Getting injured at work is a frustrating experience. Not only are you now on the sidelines, but you’re also busy dealing with the physical and emotional challenges of recovering. To make matters worse, you might be unsure of your rights as an employee who has been injured at work. You may be wondering if you need to report the injury, how long it will take to recover, or how much money you’ll receive in worker’s compensation benefits.
It’s a common misconception that workplace accidents are avoidable. In fact, many injuries happen even when people are following safety rules. If you’ve been injured on the job, you should know your rights and understand how to file a worker’s compensation claim.
What Are Your Rights as an Employee after an Injury at Work?
When you’re injured at work, you’re entitled to worker’s compensation benefits if your employer carries insurance, regardless of who is at fault for the injury. To protect your rights and receive compensation for your injury, you should file a claim. The following are your basic rights after an injury at work:
- The right to medical treatment: You and your doctor will decide what kind of care and treatment is best for your specific injury. Your employer is required by law to pay for any medical treatment that is reasonably related to your injury.
- The right to be free from discrimination: If you file a worker’s compensation claim after being injured on the job, you cannot be punished by your employer. If you are, it is called retaliation and you may have a claim.
- The right to be paid for your medical expenses and lost wages: Your employer must make sure that you receive all the medical treatment and lost wages to which you’re entitled.
- The right to receive more than one medical opinion: You’ll usually get at least two medical opinions on your condition before a decision on treatment is made. If your doctor disagrees with the other doctor’s opinion, you may obtain a third opinion.
If you have any questions about your rights after an injury at work, it would be a good idea to discuss your unique situation with a worker’s compensation attorney. They can answer your questions and advise you on your next steps.
How to File a Worker’s Compensation Claim
In order to receive worker’s compensation benefits, you need to file a claim with your employer. Your employer will then either contact The Texas Department of Insurance – Division of Workers Compensation, OR your employer’s insurance carrier to handle the claim itself.
In Texas, you have to give notice of your injury as soon as possible to be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits.
Can Employees Still Work While Injured?
In most cases, an injured worker has the option to choose medical treatment or temporary total disability benefits. In this case, you’ll be paid medical benefits until your doctor releases you for work.
If you go back to work before you’ve fully recovered, you may be offered temporary partial disability benefits. Temporary partial disability benefits would provide a percentage of your normal wages while you’re not able to work.
In some cases, an injured worker may be totally disabled and unable to continue working for an extended period of time. In this case, injured workers can receive temporary total disability benefits while they’re unable to work and until they’re released by their doctor.
Who Is Entitled to Worker’s Compensation Benefits in Texas?
Most employees in Texas are protected under the state’s worker’s compensation laws or your employers own medical benefits plan. This means that employees who are injured on the job are entitled to receive worker’s compensation benefits.
If you have been injured on the job, you need to keep all medical appointments and carefully follow the instructions from your doctors. You should also seek the counsel of a skilled attorney to advocate for you. Your employer will most likely have their own representation with experience handling these types of cases.
Contact Skilled Texas Workers Compensation Attorney Dale R. Rose Today
Being injured on the job can lead to serious health problems and interfere with your life. You should take action and ensure that you receive the benefits and compensation to which you are entitled. Dale R. Rose has helped resolve worker’s compensation claims in Texas since 1992. To set up a free consultation, you can call (972) 737-1333 or fill out our online form.