Q: What are my legal options if I was hurt in a hazardous energy workplace accident?
Machinists perform a lot of necessary work in and around Houston, and the people who service their equipment are essential. However, repairing or servicing a machine is dangerous work. If the power is turned on unexpectedly, the results could be catastrophic.
You might need a lawyer to help you get proper compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other financial damages.
Hazardous Energy Injuries
When the machine is turned back on, you could be exposed to electrical, mechanical, thermal, chemical, hydraulic, or pneumatic energy. Severe injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Internal organ damage
- Brain injuries
In the most severe cases, exposure to hazardous energy could result in permanent disabilities or death.
Employers have a responsibility to prevent these injuries by using appropriate lockout or tagout procedures that prevent the energy from being turned back on for a specific machine while a person is still working on it.
How an Attorney Can Help You
Unfortunately, the proper lockout or tagout procedures aren't always implemented in the workplace. Even if they do exist, some employees neglect to follow them, and accidents happen.
If you were hurt at work, you deserve to make a fair recovery for your injuries. This might come from workers’ compensation benefits. Employees who file successful workers’ comp claims may have their healthcare costs paid and recover a portion of their lost income.
If your company doesn't have workers’ compensation insurance, you could file a lawsuit against it. To recover damages, you'll need to prove it was negligent and you were hurt as a result. Potential liability includes:
- Failure to develop lockout or tagout procedures.
- Neglect to train staff on those procedures.
- Failure to use reasonable care to ensure employee safety.
A skilled workers' compensation attorney will investigate any company liability. He'll also determine if you might be able to recover compensation for all of your past and future medical expenses, lost income, out of pocket costs, physical pain, and emotional suffering.
Whether you have a workers’ comp claim or a personal injury lawsuit, it's important to do everything you can to protect your rights. Call us today, or fill out the online contact form on this page to learn more about how the legal team of Steven M. Lee, P.C., can help you recover.