Getting injured at work can be a terrible burden. Not only do you have to attend appointments for medical treatments, but your earning ability is also reduced because you need to take time off for recovery. If you’ve been injured at work in Houston, TX, then you may need to contact personal injury attorneys to receive compensation for your injuries and other financial damages.
My Injury Cost Me Time at Work: Can I Get Compensation?
Yes. One of the functions of worker’s compensation insurance is to provide workers with replacement wages while workers are undergoing medical treatments. Ideally, worker’s compensation should give workers time to recuperate so they can keep their employment until they can return to work. This compensation should match the worker’s normal wages.
What Else Can Compensation Pay For?
In addition to compensation for time off work, your worker’s compensation can be used to cover other expenses. The total amount of your worker’s compensation should be enough to cover all of your medical costs, including prescription medications and physical therapy during your recovery. Compensation can also be used to cover emergency room treatment, ongoing medical bills, and other medical needs you may have.
In cases of extreme injury on the job, your worker’s compensation may arrive in the form of a lump-sum payment intended to replace reduced earning ability and lost pay due to temporary or permanent disability. To file a worker’s compensation claim after you have been medically diagnosed as disabled, you will likely need to prove your claim with the help of personal injury attorneys.
Does Compensation Pay for Non-Economic Damages?
Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of companionship, and disfigurement may all be calculated as part of your award settlement when you file a lawsuit against your employer for worker’s compensation. To receive compensation for non-economic damages, you will need to provide evidence that will prove the degree of your suffering after your injury, particularly if negligence from your employer caused your accident.
Do Employers Have to Offer Worker’s Compensation?
In Texas, employers have the option to provide worker’s compensation insurance to employees. Not all organizations will have worker’s compensation benefits. These benefits will be outlined in your employment contract. You can also ask your employer about worker’s compensation when you are hired.
If your employer partners with a union, you may be able to receive worker’s compensation benefits through your union. Again, you will need to contact the union to understand if worker’s compensation benefits apply to your employment.
What Should You Do When You Are Injured At Work in Houston, TX?
If you are injured at work, it’s important to follow the proper procedure so that you can receive compensation. Skipping a step may prevent you from receiving compensation, since your employer may try to argue that you were not injured at work. The three main steps you should follow after you have been injured at work include:
Report the Injury
You should report your injury to your employer or direct supervisor. It’s very important to report your injury before you seek medical attention, since this will remove any doubt that you were injured while working. When you report your injury, you should tell your employer or supervisor how the accident or injury occurred.
If you can, try to verify that your employer or supervisor is taking notes of your incident report, or make a recording of your conversation so you have proof that you reported your injury immediately. This evidence can be used to support your workplace accident claim if you need to prove your claim in court later on.
Get Medical Treatment
After reporting your injury, you should get medical treatment. Be sure to seek the appropriate medical treatment for your injury. If you have hit your head, if you suspect broken bones, or if you are bleeding without stopping, you should go to the nearest emergency room for treatment. If your injury is minor, such as a sprain, then an urgent care center will be able to provide adequate medical treatment.
Be sure to keep all the documents related to the medical treatment you received after your injury. These documents will have several pieces of evidence that can be used to support your claim, such as time and date stamps, the physician who treated you, the injuries that were treated, and the treatments that were used to address your injuries.
File Your Claim
After you have received medical attention, you will need to contact your employer to file your worker’s compensation claim. Depending on your employer, you may be able to file your initial claim by phone or in person. If your employer does not offer worker’s compensation insurance when you try to file a claim for your injury, then you should contact personal injury attorneys right away.
Why Might You Need Personal Injury Attorneys for Worker’s Compensation?
You may need to hire personal injury attorneys to help with your worker’s compensation claim for a few reasons. In general, if your employer is hostile to your claim and refuses to provide you with adequate compensation to replace your wages or compensate for disability, you will likely need to hire a lawyer who specializes in workplace injuries. Specific reasons you may need to hire a lawyer include:
Your Employer Is Liable for Your Injury
Even if your employer agrees to honor your worker’s compensation claim, you may still need to hire an attorney if your employer is liable for your injury. For example, if your workplace does not maintain adequate OSHA standards for safety, this can be a reason to file a lawsuit against your employer.
Your employer is legally obligated to provide a safe working environment for all employees by adhering to strict safety regulations, particularly if you work in an inherently dangerous environment. If your employer is negligent, this means they’re responsible for your injury and you may deserve additional compensation for your damages.
Your Employer Refuses to Pay Compensation
If your employer outright refuses to file your worker’s compensation paperwork, this can be another reason you need to contact a personal injury lawyer. Although Texas laws about worker’s compensation are less regulated than in other states, if your employer does have workers’ compensation insurance but still refuses to pay any compensation, this can be a reason to file a lawsuit.
Your Employer Is Underreporting Your Wages
Finally, your employer may be undercutting your benefits by underreporting your wages. The amount of your worker’s compensation benefits will be determined by your regular wages. If your employer is underreporting your wages, this will mean that your benefit rates are also lower, which may leave you unable to pay for medical bills. You can sue an employer who is underreporting your wages.
Texas employers do not always offer worker’s compensation insurance. However, if your workplace has worker’s compensation insurance, then you are entitled to compensation to replace lost wages when you are unable to work because of an injury. You may need help from a personal injury lawyer to receive fair compensation if your employer is hostile to your claim. Contact Houston Injury Lawyers PLLC in Houston, TX to learn more about the worker’s compensation benefits you are entitled to.