A workplace accident resulting in an injury can not only cause serious pain, but also lost income from time spent in recovery, lost earning potential due to disability and inability to continue working, and financial strain from medical expenses. If you recently suffered a workplace injury in the Dallas, TX area and are unsure what to do next, contact the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. today for a free consultation, and we can let you know how our firm can assist you with your workplace injury claim.
If you were injured on the job, or if a member of your family died because of an accident or illness caused by some condition in the workplace, you are not alone. Consider these statistics:
When you suffer a workplace injury, the claims process for workers’ compensation can be confusing. You may have additional or alternative options for recovery. The right attorney can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of your workplace injury.
Hiring an attorney is a major decision, and the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. can help you handle the most complex workplace injury claims.
When you face a workplace injury claim, you not only may have the option of filing for workers’ compensation but also taking additional legal action to fully recoup your losses. Your injury attorney in Dallas can help you with your initial workers’ compensation claim, handle communications and negotiations with insurance companies, and help you gather evidence if a workers’ compensation claim is not possible or would not provide enough to fully cover your damages.
Under Texas’ workers’ compensation laws, an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance applies to any injury or illness an employee sustains during job-related duties. Location is generally irrelevant if the employee was performing his or her job-related duties when the injury or illness occurred. For example, a construction worker driving to a jobsite with a supply delivery suffers an injury when another driver hits his truck. In this case, even though the employer had nothing to do with the accident, because the accident occurred while the employee was performing his job-related duties, workers’ compensation would apply.
However, workers’ compensation does not apply if the employee acted outside the scope of his or her employment, engaged in any illegal or intentionally dangerous behavior, or if the accident occurred while the employee was engaged in any off-duty activities. The injured worker must report the injury or illness within 30 days, but it’s a good rule of thumb to report such incidents as soon as possible. Any delay on the injured employee’s part may hurt his or her chances of securing benefits.
Workers’ compensation in Texas offers medical benefits, income benefits, and survivor benefits in the event of a job-related death. Medical benefits will pay for an injured employee’s immediate medical costs after a job-related injury or illness. Income benefits will offer financial assistance while the employee recovers and cannot work. Survivor benefits seek to repay the families of employees who die from job-related illnesses and injuries.
Workers’ compensation is a state-regulated insurance program that pays the medical bills and replaces a portion of the lost wages if the employee has a work-related injury or illness. If an employer has workers’ compensation insurance, Texas law limits the employer’s liability for work-related injuries. While injured employees may get medical and income benefits set by state law, the subscribing employer has immunity from most lawsuits filed by injured employees.
Employers that are non-subscribers to state regulated workers compensation insurance can be sued for negligently causing injury and wrongful death. Employers can also be forced to pay high damage awards if an injured employee can prove in court that the employer was negligent in any way. Under Texas law, a non-subscriber employer can be held responsible for 100% of an injured employees damages even if the employer is able to allege the employee was arguably 99% at fault for the incident, if proven that the employer was at least 1% at fault.
Texas Workers’ Compensation Insurance is designed to protect employers, not help with the serious bodily injury or death of employees. After a serious work related injury, who is going to give you back the joy and camaraderie of a good game of tennis with a friend, flag football with the kids, hiking in the woods on a crisp fall day, bowling that perfect game, or dancing with someone you love? Who’s going to pay you for the loss of all those things that made your life worth living? If you’re like most people dealing with a serious injury, these are even greater losses than the cost of treatment and the paychecks you lost.
These are a few of many unsafe conditions that can cause a serious workplace accident:
Texas is one of the few states that do not require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, many Texas employers still do because it can help them avoid civil liability from personal injury claims from injured employees. You should report any workplace injury immediately, regardless of whether your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance. Failing to report your injury in a timely fashion may interfere with a future workers’ compensation claim or lawsuit.
After reporting the incident your employer will provide you with workers’ compensation claim forms and other necessary documentation. If workers’ compensation is not available through your employer, you should still report the incident to create a record of your injury. In either case, contact an attorney as soon as you receive medical treatment for your injuries.
If your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, your supervisor should provide you with all the materials you need to file for workers’ compensation. You will need to see a physician on the insurance carrier’s approved list, and he or she will examine your injuries and assign a disability rating for your claim.
Once you submit your claim and receive treatment and a disability rating, the state workers’ compensation board will investigate your claim and approve it if you meet the requirements for benefits. If you suffered a severe injury that requires immediate treatment, you may see any available doctor until the emergency stabilizes, then you must see one of the physicians on the workers’ compensation insurance carrier’s approved list.
Filing for workers’ compensation is never easy. Even if your employer is agreeable and helpful with your claim, the doctor may not make the diagnosis you expected, and you may receive fewer benefits than your injuries deserve. The right attorney can help you determine your best options for recovery regardless of whether workers’ compensation comes into play. Contact the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. today to schedule a free consultation and learn about your legal options after a workplace injury.