American workers are the backbone of the nation and do so much to keep our economy and society moving forward. However, workers can also experience serious injuries while on the job, and it can be hard to know where to turn or how to respond in the immediate aftermath of a workplace injury. It’s important to understand that injured workers deserve compensation, and know the steps to take to ensure your rights are protected under the law.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance coverage that protects workers from financial burdens that result from a workplace injury. In the state of Texas, not all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. If your employer does not have this type of insurance in place at the time of your injury, you won’t be eligible to file a claim.
Workers’ compensation can help cover the cost of medical care related to your injury. This can include the immediate expenses of urgent care or emergency care, as well as expenses incurred in the weeks and months after the injury, like physical therapy, rehabilitation, and even long-term care.
This type of insurance also helps families adjust to financial burdens brought on when the injured worker is no longer able to perform his or her job. Lost wages are often a central focus in workers’ compensation cases.
While some workers find that their employer’s workers’ compensation coverage is fair and responsive, others struggle to get the benefits they are entitled to. This can lead to the need to seek legal assistance in securing financial compensation for an on-the-job injury.
What should I do if I’m injured on the job?
Your first priority should be to seek immediate treatment for your injury. This is especially true if the injury leads to uncontrolled bleeding, loss of consciousness, broken bones, burns, or other severe medical issues. If you don’t need emergency or urgent care, ask your employer if workers are required to see a specific doctor for on-the-job injuries. There are complex rules surrounding where an injured employee can seek medical care. An experienced attorney can explain the best way for you to get the care you need.
Once you are in a safe and stable condition, filing an accident report should be your next step. It’s imperative to complete this step as soon as possible. In Texas, the form is called a Notice of Injury Letter. Workers should file this form even if they don’t think their injuries are severe enough to warrant a workers’ compensation claim. Many injuries do not present clear symptoms right away but can cause serious medical issues in the weeks and months to follow.
Your employer is responsible for filing a workers’ compensation claim on our behalf. You are entitled to receive a copy of this paperwork, and you should always follow up to make sure the claim is filed in a timely manner.
Good recordkeeping can make a world of difference in how your case is ultimately resolved. Be sure to track time missed from work, medical expenses, travel distances and time to receive medical care, and any out-of-pocket expenses related to your injury.
Try to keep a record of what is said between you and your employer, especially in the days immediately after a workplace injury. If possible, take photos of the scene of the accident, including any equipment involved. Write down the names of any witnesses to the accident as well as anyone who has suffered similar injuries.
It’s also important to keep a record of the ways life has changed for you and your family after a serious workplace injury. These details can help your legal team build a case for pain and suffering as well as other intangible effects of a workplace injury.
How do I know if I need to hire an attorney to handle my workplace injury?
While some workplace injuries are handled by the employer and insurance provider in a fair manner, there are many instances where workers do not receive the benefits they are entitled to. It never hurts to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney review your case and provide insight into your rights and responsibilities.
If you suspect that you are not receiving thorough information from your employer or the insurance company, an attorney can look into the matter on your behalf. Some cases are mishandled due to a lack of experience on the part of the employer. Others are handled with the intent to prohibit an employee from receiving just compensation.
A skilled attorney can help you complete the necessary paperwork to process your workers’ compensation claim. They can also help document your injuries, demonstrate safety issues within the workplace that contributed to the injury, and help you navigate the process.
Even if your Texas employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance coverage, you might still be able to seek compensation for injuries sustained while on the job. These cases can be difficult to build, but the outcome can mean financial security for you and your family in the aftermath of a workplace injury.
In the state of Texas, injured workers deserve compensation for injuries sustained while on the job. The best way for you to look after your rights is to partner with a skilled attorney. Be sure to remain in close communication with your legal team and respond to any requests for additional information in a timely manner. Providing documentation and information as soon as possible will help move your case along in a timely manner.
You can rest assured that you are in good hands, and that you and your family will receive the compensation you deserve. Very often, one of the primary benefits of working with a workers’ compensation attorney is the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the legal aspects of the matter are being handled in a skilled and professional manner.