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It’s not just construction workers that may be hurt on the job

Accidents can and do happen every day, and not just on construction sites.

Even with the nation’s economy still in turmoil, there are still at least 100 million people that still have a job to go to. The jobs vary in what they demand of those who ply their trade to make a living. Just because someone works in a lab or a vet clinic doesn’t mean they aren’t exposed to workplace hazards that could harm them.

“Texas is one of the few states that don’t require employers to carry worker’s compensation insurance to protect those injured in the workplace,” said Brooks Schuelke, an Austin accident attorney with Perlmutter & Schuelke, L.L.P. “Instead of being protected by worker’s compensation, many workers are forced to pursue claims against their employers or others that contributed to the on-the-job injuries.”

It’s interesting to note that a number of people think that only workers in physical jobs – such as construction – are likely to get hurt on the job. While it’s true they may have a higher chance to be injured given the nature of the work they do, one of life’s realities is that accidents happen, even in office settings.

“This leads me to the point that many workers just don’t have a good understanding of their rights and responsibilities if they’ve been hurt on the job. They must report the accident and they must be compensated for their injuries. While that is a somewhat simplified summation of the process, if the worker doesn’t report the accident and follow the correct procedure in filing a claim, they may lose out in the end and not receive the benefits they deserve,” Schuelke said.

It’s very human for a person to think that accidents just won’t happen to them, and thus it comes as a great shock to find out the hard way that accidents may strike anytime. “Your level of awareness may be notched up somewhat if someone you work with gets hurt, but generally speaking, people don’t think in terms of something happening to them,” Schuelke said.

“Did you know that in 2008 alone there were more than 10,000 reportable non-fatal injuries every day of the year across the nation? Of that total, 3,696,100 cases were documented and at least 1,078,100 kept the worker off the job for at a day,” he said.

Those statistics, the most recent issued by the Department of Labor, also indicate that the highest majority of accidents tended to happen in the trade, transportation and utility workers ranks, logging in 328,200 cases. Most of the workers hurt were 45 to 54 years old, with the next highest being the 35 to 44 years old bracket. Of the 2008 yearly total, only 120,240 were construction workers.

“What do you do if you have been injured on the job? Do the right thing and report it, follow the established procedures and then call me. It never hurts to have an Austin accident attorney in your corner if you get the runaround on your claim. It happens far more often than people think,” Schuelke said.

Contact Perlmutter & Schuelke PLLC at or (512) 476-4944.


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