1. Get Medical Treatment. If you get injured at work, your first priority should be to seek medical care. You can get immediate emergency care without beginning a workers’ compensation claim and without concern for approval. When receiving medical treatment, you should inform the doctor how you were hurt and that it was work-related.
If you receive ongoing treatment for work-related injuries, you have the right to use the doctor of your choice, as long as it is from an approved list of doctors that accept workers’ compensation insurance. You do not need to use the company doctor and can always switch to another approved provider if you do not feel like you are receiving the proper care.
If you pay for any treatment out of pocket, keep a record of all receipts and bills because you may be entitled to reimbursement through workers’ compensation.
2. Notify Your Employer. You should report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. Under Texas workers’ compensation laws, you have thirty days to report your injury to an individual in a supervisory or administrative role. However, if you wait weeks before reporting your injury, the insurance company will likely question the time gap and your credibility. The delay could cause issues in the approval of your workers’ compensation claim.
You should notify your employer in person and document it in writing. Often, you do this by completing an incident report. Even if you believe the injury is minor or will go away, you should inform your employer. If you do not tell your employer and your condition worsens, you may be barred from filing a workers’ compensation claim if you failed to inform them within thirty days.
In addition to your employer, you must notify the Department of Workers’ Compensation within one year of the injury.
3. File a Workers’ Compensation Claim. If your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, you should file the proper paperwork to start your claim. Typically, this is completed through your company’s Human Resources Department.
4. Hire an Attorney. You should contact a qualified attorney. A qualified attorney can help you throughout the entire process, including the initial filing of your claim. They will inform you of your rights and ensure that you are following the proper procedures.
If you disagree with the workers’ compensation offered by your employer, you have the right to an informal review meeting called a Benefits Review Conference. Your attorney can represent you at this conference. If the dispute is not resolved, your attorney will represent you at a formal hearing and through the appeals process. If necessary, they aggressively represent you in court to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Although you may think that your employer has your best interest at heart, it is in the interest of the insurance company and your employer to pay you as little as possible for your injuries. They will often try to utilize loopholes and manipulative tactics to avoid paying out the full value of claims. With an attorney on your side, there is a much higher chance of getting the compensation you are entitled to.
Unlike many states, Texas does not require private employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. According to the state’s Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), approximately 28% of private employers, employing 18% of the private workforce in Texas, do not carry workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, you can file a direct lawsuit against your employer if their negligence caused your injury. You may be entitled to damages such as lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.
If you or a loved one were injured at work, call the Paxton Law Firm. Let us review your case and advise you of your rights. The Paxton Law Firm believes in taking the stress of dealing with your case and turning a negative situation into the best possible outcome lady justice allows. We offer free consultations, and you do not pay any legal fees until we recover for you.
Do you believe you have a case? Understand that time is of the essence in getting you the justice you deserve! We would love to hear from you.