What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make When Filing a Industrial Work Injury Lawsuit

What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make When Filing a Industrial Work Injury Lawsuit

March 18, 2024

An industrial workplace accident can leave you struggling with significant medical costs, lost wages, and ongoing physical challenges. Understandably, injured Texas workers want to hold their employers accountable for creating unsafe conditions leading to serious injuries. Filing a negligence-based lawsuit against the employer may be one avenue of possible relief, especially in complex workplace injury cases or those not eligible for traditional workers' compensation benefits. Your industrial accident lawyer can tell you more; meanwhile, read on for some information on the mistakes you'll want to avoid.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Failing to Report the Injury Promptly

Texas employers require timely notice of all injuries occurring on the job, and many employers will even direct injured workers to specific doctors or medical providers. Swift reporting benefits you greatly, as well. Early investigation, documentation, and treatment may offer the best chance of successfully building a robust case for damages (as well as getting the best health outcomes).

Failing to follow company reporting policies puts your future eligibility for benefits or the success of your case at risk. It also allows employers to argue that your injuries happened later or didn't result from events at work. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to gather evidence showing how and when your injuries occurred

Not Seeking Timely Medical Care

The court will require proof that you sought treatment and may require require ongoing evaluations, especially if an injury involves time away from work or permanent impairment. If you want to successfully claim damages caused by a workplace accident, medical records serve as your most persuasive evidence.

Delays in treatment or gaps in care make it much easier for a well-funded employer and its legal representatives to raise doubts about the legitimacy of your injuries or the actual impact on your ability to work. If an extended period passes with no record of doctor appointments, physical therapy, or prescriptions, you risk losing any credibility your case might have had on the front end.

Ignoring Doctor's Orders

Doctors don't merely hand out treatment recommendations: they also provide critical assessments of your ability to function both physically and mentally after a serious injury. When those orders are not followed, employers can use this as proof that your injuries were not as severe as claimed. Even engaging in seemingly harmless everyday activities outside your doctor's instructions can call into question the severity of your injuries

Speaking About the Incident with the Wrong People

Understandably, a workplace accident is stressful and prompts a natural desire to discuss it with a wide circle of friends, family, or even with inquisitive coworkers. Resist the urge to chat openly about the circumstances. Your employer may very well be listening through its agents (insurance adjusters, investigators, managers, and more), and any statement uttered by you in person or electronically can become material for use against you.


Insurance adjusters might even try to contact you directly about the incident. Do not speak with them, as this is usually done with the goal of recording the conversation and extracting useful defense statements that might weaken your case later.

This also applies to social media posts, emails, and text messages relating in any way to your injuries. A photo depicting you smiling on a day trip may get exploited to contradict your allegations of suffering and physical limitation. Keep the conversation tightly restricted to necessary conversations with doctors, attorneys, and other people specifically working with you throughout the process. Learn more here about how to protect yourself.

Failing to Hire An Industrial Accident Lawyer

Texas industrial workers face an uphill battle at every stage of a workplace injury suit. Your employer likely invests in high-paid attorneys specializing in this type of litigation, so don't attempt to go it alone. An experienced injury attorney knows not only the substantive law that applies to workplace injuries but also the complex procedural hurdles specific to the Texas judicial system.

In a workplace injury scenario, hiring the right lawyer makes all the difference. Attorneys experienced in this area of practice know how to handle communications with adjusters, gather evidence, locate essential witnesses, and strategize about all necessary motions and responses.

Accepting the First Settlement Offer

Initial settlement offers extended to injured workers rarely capture the full value of your suffering, long-term care needs, and financial implications of the injury. Employers generally start settlement discussions with low, unappealing proposals designed to take advantage of a worker's desperation and financial hardship. This tactic aims to get claims closed quietly and cheaply. While an immediate influx of cash may be tempting, don't make hasty decisions without carefully weighing all potential long-term implications.

Your attorney will know how the courts have addressed similar injuries, and armed with such data and a thorough review of your unique circumstance, they can make a realistic analysis of fair compensation targets. Don't simply fall for the allure of a fast or "easy" settlement.

These are just a few of the mistakes it's important to avoid. Contact a lawyer right away to ensure your rights and compensation are protected.

 

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