If you have been injured on the job, you need to take specific steps to protect your legal rights so you can recover maximum financial compensation for your damages. While many employers choose to subscribe to Workers’ Compensation insurance, in Texas it is not mandatory. Your employer may be a non-subscriber with private insurance or have no insurance at all.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ Compensation is an insurance program for employers that is managed by the State of Texas that provides employees with pay and medical benefits in the event of a work-related injury or illness, regardless of fault. If you are hurt at work and your employer is a subscriber to workers’ comp, you will need to fill out various forms from The Division of Workers’ Compensation; the subscription also acts as a bar to a lawsuit, meaning your only recovery may be through these payments.
However, if your employer does not subscribe to this type of insurance and/or if another party is responsible for your injuries or illness, in whole or in part, you may be eligible to file a civil lawsuit directly against these parties. Texas is the only state where employers are not required by the state to offer any form of workers’ compensation insurance. Texas businesses have the option to opt-out from carrying workers’ comp. These employers are referred to as non-subscribers. Only an experienced personal injury trial lawyer will know how to investigate the facts of your situation and determine who can be held legally responsible for your damages and whether or not a lawsuit can be filed against them.
Four Important Steps to Take After A Workplace Injury
While there are many things you can do after being injured on the job, the four steps outlined below are the most important:
- Report your injury: In Texas, you have 30 days to notify your employer in writing of the injury, and you must file a workers’ comp claim within one year of the injury or from when you discover a work-related illness to receive benefits. If you miss either of these deadlines, you could lose your benefits.
- Seek medical treatment: The most important thing to do after any injury is to seek medical care to ensure you are safe.
- Document the accident: If you are physically unable, ask a coworker to take photos and videos of where the workplace accident occurred as well as of your injuries.
- Keep track of things post-accident: Keep a journal after your incident to keep track of how you feel, when you go for medical treatment, the expenses you incur (along with receipts), and more. The more detailed information you can keep track of, the better evidence you will have to support your ultimate claim for damages.
Houston Work Injury Lawyers
The experienced trial lawyers of Minces Rankin take cases to court on a regular basis. We are available to speak with you at your convenience, either in person, over the phone or by video, to explain your legal rights and what your best options will be moving forward. All of our workplace injury consultations are free, so contact us today for more information on how we can help you start to recover.