Employers in Texas owe a duty of care to their staff to take stringent measures to keep their employees safe from harm. Despite this, thousands of Americans are injured yearly at work, and usually, these incidents are not their fault.
Accidents can happen for a broad range of reasons, including inadequate training, slip and fall hazards, poorly maintained technology, and more. Because of these types of accidents, victims are left not just with serious physical injuries that might prevent them from working in the future, but also with emotional trauma.
Fortunately, when someone is injured in the workplace, they are protected by workers’ rights, meaning they are likely to be entitled to workers’ compensation. If your employer offers workers’ compensation, then you may not need to prove negligence in order to file a claim.
However, if workers’ compensation is not enough to cover your damages or if your employer does not have it, then you could file a personal injury claim against them. An experienced San Antonio attorney can help you explore your options and determine what course of action to take.
San Antonio Work Injury Lawyers at Abraham Watkins
At Abraham Watkins, we have been an established personal injury law firm in Texas for over 70 years. We believe all employees deserve a safe workplace environment, and when their rights are violated, they deserve access to high-quality legal representation without an upfront cost. That is why we offer a free consultation and work on a no-win no-fee basis. We only get paid if you are successful in securing compensation.
Our phone lines are always open, so speak to an experienced attorney about your workplace accident in San Antonio, TX today at 713-535-9319.
How to File for Workers Compensation in San Antonio, TX
It is not always necessary to prove that someone was at-fault in order to claim compensation. If an employer has workers’ compensation insurance, then you could claim medical and disability benefits following a work-related injury or illness, regardless of whether anyone behaved negligently. You may even be able to claim compensation for an injury or illness that resulted from your standard work-related duties.
Unfortunately, Texas law does not require all employees to carry worker’s compensation insurance. So the first step is to find out if your employer has it. They are under obligation to tell you if they have it when you ask.
If they have workers’ compensation, then you will need to file an Employee’s Claim for Compensation for a Work-Related Injury or Occupational Disease form, known as a DWC Form-041. This form must be filed with the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), either by mail, in person, or online within a year of the injury or illness presenting itself. Otherwise, you could lose your right to compensation.
What do I do About a Denied Workers Comp Claim in San Antonio, TX?
If you have tried to seek compensation through a workers’ comp claim and have been denied, then you may challenge the decision with the DWC. You will need to attend a review conference and a hearing in front of a Judge that specializes in workers’ compensation.
A personal injury attorney from Abraham Watkins can help you dispute the decision to deny your claim. These hearings are complex and it is beneficial to have the support of an experienced attorney who can advocate for your rights. Without legal representation, the balance of power is likely to be in favor of your employer. When you have the right support, however, you can level the playing field.
If you have been injured at work, you deserve to recover compensation for your injuries. Our law firm believes strongly in workers’ rights and we will be your fiercest advocate.
What if my Employer Does Not Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
If your employer does not have workers’ comp insurance, or if your claim is denied, you may think that you cannot claim compensation for your injury. However, employers who do not carry this compensation are not above justice and you deserve to be compensated for your injuries.
In this situation, you may need to sue your employer for your workplace injury, which involves proving their negligent actions caused your injury or illness. Proving negligence is a complex process and there are five elements that your attorney will need to establish.
- Duty of Care – All employers have a duty of care to their employees to provide a safe working environment.
- Breach of Duty – Establishing a breach of duty involves proving that your employer acted in a way that differs from how a reasonable employer would, given the same circumstances. For example, if you slipped on a spillage that should have reasonably been cleared away or the danger signposted, this could be considered a breach of duty.
- Causation – The breach of duty must have directly caused your injuries or illness. For example, if you broke your leg in the slip and fall, this is clear proof of causation.
- Proximate Cause – Their action or inaction must have created a foreseeable risk that is not out of the ordinary. For example, if they failed to hire adequate staff to identify and clear away hazards, this could have been considered a foreseeable risk.
- Damages – The accident must have led to damages such as medical bills or lost wages. For example, if you fell and broke your leg, you would have sought medical care which would have resulted in damages.
To have the best possible chance of recovering compensation for your injuries, it is important to have the help of a skilled San Antonio work injury lawyer. Your attorney will need to clearly establish negligence and provide substantial evidence to ensure that you have a robust case.
At Abraham Watkins, we will undertake a stringent investigation to ensure that you have the best chance at recovering fair compensation. We have helped countless people in similar positions to you and we want to be there to fight for your rights.
Examples of San Antonio Workplace Accidents
In order to be eligible for workers’ compensation, a workplace injury must occur either on the premises or while the employee is performing their job duties. Some common examples of work-related injuries include:
- Accidents involving falling equipment or objects;
- Slip, trip, and falls;
- Exposure to harmful substances or loud noise without proper personal protective equipment; and
- Crashes or collisions (especially those involving commercial vehicles).
This list is not exhaustive, and there are many other ways that you could sustain an injury while working. If you are uncertain about whether your particular injury is covered by workers’ compensation, even if your employer maintains it is not, contact Abraham Watkins for a free consultation. We can provide you with legal guidance and an estimate of the compensation that you could be owed.
What Types of Damages are Available When Making a Claim Against an Employer?
The damages you may claim after an injury at work differ depending on whether you claim through workers’ compensation insurance or you file a personal injury claim.
If you file a worker’s comp claim, then you may be able to claim compensation for all of your medical expenses or health insurance costs. This could include your hospital bills, medication costs, physical therapy costs, and more. If your injury is ongoing, then it could also include the projected cost of any future treatment.
Worker’s compensation also allows you to recover lost wages if you have to take time off work in order to recover. If your injuries are ongoing, then it could also cover lost earning capacity.
If you file a personal injury lawsuit, then you can also claim the damages listed above. You may also claim pain and suffering damages, which are designed to compensate you for your non-economic losses, such as physical pain, emotional trauma, and loss of enjoyment in life.
If you have suffered life-altering disabilities or disfigurements because of the accident, then you should be compensated for this. Unlike most other states, Texas allows employers to opt out of participating in workers’ compensation, which would allow you to pursue a lawsuit instead. An attorney can help you explore your options and determine what is most appropriate in your case.
What Should I Do After an Injury at Work in San Antonio, TX?
To increase the likelihood of receiving compensation for a workplace injury, it is recommended that you follow certain steps as closely as possible. However, if your work-related injury occurred in the past and you were unable to follow these steps precisely, there may still be a possibility of obtaining compensation.
We may be able to help secure compensation for workplace accidents that occurred in the past, even if you did not follow these steps. To determine if we can help you, arrange a free case evaluation today.
Prioritize Your Safety and Call Emergency Services
After an incident at work, your first priority should always be to protect your own safety and then the safety of those around you. That means moving away from potential hazards and warning others andcalling emergency services to help minimize any remaining hazards. First responders should be called to help any injured people and the fire department may be needed to deal with any electrical, chemical, or fire hazards.
Document the Scene
Any evidence that you can secure directly from the scene may help your attorney establish the facts of your case. If your injuries allow it, you should take photos of the scene, including the scene as a whole, and close-up photos of any unreasonable hazards.
You should get the name and contact information of any potential witnesses, as your attorney may seek statements from them at a later date to help build your case. If the accident involved a vehicle, you should also get the vehicle information and the names and contact information of all drivers involved.
Seek Medical Attention
If you were not treated by paramedics at the scene and taken to hospital, you should seek medical attention straight away. Your medical report will be an invaluable piece of evidence for your claim as it helps to prove causation.
It is also important to seek a medical examination because after suffering an injury, you may experience a rise in adrenaline, which couldmask how serious your injuries are. A medical professional can give you an examination and protect your health and well-being as much as possible.
It is important to be cautious if your employer’s insurance company recommends you to a certain doctor, especially before you raise a claim for workers’ comp. The testimony of your physician plays a significant role in the outcome of your workers’ compensation claim, and it is in the best interest of your employer and their insurance provider to minimize the amount of compensation you receive.
However, if you go to a doctor or hospital outside your network without approval, payment may be denied, and you might have to pay the bill yourself. Therefore, you may need to see a doctor that is recommended to you. This doctor could work for the insurance company and they may look for evidence that downplays the severity of your workplace injuries.
The best thing you can do is to be honest, as the doctor may look for any inconsistencies. If you clearly explain your injuries and how they have affected your life, they will find it difficult to discredit you. When you contact Abraham Watkins for a free consultation, we can offer advice about how to deal with insurance companies and their physicians.
Speak to an Experienced San Antonio Work Injury Lawyer
After collecting all of the relevant evidence and taking steps to ensure your personal safety, it is crucial to consult with an attorney. We advise you to do this as quickly as possible, as an attorneycan inform you of your legal rights and provide guidance on the most effective measures to take in order to increase your chances of receiving fair compensation.
If you need to communicate with your insurance company following your accident (like in the case of a car accident), it is absolutely crucial to consult with your attorney first. An attorneycan advise you on how to handle the situation in a manner that does not negatively affect your eligibility for workers’ compensation.
Report the Accident within the Time Limits for Workers Compensation Benefits
If your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, it is necessary to submit a formal accident report within 30 days of sustaining an injury. Failure to do so within this timeframe relieves your employer of the responsibility to provide workers’ compensation benefits.
It is advisable to report your accident as soon as possible, rather than waiting until the deadline. Unnecessary delays may cast doubt on the validity of your claim.
How to Communicate with Insurance Companies After an Accident at Work
Many people make the mistake of assuming that insurance companies are on their side when, in fact, their primary aim is to minimize payouts. To achieve this goal, insurance companies often employ deceptive tactics.
If you are uncertain about anything, it is recommended that you consult with your attorney first. Because of the confidential relationship between clients and their lawyers, any confidential or sensitive information disclosed will be safeguarded through their legal rights.
Contact Abraham Watkins Today – One of the Longest Serving Law Firms in Texas
Abraham Watkins has been committed to securing fair compensation for injured workers for over seven decades.
Whether your injury is severe or minor, you may be eligible for compensation. Our San Antonio legal team has the experience and resources necessary to maximize your compensation while handling the complicated paperwork, legal intricacies, and bureaucratic hurdles on your behalf.
To learn more about how our lawyers can assist you, contact us today for a free consultation. We will review the specifics of your case, explain the next steps in the process, and provide you with a free legal assessment with no obligation.
Call us today at 713-535-9319 for a free consultation with an experienced San Antonio personal injury lawyer.
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