Every year, thousands of Americans are injured on the job due to accidents that are not their fault. There are many ways this can happen, from slips and falls to accidents involving automated technology. Physical injuries may not only result in large medical bills – they can also leave injured workers with psychological injuries or physical disabilities that can make future work more difficult.
The good news is that injured employees who have been hurt in a workplace accident due to employer negligence are protected by workers rights and are likely entitled to workers compensation for their work-related injury. With the professional help of a reputable lawyer, you could receive compensation for your injury and the complications it has caused you.
A work injury lawyer from our law firm can take care of the whole legal process, from the paperwork and negotiations to calculating your likely compensation amount and investigating and compiling evidence for your case.
At Abraham Watkins, our dedicated team of personal injury lawyers has amassed over 70 years of combined experience working on cases related to workplace injuries, just like yours. We will do whatever it takes to give you the greatest chance of maximizing your compensation.
Our Texas phone lines are open 24/7, so you can get a free consultation that is completely protected by the confidentiality of the attorney-client relationship at a time that suits you.
Call us today at 713-535-9319 to see how we could help you achieve justice for your on-the-job injuries.
What is Considered a Workplace Injury?
For a work-related injury to be covered under workers compensation, the injury has to take place at work or within the scope of responsibilities of the employee.
Common examples of work-related injuries include:
- Slips, trips, or falls
- Accidents involving falling objects or equipment
- Crashes and collisions, commonly involving commercial vehicles
- Exposure to unsafe substances or excessively loud noise when appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is not provided
This is a non-exhaustive list, as there are many potential ways you could be injured on the job.
If you’re unsure about your specific injury case, even if your employer claims it does not constitute an on-the-job injury, you should speak to a work injury attorney. We will be able to provide legal advice and an estimation of your compensation during your free consultation.
What is the Correct Process to Follow After You’ve Been Injured on the Job?
In order to maximize your chances of compensation if you’ve been injured at work, there are certain steps you should try to follow as closely as possible.
However, if your work-related injuries occurred a while ago and you were not able to follow these steps exactly, all is not lost. We may still be able to secure compensation for workplace accidents that happened in the past where the injured party did not follow the procedure exactly. The best way to find out if we could help you is to call us for a free evaluation.
Ensure Your Safety
Generally speaking, immediately after your injury occurs, the first thing you should do is ensure you and the other people around you are safe from any potential hazards
However, if you are suffering from a lot of pain or a serious injury, stay still until a medical professional arrives to take you to the emergency room.
If you’re able to move safely, ensure you and any other people at the scene are away from potential sources of danger, such as traffic or sources of electricity. If anybody else has had a serious injury occur, call an ambulance for medical attention.
Call the Emergency Services
Depending on how your injury occurred, you should call 911 and contact the police or fire department to make sure all potential dangers are dealt with properly.
Their report will also make valuable evidence when it comes to seeking compensation for your injury.
Document the Scene
In order to maximize your chances of compensation and to ensure you receive workers compensation benefits appropriate for your level of workplace injuries, your work injury lawyer will need proof of the negligence of your employer.
Photographs of the scene will be very helpful, especially of evidence of any unreasonable hazard that could demonstrate employer negligence.
Names and contact information should be collected from any other person who witnessed your injury. If the accident involved a vehicle, be sure to get contact details, vehicle information and insurance information from all the other drivers involved.
Report to the Hospital for Medical Treatment
The next thing you should always do if you’re injured on the job is to seek immediate medical attention.
Getting proper medical care is not only important for ensuring your own personal safety, but the doctor’s visit will provide valuable evidence for your lawyer when you file a workers compensation claim.
It is important to be cautious if you are offered the use of a company doctor or a doctor recommended by your employer’s insurance company – especially before you raise a claim for workers comp.
The testimony of your doctor goes a long way to determining the success of your workers compensation claim, and it is in the best interest of your workplace and their insurance company to reduce your compensation as much as possible. Using their doctor can mean they provide evidence that downplays your injuries.
Speak to an Experienced Work Injury Attorney in Houston
Once you’ve gathered all the available proof of the negligence of your employer and ensured your own personal safety, it is time to contact a work injury lawyer.
It is important you do this as soon as possible, as they will be able to inform you of your legal rights and the best steps to take to maximize your chances at fair compensation and a successful workers compensation claim.
If you need to speak to your insurance company after your accident, such as in the case of an automobile accident, ensure you speak to your lawyer first. They will advise you on how to handle the interaction to avoid impacting your chances at workers compensation.
How to Interact With Insurance Companies Following an Accident at Work
One common mistake that many people make when they speak to insurance companies is not realizing that they are not on your side. It is in the insurance company’s best interest to pay out as little in compensation as possible, and they will often employ underhanded tricks and insurance adjusters to make this possible.
When speaking with any insurance company, whether your own or that of your employer, only disclose the absolute minimum possible amount of information. Any unnecessary information you provide may be used to lower your claim amount.
If you’re unsure about anything, speak to your work injury attorney first. Thanks to the confidential relationship between attorneys and their clients, any sensitive or confidential information that you disclose will be protected as part of your legal rights.
How to Begin the Workers Compensation Process in Texas
Unfortunately, Texas state law does not require all employers to carry workers compensation insurance. So, the first thing you need to do is find out if your employer has the insurance coverage.
Thankfully, it is an obligation that your employer makes you aware if they do have workers compensation insurance when you ask. They cannot legally lie to you, so all you have to do is inquire.
The Time Limit on Making a Claim for Workers Compensation
If your employer does have workers compensation insurance, you need to issue a formal accident report within 30 days of becoming injured. Outside of this timeframe, your employer is no longer obligated to provide workers compensation benefits.
However, you should always report your accident as soon as possible, rather than within this certain period. If you delay unnecessarily, this can cause doubt about the legitimacy of your claim.
How to File a Claim for Workers Comp in Texas
When it comes to officially starting your workers comp claim, you 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 must be filed with the DWC, either in person, by mail, or online, within a year of the accident occurring, otherwise you lose your right to compensation.
Disputed Workers Comp Claims
Unfortunately, insurance companies can attempt to deny claims for workers comp.
If this happens, workers compensation law allows you to challenge this decision with the DWC. The process includes a benefit review conference and a hearing in front of a judge specializing in workers comp claims.
In this position, it is highly advisable to get a professional and experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. Hearings like these are incredibly complex, and without representation the balance of power is strongly in favor of your employer and their insurance company.
What Happens with Employers who do not Carry Workers Comp Insurance?
Employers who choose not to carry workers comp insurance are not above justice.
In this situation, however, you would need to sue your employer for your workplace injury. This involves proving that their negligent actions were the cause of the accident that caused your injury, and that they are responsible for the damages you received as a result.
To have a high chance of succeeding, you’ll need an attorney with knowledge of the personal injury field, proof of your employer’s negligence, and a solid argument.
Luckily, investigation, compiling proof, and a practiced and professional demeanor in court are all part of our available services.
If you are considering suing your employer, call us today for a consultation and get a second opinion from a professional – completely free of charge and obligation.
What Types of Damages are Available When Making a Claim Against an Employer?
Your lawyer may be able to gain you a number of different types of compensation, belonging to different categories.
Depending on the specifics of your injury, these may include:
- Reimbursement of the cost of your medical expenses or health insurance costs
- Compensation for lost wages that were not earned over a period of necessary recovery
- Pain and suffering damages. These are calculated by looking at the time it took you to recover, the amount of pain involved, and whether you suffered from any life-altering disabilities or disfigurements as a result of the accident
Contact a Houston Work Injury Attorney
Here at Abraham Watkins, we have been dedicated to ensuring injured workers get the financial justice they deserve for over 70 years.
Whether you have suffered a life-changing injury or recoverable broken bones, you could be entitled to compensation. Our lawyers have the skills, experience, and determination required to maximize this compensation amount while taking care of the troublesome complexities of paperwork, legal details, and red tape so you do not have to.
To find out more about how a work injury attorney from our firm could help you, call us today for a free consultation. We will run through the details of your case, the process going forward, and give you a professional second opinion free of charge and obligation. Call us today at 713-535-9319. Our lines are always open.
Schedule A Free Consultation Today.
If you have additional questions about your accident or injuries – or if you wish to speak to one of our attorneys about your legal options – please complete our online contact form or call our Houston law office at 888-261-8831 or 713-244-5486.
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