There is an almost infinite number of ways that employees have been injured while on the job in Texas, from tripping over misplaced pipes to falling down the stairs or pulling a muscle lifting heavy boxes. Even psychological harm, if proven to be work-related, can also be deemed a workplace injury and thus you may be entitled to benefits for any loss of work.
Workers’ compensation protection is available in Houston. However, unlike many other states, Texas doesn’t require an employer to have workers’ compensation coverage. Nevertheless, it is still the requirement of any employer to provide a reasonably safe working environment.
If you are hurt while at work in Texas, your priority should be to seek medical treatment. You are within your rights to use whichever medical facility or doctor you wish and are under no obligation to use your employer’s preferred medical practitioner.
Following an injury on the job, you have 30 days to make a report to your employer which should be in writing, via email or text. If your injury was only known to be work-related after 30 days, then you may still be entitled to compensation if it can be proven that the injury was only apparent to be work-related at a later date.
You are entitled to hire an attorney in Texas if you are injured while on the job. The attorneys at Williams Hart are proficient in seeking benefits on your behalf and understand the complexities and stringent timelines involved with making a claim. As you will not have to pay a penny until you receive compensation, it is best to call your attorney as soon as you are physically able.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ Compensation is regulated by the state of Texas and will provide benefits in the event of a work-related injury, including:
- Medical benefits
- Income benefits
- Death benefits
In addition to traumatic accidents, occupational illnesses caused by chemical accidents or conditions due to repetitive tasks may fall under the umbrella of workplace injuries. Injuries that are a result of intoxication or the injured employee not following stipulated safety guidelines may not be covered.
If your employer has workers’ compensation coverage, then almost all work-related injury compensation claims must be made through this system. There are a few exceptions, including asbestos exposure or if you work on a ship. Your personal injury lawyer will be well-informed on the laws which apply to your case.
What if My Employer Doesn’t Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
An employer must notify all employees, at the time of hiring, if workers’ compensation coverage is not offered. Should workers’ compensation be discontinued during the course of employment, then the employer must also make this change explicitly known. If the employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage, an employee may then bring a personal injury lawsuit against their employer.
Can I Claim Outside of Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
If you are injured on the job, and your employer carries workers’ compensation, then you must seek compensation through that insurance policy. Howe’ver, in Texas, an employee has five days from the time of initial employment to elect to relinquish their right to workers’ compensation benefits and maintain their right to sue the employer for a work-related injury.
In the event that a third party was responsible for an injury on the job in Texas, then you may also file a third-party accident claim and seek compensation from this party, in addition to filing a workers’ compensation claim with your employer.
If you were injured while on the job in Texas, contact Williams Hart today for a free initial consultation to discuss your options for compensation.