What Falls Under Employer Responsibility?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers owe a duty to their workers to provide a safe, healthy, and hazard-free working environment. The OSHA Act outlines hundreds of specifications for work site, tool, and equipment conditions in order to keep employees out of harm’s way while in the workplace. While the list of items deemed as an employer responsibility under the OSHA Act is exhaustive, here are a few of the highlights:


  • The employer must maintain a workplace that is free of hazards and that meets the standards of OSHA safety regulations.
  • All employees must be provided with safe and regularly maintained tools, machinery, and equipment. They also must be properly trained to use such equipment.
  • Any potential workplace hazards or risks must be labeled with posters, labels, or signs in order to warn employees of possible dangers.
  • Employers are required to establish safe and healthy operating procedures for workplace tasks and to communicate those clearly to all employees.
  • There must be a prominently placed OSHA poster in all workplaces. This informs workers of their rights and responsibilities as an employee and gives guidance on maintaining a safe work environment.
  • Employers must report any on-site fatality to the nearest local OSHA office within 8 hours of the incident. They also must report any incident that results in three or more employees’ hospitalization.
  • All employee injuries, illnesses, and conditions (that are work related) must be recorded and kept on file. These records must be made available to employees, former employees, and their representatives when requested.
  • Employers may not discriminate or take action against any employee who attempts to enforce or exercise their rights under the OSHA Act.
  • When an OSHA citation is issued, it must be posted prominently in or near the work area that was cited. This must remain visible for three days or until the damage has been amended.
  • Employees must receive medical examinations and medical training when required by OSHA regulations.
  • Employers must give employees and their representatives access to medical records and exposure records when necessary.
  • All OSHA citations must be corrected, along with any required paperwork, by the specified deadline.
  • OSHA compliance officers must be provided with a list of authorized employees who may accompany them on work site visits and inspections.


These employer responsibility regulations are enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, a branch of the United States Department of Labor. Any employee who believes that their employer is violating these standards may file a complaint with OSHA online or by contacting their local OSHA office. When an official complaint is filed, an OSHA representative will investigate and perform a work site inspection. If a violation is found, the employer may be issued citation and ordered to correct it by a set deadline.


When reporting an OSHA violation, employees should not fear for their livelihood. One of the many employer responsibility regulations is that a worker may not be discriminated against when enforcing their rights as an employee. Workers may also request that their name not be revealed when reporting a violation. This protects employees from being fired, demoted, transferred, or otherwise punished for reporting unsafe or unhealthy working conditions.


If you believe your workplace has failed to comply by an employer responsibility outlined above, or you were injured on the workplace due to an OSHA violation, file a complaint with OSHA and contact a legal professional to find out what rights you have. You may have grounds for a personal injury claim against your employer. Call 210-226-8888 to speak to a San Antonio workplace injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today.

Typical Car Accident Injuries

According to the U.S. Census, a staggering 2.2 million people were injured in car wrecks in just 2009 alone. Typical car accident injuries can include everything from minor cuts and bruises to broken bones and severe brain trauma. Some of the most common types of injuries we see as a personal injury firm include:


  • Spine and back injuries – Due to the sheer impact of a car accident, injuries to the back and spine are all too common. Drivers and passengers commonly sustain sprains, strains, and fractures to their back, or suffer injuries to their vertebrae and spinal cord. These injuries can be extremely painful and have lasting effects, requiring lifelong physical therapy or causing problems with motor functions. A severe spinal cord injury could even result in paralysis.
  • Burns – Because of the engine’s heat and the combustible gas tank, fires are a common occurrence during serious auto collisions. A vehicle fire can cause severe damage to drivers or passengers involved, even inflicting third-degree burns that leave permanent scarring and disfigurement.
  • Head injuries – These are some of the most typical car accident injuries and, sadly, some of the most dangerous. A severe head injury, such as a skull fracture or concussion, can affect brain functions in a victim, possibly inflicting permanent brain damage.
  • Neck injuries – A car wreck can cause a number of injuries in the neck, including whiplash, muscle strain, or disc injury. While some of these problems are less serious and heal easily within time, injuries to the neck’s tissues or bones can inflict lifelong pain and require dedicated physical therapy in order for the victim to regain full function.
  • Broken bones – Bones are a common casualty of wrecks. Wrists, arms, legs, and ribs are often injured during the course of an accident. These are usually treated with a cast or physical therapy, though more serious breaks may require surgery.


Were you a victim of one of these typical car accident injuries? Call 210-226-8888 to speak to a San Antonio personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today.

8 Tips to Prevent a Reckless Driving Accident


According to the most recent U.S. Census reports, there are more than 10.8 million car accidents every year. Nearly 36,000 of those result in the deaths of drivers or passengers involved. Unfortunately, many of these deaths are the result of reckless driving and, had the drivers been operating their vehicle more carefully, could have been prevented. Help prevent a reckless driving accident from happening by following these eight tips for safe driving:


  1. Allot plenty of time to get to your final destination. In 2009, speeding accounted for more than 10,000 accident fatalities on U.S. roads. By giving yourself plenty of time to complete your trip, you’re cutting down on the likelihood that you will speed, putting yourself and others on the road in serious danger.
  2. Always wear your glasses or contact lenses when driving. Having low visibility can easily lead to a collision, especially at night. If you require contact lenses or prescription glasses to see clearly, always make sure you wear these when operating a vehicle.
  3. Keep road rage in check. Don’t threaten, yell, or point fingers at other drivers on the road, and make efforts to keep calm in stressful driving situations. Letting road rage get to you can cause you to make careless driving mistakes in the heat of the moment.
  4. Be aware of your surroundings. A huge part of preventing a reckless driving accident is keeping a watchful eye on what’s going on around you. Always know where other cars are on the road in relation to your vehicle. Check blind spots before changing lanes, and use your peripheral vision to watch for cars speeding or stopping around you.
  5. Keep a safe distance. Just because you’re driving carefully, doesn’t mean everyone else on the road is. Allow plenty of space between you and other cars on the road. If they speed up, stop suddenly, or veer into your lane without notice, you’ll still have plenty of time to get out of their way or hit your brakes without getting into a wreck.
  6. Don’t drive distracted. Texting, talking on the phone, eating, or playing with the radio are huge distractions while on the road. These divert your focus from the task at hand (driving), and cause you to drive recklessly. In fact, distracted driving killed more than 3,000 people on U.S. roads in 2010, according to Distraction.gov. While driving distracted, it’s easy to go to fast, veer into another lane, or run stop signs and red lights without noticing. All of these can lead to a dangerous reckless driving accident.
  7. Follow traffic laws. Never run lights, stops signs, or drive your car without a seat belt. These laws are in place not just to maintain an organized and orderly road system, but also to protect you and other drivers on the road. Follow these basic traffic regulations, and you could prevent a painful wreck.
  8. Keep your hands positioned properly on the steering wheel. When first learning to drive, you likely learned about the “10 and 2 o’clock” positions, where your hands should grip the steering wheel. Over time, many drivers forget this suggestion and drive with their hands on the bottom of the wheel, on the sides, or even with just one hand. This poor positioning can easily lead to a reckless driving accident. Proper 10 and 2 hand positions allow you not only to grip the steer wheel better and turn more easily, they give you more control of your vehicle, letting you maneuver quickly and seamlessly out of potentially dangerous situations.


Were you in a reckless driving accident? Contact San Antonio personal injury lawyer Pat Maloney at 210-226-8888 today.

Choosing a Serious Personal Injury Lawyer: 5 Things to Look For

Did you suffer a serious or catastrophic injury at the hands of another person? Then you’ve likely built up mountains of high medical bills, endured difficult physical and emotional pain, and lost hundreds in wages and income. A personal injury claim can help you recover those costs and more. However, in order to ensure success, you can’t hire just any old attorney. You need to find a serious personal injury lawyer who can get the job done.

Look for these five traits when hiring a serious personal injury lawyer for your case:


  1. Experience – You want an attorney who has experience, both in years and in cases similar to yours. When speaking to a potential lawyer, ask them to discuss any relevant serious injury cases they have handled and learn about their background and experience as an injury lawyer.
  2. Results – The serious personal injury attorney you hire should have a great success rate, and prior case results to back it up. Ask potential lawyers about recent similar cases and the end results of those. How much was the victim compensated? How long did it take?
  3. Time & Commitment – The attorney you choose needs to be able to devote time and energy to your case, so ask potential candidates what sort of time commitment they can make to you and your claim. Find out how many other cases they are currently handling; if it’s a lot, that may indicate they don’t have much time to devote to you.
  4. Communication – Lawsuits can be overwhelming and confusing. You need a lawyer who will communicate regularly, openly, and candidly with you. Find out how each candidate handles communication, and make sure you’re getting all the help you need.
  5. Resources – What sort of resources does the attorney have? How big is their staff? You want to make sure your case is getting plenty of attention and not getting pushed to the back burner because there aren’t enough resources or staff members to handle it.


When filing an injury claim, hiring the right serious personal injury lawyer is half the battle. Call 210-226-8888 to speak to a serious personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today.

How Third Party Insurance Affects Your Car Wreck Settlement

When you’re the victim of a car accident, you may decide to file a claim in order to recoup your medical costs, car damages, and more. Unfortunately, these claims more often than not involve third party insurance – the insurance of the other driver – and are more difficult to seek compensation from. The third party insurance carrier owes a duty to its client to protect their interests. As you have not paid them any premiums (as the other driver has), they will likely be more difficult to work with and may look to hold you accountable for some or all of the liability in the accident. In the end, this could negatively affect your car wreck settlement.


Texas follows the law of contributory fault, meaning if you are found to be even partially responsible for the accident, your compensation award will be diminished proportionally. When investigating your claim, the third party insurance company will likely look for ways to prove you hold at least partial responsibility in the collision, so the amount it has to pay out is lessened. If the judge in your case decides you are more at fault than the defendant, you will be unable to seek a car wreck settlement at all.


In order to ensure third party insurance isn’t able to hold you accountable for the accident, it’s important to seek help from a legal professional. They’ll help you gather evidence, such as the police report, accident scene photos, eyewitness testimony, and more. These can help support your case and prove that the other driver was, indeed, at fault.


Have you filed an accident claim that involves third party insurance? Get help from an experienced lawyer to ensure your car wreck settlement isn’t negatively affected. Call 210-226-8888 to speak to a San Antonio personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today.

What to Do After an Oil Rig Injury

Due to a shortage of employees within the industry, oil rig workers are typically forced to work long and strenuous hours, often in very hazardous conditions. Unfortunately, this puts them at an increased risk for injury. While an oil rig injury could be minor, such as burns, scrapes or cuts, all too often they are more severe, resulting in exposure to toxic chemicals, limb amputation, or life-threatening conditions.


If you or someone you love was the victim of an oil rig injury, follow these steps to receive the compensation you deserve:


Seek Treatment


As with any injury, seek medical care immediately. Be sure to keep all records, receipts, and notes from your doctor, as you will need these when filing a claim later on down the line. Also, ask your doctor to put – in writing – your expected treatment plan, as well as its costs and timeline. These may also come in handy if you decide to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.


Get Legal Help


Cases of oil rig injury are highly complex. Covered under the Jones Act, which assists sea workers in the event of an accident, victims of an oil rig injury may be due funds for medical costs, lost income, and punitive damages for pain, suffering, and more.  It’s important to enlist the help of an experienced legal professional when tackling a case such as this. Not only does it better ensure your case’s success, but it will help you maximize the amount of compensation you may be due.


Were you or a loved one the victim of an oil rig injury? You shouldn’t have to pay for another person’s mistake or negligence. Call 210-226-8888 today to discuss your case and possible compensation with a San Antonio personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney.

6 Steps to Preventing an Oil Rig Injury

Oil rig workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Oil and Gas Industry Fact Sheet, in 2008, 120 oil and gas workers lost their lives while on the job, with the most occurring in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. In 2007, more than 4,200 workers were non-fatally injured and, on average, 4.6 out of every 100 oil workers are injured each year. From minor cuts and bruises to broken bones and severe, life-threatening conditions, an oil rig injury can have serious and even fatal consequences. To prevent these, it’s important for workers to take the proper safety precautions while on the job.


Do you have a loved one who works on an oil rig? Ensure they are safe from harm by encouraging them to take safety and accident prevention measures.


1. Always properly inspect equipment before operating it. Report any defective or malfunctioning equipment immediately to a supervisor, and do not use it. Even a small defect can have devastating consequences.

2. Complete all proper training and certifications before operating any machinery or equipment. Don’t allow untrained colleagues to work unsupervised.

3. Be alert and aware of oncoming dangerous weather conditions and be prepared to respond accordingly. A small storm can turn into much more out on the open waters.

4. Never operate machinery or equipment if you are too tired, unfocused, or otherwise unfit to do so. Not being in the right mindset can injure you or your colleagues.

5. Always wear the proper safety gear, including a helmet, immersion suit, gloves, and more, when working on the rig.

6. Have an emergency plan in place. Know where to go, how to respond, and who to notify in the event that something goes wrong.


If your loved one was the victim of an oil rig injury while on the job, call the Law Offices of Pat Maloney at 210-226-8888 to discuss your legal rights today. You and your family could be due compensation for your medical bills, pain, suffering, and other damages you have incurred.

Understanding OSHA Construction Safety Guidelines

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration is a branch of the U.S. Department of Labor. Created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, it aims to ensure safe working environments for all U.S. workers through nationwide regulations and standards. Though OSHA works to protect and ensure the safety of workers in all industries, it offers many guidelines specific to the construction sector, given its high-risk, hazardous environment. OSHA construction safety regulations cover everything from inspections and permits to training and first aid.


San Antonio injury lawyer Pat Maloney shares some of OSHA’s requirements for employers in the construction industry:


  • Employers must regularly complete inspections of construction sites, materials, and equipment.
  • Tools or machinery determined to be unsafe during inspections must be tagged or locked to prevent use.
  • Only workers who have the proper training or experience to operate tools, equipment, and machinery may be permitted to do so.
  • Employers must provide workers with protective equipment in order to prevent injury.
  • Employers must provide proper training and safety programs per each employee’s duties.
  • Workers should be instructed on how to recognize and avoid hazardous situations.
  • First aid and medical provisions must be provided in case of injury.
  • There must be a fire protection and prevention program in place.
  • Employers must ensure work areas are free of debris, scraps, and other hazards.
  • Work sites must have waste containers.
  • Work areas must be properly lit when construction is in progress.


There are also OSHA construction safety guidelines for specific tools, site signage, electrical work, welding, masonry, scaffolding, demolition, and more. OSHA also has regulations for fall protection, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes is the biggest threat to construction employees, accounting for 34 percent of all on-the-job construction worker deaths in 2010.


Were you or someone you know the victim of a construction site accident because OSHA regulations were not followed? Contact San Antonio personal injury lawyer Pat Maloney today.


Reporting Unsafe Conditions


If you or someone you love spots an unsafe or hazardous condition while working at a construction site, it’s important to notify someone immediately. Tell a supervisor and, if necessary, go to a union representative or file an official complaint with OSHA. An OSHA complaint will result in a site inspection in which an OSHA representative will visit the work site, examine the conditions, and interview workers. If the representative finds an employer has failed to comply by OSHA regulations, it could result in a steep fine.


Under the OSH Act, employers are prohibited from discriminating against a worker who takes action to enforce OSHA safety regulation (such as filing a complaint). They are prohibited from firing, demoting, or transferring an employee, so there is no need to fear for your livelihood when reporting an unsafe work condition.


What Next


If you or someone you love falls victim to a construction site accident because an employer failed to follow OSHA construction safety regulations, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim and compensation for your injuries. Contact Pat Maloney now to see what you may be owed for your case.


A personal injury claim may award you funds for:


  • Current medical bills and treatment costs for the injury
  • Expected future medical bills
  • Lost income and wages, if the injury has kept the victim away from work
  • Lost earning capacity, if the injury has rendered the victim unable to continue working
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost quality of life, if the injury has severely affect the victim’s enjoyment of life


Call 210-226-8888 to discuss your case with a San Antonio injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today.