An unfortunate work accident can leave you with injuries and losses. The workers’ compensation system is slightly different in Texas, as compared to other states. Employers are not required to have workers’ compensation insurance by law. There are limits to the type of damages you can recover, which is one of the key reasons why you must consider working with a Phoenix workers’ compensation lawyer. Below are some of the important aspects to know about workers’ compensation system in Texas.
In states like Virginia, employers are required to have workers’ compensation coverage for all employees, including part-time employees. In return, employers have some kind of immunity, where they cannot be directly sued by an injured worker for the accident. In Texas, there is no such requirement for employers to have workers’ compensation coverage, and they don’t enjoy any immunity either.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim
- First things first, ensure and check if your employer has workers’ compensation insurance. If they do, you are required to inform the employer soon after the accident. Under Texas law, you have 30 days to inform your employer in writing, and if you fail to do that, your workers’ compensation benefits can be denied.
- See a doctor. To claim the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to, consider meeting a doctor. Find an injury doctor and seek their opinion on your injuries. Sometimes, impact of an injury may not be immediately apparent, and if you don’t keep the evidence of treatment and other medical bills, you will not get a fair settlement. Note that you have the right to choose a doctor you want.
- Filing the claim. Once you know that your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, the next step is to file your claim with Division of Workers’ Compensation. You have one year, from the date of accident, to file the claim. There is an electronic filing system, which can be really handy for filing the claim online.
What if your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation claim?
Well, you can file a lawsuit against the employer, because they failed to keep up security and safety of the workplace. While most claims and lawsuits are settled outside of court, there is always a chance of trial.
Meet an attorney soon after your accident, so that you are aware of the legal options you have. They will also help and guide on the workers’ compensation claim and how to negotiate with the insurance company.