Paper Mill Accident Lawyer in Louisiana and Texas
Dedicated Paper Mill Accident Attorneys at Your Service
A paper mill injury can leave you struggling with the high costs of medical bills and the inability to work. You are likely suffering from a great deal of pain as you recover from your paper mill accident. Your work as a paper mill worker can be dangerous, as you know all too well. Heavy machinery, dangerous conditions, and negligence by others may cause injuries while working at the paper mill. Your case could be subject to workers' compensation laws, personal injury laws, or sometimes a combination of both.
At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, we understand the complex nature of your case and how to pursue the compensation you deserve. We have decades of experience fighting for injured paper mill workers like you. Our team has won millions for our clients because of our dedication, experience, and aggressive representation. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about your unique case.
Why Pick Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers?
Our lawyers understand what it takes to win compensation in paper mill accident cases. We know the unique dangers you face at work, including exposure to toxic chemicals, defective machinery, and so much more. We work with the best experts in the business to help prove how you were injured and the extent of your damages. Our paper mill accident lawyers also know how these injuries impact your life, finances, and health. We compassionately represent every client and fight against paper mill companies who want to deny your claim.
As one of the top paper mill accident firms in Louisiana and Texas, we are highly experienced in winning the compensation you deserve. Our firm is part of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum®, demonstrating that we have won millions in compensation for our clients. We take a personalized and aggressive approach to protecting your interests, which is one of the reasons we are a five-star rated personal injury law firm.
Our case results show just how successful we are in industrial accident and personal injury claims:
- $31,500,000 from an oil field safety violation that caused devastating brain, back, and spine injuries
- $4,000,000 from a driving safety violation that caused back and neck injuries
- $2,750,000 when an 18-wheeler lost its load and caused major orthopedic injuries
Morris & Dewett recently won Louisiana's biggest personal injury verdict in March 2023. Our team won $409,000,000 for the family of Katie "Bug" Grantham. Bug was killed by an intoxicated truck driver who worked for an oil company. The company knew of the driver's problem and ignored it, among many other safety violations. We took on the driver and this massive company to protect the Grantham family's rights.
Our highly skilled lawyers know how to put this experience to work in your paper mill accident case.
What Is a Paper Mill Accident?
Paper mills create the pulp and paper we rely on in daily life. As any paper mill worker knows, this is an important job that helps drive the U.S. economy. It is also a dangerous job — especially when the company or other parties are negligent. Their careless or reckless actions can cause extreme harm because of the danger inherent to your job in a paper mill.
A paper mill accident can occur at any part of the paper-making process, including, but not limited to:
- Debarking or grinding wood
- Chip washing, screening, and chipping
- Digesting and bleaching
- Beating the pulp
- Dilution and formation
- Pressurization and drying
Accidents can happen at any of these stages and many others in your paper mill. When you are hurt, you need a Texas or Louisiana paper mill accident attorney to help you fight for the compensation you need.
Paper Mill Accidents: A Type of Industrial Accident
Accidents in a paper mill fall under the general category of industrial accidents. Industrial accidents can result in job-related physical trauma to plant operators, welders, factory workers, and paper mill workers and lead to serious injuries and financial hardship for these workers.
Industrial accidents present unique and difficult challenges for injured people. These large companies have powerful legal teams who are often willing to deny you compensation even if they know they owe it to you. It takes highly experienced paper mill accident lawyers like those at Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers to fight back against these tactics and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Paper Mill Accidents
Paper mills are hazardous to human health, especially when appropriate safeguards are not in place. There are countless potential causes of harm in these industrial sites. Common causes of paper mill injuries include:
Your own coworkers may cause your injuries. Their actions can result in severe harm because they fail to perform their job correctly or protect you somehow. Coworkers are a common cause of paper mill accidents throughout Louisiana and Texas.
This might be due to improper training, bad choices, or even a pure accident. In any case, you are likely entitled to compensation due to your work injury.
Paper mills use a great deal of heavy machinery at each stage of the paper-making process. This equipment can be dangerous even when it is fully operational. This equipment is more dangerous when it is also defective.
Defective equipment may be caused by a defective machine design or a mistake in the manufacturing process. It may also be due to the manufacturer's failure to warn of known equipment dangers. When this is the case, you may be entitled to file a product liability action against the manufacturer for your injuries.
Failure To Maintain Equipment
Your equipment and machinery must be properly maintained to keep operating safely. Many companies or workers fail to maintain the equipment. This is often an oversight or a purposeful act to lower costs and increase profits. This can lead to extremely dangerous situations that cause major accidents.
Common causes of equipment injuries include:
- Lockout/tagout oversights on safety equipment
- Mishandling motor vehicles used in the paper production process
- Machine guarding failures
- Ladder safety violations
- Insufficient cleaning or general maintenance of machines
- Use of defective or improper parts to maintain equipment
Lack of Safety Equipment
Responsible paper mill companies provide the safety equipment you need to stay safe on the job. Failure to provide this safety equipment is hazardous to your health and may violate several laws as well. In industrial accidents like paper mill injury cases, employees are often deprived of critical safety equipment such as:
- Proper lockout/tagout protections on machines
- Respiratory protection from dangerous chemicals and fumes
- Safe scaffolding or ladders
- Appropriate eye protection like glasses or goggles
- Machine stop buttons or emergency shutoff buttons
Fires and Explosions
The machinery and chemicals involved in making paper create a hazard for fires and explosions. Fires and explosions can devastate your body and may even result in the death of someone you love. These often occur because the company or another worker was negligent in causing your injury.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Many paper mills have high areas where an employee may fall a great distance. The impact of the fall can lead to catastrophic injuries. Even a slip or trip can cause severe injuries as well. A worker may strike their head on equipment or the ground after a fall and suffer major harm as a result.
Exposure to Toxic Chemicals and Fumes in Paper Mills
Paper mills will expose you to countless dangerous chemicals. These chemicals and their fumes can severely harm your lungs, eyes, and other parts of your body. You may have been exposed to asbestos if you have worked in a paper mill for many years. Asbestos can cause cancer, such as mesothelioma, a deadly and dangerous medical condition. While asbestos has largely been eradicated today, the effects of exposure decades ago may just be occurring now.
Paper mills also use many other dangerous chemicals in the paper-making process, such as:
- Chlorine and chlorine dioxide
- Gaseous sulfur compounds
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Formic acid
- Sulfuric acid
- Dust particles of sodium sulfate and lime
- Sodium hydroxide mist
- Gluonic acid
- Acetic acid
Any of these chemicals can do severe damage to your skin, eyes, and especially your lungs. Others can even cause cardiovascular problems that result in heart attacks, stroke, and other complications.
Injuries in Paper Mill Accidents
Paper mill accident injuries are often quite severe. They can do long-lasting or even permanent damage to your health. This may rob you of the ability to live as you did before or could lead to permanent disabilities. Some injuries could be somewhat minor and heal over time. No matter the extent of your injury, you deserve to seek compensation from your employer or another party responsible for your harm.
Physical Injuries in Paper Mill Accident Cases
Physical injuries common in paper mill accidents include the following:
- Burns and scalding
- Chemical damage to skin and lungs
- Crush injuries and pinch-point damage
- Lacerations and other skin damage
- Inhalation of toxic or deadly fumes
- Internal organ damage or loss
- Loss of fingers, limbs, or other appendages
- Traumatic brain injuries and concussions
- Spinal cord damage
- Paralysis, either partial or total
- Wrongful death
Psychological Injuries in Paper Mill Accidents
In addition to your physical injuries, you may also be entitled to compensation for the psychological harm you suffered. This will depend on the unique circumstances of your case and what law applies. Psychological injuries common in paper mill incidents include the following:
- Anxiety or flashbacks of the accident
- Nightmares or trouble sleeping
- Post-traumatic stress
- Suicidal ideation
- Phantom limb pain
- Fear of returning to work
- Grief over the death of a loved one
What Should I Do After a Paper Mill Accident?
A paper mill accident is serious, and you should protect your health and legal rights. By taking the following steps, you best protect yourself and your rights to potential compensation in a paper mill accident lawsuit:
- Report Your Injury. Under state law in both Louisiana and Texas, you have a limited time in which to report your accident. You must report an industrial injury to your employer or supervisor within 30 days or risk losing your right to compensation. Your employer should make clear to whom you must report. If they do not, speak with our legal team immediately so that we can help you report your injury correctly.
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention. Get emergency medical care right away if you need it. Also, seek non-emergency or follow-up care for any injuries you have. First and foremost, you want to protect your health. Additionally, medical care shows you are doing your best to prevent further harm and helps document all your injuries as evidence.
- Do All Follow-Up Medical Care. A common mistake clients make is ignoring follow-up medical care orders by their doctors. This can not only negatively affect your health, but it can also create problems with the strength of your case. Follow your doctor's directions and stay on top of follow-up care.
- Speak With a Paper Mill Accident Attorney. If you were hurt in a Texas or Louisiana paper mill accident, speak with a paper mill accident attorney right away. Your case deserves careful attention from an experienced lawyer who can fight for your compensation.
Compensation in Paper Mill Accident Lawsuits
A paper mill accident lawsuit aims to win compensation for you. The goal of this compensation is to repair your life, your health, and your finances. Depending on your case, you may also be entitled to non-economic damages for what you have been through as well.
Economic damages compensate you for the direct costs you suffered from the accident. These costs are readily ascertainable dollar amounts that represent your financial damages. Economic damages in a paper mill accident commonly include:
- Property damages
- Surgical costs and hospital bills
- Other medical costs, both past and future
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Costs of rehabilitation services or disability modifications
Non-economic damages compensate you for more subjective harms, such as psychological damages. These are no less valuable but unavailable in some paper mill accident cases. For example, cases that fall under workers' compensation are generally limited to economic damages only and non-economic damages may be excluded. These damages are usually available if the case falls under personal injury law. Your attorney knows what damages are available and when.
Non-economic damages in a paper mill accident commonly include:
- Mental anguish or post-traumatic stress damages
- Pain and suffering
- Grief for wrongful death lawsuits
- Loss of companionship and support
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Trauma and emotional distress
Frequently Asked Questions in Paper Mill Accident Lawsuits
Does Workers' Compensation Apply to My Paper Mill Accident?
Whether your case falls under workers' compensation will depend on several factors. First is the state in which you were injured. In Louisana, most employers are required to carry workers' compensation insurance and paper mill accidents you suffer will likely fall into this category. However, there are exceptions that may entitle you to file a personal injury claim as well. Our skilled attorneys can make this determination when we learn about your case.
In Texas, employers may opt out of the workers' compensation system. These employers are called non-subscribers. When you work for a non-subscriber, you can file a personal injury claim against your employer rather than go through the workers' compensation system. If your employer is part of the system, your claim will likely be subject to workers' compensation.
Our attorneys can help you understand what type of case you will file and the benefits of filing under each. We know how to help no matter what your situation may be.
How Long Do I Have To File My Claim?
If you were hurt at work, you should notify your employer or supervisor right away about the injury, but at least within 30 days. Failure to do so may result in the loss of potential workers' compensation rights if those apply to your case. Other deadlines will also apply in workers' compensation in Texas and Louisiana, so the best advice is to speak with an attorney immediately after your paper mill accident.
In personal injury cases, the filing deadline differs depending on your state. The statute of limitations in Louisiana is one year from the accident date. The Texas statute of limitations is two years.
How Long Will My Paper Mill Accident Case Take?
Some cases resolve rather quickly, especially when liability is clear. If your employer knows they have to pay, it is often easier to negotiate a fair settlement. However, some companies will avoid paying even when they know they are at fault.
A paper mill accident lawsuit or workers' compensation process may be necessary when this happens. This can lengthen the process, which may happen in several months or it may take years.
How Much Is My Paper Mill Accident Lawsuit Worth?
The value of your paper mill accident will depend on many factors, such as:
- The extent and severity of your injuries
- The pain and suffering you went through
- The permanency of your injuries
- Whether workers' compensation or personal injury law applies to your case
Speak With a Five-Star Rated Paper Mill Accident Lawyer Today
The dedicated paper mill accident attorneys at Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers are here to help you win the compensation you deserve. We know what you have been through, the dangers of a paper mill, and how to handle your case correctly. Our legal team offers compassionate and dedicated service to protect your rights.
If you were hurt in a paper mill accident in Texas or Louisiana, contact us today for a free consultation of your case.