Workplace accidents are more common than most people realize and they can devastate not only the injured worker but also those who depend on them for financial support. In the aftermath of an unexpected physically and financially devastating accident, it is important for workers to know the top 5 mistakes after a job injury so they can avoid making them and ensure they maintain all of their legal rights to obtain the maximum possible financial compensation.
While some Texas employers subscribe to workers’ compensation, making it an available remedy for some of the resulting costs and losses, our state does not require employers to carry this type of coverage. Be sure to ask if your employer subscribes to workers’ comp or has a private policy with similar coverage. On many job sites, however, it is unclear if a worker’s employer is the sole responsible party for an occupational injury. In fact, if you were injured while at work, you may be unsure who is responsible, what benefits you are eligible for, and how to get the funds and benefits you need to begin your recovery process. In these cases, it is essential to work with an experienced job injury attorney who can help you understand your legal options.
Common Mistakes Workers Make After an On-The-Job Accident
While unsuspecting workers can make many mistakes after being injured on the job, the top five mistakes after a job injury include:
- Failing to Notify Their Employer: File a report immediately, in writing, and give it to your employer. Many employers have a 24-hour reporting deadline, so it is best to file a report the same day if you are physically able to with your injuries. Although an injured worker has 30 days to report a work-related injury in Texas, if the employee waits a week or more before reporting it, the insurance carrier will question the gap and thus the employee’s credibility.
- Failing to Timely Seek Medical Treatment: By refusing a medical examination at the scene of a work-related accident, it may be presumed that you were not hurt. Even if you go to the doctor later, the responsible parties and their insurance carriers will try to say that your injuries are not directly related to the on-the-job accident. If you don’t document your workplace injury at the scene of the accident and you don’t go to the doctor until later, you will have to prove your injuries resulted from the incident.
- Failing to Disclosure Prior Injuries: A preexisting injury or other medical condition does not prevent you from recovering financial damages for a new work injury; however, failing to notify or disclose prior injuries can be extremely problematic for a variety of reasons.
- Returning to Work Too Soon or Not Soon Enough: If an injured worker gets desperate for money to pay their bills and support their loved ones, they may act against medical advice and return to work too soon after a job-related injury. This can further aggravate the original injury and even cause permanent damage. It is best to wait until you are medically cleared to return to work. The flipside of this problem is when a worker is cleared to work again but does not go back when required. If you feel your physician has prematurely cleared you to return to work, a lawyer can help you get a second opinion that may very well differ from that of the “company doctor” whose role is to get workers back on the job as soon as possible so companies pay as little as possible in work injury claims.
- Failing to Consult with And Hire an Experienced Job Injury Lawyer: Many Texas workers take their jobs very seriously and some so seriously that they are scared to report an injury or admit their injury is affecting their ability to do their jobs for fear of being fired, reassigned, or blackballed in their industry. Working with an experienced work injury lawyer will help you feel more comfortable with the process, as they can explain there are laws in place to prevent this type of retaliation.
Houston Job Injury Lawyers
Regardless of the job you have, all workers have the legal right to a safe work environment free from dangers. When employers fail to provide a safe worksite that remains in compliance with local and federal safety standards, workers are put at risk for life-altering injuries or worse, wrongful death. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed as a result of a Houston job accident, you could be entitled to significant financial compensation; however, there is limited time to act under the law following a work accident in Texas. Contact the Houston injury attorneys at Dax F. Garza, P.C. today for a free and confidential consultation.