One draws a great deal of dignity from having a job. Employment is how we support ourselves and our families, and it is a necessity in the United States. Unfortunately, there are times when an employee is injured on the job. Besides physical harm, this causes the employee stress and anxiety. One would understandably be concerned over whether they will still have a job and if they will receive compensation from their employer.
Texas’ workers’ compensation laws put a process in place for injured employees to keep their jobs, to be compensated, and to return to work. However, that is seldom the case. If you have been injured on the job, contact our Austin workers’ compensation lawyers for assistance.
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Austin Attorneys Helping Injured Employees with the “Workers’ Comp” System
Understanding Workers’ Comp in Austin
Texas’ workers’ compensation system (or “workers’ comp”) is meant to protect employees injured on the job. When someone is injured in the workplace, they are generally not permitted to bring a lawsuit against their employer under the condition that their employer will provide compensation during their recovery and offer their job back afterwards. Specifically, employers enrolled in workers’ comp insurance must provide medical benefits, income benefits, and, in extreme cases, death and burial benefits.
An exception exists for what are called non-subscribers to workers’ compensation cases and for instances where one may need to sue a party other than their employer. In other words, if an employer elects not to subscribe to workers’ comp insurance, they will be vulnerable to personal injury lawsuits from any of their employees who become injured on the job.
It is crucial to distinguish whether an injured worker’s employer carries workers’ comp insurance or is instead civilly liable for their employee’s damages, as the filing processes for these claims differ significantly. Our attorneys can help determine whether someone should pursue workers’ compensation, a lawsuit, or possibly both.
Workers’ Compensation Claims Process
Workers’ comp claims in Austin are administered by the Division of Workers’ Compensation of the Texas Department of Insurance. Workers’ comp can be a tedious system, and it is crucial that matters be handled appropriately. For example, failure to meet strict deadlines could lead someone to lose their right to receive benefits, with few limited exceptions.
Following an occupational injury or illness, an employee must first report their work-related maladies to their employer within 30 days.
After that, they may file a claim for compensation with the Division of Workers’ Compensation within one year from the date of injury or discovery of illness.
Once they receive an employee’s claim for benefits, the Division of Workers’ Compensation will notify the employer and their insurance company, who will then approve or deny the claim upon review. If the employer’s insurance company denies the injured employee’s compensation claim, the employee may challenge the decision through the Division of Workers’ Compensation. A knowledgeable Austin attorney can provide invaluable assistance to an injured employee by fervently challenging the denial of a workers’ comp claim.
Common Types of Workers’ Comp Claims
While many jobs pose little to no risk of harm to employees, today’s workforce includes a substantial number of arduous, physically-demanding, and hazardous occupations. Some common workers’ comp claims in Austin include:
- Machinery accidents
- Exposure to harmful materials or substances
- Fires or explosions
- Work vehicle collisions
Regardless of what type of workers’ compensation claim an employee files, they must prove that their injury or illness was sustained during the course and scope of their employment to receive benefits. A skilled lawyer can evaluate a workers’ compensation claim to determine its likelihood of approval.
Being injured on the job can lead to incredible frustration. The service one receives from their counsel should not be another source of aggravation. Our lawyers strive to return phone calls and e-mails promptly, regularly give their cell phone numbers to clients, and work to ensure that people know what to expect as their case moves forward.
An Austin workers’ compensation lawyer can also explain complex concepts and terms to you in a clear way that you can understand. To learn more about the filing a workers’ compensation claim, speak with a member of our team today.