Interview with Houston Accident Lawyer Hector Sandoval
Why did you choose to become a lawyer, specifically one representing Personal Injury victims in Auto and Work Accident cases? (instead of other legal practices just as immigration, etc.)
I always enjoyed helping people figure out a problem. Also, I grew up working in manual labor type jobs and always had a creative mind when it came to performing this type of work. I didn’t know these two characteristics of my personality would end up–many years later–shaping what I would do as an adult in becoming a lawyer. Being a lawyer allows me to help all types of people from all over Texas.
I take great pride in being able to take the knowledge and experience I received growing up as a physical laborer and using it to better understand how my clients’ injuries occurred. That’s why I chose to become a lawyer first and foremost, and the reason I have been a work injury lawyer for my entire legal career.
How important do you think it is that your clients can communicate with you and your staff in their preferred language, whether that is English or Spanish?
It’s very important to speak the client’s preferred language. Being bilingual myself along with my legal team has helped us better connect with our clients. Speaking the injured worker’s or auto accident client’s preferred language is vital for optimal communication. People open up better when they can freely speak in their mother tongue. Having this ability to communicate more freely and clearly makes it more likely that my staff and I can truly understand what we can do to meet our clients’ needs.
In your law firm, are you experiencing an increase in car accident cases associated with texting and driving or pedestrian deaths involving individuals who are found to be checking their smartphones while walking and crossing the streets?
The reality is that most cases involve distracted drivers….if the person deemed responsible for the accident was found to be using social media when the accident occurred, then social media could prove bad for that person. If you are the one who was injured in the accident, though, it could prove useful for proving your case in a court of law.
In 2018, distracted driving led to almost 100,000 accidents that caused 2,340 serious injuries and 394 fatalities in Texas. Moreover, it is the state’s second-most common contributor to car crashes, almost four times more than driving under the influence.
You have vast experience as an attorney representing work injury cases, especially those from non-subscriber companies. What would you say are the most common causes of work accidents and what employers can do to reduce the number of work accidents?
I’d say the majority of work injury cases often occur due to lack of proper training and a lack of tools and equipment. Also, many businesses are understaffed, and end up with a less than ideal number of employees who tend to be overworked (they work more shifts) to compensate for the lack of personnel. This results in more work accidents than if conditions were more favorable.
What do most people mistakenly do after suffering a work accident and what should they do instead?
If you’ve been injured working for a non-subscriber, understand that the company, the insurance company, and their legal team are already working hard on defending your case against them. The best way to ensure that your rights will be protected is to report the injury immediately and get the necessary medical attention.
When you have an injury at work, you cannot “give it some time” because it will affect your ability to prove that your injury came about from a specific incident at work.
Don’t delay and speak with Sandoval Law Firm or any other experienced work injury lawyer to make sure your case moves swiftly through the process. The longer you wait, the harder it will be on you and your family down the road as you face muddy waters created by your employer’s legal team.
Again, what is a Texas Non-subscriber case and how do they differ from a regular workers’ compensation case?
If you work for anyone outside of the state or federal government, you have about a 1 in 4 chance that you work for a Texas Non-Subscriber Employer. The industries with highest Non-Subscriber rates include healthcare, educational services, wholesale and retail, trade, transportation, arts, entertainment, accommodation and food services.
One of the most vital differences between an injured worker’s rights under Worker’s Compensation and under a Non-Subscriber policy is that if your employer has Workers’ Compensation, even if your employer was negligent in causing your injury, you cannot sue your employer. Your exclusive rights are found under Texas Worker’s Compensation law. On the other hand, if your employer has elected Texas Non-Subscriber status, you have a right to file a lawsuit against your employer if your injury resulted from failing to provide a reasonably safe workplace.