If you sustained a work injury in Texas, it is important to figure out your rights as soon as possible. If you have workers’ compensation insurance, then you will take a certain path to receive financial assistance. Your rights and options are dictated by your employer’s workers’ comp coverage and Texas law. If you do not have workers’ comp coverage, then you need to take another path to pursue compensation. In such a situation, your rights will be dictated by the state’s personal injury laws.
Call The Krist Law Firm, P.C. if you are unsure of what you can and should do after an accident in the workplace. We are here to help fight for you to obtain the maximum compensation possible after being hurt at work. You can reach our Houston workplace accident lawyers at (281) 283-8500, or reach out through the online form to schedule a free consultation of your case.
Do You Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Your rights and options after being hurt at work depend greatly on whether you are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Texas is unique in that, unlike other states, it does not require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Though employers are not required to carry it, many do. That is because by having workers’ comp insurance, the type and amount of compensation you receive is then limited by law.
Without workers’ comp insurance, you may have the right to file a lawsuit against your employer and seek a broad range of damages and a greater amount of compensation.
Your Rights if You Have Workers’ Comp
If you are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, you need to inform your employer of your injury as soon as possible.
Through a workers’ comp claim, you may be entitled to:
Workers’ comp insurance covers the costs of your reasonable and necessary medical expenses. In an emergency, you should seek medical care right away without concern for specific insurance coverage. However, for further treatment, you must use a physician within your workers’ comp insurance network.
You may have disputes with the insurer regarding treatments that are reasonable and necessary for your work-related injury. If you are having trouble getting your medical care covered, talk with a work injury lawyer.
Insurance may pay you a certain percentage of your income. There are several types of income benefits, including temporary income benefits (TIBs), impairment income benefits (IIBs), supplemental income benefits (SIBs), and lifetime income benefits (LIBs).
TIBs are for temporary injuries and illnesses and are 70% of the difference between your average weekly wage and the wages you can earn after your work-related injury. You can receive TIBs until you reach your maximum medical improvement, when you are physically able to earn your average weekly wage, or at 104 weeks.
IIBs are for if you have a permanent impairment. The amount you can receive depends on your impairment rating, which is a percentage that indicates the degree of permanent damage your body sustained. You may receive three weeks of IIBs for each percentage of impairment.
SIBs are available if you have a 15% or greater impairment rating, have not gone back to work, earn 80% or less than your average weekly wage, can prove you are looking for work, and you did not accept a lump sum workers’ comp settlement.
LIBs are for if you sustain certain permanent injuries, like severe burns, amputations, paralysis, loss of eyesight, or severe traumatic brain injury. You can receive 75% of your average weekly wage, and a 3% increase each year.
Burial and Death Benefits
If your loved one was killed at work and had workers’ compensation insurance, you may receive burial and death benefits. Burial benefits can be paid to a family member who was responsible for these expenses. You may receive up to $10,000.
Death benefits are 75% of the decedent’s average weekly wages. As a surviving spouse, you can receive these benefits for the rest of your life or until you remarry. If you remarry, you receive a lump sum of two years of benefits. A surviving child can receive benefits until they are 18-years-old, or until they are 25 – if they are enrolled in school.
Your Rights if You do Not Have Workers’ Comp
If your employer did not carry workers’ compensation insurance at the time of your work injury in Texas, call The Krist Law Firm, P.C. right away. Without insurance coverage, you are not entitled to workers’ comp medical and income benefits. You will need to file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue full and fair compensation for your injuries.
Your right to pursue personal injury compensation depends on many factors, including proving that another party caused your injury due to their negligence, gross negligence, or intentional misconduct. Because you must establish the other party’s fault and the type and extent of your injuries, you will benefit from working with an experienced attorney.
Contact a Workplace Accident Lawyer for Help Today
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., our Houston personal injury lawyers can represent you in a claim against your employer or the party who is responsible for your injury.
There is also a time limit for how long you have to file a claim. In Texas, the personal injury statute of limitations is two years. You must file a personal injury lawsuit within two years of the date you were injured, so it’s important to act quickly.