Injured on the job? Avoid big mistakes and protect your rights by understanding these six questions and answers about work injuries in Texas.
The way Texas works with medical issues, you’d think it’s practically illegal to get hurt on the job.
While experiencing a serious injury at work certainly leads to a lot more stress than just your injury itself, you can alleviate some of the difficulty by knowing what to do.
So here’s some answers to common questions:
What Should I Do When Injured?
Report your injury to the designated person at your workplace immediately. Don’t wait one second.
If you have to go to the emergency room, call from the ER the moment you can.
If your employer won’t accept your report, but they do have workers’ comp, fax form 41 to the Texas Department of Insurance.
If you experience a minor injury that could turn into something big down the road, but you can work right now, report the work injury but don’t file a claim.
Why report so fast?
If your employer does not subscribe to workers’ comp, which is legal in Texas, they may have an insurance policy that requires you to report your injury within 24 hours.
If your employer is a “non-subscriber,” as they’re called, and they won’t accept your report, shoot a video of yourself ASAP so you have a documented record.
How Can I Strengthen My Case?
Make sure you collect witness information. Texas’ law puts the burden of proof on you, the employee.
If your claim comes down to your word against your employer’s, witnesses make the difference in a won or lost claim.
Can I Quit My Job While Seeking Workers’ Comp Insurance?
You can. But only if your claim is through the Texas Department of Insurance.
In that case, you have a claim with your insurance carrier and not your employer.
If your claim is made through your employer, you will lose your potential work injury benefits if you quit your job.
How Do I Know if My Employer Carries Workers’ Comp?
Law requires them to disclose this via an obviously posted sign. However, many ignore this law.
Alternatively, you can call the Texas Department of Insurance. Visit their website.
Does Texas’ Workers Comp Offer Death Benefits to Surviving Family Members?
Surviving family members may be able to recover death benefits for someone who loses their life on the job.
It’s complicated and messy, but possible.
Can I Recover Compensation If I File My Workers’ Comp Claim More than 30 Days After My Injury?
Your chances of doing so fall to almost zero. It’s extremely important that you report your work injury as soon as possible after your accident.
This includes even if you experience a minor injury you can easily work through. You don’t need to file a claim for benefits with minor injuries. But you should report the injury, just in case it turns into something worse months later.
Plus, if your case goes to court, employees who promptly report their injuries look much more credible to judges and juries.
Hopefully those answers clear up some confusion and help you rest a little easier at night!