Suffering a workplace injury can trigger a domino effect of issues that leaves many people wondering how they are going to cover medical bills and make up for lost wages. For some, this even means trying to continue to work despite their injury. Luckily, Texas has protections in place for workers, giving them options for recovering compensation after an on-the-job injury. Often, this may include:
- Filing a claim based on the workers’ compensation their employer provides; or
- Filing an insurance claim or lawsuit against their employer to recover the necessary compensation.
At D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, we can help you understand the best option for getting the compensation you deserve after a Baytown workplace injury. We can help you understand the laws that outline your options and help you navigate the claims process. Call us today for a complimentary consultation with a work injury lawyer in Baytown.
Understanding Texas Workers’ Compensation Laws
If you suffered an on-the-job injury in Texas, you likely qualify for benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage. Many employers provide these benefits to workers as a part of a package, although the state does not require them to do so.
To get workers’ compensation benefits after an injury, you must meet three qualifications:
- You must work for a company that offers this type of benefit through the state workers’ compensation program;
- Your company must classify you as an employee rather than an independent contractor or volunteer; and
- You must suffer the injury at work or suffer from an illness that occurred because of something your job exposed you to.
Occasionally, employers do not offer workers’ compensation through the state program, but instead, offer alternative coverage through another insurance policy. While this policy may differ from the state workers’ compensation program, many of the same benefits are likely available.
During your initial consultation with one of our attorneys, we can help you understand the workplace injury benefits available to you and explain the claims process required to receive them. We can walk you through this process, protecting your right to compensation.
Getting Workers’ Compensation Benefits In Baytown, Texas
If you meet the requirements to draw workers’ compensation, you may qualify for the following types of benefits.
Income benefits offer a portion of your regular pay while you cannot work. There are several types of income benefits, and you may qualify for one or more depending on the severity and nature of your injuries. These include:
- Temporary benefits until your injuries heal and you can return to work;
- Supplemental income to help you make ends meet;
- Disability income if you cannot return to work; and
- Lifetime income benefits for those with major injuries.
Medical benefits pay for the health care services related to a workplace injury or illness. This could include:
- Ambulance transportation from the scene;
- Emergency department services;
- Outpatient treatment costs;
- Rehabilitation and therapy;
- Prescriptions drugs; and
- Other related care costs.
Death and Burial Benefits
These benefits help cover the cost of funeral and burial costs if an on-the-job accident takes the life of a family member. While these benefits are not as common as income and medical benefits, they can help a grieving family make ends meet after the death of a loved one.
Filing a Third-Party Liability Claim After a Workplace Injury
You may be able to file a third-party liability insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit if you suffered injuries at work, but your employer does not offer workers’ compensation benefits. We can review the facts of your case and provide advice on taking this step.
Often, we can help you identify the liable party responsible for your injury and file a claim to recover compensation for your medical care and lost wages. In many cases, your employer failed to take action to prevent your injuries. These cases can be difficult to prove, but we can often negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. If your employer refuses to negotiate, denies wrongdoing, or will not pay out a fair settlement, we will not hesitate to file a personal injury lawsuit and take your case in front of a judge.
Time Limits That Affect Your Workplace Injury Case
Any claim you make to cover the damages that result from your injuries will have notification and filing deadlines that you must meet. Because there can be multiple timelines — and circumstances of your accident can lead to a change in the filing deadline — and notification guidelines, it can be challenging to understand and comply with them on your own.
When we help you seek financial recovery, we also make sure you are aware of the following time constraints:
- You must inform your employer of your injured status within 30 days.
- No workers’ compensation benefits are available until the seventh day.
If you seek compensation with a third-party liability claim, Texas law also limits how much time you have to file a potential lawsuit seeking recoverable damages. In general, you have two years from the date the injury occurred.
The timeline is subject to change, however, so the best way to ensure compliance is to let our personal injury lawyer handle it for you.
Additional Benefits of Early Legal Support
Legal support throughout your work injury case is important. In addition to meeting the state’s filing deadline, getting legal support sooner rather than later can have additional benefits. It gives our investigative team time to:
- Locate and interview witnesses while their memories are vivid
- Locate smartphone, security, and surveillance photos and videos
- Examine the area or machinery where your injury occurred
The more time we have to look into your accident’s cause, the more thorough an investigation we can conduct.
Evidence We Collect to Support Your Right to Recovery
While some industries, like construction or railroad, might pose a greater risk than others, injuries at work can occur for various reasons. Building your case depends on proving your injuries’ cause.
Our evidence collection will include:
- Police, accident, or incident reports
- Witness statements and testimonials
- Emergency and ongoing medical records
- Accident scene and injury photos
In addition to evidence that proves the cause of your injuries, we collect evidence that documents your case’s value. This will include medical bills and proof of the income your injuries force you to forfeit.
Previous Clients Share Reviews and Recommendations for Our Law Firm
When you put the power of our personal injury team behind your fight, we never stop working for clients like you or for the financial recovery you are entitled to. Previous personal injury clients say:
Janine Lacayo: D. Miller & Associates are amazing. Very friendly and helpful, everyone I spoke with made the experience very simple and pleasant. Highly recommend them for your legal needs.
Francisco Lopez: Odalis, my medical case manager, always kept checking in on [me] after my accident also making sure I was feeling well…Victoria, my case manager, always had me in the loop to make sure I knew exactly what was going on.
More reviews are available on our client testimonials page. They give you insight into what it means to work with a law firm that is committed to fighting for the best possible outcome of your case.
Damages Available from a Third-Party Liability Claim
The damages available from a third-party liability claim or personal injury lawsuit cover a lot more ground than the typical workers’ compensation claim. We can often recover a wide variety of compensatory damages for our clients after a workplace injury. Some of the most common include:
- Medical expenses;
- Ongoing and future care costs;
- Lost wages, including future lost income;
- Lost benefits and retirement;
- Injury-related out of pocket costs;
- Attorney’s fees and other legal expenses;
- Pain and suffering damages; and
- Wrongful death damages if your loved one died in a fatal work accident.
Winning Your Third-Party Liability Claim
To win compensation, we must prove your employer or another third party acted in a negligent manner. This requires us to conduct a full investigation and gather any available evidence to establish four elements:
- The at-fault party had a duty to keep you and other workers safe by following all applicable rules and best practices;
- They failed to uphold this duty and allowed unsafe conditions to develop;
- Their failure led directly to your workplace injury or illness; and
- You suffered compensable damages as a result of this incident.
If we review your case and believe you have a valid third-party liability case, we will handle your claim on your behalf. We may even be able to recover compensation for you if your employer claims you contributed to your own injuries or if you cannot identify the cause of your accident.
Talk to a Work Injury Lawyer in Baytown, Texas
At D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, we can evaluate your workplace injury and help you understand your options for getting the payout you need and deserve. We can help you file a workers’ compensation claim, file a third-party liability claim, or take the at-fault party to court. Call us today to discuss your Baytown workplace injury.
Related Frequently Asked Questions
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