A work injury can happen at any time to any person. When it does happen, you want to seek legal representation in order to make sure you get a fair settlement, including coverage for your medical bills and lost wages. There are steps you want to take after a workplace injury that will help make sure you will get this compensation.
Report the Injury
It’s necessary that an employee reports the injury to their employer as soon as possible. In some cases, employers and workers’ comp insurance companies could deny the claims if the injury wasn’t reported correctly.
Let the Health Care Provider Know it Was a Workplace Injury
When you first seek medical care after a work injury, you need to tell the doctor that it’s work related. You should also ask that your doctor record this in your file for future reference. Employers and insurance companies can deny your claim if the first medical note doesn’t say that the injury was due to a workplace accident.
Have Written Notice for Your Employer
When writing an accident claim, you need to make sure you include all the information for your employer to formally review. This information should include the date of the injury, as well as a short description of what happened. This statement should be given to the employer as soon as possible after the accident.
Keep Records of Everything
It’s important you have records of any missed work, travel to medical appointments, and out-of-pocket expenses related to the injury. Many laws allow employees to get weekly wage replacement payments once you are away from work for a week due to the injury. You may also get reimbursement for any necessary out-of-pocket expenses you have to pay. The right documentation is required before you get these benefits. The more documentation you can provide on your injuries, the better off you will be when it comes to a claim.
Contact a Workers’ Comp Attorney
Working through the claims process can be stressful and confusing. Insurance adjusters are trained to take records and statements and use them against you in the claim. You can avoid a lot of stress with the process by working with work injury attorneys to help with your claim. An attorney can fill out the forms, handle the insurance company for you, and ensure you are getting the right treatment. The goal of an attorney is to help you recover from your injury and get the wages you are entitled to while you are away from work. Most lawyers won’t charge you any fees unless they get the benefits for you so there is no harm in contacting an attorney to help with your claim.
Does Your Employer Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Texas is unlike other states in the country and they don’t require workers’ compensation insurance. Even though employers aren’t required to carry it, many do since if they have it then the amount and type of compensation you get are limited by law. Without workers’ compensation insurance, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the employer and get a greater amount for compensation and a broader range of damages.
Your Rights if Your Employer Has Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Through workers’ comp insurance, there are benefits you are entitled to.
Medical Benefits: Workers’ comp insurance covers the cost of necessary and reasonable medical expenses. If the injury constitutes an emergency then you should get medical immediately without concern for any insurance coverage. However, if you do need any further treatment then you will need to work with a physician that is in the workers’ comp network. You do get to choose the doctor that you get treatment from as long as they are covered. Sometimes you have to choose from a list of in-network doctors. There could be disputes about which treatments are necessary and reasonable. If you have issues getting treatment covered then it’s best to work with a lawyer.
Income Benefits: Insurance can pay for a certain percentage of income. There are different income benefits, including lifetime income benefits, supplemental income benefits, impairment income benefits, and temporary income benefits. Temporary benefits are for temporary illness and injury and cover 70% of the difference between wages you can earn after your injury and your average weekly wage. Lifetime benefits are for those who have a permanent impairment. This amount you are able to get depends on the impairment rating and it depends on the damage your body sustained.
Death Benefits: If your loved one was killed because of a work accident then you may get the death and burial benefits. They are paid to a family member who is responsible for the expenses. Death benefits include 75% of the decedent’s weekly wages. As a surviving spouse, you can get these benefits until you remarry.
Your Rights if Your Employer Doesn’t Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance
If your employer doesn’t have any workers’ comp insurance at the time of your accident and injury then working with a law firm is the best way to get the benefits you need. Without insurance coverage, you aren’t entitled to the workers’ comp income and medical benefits. You instead need to file a lawsuit in order to get fair and full compensation for the injuries. Your right to pursue a lawsuit and compensation depends on different factors. You will need to prove that your employer caused the injury because of intentional misconduct or negligence. Since you will need to establish fault, you will benefit from working with an experienced attorney.