Work-related injuries occur every day. Whether you have broken your hand on a construction site, have suffered a fall at your office building or are experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. If you are hurt while at your job or suffer a work-related illness or condition, there are several steps you must take to receive workers’ compensation.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Before we get started, let’s first define workers’ compensation. According to the Texas Dept. of Insurance, workers’ compensation is a “state-insurance insurance program that provides covered employees with income and medical benefits if they sustain a work-related injury or illness.”
Not all employers will provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage, so make sure you understand your coverage.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Workers’ compensation covers medical bills and a portion of wages you lose during your time of injury. If you are killed on the job, your family may be entitled to death benefits through workers’ compensation.
5 Things To Do If You Are Hurt At Work
- Seek medical assistance. Before doing anything else, obtain first aid or medical care as soon as possible.
- Inform your employer. It is extremely important that you inform your employer of the injury, even if the injury or illness appears minor at the time. Report it to your supervisor and thoroughly explain how the injury or illness occurred. In Texas, you must tell your employer within 30 days of the injury or within 30 days you believe your illness began. If you fail to report your injury within this timeframe, you may lose your right to workers’ compensation.
- Get a copy of the accident report. Your supervisor should fill out an accident report. When he or she has completed it, get a copy.
- Keep a detailed list of contacts. Keep track of everyone you speak with about your work injury or illness, such as lawyers, insurance companies, your medical provider, your employer, etc.
- Follow your doctor’s orders. The best thing for you is a speedy recovery. Focus on yourself during this time.
What To Do If Your Workers’ Compensation Is Denied?
There are several reasons your claim may be denied. For example, your employer’s insurance provider may conclude your injury did not occur while performing your job or that your illness was pre-existing.
If your claim for workers’ compensation is delayed or denied after becoming injured or sick at your job, contact a lawyer. A lawyer can gather evidence, obtain documents, contact witnesses and find medical experts to back up your case. In addition, the compensation you receive may not be enough to cover your medical expenses, especially if you become permanently disabled and you have a family to support. Workers’ compensation does not provide punitive damages, either. If an employer was aware of hazardous conditions, such as a malfunctioning machine or asbestos in the building, they may be held liable.
The insurance company will try to find holes in your case. Having an experienced, aggressive personal injury attorney on your side is one of your best defenses. Amy VanDeLoo of The VanDeLoo Firm can offer you expert legal assistance. She specializes in personal injury and boasts years of experience battling insurance companies. The VanDeLoo Firm serves the North Dallas communities of Plano, Allen, Frisco and McKinney. Contact The VanDeLoo Firm in Plano, Texas, at (469) 229-7223 today for a free personal injury consultation.