Every Texas worker expects to work in a reasonably safe environment maintained by his or her employer. No one wants to be injured while doing their job but every year thousands of Texans are involved in work accidents. This can be a scary, painful, and confusing experience that leaves workers wondering how they will recover and if they will be able to continue to financially support their families. When injured at work, who can be held responsible for your medical expenses? In Texas, if you are injured in a work accident while on the job, typically your employer is required to help you obtain medical treatment. Some employers and their insurance companies may make this process difficult and will try to avoid paying appropriate compensation for your injuries.
What to Do if You Are Injured on the Job
If you have suffered an injury while at work, there are specific steps you should take to protect yourself. First, seek immediate medical attention and have any and all injuries treated. Workplace accidents happen suddenly, and injured workers typically have the following options after an accident on the job:
- If the employer does not subscribe to Texas workers’ compensation, the worker can file a lawsuit directly against their employer to recover financial damages, including past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other damages to which they are legally entitled
- Accept workers’ compensation benefits from a subscribing employer, which prevents the worker from filing a lawsuit against or recovering any damages from their employer, but not from other responsible parties
- Accept workers’ compensation benefits from the employer, but file a lawsuit against any other third parties/companies that caused or contributed to the work-related accident
In any of these cases, seeking guidance from an experienced Texas work accident attorney is essential to making sure you receive fair compensation. There are also legal deadlines you must meet to make a valid claim for damages. An experienced personal injury lawyer will help you gather all necessary information, including incident reports, inspections, witness statements, and more that are needed for the claim.
What Accidents and Injuries Are Considered Work-Related?
Sometimes injuries that happen while at the workplace may still not be considered work-related. If you get injured while performing duties required by your job, that is almost always considered a work-related injury. There are exceptions to this, however, including injuries or accidents that may occur on breaks unless that injury happens in a workplace break room or cafeteria or if the employer is directly involved in some way.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
An injured employee has the right to pursue a workers’ compensation claim after being hurt at work. While Texas does not require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, many employers subscribe to protect their businesses. After a work accident or injury, do not wait to file your claim. Do it immediately after receiving initial medical treatment from a health care professional. Waiting could enable the comp carrier to delay or possibly deny your claim, leaving you without the compensation you need after being injured on the job. There should be information on how to file this claim in your employee handbook and information posted publicly at your workplace.
Third Party Lawsuits
Texas workers’ compensation insurance payments are not the only available financial remedy for injured workers. Many workplace injuries involve a number of third parties separate from the employer. These third parties may be liable for the worker’s injuries. If there were other parties involved, those third parties can be sued for damages. Third parties can include other individual workers, contractors, staffing companies, property owners, manufacturers, or even the local government if workplace hazards are present and can be attributed to them. These personal injury lawsuits can occur with or without starting a workers’ compensation claim.
Will I Be Fired for Contacting a Lawyer?
Your confidentiality is of the utmost importance to us and no one will know that you have contacted a lawyer. You are protected by law and cannot be retaliated against by your employer for contacting an attorney. An experienced work accident attorney will help you calculate the financial value of the damages you have suffered. Our attorneys exclusively handle personal injury claims and so we know what settlements and verdicts are common in claims similar to yours.
Houston Workplace Accident Attorneys
Regardless of occupation, all workers have a right to a safe work environment free of any dangers. When employers fail to provide an environment in compliance with local and federal safety standards, workers are at immediate risk for life-altering injuries or worse, death. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed as a result of a workplace accident, you could be entitled to significant financial compensation; however, there is limited time to act following a work accident in Texas. Contact the Houston injury attorneys at Dax F. Garza, P.C. today for a free and confidential case consultation.