Many workplaces in Texas are hazardous for employees. Even a job that seems safe, such as an office job, can be the setting of a serious accident. Slip and falls, electrocutions, staircase accidents, transportation accidents, equipment-related accidents, and other disasters can cause painful and debilitating worker injuries. If you get injured in an accident at work in Dallas, learn what to do to protect your legal rights. Your best course of action after starting medical treatment is to work with a work injury lawyer to fully understand your rights and get the best possible outcome for your claim.
First, report your accident to a supervisor, manager or your employer. Do this immediately, if possible. Tell the manager what happened and request an official accident report. Write down your version of events while the accident is still fresh in your mind for your own records. It is important to report the accident to your employer within at least 30 days to maintain your eligibility for workers’ compensation insurance.
If you can, gather information about the workplace accident from the very beginning. Take photographs of the scene of the accident before you leave, making sure to get pictures of the hazard that caused your injury. Write down the names of any eyewitnesses and the person you spoke with when reporting the accident. Ask for a copy of the accident report. If your workplace has video cameras, ask for a copy of the surveillance footage.
Go to a hospital right away. Prompt medical care for your workplace injury can show an insurance company that you did your part to mitigate your losses. Going to a hospital immediately is often a requirement to qualify for workers’ compensation insurance. It can also help you recover from your injuries. Even if you don’t think you’re injured, go to a hospital for a checkup. You may have an injury with hidden or delayed symptoms that require medical treatment.
In an emergency, you can go to the closest hospital or a health care center of your choosing in Dallas. If it is not an emergency, however, you must go to an approved doctor. If your employer has workers’ compensation insurance and you plan on filing a claim, ask for the list of approved doctors. Schedule an appointment with one of these medical providers to be eligible for financial compensation through workers’ comp.
After a workplace accident in Dallas, ask your employer if they provide workers’ comp insurance. Not all employers in Texas have to carry it. It is often up to the employer whether or not to offer this insurance. Through the workers’ comp system, you can receive compensation even if no one else caused your accident. You do not have to prove fault.
If you’re interested in filing a workers’ compensation claim, your employer will help you fill out the paperwork. You will need to describe the accident and your injuries, as well as provide supporting evidence, such as copies of your medical records. Then, your employer will submit the document to the Division of Workers’ compensation for you. If your claim is accepted, you can receive payment for 100 percent of your medical bills and about 67 percent of your related lost wages, as well as disability benefits.
In general, filing a personal injury lawsuit is not allowed after you accept a workers’ compensation insurance settlement. In exchange for receiving no-fault benefits, you give up the right to file a lawsuit against your employer. If a third party caused your workplace accident, however, such as a coworker, contractor or product manufacturer, you may be able to recover through both the workers’ comp system and a personal injury lawsuit in Texas.
You may also have to file a lawsuit for compensation if your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance. Consult with an attorney to discuss all of your options after an accident in Dallas.