potentially dangerous or where a workplace injury has occurred. If conditions are found to exist at the workplace that do not fall within OSHA standards, the employer will likely be assessed a substantial penalty.

Employees often fear reporting their employer for providing dangerous or hazardous work conditions because of the potential backlash they may receive. OSHA has provided a remedy for this in two ways: first, potential dangerous conditions may be reported anonymously; secondly, an employer is prohibited from disciplining an employee in any way who reports potentially dangerous working conditions. If you have been injured in a work accident because you were working in an unsafe work environment you will need the representation of an experienced attorney that knows how to get around the “red tape” that can accompany such accidents.

When Does OSHA Investigate a Case?

OSHA conducts most workplace inspections without notice to an employer. The exception to the no notice requirement is when they are inspecting a place that may be potentially dangerous or harmful for the inspectors, in such situations OSHA will give 24 hours of notice to the employer. It would be impossible for OSHA to investigate every potentially dangerous work condition in the country. It is this reason that OSHA has set a standard in which they review cases based on priority. OSHA has four categories of priorities:

The case that receives the highest priority from OSHA is those where imminent danger is likely. Imminent danger exists in situations where danger is reasonably certain to occur and such danger could cause death or serious bodily injury.

OSHA gives second priority to the investigation of work facilities where an accident that recently occurred has caused death or hospitalization. In such situations an employer is required to contact OSHA within eight hours to report such an incident to determine if any OSHA guidelines were violated.

The third priority in OSHA investigations is when OSHA receives employee complaints about an unsafe working environment. OSHA gives employees the ability to request an inspection of a work environment when they feel that they may be subject to potential harm because of the environment. The reporting of an unsafe working condition will remain confidential if requested.

The fourth and last priority for OSHA inspectors are the inspections of specific high-risk areas and occupations. Some of the factors that are used to determine whether a workplace qualifies as a high-risk subject are: frequency of previous accidents, previous OSHA citation history, and random selections.

What Should I do if I am Injured in a Workplace Accident?

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If you were injured in a workplace accident you or your attorney may request that OSHA investigate your work environment. While OSHA’s primary purpose is to make the workplace safe and not to help you collect damages or prove fault in your case, a favorable investigation from OSHA can be beneficial for you.

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The representation of an experienced attorney who knows how to use these findings for your advantage can be most beneficial in these situations. The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have more than 20 years of experience in personal injury law and know how to couple an OSHA investigation with our own investigation efforts to provide you with the strongest possible case. We have helped thousands of clients recover the damages that they deserve and we can help you too. Call 1-855-392-0000 for your free consultation.
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Types of OSHA Workplace Investigations

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Types of OSHA Workplace Investigations

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What Types of Investigations Does OSHA Conduct Following a Workplace Injury or Fatality?

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency established in 1971 by the Occupational Safety and Health Act. OSHA’s sole purpose is to assure American workers a safe and healthy workplace by developing and implementing workplace safety policies. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, all employers must provide their employees a workplace that is free from known dangers, and where dangerous work conditions are suspected or a workplace injury has occurred, OSHA may inspect the workplace or investigate the cause of the accident. OSHA uses the findings of their inspections and investigations to provide recommendations to the employer and to prescribe new regulations for an industry.

It is important to note that federal law prevents your employer from punishing you for reporting a dangerous workplace condition to OSHA, and that you may submit your request for an inspection or investigation anonymously. If you suspect that you were injured because your workplace was unsafe, you will likely benefit from the counsel and guidance provided by an attorney familiar with workplace injuries like those at Grossman Law Offices as an independent investigation is usually necessary for you to fully recover from your injuries.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration Inspections

If you suspect that your workplace has failed to take adequate safety precautions to protect you from hazardous materials or that it is not safety compliant, you or your attorney can file an anonymous complaint with OSHA which will trigger an investigation of the work site. During the inspection, you and/or your attorney may attend and privately voice your concerns with the OSHA investigator. If violations of regulations are found during the investigation, the inspector will normally issue a citation in addition to identifying regulations that have been violated.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration Investigations

If you’ve been injured in an accident at your workplace, you or your attorney may contact OSHA to have the cause of the accident investigated. OSHA routinely investigates accidents that result in all kinds of bodily injury, death, or were caused by a catastrophe. OSHA may utilize a variety of equipment and experts while investigating the cause of your injuries including advanced industry-specific technology and accident reconstruction experts. However, it’s important for you to know that OSHA’s primary purpose is to make your workplace safe, not to ensure that you are compensated for your injuries. Thus, if you’ve been injured at your workplace, you should quickly retain an experienced personal injury attorney, who has the resources to conduct an independent investigation on your behalf to gather the evidence necessary to secure compensation for your injuries.

First, OSHA can investigate your employer for injuries resulting from your employer’s implementation of improper operating procedures, or for providing no operating procedures for dangerous activities. Improper operating procedures involve requiring and providing employees proper personal safety equipment, and to keep the work area free from all known and foreseeable safety hazards.

Second, OSHA can investigate your employer for injuries resulting from your employer’s failure to purchase or maintain equipment that is designed to be safe and to maintain structures that are safe to occupy while you work. Injuries resulting from your employer’s failure to obtain and maintain safe equipment include injuries that result when the equipment malfunctions or where a structure collapses on you while you work.

Third, OSHA can investigate your employer for injuries resulting from their failure to maintain a work site that was safe to endure environmental conditions. For example, if your injuries are attributable to exposure to heavy rains, strong winds, or excessive heat or coldness (dehydration or frostbite).

You Need a Smart, Experienced Attorney on Your Side if You’ve Been Injured at the Workplace

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If you’ve been injured on the job and suspect that your employers actions or failure to act caused your injuries by creating an unsafe workplace, your claims against your employer will likely benefit from retaining an experienced personal injury attorney. You should be aware that OSHA is a governmental agency that represents the public as a whole, and not necessarily your individual needs and rights.
To ensure that your rights are fully represented you need a strong advocate to be your voice in recovering for injuries that resulted from an accident that happened at your workplace. The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have over 20 years of experience in representing victims of workplace accidents and are available any time to provide a free consultation regarding your workplace injuries at 1-855-392-0000.

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How Can OSHA Help After a Workplace Accident?

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » How Can OSHA Help After a Workplace Accident?

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What Legal Remedies and Citations Can the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Provide?

Did You Know?

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If you’ve been injured on the job, you may have been referred to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) by a coworker and are wondering what role the agency plays in investigating your injuries and ensuring that similar accidents don’t happen again. OSHA is a federal agency that has been tasked with preventing workplace accidents by developing and implementing workplace safety policies. In implementing these policies, OSHA investigates accidents and performs workplace inspections at an employee’s request and also issues citations to employers that fail to follow guidelines.

As a general rule, OSHA may prescribe a wide range of remedies and citations against an employer in enforcing its policies. However, injured parties should note that OSHA is tasked with keeping work places safe, not with ensuring that you recover for your injuries. For that reason, retaining a personal injury attorney experienced with obtaining compensation for employees who are the victims of workplace injuries, like those at Grossman Law Offices, is essential to obtaining compensation for your injuries.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration Can Issue a Wide Array of Citations Against Your Employer for Failing to Provide a Safe Workplace

OSHA requires its inspectors to issue citations to employers who violate its provisions. Citations must be issued promptly, be in writing, and describe the nature of the violation. It will also give your employer a date and time by which the violation must be cured. Moreover, a copy of the citation will be posted near the scene of the violation in an effort to warn co-workers of the dangerous condition.

Unfortunately, OSHA has failed to update the penalties it includes in its citations since the 1970s. Thus, although the seemingly tough penalties of monetary punishment and/or imprisonment are available, they are often woefully inadequate to truly get the attention of a large employer with extremely deep pockets. For example, the largest single fine OSHA can levy on an employer at once is $10,000 and is only issued in the limited circumstance where the employer knowingly makes false statements or representations to OSHA officials. Simply put, most employers often find paying OSHA’s fines more cost effective than making the changes necessary to bring the workplace into compliance with OSHA regulations and the penalties often don’t get the attention of serious or repeat violators. Thus, to ensure that your employer takes the steps necessary to make your workplace safe for you and your coworkers, a large monetary judgment through a personal injury lawsuit is often needed.

Retaining an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Increases Your Chances of Obtaining an Adequate Remedy for Your Workplace Injuries

Although OSHA has prescribed a large variety of penalties against employers who do not maintain a safe work site, OSHA does not have authority to obtain penalties or judgments against your employer on your behalf. Thus, injuries resulting from your employer’s failure to maintain a safe workplace are generally grounded in personal injury law. As such, when you’re injured at the workplace you should retain a personal injury attorney. You shouldn’t wait for an OSHA report because those reports take 6-8 months to be written, unlike a police report that will only take a few days. Additionally, a personal injury attorney can get an independent investigation rolling for you which almost always provides more substantial evidence for your case than what OSHA’s reports provide. You should also note that OSHA will only investigate your employer and not third parties. In construction accidents in particular you should be aware that you need an experienced attorney to determine who was really at fault. OSHA’s report won’t include third party liability and thus an OSHA report alone often fails to provide the evidence necessary to obtain relief from all responsible parties.

You should also note that OSHA provides “whistle-blower” protection for employees. In other words, your employer is prevented from treating you adversely or otherwise punishing you for bringing your concerns to OSHA’s attention. OSHA specifically provides remedies for employees who are unlawfully prejudiced by attempting to keep their workplace safe, and may be entitled to reinstatement to their jobs, back pay for time missed, compensatory damages, including costs associated with asserting a lawsuit, and punitive damages in some cases. However, you should note that Texas’s unique workers compensation laws sometime make obtaining a judgment against your employer difficult. For these reasons, you should retain an attorney that is uniquely skilled in the diverse areas of law of workers compensation and personal injuries like those at Grossman Law Offices.

You Need an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney on Your Side if You’ve Been Injured at Your Workplace

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If you’ve been injured on the job you likely have several questions and need representation by an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have more than 20 years of experience in representing people injured at the workplace.
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By Occupation

Safety Guidelines for Commercial Fishermen

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Commercial Fisherman and the The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Did You Know?

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As a commercial fisherman you are often subjected to a number of dangers and hazardous conditions in your profession. For these reasons, there are certain health and safety regulations in existence to protect you in your employment and keep you safe from harm. If your employer happens to stray from these guidelines and place you in the position where you could be injured, there are legal ramifications. These regulations have been put in place for your protection and therefore your employer will be held liable for violating them in the event that you suffer some kind of injury. The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have a reputable law practice that has handled a number of claims involving similar injuries under these conditions. If you have been injured, then you have a right to be compensated for whatever loss you may have incurred from the failure of your superiors to comply with the guidelines that have been imposed on them. This article will discuss those health and safety guidelines that have been created for your benefit, emphasizing the need for you to obtain competent legal representation to assist you in obtaining the maximum recovery possible.

What Organization is Responsible for Creating Guidelines for Commercial Fisherman Safety?

The National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health is the federal agency that is charged with the duty to ensure that safety regulations are followed in commercial fishing to prevent any work related injuries. Commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous occupations because of the exceedingly long hours and exposure to inclement weather conditions. This federal agency was created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act that was signed into law by President Nixon on December 29th of 1970. This entity is responsible for researching and gathering information on injuries that can occur in order to create appropriate standards for safety so that they may be readily enforceable.

What are the Health and Safety Guidelines that Protect Commercial Fishermen?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety has established a surveillance system in order to monitor any workplace fatalities or injuries that occur in the fishing industry in the United States. The data that was recorded for the time period of 2000 to 2010 reported that there were 545 commercial fishermen that died while they were fishing in the United States. Of those deaths, more than 50% occurred following a disaster involving the shipping vessel that the fishermen were on. The remaining percentage were caused by fishermen either falling overboard, suffering an injury while on-board, or whilst diving.

Fishermen are recommended to take a marine safety class at least once during every 5-year period. Furthermore, they are told to do monthly drills to prepare for the possibility of the need to abandon ship, a flooding, fire, or when a man falls overboard. They are told to take heed of the weather forecasts in order to abstain from fishing in dangerous sea conditions and inspect the hull of the vessel and high water alarms to make sure that they’re fully intact. Comparatively, there are similar recommendations for the owners and operators of the vessel that parallel those of the fishermen. They are told to conduct monthly drills for the potential dangers of flooding, fire, abandoning ship and when a fisherman falls overboard. In addition, they are told to install a “Man Overboard” alarm system and install emergency stop devices on all machinery on-board the vessel to prevent injuries when fishermen are operating this machinery. Furthermore, they are charged with the duty of ensuring that all of the crew members have completed some marine safety training every five years.

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When considering the guidelines that have been described, it is evident that there are considerable dangers that commercial fishermen are exposed to when engaging in their chosen profession. While you as a fisherman have certain duties to follow while on-board, the owner and operator of each vessel must make sure that you are not placed in an uncharacteristically dangerous environment. If you have been subjected to some hazard or unsafe working condition during your employment and have suffered an injury, you have a right to be compensated for your loss. These policies were put in effect to protect you from injuries that could be avoided if the conditions were not unreasonably hazardous. If you have suffered an injury, the attorneys at Grossman Law Offices can provide you with experienced legal representation to assist you in being compensated for whatever pain or financial expenditure you have been subjected to. The process involving these federal agencies can be both confusing and unfamiliar. In order to protect your cause of action and rights under the law you need to retain legal counsel to assist you. Contact the attorneys at Grossman Law Offices at 1-855-392-0000 to discuss your potential claim.
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Safety Guidelines for Production Line Workers

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Health and Safety Guidelines and Regulations to Prevent Injury to Production Line Workers

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Production line workers form a crucial component of the workforce in the United States. Since the advent of the assembly line by Ford Motor Company a century ago, men and women have been asked to spend their workdays sitting or standing and sometimes both while doing production line work. Production line work can also be very hazardous to your health. Because of this accidents among production line workers are common.

If you have been injured while working on a production line, call Grossman Law Offices today. We represent workers from all walks of life injured in all kinds of ways. You have the right to be compensated for your production line injury: Grossman Law Offices enforces workers’ rights to compensation.

Training

Training is the most crucial component for work on production lines and for most all work for that matter. Although production line work can be relatively simple, it can also be often very complex as well. And, either way, workers need to be trained on the best ways to avoid injury. Whether serious injuries caused by the most common workplaces accidents – falls, electrocutions and blunt force traumas – or less serious injuries caused by repetitive motions, workers on production lines need proper training in order to reduce the risks of injury.

Standing

Workplaces that are designed well give workers opportunities to work in various different positions so as to reduce repetitive stress injuries. Standing is generally a comfortable position for most people, but as we all know standing for extended periods of time over the course of a day can be exhausting, and standing for extended periods of time over the course of years can take serious tolls on our bodies.

When standing on a production line for hours at a time, flooring and footwear both become very important. Employees need clean, solid, durable, non-slip, level flooring to stand on, and they need comfortable footwear in which to do that.

Sitting

Workers often sit at conveyor belts, workbenches, desks, tables, and other equipment during their entire shifts on production lines. One important thing to remember: those pieces of equipment should be adjustable so as to adapt to workers’ body types and workers’ tasks. Employers often try to save money by supplying their workers with the wrong kinds of equipment.

Standing and Sitting

Ideally, workers are given the opportunities to do their jobs either standing or sitting. This reduces fatigue on workers’ bodies and allows them the stretch and use different muscle groups throughout their shift.

If being forced to sit or stand – including being forced to sit or stand at cheap and unsuitable equipment – causes you to become injured, your employer has caused your injury and you have rights to financial compensation that Grossman Law Offices can enforce for your family and you.

Organization

Properly organizing a workers’ work space is also important. Workers need space to move around freely and at the same time tools and other items need to be close enough to allow workers easy access to them without injury.

Rest and Relaxation
Also important in terms of health and safety guidelines for production line workers is giving those workers opportunities to stretch, rest, relax and exercise. Repetitive motion and repetitive stress injuries are prevalent among workers who work on production lines. Workers should always be given ample opportunities to avoid these injuries by being given opportunities to rest and relax.

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Production line jobs have formed the backbone of manufacturing work in this country for generations. However, If you have been injured doing this vital work, contact an attorney who can help you. Call Grossman Law Offices at 1-855-392-0000 right now.
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Health and Safety Guidelines for Plumbers

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Legal Regulations and Safety Issues in Place to Prevent Injuries to Plumbers

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In order to make sure that plumbing systems in homes across the state of Texas are installed properly, plumbers are held to certain regulations to make sure that no injuries result from any plumbing system that is installed or repaired incorrectly. If your home or business has been placed in the unfortunate predicament where your plumbing system malfunctioned and an injury resulted, you have a cause of action to recover for whatever damage to persons and/or property has resulted. There are certain organizations that have been established in order to guarantee that plumbing systems are correctly installed and maintained. These organizations impose guidelines for plumbers to ensure that all safety and health precautions are taken heed of to prevent any accident from occurring. These guidelines are not necessarily common knowledge and that’s why it is to your benefit to have a products liability attorney on your side to decipher this type of information for you.

If you have been injured you have a right to be compensated for whatever loss was inflicted as a result of such injury. To increase the likelihood that you will receive compensation, you must retain legal counsel to litigate your claim and make sure that you are not treated unfairly. The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have experience handling personal injury lawsuits of this nature and are fully equipped to handle your case and make sure that your interests are represented to the absolute best of our ability. This article will focus on the different types of health and safety guidelines that exist for plumbers and the legal remedies available to you for any injury or loss you may have suffered due to a failure to comply with such regulations.

What Organization Monitors the Activities of Plumbers?

There are different organizations in existence that serve to regulate the plumbing industry in Texas. One of the largest is an organization called the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners whose sole mission is to ensure that the health and safety of the citizens of the State of Texas is given the utmost attention and importance in the installation and inspection of plumbing systems. The reasoning behind this is that any contamination of drinking water or other water systems that may result from improperly installed plumbing systems can have catastrophic outcomes. However, the fact that accidents still occur illustrates the fact that these organizations are not as effective as they should be. This is one of several reasons why you need an attorney familiar with these kinds of claims to make sure that your interests are represented when you are injured.

What Types of Injuries can Occur From Improperly Installed/Inspected Plumbing Systems?

There are several harmful outcomes that can result from the improper installation of a plumbing system that can result in injury and in severe cases, even death. Some examples of accidents that can occur are explosions, poisonous fumes, hospital medical gas contamination and fires. Furthermore, diseases can result from being exposed to any contaminated water that was caused by some improper conduct with regard to plumbing systems. This is because plumbing systems can deliver diseases such as dysentery, cholera and typhoid fever. Furthermore, if toxic gases such as carbon monoxide are not properly vented through a plumbing system then they can be released as well. Another frightening negative result from these systems is if the medical gas systems installed by plumbers deliver some kind of gas to hospital patients, which can increase their sickness or even result in death.

What are the Safety/Health Regulations Imposed by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners?

The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners requires every licensed plumber and plumber inspector to complete a minimum of six hours of continuing professional education every license year in order to renew his or her license. This regulation is required by law. If you discover that a plumber that has worked on your plumbing system was not certified then that is “prima facie” evidence of negligence on their part.

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If a person has been injured in some way then they must file a complaint and a complaint investigator will determine what has occurred and impose sanctions. These notifications and sanctions can also be used as evidence of negligence if the information is used correctly and effectively by a skilled attorney.

If you have been injured through some fault of a plumber in their installation or inspection of your plumbing system you have an absolute legal right to be compensated for your loss. However, to preserve your right to legal redress, you need to retain an experienced lawyer who knows how to handle these cases and will fight for you. That is what we can offer you at Grossman Law Offices. To discuss your potential claims contact us at 1-855-392-0000.
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Safety Guidelines for Concrete Workers

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Health and Safety Guidelines to Prevent Injury to Cement and Concrete Workers

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Men and women who work with cement and concrete for a living are in harm’s way, from the materials in cement to the dangers of working on construction sites. This article explores health and safety guidelines for men and women who work with cement and concrete. If you have been injured due to working with these materials or injured due to any work accident or working condition, call the well-known and trial-tested injury lawyers at Grossman Law Offices today.

Use

In its broadest sense, cement simply means binding agent. Anything that binds or “cements” one thing to another is cement. In this sense of the word, countless men and women working in many types of industrial environments are exposed cements, both organic and artificial.

In its narrow sense, cement is a mixture of limestone, clay and gypsum. This kind of cement is frequently mixed with water and aggregate (gravel, sand and other crushed stones) to form concrete. Needless to say to anyone living in the developed world, cement and concrete are all around us. Cement and concrete are major ingredients in the roads and bridges we travel on, the floors we walk on, and the buildings we spend our lives in.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that more than a quarter of a million people make their livings manufacturing and installing cement and concrete in the United States. Of those, OSHA estimates that around ten percent (25,000) will suffer serious job-related injuries or sicknesses in any given year, and of those injured each year around 40 will lose their lives on the job.

Injuries

Eye irritation caused by dusty conditions.
Nose and mouth irritation caused by dusty conditions.
Breathing difficulty, silicosis, bronchitis and even cancer caused by silica, an ingredient in cement.
Skin irritation and chemical burns caused by wet concrete.
Plus all the other kinds of injuries people suffer in industrial environments and on construction sites.
Health and Safety Guidelines

Those people exposed to cement and concrete dust should:
Wear respirators to limit the amount of dust they breathe in;
Wash the affected areas of their bodies very well with soap and water as soon as possible after exposure;
Wet concrete and cements before chipping, grinding and otherwise disturbing so as so keep dust levels down;
Eat and drink in areas that are not at all dusty in order to keep from swallowing cement dust and its component ingredients; and
Use filtered vacuums to clean dusty areas rather than dry brooms.
Those people working with or exposed to wet concrete should:
Wear proper, waterproof protective clothing, footwear and eye protection;
Make sure that clothing and footwear is free of wet concrete to prevent accidental exposures through the clothing;
Wash the contaminated area or areas of skin with cold water; and
Wash eyes contaminated with wet concrete with water for at least 10 minutes and then seek immediate medical attention.
And all workers in construction and industrial environments should generally:
Receive proper training on how to use equipment, tools, machines, respirators, safety equipment, et cetera;
Wear protective clothing, including respirators, when exposed to dusty conditions;
Wear ear and eye protection, when necessary;
Communicate with other workers so as to reduce everyone’s risk of injury; and
Know a good lawyer, like Michael Grossman and the other lawyers at Grossman Law Offices.
Remedies

Houston Texas work injury law firm
Injured on the job? You have rights. Hurt by cement or concrete? The law is on your side; you need the right lawyer to enforce your rights to be made whole again. Trust Grossman Law Offices to bring your legal claim correctly, fairly and in a timely manner.

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Call us today if you or a loved one has been hurt due to contact with cement and concrete, or hurt for any reason due to someone else’s carelessness or neglect. Grossman Law Offices’ staff members are available to answer your questions today, in English and Spanish. You can reach our staff members at our toll-free phone number 1-855-392-0000.

Tier 1 Workers Comp Nonsubscriber

Related Articles

Nonsubscriber Work Injuries
Obstacles and Complicating Factors
Be Careful What You Sign
Defenses Not Allowed in a Nonsubscriber Case
Defenses Allowed in Nonsubscriber Case
The Effect of 3rd Party Liability
Employee or Independent Contractor?
Scope of Employment
Compartive Fault in a Nonsubscriber Case
Nonsubscriber Wrongful Death Cases
Employer’s Duties
Employer’s Duties
Employer’s Obligation to Provide PPE
Theories of Liability Used in Nonsubscriber Cases
All About OSHA
What is OSHA?
When Does OSHA Investigate?
What does OSHA Investigate?
OSHA Fines and Penalties
By Occupation
Safety Guidelines for Commerical Fishermen
Safety Guidelines for Product Line Workers
Safety Guidelines for Plumbers
Safety Guidelines for Concrete Workers
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Nonsubscriber Work Injury Attorney

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Nonsubscriber Work Injury Attorney

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Injury and Death Claims Against Workers’ Compensation Nonsubscribing Employers in Houston

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About 45% of Texas companies do not participate in the state run workers’ compensation program. This classification of employer is called a nonsubscriber. If you have been injured on the job and your employer is a nonsubscriber you will not get automatic compensation as you would if your employer subscribed to workers’ comp. In fact, your rights are quite different.

This article will explain your rights, the compensation you can receive, and how to successfully pursue that compensation. The Houston nonsubscriber workers’ injury attorneys of Grossman Law Offices have been winning these cases for over 20 years. Please feel free to contact us at 1-855-392-0000 to further discuss your work related accident.

Where Do Nonsubscriber Laws Come From?

Technically, there is no such thing as nonsubscribers work injury law. The way it works is that our legislator has passed very specific laws regarding the rights of an injured worker whose employer does subscribe to workers’ compensation and these laws are codified in the Texas labor code. When the employer opts out of this system there is no hard and fast set of rules that says an employer can do X, Y, and Z; instead your rights are derived from the common law. As such, your rights mirror the natural rights that a plaintiff would typically have in any other personal injury case.

What is So Different About Nonsubscriber Cases?

The primary difference between nonsubscriber and workers’ comp cases is that in a nonsubscriber case you typically have to litigate against the employer in order to force them to accept responsibility and force them to pay you. Whereas in a workers’ compensation case there is the presumption that the employer is inherently liable and the benefits you get are automatic.

Is My Employer Inherently Liable?

No. Since a nonsubscriber work injury case is based on common law principles, you are required to prove that your employer was negligent in some fashion. If you cannot prove that the employer was negligent then you simply do not have a valid claim. In other words, just because you were injured on the job it does not mean your employer was responsible in a nonsubscriber case. You must prove they caused your injury directly or indirectly.

How Much is My Case Worth?

Again, in a nonsubscriber case you can sue your employer for all your damages, rather than receive just the paltry benefits that someone who has a workers’ compensation case is eligible to receive. To determine the value of your case you must simply add up all of your individual damages and weigh that against known jury verdicts. Damages that are compensable in a nonsubscriber case are:
Loss of earning capacity
Impairment
Both future and past medical expenses
Compensation for suffering
In Houston, juries are not particularly bias against plaintiffs. So in most nonsubscriber work injury cases we can typically recover the entirety of your damages because a jury is likely to award the entirety of your damages. (On the contrary, in certain parts of Texas, even if you win your case, a jury will pay you less money that what your case is worth.)

How Does a Nonsubscriber Case Work?

Step 1: Talk to an attorney. The very first thing you need to do is speak with one of our attorneys here at Grossman Law Offices so that we may discuss your individual accident.

Step 2: We will do research in the matter which might include an onsite inspection, accident recreation, and product testing. The initial methods that we use to better understand your accident and why it occurred largely depends on the nature of your injury and what we primarily believe to have caused your accident.

Step 3: We will present to you your options and discuss what we think the case is worth, whether we think it is worth you pursuing, and what we think you may stand to gain when it is all said and done.

Step 4: We will then attempt to settle the case out of court and file suit if the defendant does not offer an adequate payment. All of our attorneys at Grossman Law Offices are skilled negotiators; however, we are not willing to compromise on your well-being. We will do our best to reach an adequate payout, but if we feel you are not being offered a fair sum, we will have no problem holding the defendant accountable in court.

Step 5: Now the case is in litigation so we will go through a process where we use subpoenas to obtain documents and information from the company and we will use this to build the case against them. This is where we will find the crucial evidence which can undeniably prove the defendant is responsible for your damages.

Step 6: Once we have gathered additional information, both parties will again meet and discuss the case face to face. A new round of negotiations will begin and if these negotiations fail we will go to trial.

Voluntary Benefits Paid by the Employer

As we mentioned above, your employer does not have to compensate you when they are not a subscriber to workers’ compensation; you must pursue them to get the compensation you need. But, some of you reading this may think “But my employer is paying me voluntarily. Do I still need to file suit against them?” The answer is some employers will purchase insurance that provides proactive payment of injury benefits that functions very similar to a workers’ comp plan; however, this is all done on a voluntary basis and they can cut your benefits off at any time.

As a general rule of thumb, if your injuries are very minor, it is not worth it to sue. If your injuries are minor and your employer is giving you voluntary benefits, you should probably take the money and run. On the contrary, if you have severe injuries they may simply be paying you enough to string you along and ultimately cheat you out of money you deserve. They are only paying you for medical costs and potentially a small amount of your lost wages; however, often you will go months without working and you will require ongoing treatment and surgeries to fully recover.

Unfortunately, through voluntary benefits many employers will only pay for your initial surgery cost and maybe a month of lost wages. This means you have damages for lost wages, medical treatment, and other damages like suffering all of which voluntary benefits will not cover. Your employer is not paying you what they owe you, but they are paying you enough that no attorney will want to sue because you will only be able to recover a limited amount of damages, but you still have the same cost to pursue the claim. Generally, employers who offer voluntary benefits have ulterior motives and they may intentionally mask their nonsubscriber status as workers’ compensation. This also typically prevents you from getting an attorney and resulting in the statute of limitations passing before you even realize you have a claim for further damages.

What if the Accident is Partially My Fault?
The primary benefit to employees who have a nonsubscriber employer is that they only have to show that the employer is partially liable. So unlike every other personal injury case where you have to show the defendant is more liable than you, the nonsubscriber only has to be at least 1% responsible for your injury. As a consequence, the only thing they can do is try to put the blame back on you.

If you’ve been injured in a workers’ comp nonsubscriber case call Grossman Law Offices toll-free at 1-855-392-0000.
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Obstacles and Complicating Factors

Signing an Insurance Release

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Signing an Insurance Release

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Does the Insurance Company Want You to Accept a Settlement and Sign a Release? Be Careful What You Sign!

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Many times after an employee is injured in a workplace accident, if the employer is a nonsubscriber, they will try and get the employee to sign a document that will limit the employer’s liability and the amount that the employee can recover for the injuries. This article will discuss the different kinds of documents that an employer may ask you to sign when you are injured in a workplace accident. Be advised, you should always consult with an attorney before signing any of these documents.

What is a Nonsubscriber?

In this context, a nonsubscriber refers to an employer that does not subscribe to Texas’ workers’ compensation. This means that if an employee is injured on the job and the employer is found liable, then the employer must pay for the entirety of the employee’s damages. In order to show that an employer is liable for an employee’s injuries, the employee must show that the employer was negligent in causing the accident. However, if you sign away your rights to hold your employer accountable, you may not be able to receive any compensation for your injuries.

Pre-Injury Waiver

A lot of employers will have you sign a document called a pre-injury waiver or release of liability when you are hired. Essentially, the idea is that by signing this document you are agreeing that if you are injured on the job, you will not sue your employer. However, these are not generally enforceable and you are still able to sue your employer and recover damages for your injuries. Also, if you sign a pre-injury waiver and later sue your employer because of a workplace injury, it cannot later be used against you in court as a defense to liability.

Post-Injury Waiver

A post-injury waiver is a document that is signed by an employee, after the employee is injured in a work place accident, stating that the employee agrees not to sue their employer and that the employee waives the employer of liability. Although they are typically binding, there are circumstances where they can become invalidated; such as if they were signed under duress or if a certain term in the waiver makes it unenforceable.

What Should You Do if You Have Already Signed a Post-Injury Waiver?

If you have been injured in a workplace accident and have signed a post-injury waiver, you should still contact an attorney to see if there is anything that can be done to invalidate the waiver. We have had cases where we were able to show that waivers were unenforceable because of some of the terms they contained, and our clients were able to sue their employer and recover compensation.

Settlement or Release Documents

If you are dealing with an employer’s insurance provider they may ask you to sign a settlement that contains a release. This means that although you would get the settlement money, you would be barred from bringing a future claim against your employer regarding this injury and would not be able to receive further compensation.

You should make sure that you are being fully compensated by the settlement amount before you sign a release. The best way to know if the settlement amount is enough is to have it analyzed by an attorney who can tell you the total damages of your claim and if the settlement amount is sufficient to cover these damages.

Binding Arbitration Agreement
A binding arbitration agreement is usually signed when you are hired. It states that in the event that you are injured in a workplace accident, you agree to go to arbitration rather than file suit in a court. Unlike a pre-injury waiver, an arbitration agreement is still enforceable even if it is signed before you are injured in a workplace accident.

Although this does not prevent you from bringing a claim, it does prevent you from filing suit in court and going before a jury. This can be problematic because a jury can sympathize with you if you are injured, whereas an arbitrator is likely to only look at the facts of the case and take emotion out of it.

Documents That You Can Sign

There are some it would be okay to sign, however it is always a good idea to have a lawyer look over anything beforehand. It is usually okay to sign anything related to your medical care given to you by a hospital employee. However, medical records can be used in court as evidence, so only sign it if you are okay with a jury potentially finding out about it. It is also generally okay for you to sign a document given to you by a police officer, such as an incident report describing the circumstances surrounding the accident.

You Should Consult With An Experienced Attorney Before Signing Anything

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By signing a document that you do not completely understand the full effects of you could potentially limit some of your available rights under the law. The best way to become fully aware of what potential limits are contained in a document is to consult with an experienced attorney and have them review it.

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Our attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have over twenty years of experience and have dealt with hundreds of workplace injury cases where the employer attempted to get the employee to sign away liability. If you have been injured in a workplace accident and have been asked by your employer to sign something you should call one of our attorneys today for a free consultation at 1-855-392-0000.
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Defenses Not Allowed in a Nonsubscriber Case

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When an Employer Does NOT Subscribe to Texas’ Workers’ Compensation Program, They Lose the Ability to Use Certain Defenses to Avoid Liability

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Our legislature has made it very clear that they wish for all Texas employers to subscribe to workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is a state regulated insurance policy that employers can choose to subscribe to in order to limit their liability in the event that an employee is injured on the job. When an employer opts out of this state run workers’ compensation plan they are considered to be a nonsubscriber. In the event that your employer chooses not to subscribe to worker’s compensation, an injured employee who brings a negligence claim against a nonsubscriber benefits from the fact that the nonsubscribing employer is forbidden by law from using certain defenses. As a consequence, it becomes easier for a plaintiff to win their case against the nonsubscriber; this article will discuss the defenses that a nonsubscribing employer cannot use.

What Defenses are Unavailable to a Nonsubscriber?

Contributory negligence
Contributory negligence essentially states that an injured party cannot receive compensation if they played some role in causing the accident that occurred. As a nonsubscriber, an employer cannot claim that their employee contributed partially to their injury in order to offset their liability. They do not have the luxury of using this defense to escape being responsible for the losses that you have incurred.

Assumption of the Risk
Assumption of the risk is a defense that prohibits the plaintiff from recovering against a defendant if the defendant is able to prove that the plaintiff voluntarily assumed whatever risks were involved in the conduct that caused his/her injury. An example would be if there was something inherently dangerous associated with whatever activity resulted in the accident. However, as a nonsubscriber an employer cannot escape liability by showing that the activity their employee was engaged in at work was hazardous and that they assumed any potential risk.

Pre-injury waiver of liability
A nonsubscriber cannot make you sign any documentation that is a waiver preventing you from suing them in the event that you are injured on the job. However, courts have ruled that a binding arbitration agreement does not constitute a pre-injury waiver, so you will still be bound to that type of an agreement if your employer has had you sign such documentation. Arbitration agreements essentially operate as a way to resolve disputes without having to get involved in formal court proceedings. If your employer has one of these agreements in place then it may be enforceable so long as it is not unduly harsh on you as the employee.

Negligence of a co-worker
If your employer subscribed to workers’ compensation, then they would be able to avoid being held liable for your damages if your injury was caused by the negligent conduct of another employee in their company. However, as a nonsubscriber they cannot use this defense regardless of whether or not the accident occurred because of the actions of one of their other employees.

What Defenses can a Nonsubscriber Use?

Unfortunately, there are defenses that a nonsubscribing employee can use. There are two primary defenses that are often used by nonsubscribers to avoid liability for their employee’s injuries.

Sole Proximate Cause
As an employee, you must prove that the employer was negligent and that this negligence caused your injury. While a nonsubscriber cannot claim the defense of contributory negligence (discussed above) they can claim that you were the sole cause of your injury. If the employer can show that they were not negligent whatsoever and that the employee was entirely responsible for the accident that occurred then they may be able to avoid liability.

The “Routine Job” Defense
The Texas Supreme Court’s ruling in Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. v. Evans established that negligence on the part of an employer does not exist if the employee is injured while doing the usual and customary tasks associated with the job. Basically, if the conduct that caused the accident is the usual customary activity that all the employees are expected to perform then the employer is not liable. The event that resulted in the accident occurring must be somewhat unusual or pose some abnormal danger.
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While these defenses may seem daunting, they can be easily overcome with the assistance of an attorney that is experienced in personal injury nonsubscriber lawsuits. The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have represented clients in thousands of personal injury lawsuits and as a result we have the skill and expertise necessary to ensure that you are able to get the compensation you deserve for your injury.

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Our attorneys are dedicated to providing each and every one of our clients with the best representation available. To discuss your potential personal injury lawsuit contact us for a free consultation at 1-855-392-0000.

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Defenses Allowed in a Nonsubscriber Case

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Defenses Allowed in a Nonsubscriber Case

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Employers Who Do Not Subscribe to Texas’ Workers’ Compensation Insurance Have Only a Few Available Defenses to Skirt Liability

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Not all employers in Texas subscribe to workers’ compensation and those that don’t are referred to as nonsubscribers. Our legislature has created laws that encourage employers to subscribe to the state run workers’ comp program and when an employer chooses not to they may face certain difficulties when asserting a claim against you. The primary advantage to you as an injured worker is that your nonsubscribing employer is limited in the defenses they can use against you. This article will talk about the defense they are allowed to plead and their attempts to limit your chances of obtaining compensation.

Intentional Self Inflicted Injuries

One defense they can use is that the employee caused his own injury on purpose. If an employee tried to hurt themselves to gain benefits the employer is clearly not liable. This means if you intentionally dropped a large, heavy object on your foot crushing it, then your employer is not responsible for your resulting medical bills and lost wages. An employer, even if they are not protected under a subscriber status, is only responsible for injuries that resulted from the company’s negligence. If you intentionally injure yourself you have absolutely no claim for damages.

Injury Caused By Intoxication

If the employee was intoxicated they would not have a valid claim for their injuries. In Texas, intoxicated generally means under the influence. This means if you have consumed alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, or anything that is deemed to impair your judgment and physical capabilities.

For example, say you work a construction company driving large vehicles like a bulldozer. If you consume alcohol while on your lunch break and then operate the heavy machinery you could easily be injured due to your impairment, even if you are not above the legal limit. If you have consumed any alcohol your judgment and capabilities can be considered impaired and your employer will not be responsible for your injuries which were the result of your intoxication.

Enforceable Post Injury Liability Waivers

You also may be prevented from having a valid claim if you entered into an enforceable post injury liability waiver. These are forms which employees have the option of signing after their accident in order to receive medical benefits and payment for their treatment from a nonsubscribing employer. If you have signed one of these waivers you may be prevented from filing a claim against your nonsubscribing employer for further damages. However, it is important to note that not all of these contracts are enforceable. It is imperative that you speak with one of our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys to assess whether your post injury liability waiver is an enforceable contract in order to determine whether this can legitimately be used as a defense by your employer.

The Sole Proximate Cause Defense

Lastly, there is the defense that is derived in the form of an inferential rebuttal known as the sole proximate cause. Essentially, the employee was solely responsible for their own injury due to their own carelessness and the employer did nothing wrong. In this instance even though you may have been injured while working, your injury was in no way the fault of the employer or another employee. As a result, your employer cannot be held liable for your damages. Sometimes people are simply careless or clumsy and they are injured due to no one else’s fault, but their own. The court recognizes that it would be illogical and unjust to sue another person for your own negligence or carelessness and this is commonly cited as a defense for nonsubscribing employers.

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Even though nonsubscribing employers are limited in the defenses they can use against you, they still have a great deal to work with. Most nonsubscribers mainly rely on the sole proximate cause defense. They will use this allegation to the best of their ability which often means attacking you personally. They will research your past, question co-workers, and resort to the worst kind of character assassination in an attempt to deflect blame. If you have been injured while on the job and your employer is a nonsubscriber it is very likely that they would use this tactic to reduce or completely eliminate their liability. You need the attorneys at Grossman Law Offices to assist you with these underhanded strategies of these defense attorneys. To learn more about how a nonsubscribing employer may try to attack your claim and to schedule a meeting with one of our skilled attorneys, contact Grossman Law Offices at 1-855-392-0000.
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3rd Party Liability in a Nonsubscriber Case

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » 3rd Party Liability in a Nonsubscriber Case

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Claims Involving Defendants Other Than Your Workers’ Comp Nonsubscribing Employer

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If your employer has elected to not participate in Texas’ workers’ compensation program and you’ve been injured on the job due to the negligence of someone else who’s not your employer (including fellow employees), you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries by filing a third party work injury claim against your employer.

If a negligent third party caused your workplace injuries and your employer is a nonsubscriber, our attorneys may be able to help you recover the compensation from the responsible party that you deserve. Our attorneys have represented injured workplace accident victims in Houston and throughout the state of Texas for more than 20 years and may be able to put the full force of their experience, skill, and techniques they’ve accumulated over their years of practice to work for you.

What is a Third Party for the Purposes of Texas’ Workplace Injury Laws?

For the purposes of a work injury claim, a third party is any party who causes an employee to suffer harm, but is not their employer. For example, the company that owns and/or operates a hotel is a third party for the purposes of Texas’ workplace injury laws when a traveling salesman staying in the hotel for work slips and falls in the hotel’s lobby. Although the salesman was acting in his capacity as an employee when he was injured, his injuries were solely the result of a negligent third party – whoever owns and/or operates the hotel.

Another example of a negligent third party under Texas’ workplace injury laws is a scaffolding rental company who causes a construction accident because the scaffolding was improperly assembled. In this scenario, the injured construction worker will have a claim against the negligent third party scaffolding rental company in addition to any claims he may have against his employers.

How Recovering for Your Injuries Works When Your Employer Subscribes to Texas’ Workers’ Compensation Program

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If your employer has elected to not subscribe to Texas’ workers’ compensation program (which, if you’re reading this article, they presumably have), your claims are different than those if your employer has elected to participate in the program. The following scenarios illustrate the differences in applicability of Texas’ injury laws based on if your employers subscribes or has opted out of the program.

In work-site injury cases where a person’s employer has elected to participate in Texas’ workers’ compensation program, workers’ comp will pay for a victim’s medical expenses and a portion of their lost wages. In these cases, injured workers are able to assert a lawsuit against the negligent third party for damages they’ve suffered that aren’t covered by Texas’ workers compensation program.

It’s important to note that if you have been injured on the job and your employer participates in workers’ compensation, you should receive benefits, regardless if your employer was at fault. Conversely, recovering compensation from nonsubscribing employers (and third parties) requires you to prove that your injuries stem from someone else’s negligent actions. In cases where an employer is a nonsubscriber, a question often arises of “who will pay for my expenses while I’m pursuing a third party for liability for my injuries?” The answer to that question depends if the facts of your case fall into one of two scenarios:

Scenario One – Both Your Employer and a Third Party Are Responsible For Your Injuries
The first factual scenario your case may fall into is where both your nonsubscribing employer and a third party are responsible for your injuries. To illustrate, let’s analyze a case involving a hypothetical painter injured on a job site while working for a nonsubscribing employer. While at the job-site, the painter was instructed to paint the edge of a balcony but wasn’t provided an appropriate safety harness by his boss. Unfortunately, while painting as instructed, the negligently constructed and maintained railing on the balcony gave way, causing the painter to fall and suffer major injuries.

In this scenario, the worker was injured due to a combination of his employer’s and the third party’s negligence: his employer failed to provide appropriate safety equipment, and the property owner failed to properly maintain and/or construct their balcony. In a scenario where both your nonsubscribing employer and a third party are responsible for causing your injuries, you’ll need to hire an experienced Houston workplace accident attorney to file a lawsuit against both parties to recover compensation for your injuries.
cenario Two – A Third Party is Entirely Liable For Your Injuries
In the second scenario your case may fall into, a worker’s injuries are 100% attributable to a third party. In these cases, a party’s employer is not required to pay anything for their employee’s injuries because they have elected to abstain from participating in Texas’ workers compensation program. In these cases, you’ll need to retain an experienced Houston workplace accident attorney to sue a third party under a negligence theory. Moreover, as your employer did not act negligently, your exclusive remedy is to file a lawsuit against the third party responsible for causing your injuries.

However, a limited exception to this general rule may exist. Some more generous nonsubscribing employers may voluntarily provide their injured workers benefits although not required by Texas law. In these cases, your employer will need to be reimbursed after you recover compensation from the negligent third party. You should note, however, that a nonsubscribing employer voluntarily providing benefits for harm caused solely by a third party is almost unheard of, and the only way you’ll likely recover compensation for your workplace accident injuries is to pursue compensation from the negligent third party under Texas’ negligence laws.

What Damages Are Recoverable From a 3rd Party in a Workplace Accident?

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Simply put, a variety of damages may be recoverable in a workplace accident attributable to a third party’s negligence. Specifically, if their negligence cost you your job, you may recover the cost of past and future lost wages. If you lost your health, you can sue for the medical attention you need as a result. If you lost your enjoyment of life or have endured emotional suffering, you may be able to sue for the value of that loss.

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However, although most damages from workplace accident cases are similar, the amount of and types of compensation available in your case can only be determined after a detailed examination of the particular facts of your case. For more information and a free consultation of your case, our attorneys invite you to give them a call any time, day or night at 1-855-392-0000.

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Employee Status vs. Independent Contractor

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Employee Status vs. Independent Contractor

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What is the Difference Between an Independent Contractor and an Employee in Relation to a Workers’ Compensation Injury Claim?

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If you’ve been injured on the job, you may have been told or received correspondence from your employer or their insurance company identifying you as an “independent contractor,” or that your employer does not consider you to be a traditional employee. This article was written to identify the ramifications of being classified as an independent contractor instead of an employee and to discuss the factors courts consider when determining if a worker is an independent contractor or an employee.

Unfortunately, Texas law doesn’t provide a bright line rule for determining if a person is an employee or an independent contractor and requires courts to analyze several factors in making their determination. As the ramifications of a court’s decision may impact you for the rest of your life, it’s important that you retain an experienced workplace accident attorney like those at Grossman Law Offices soon after you’re injured on the job to perform a detailed analysis to your case.

Ramifications of Being Classified as an Independent Contractor or an Employee

Although Texas law presumes that all workers are employees and places the burden of proving otherwise on the employer, your employer and/or its insurance company are likely adept and experienced in defeating that presumption. As a general rule, it is in an injured worker’s best interest to prove that they were an employee rather than an independent contractor. For example, if an accident was your fault and your employer fails to defeat the presumption that you are an employee, it will probably be liable for both your injuries as well as other injuries and property damage that resulted from the accident under the doctrine of respondeat superior. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly to someone who’s been injured on the job, an employer that successfully rebuts the presumption and proves that you were an independent contractor at the time of the accident is not required to pay you workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries and lost wages.

Factors Considered in Determining if You Are an Independent Contractor

Generally, courts consider three broad factors in determining if you were an independent contractor or an employee at the time of the accident. Specifically, courts analyze the extent that the employer controlled the worker’s behavior, the extent of control the employer asserted over the employee, and the type of control the employer asserted over the employee.

In determining the extent an employer controlled a worker’s behavior, courts consider if the employer controlled the manner and methods the worker used in completing the job. In other words, most actions taken by an independent contractor are usually taken with total autonomy and independence from the control of his employer. Whereas an employee’s actions are directly and continuously dictated by his employer. Courts often examine if the worker provided his own tools, materials, set his own hours, or used his own technique and approach to solving a task with limited instruction or supervision from the employer when examining this factor.

In determining the extent an employer has exercised financial control over a worker, courts consider if the worker was given total financial control over a task in such a way that he could have realized a profit or a loss, or if he was insured a profit regardless of the success of his work. Courts also look to see if expenses were reimbursed, and how the worker was paid; courts are more likely to find hourly and salary employees to be employees and workers who receive a flat fee for a particular job to be independent contractors.

In determining what type of control an employer asserted over a worker, courts often examine the language in a written employment contract, if one exists. However, regardless of the existence or contents of an employment contract, courts may determine that a different relationship exists based on the parties’ conduct. Specifically, courts examine several factors, including if the worker was provided benefits such as sick pay, insurance, or vacation time. Courts also consider the duration of the employment, often finding “at will” workers or workers who may retain their position for an indefinite period of time are employees, whereas a worker that is retained for a particular project or for a limited duration of time is more likely to be an independent contractor.

To further complicate things, courts may also consider additional factors not discussed in this article. Thus, if you’ve been injured on the job and suspect that you are be an employee but have been labeled as an independent contractor by your employer or their insurance company, you should contact an experienced workplace accident attorney like those at Grossman Law Offices to advocate your status as an employee.

You Need a Smart and Experienced Attorney on Your Side to Assert Your Rights as an Employee
As you can see, determining if you were hired as an independent contractor or an employee is a complicated and very important determination and likely needs an experienced attorney to identify your employment status.

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If you’ve been injured on the job and have been labeled as an “independent contractor” by your employer or their insurance company but suspect that you are actually an employee, you should contact the experienced workplace accident attorneys at Grossman Law Offices. They are available anytime, day or night, to provide you a free consultation regarding your rights at 1-855-392-0000.
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Actions Outside the Scope of Employment

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Behaviors and Actions That May be Considered Outside the Scope of Employment in Relation to a Workplace Injury

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If you have been injured at your place of work, your employer will often try to get out of paying for your work accident. They will often claim that you were acting outside the scope of your employment at the time you were injured in order to avoid liability. Not all the actions that an employee takes constitute as “work;” some actions of an employee fall outside their assigned tasks, or the scope of their employment. The activities that you were conducting at the time of your accident are one of the factors that will ultimately determine whether the employer will be liable. Texas law holds that an employer is not liable for the injuries of their employees when said employees do something they are not instructed to do. To protect yourself from employers attempting to avoid liability by unfairly arguing that you were acting outside the scope of your employment at the time of your work injury, it is important that you contact an attorney to ensure that your rights as an employee are protected.

What is Considered Work?

Work is considered to be the tasks that you perform that are within the scope of your employment. Scope of employment is not just limited to your job description. The scope of your employment is generally considered conduct that furthers the interest of your employer. As such, so long as your actions are legitimately benefiting your employer, it becomes difficult for your employer to argue that you were acting outside of the scope of your employment.

Potential Hypotheticals

Imagine a scenario whereby two men are wrestling or participating in what is commonly referred to as horseplay while at work. These actions are not in anyone’s job description and certainly do not further the interest of their employer. As a result of the horseplay one man gets injured and, even though the activity may have occurred at work and on the clock, the employer will most likely not be liable for the injuries the man sustained. While this example seems easy, they are not always so simple. Another hypothetical would be if a man works at a construction company that builds skyscrapers in downtown Houston, he answers a call on his cell phone, and then while speaking on the phone he trips over a tool belt and falls, resulting in serious injuries. The man’s employer tries to avoid having to pay for the man’s injuries by claiming that the man was acting outside the scope of his employment by taking the phone call while on the job. Would this be considered an action that falls outside the scope of employment? What if the call the man received was from his doctor to reschedule an appointment around the man’s work schedule? Would this change the argument? Certainly his taking that personal call in order work around his work schedule resulted in greater availability to work and therefore help his employer.

The main thing that you need to take away from this topic is that there is no shortage of opportunities for your employer to try to skirt liability in your work injury case. Employers will try to use the slightest misstep to avoid responsibility for the injuries of their employers.

Employer’s Defenses

We are fond of saying that the job of a defense lawyer, the lawyer who represents your employer, is to “throw everything at a wall and see what sticks,” which is to say that they will try every defense, no matter how off the wall, that could potentially help their clients.

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Many defenses that an employer’s attorney uses are not used to prove fault in the case, but to limit the amount of damages their client may have to pay. In other words, they don’t have to beat you flat-out; they just have to form arguments that cause your case to suffer in some manner or another.
Grossman Law Offices will protect your rights; we know what arguments the defense will likely make and are ready to defeat them. The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have more than 20 years of experience in handling personal injury matters just like this; they can help you maximize the recovery that you deserve. Call 1-855-392-000 to schedule your free consultation.
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Nonsubscriber Injury Cases & Comparative Fault

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How Contributory Negligence Can Affect Your Nonsubscriber Work Injury Claim

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If you’ve been injured on the job, you should be aware that most defendant nonsubscribing employers will attempt to avoid liability for your injuries by arguing that you (the plaintiff) were partially responsible for causing your injuries. This defense is known as “comparative fault,” or “proportionate responsibility.”

However, workplace injury defendants are misled when asserting this defense as all nonsubscribing employers automatically waive this defense when one of their employees files a lawsuit against them in Texas. In other words, if an injured employee can prove that his nonsubscribing employer was even marginally responsible for his injuries, his employer will be liable for all of them.

With the gravity of total reasonableness for an employee’s injuries weighing heavily against them, nonsubscribing employers will attempt to avoid the problems caused by waiving the doctrine of comparative fault in numerous ways. However, the two most common, are: 1) claiming that you were the sole proximate cause of your injuries or 2) a third, unrelated, party was solely responsible for causing them.

Your Employer Will Claim that Your Negligent Behavior Was the Sole Proximate Cause of Your Injuries

One of the essential elements every workplace injury victim injured while employed by a nonsubscriber must prove to a court is that his injuries were caused by the employer’s negligent actions or failure to act. This element (commonly referred to as “causation”) is divided into two components – “actual” and “proximate” cause. Proximate cause is the more difficult to prove of the two components of causation, and essentially requires an injured party to prove that his injuries are reasonably related to the event that caused them. Thus, if your employer can prove that your actions – and your actions alone – were responsible for causing injuries, they will totally avoid liability for causing them.

Attempt to Blame a Third Party

Similarly, your employer will also likely attempt to prove that an unrelated third party was solely responsible for causing your injuries. The arguments they’ll make here are along the vein as discussed in the above paragraph: they will acknowledge that you were injured, but will claim that your injuries were not at all contributable to their own negligent or reckless actions.

Our Experienced Workplace Injury Attorneys May be Able to Help You Recover the Compensation You Deserve

To summarize our discussion in this article, Texas law will not prevent Houston’s workplace accident victims from recovering from their injuries simply because their employer asserts the doctrine of comparative fault. As discussed above, Texas law doesn’t allow responsible nonsubscribing employers to take a “discount” of liability in these cases simply because they claim you were negligent. In other words, Texas injury laws apply an “all or nothing” responsibility on nonsubscribing employers.

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If you would like more information regarding how comparative fault applies in a nonsubscriber case or a free consultation of how our attorneys might be able to help you recover compensation for your injuries, we invite you to give us a call. Our experienced Houston workplace injury attorneys have represented Texas injury victims for more than 20 years, and are available any time, day or night, at 1-855-392-0000.
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Nonsubscriber Wrongful Death Cases

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Nonsubscriber Wrongful Death Cases

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Workplace Fatalities and Workers’ Compensation Nonsubscribers in Houston, Texas

Many people assume that if they are injured at work workers’ compensation will cover their injuries and that will be the end of it. Many times this is true and no other action is required by the injured party. However, Texas is one of the few states that do not require their employers to subscribe to workers’ compensation insurance programs, leaving individuals who are injured on the job of a nonsubscriber to their own devises for recovery. While the advantage to this is that there may a bigger recovery at the end of the procedure, the bad thing is that it will require you to have a long path to recovery. The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices want to help you down this path; we have extensive experience in assisting workers injured while working for nonsubscribers and can help you get the recovery that you deserve.

Remedies Against Nonsubscribers

There are several steps on your path to recovery for the death of your loved one from a nonsubscribing employer. The first step is to show that the employer was negligent. The employer will likely try to escape liability by claiming that the deceased party was partly at fault for the accident. Common tactics used by employers are claiming that the deceased was contributory negligent or that they assumed the risk. The attorneys for the employer will try to show that the deceased was at fault in every way possible, or show that they were acting outside the scope of their employment; you need representation that will show the truth and make sure that you are rightfully compensated for the death of your loved one.

Damages From Nonsubscribers

There are two types of damages in a wrongful death case; punitive and remedial. Each of these types of damages has a different distinct reason why they are awarded.

Remedial
Remedial damages are awarded based on the loss that you have suffered as a result of your loved ones death. The purpose is to try to compensate you for what you would have available if no death had occurred. Factors that are considered when determining the amount of damages are the deceased’s income at the time of death, their future potential earnings, age, and the number of dependents they had.

Punitive
Punitive damages are not damages that are based on your loss; rather they are damages that are awarded with the intention of punishing the wrongful acting party. The intention of punitive damages is to punish the employer for their wrongdoing or culture of wrong doing. Punitive damages, when awarded are generally large. However, courts tend to shy away from awarding these damages, absent gross negligence or lack of care for human life.

Pre-Injury Waivers

A rather new development when it comes to nonsubscriber protection is pre-injury waivers. The Texas Supreme Court ruled that employees could ask their employees to waive liability if the employer has an alternative program to workers’ compensation. These pre-injury waivers should never be signed without the advice of an attorney. Many times these are used by employers to relieve them of liability and the benefits for the employee are extremely limited. When you sign a waiver you will be giving up all your common law remedies for injury recovery, which includes prohibiting you from filing a law suit for recovery of damages for the death of your loved one.

Conclusion

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If you have had a loved one injured in the Houston area, you will need the assistance of an experienced attorney that can get you the recovery that you deserve. The attorneys of Grossman Law Offices are here to ensure that you get the maximum amount of damages.

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We have over 20 years of personal injury and trial experience under our belt and we can help you through this time of loss. Call us today to schedule your free consultation at 1-855-392-0000.
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