Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Houston
Workers’ compensation systems are in place in every state of the United States. It’s a mandatory insurance program, which helps employees get compensation when they get injured while at work during an accident, or when they contract a disease because of their jobs. Some other workers’ compensation programs exist at the federal level specifically for federal employees. Generally speaking, it doesn’t matter who’s responsible for the workplace accident in a workers’ compensation claim; the employee can still claim benefits regardless.
Workers’ compensation is basically guaranteed no matter who caused the injury, accident, or disease. However, when a worker files for this insurance benefits, he or she loses his or her right to file a lawsuit against the employer in civil court, unless the injury occurred due to the recklessness of the employer or the employer intentionally meant to harm the employee. In this case, a personal injury lawsuit may be the course of action to take. A qualified attorney can recover damages that you can’t get via workers’ comp insurance. Some of the damages you may be able to recover that you couldn’t recover unless you file a lawsuit are non-economic damages like pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages, which are a way to “punish” the person or entity in question for the misconduct.
When You May Not Get Workers’s Compensation
If the worker him or herself is the one responsible for the injury due to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he or she may be denied worker’s compensation benefits. This is also true if the worker intentionally caused the injury. This may be considered a self-inflicted damage in order to “game” the system. This considered fraud by the laws that rule workers’ compensation. Violating company policy is an act that may also cause the worker not to get compensation.
What is Covered Under Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Workers’ compensation insurance does cover any legitimate illness contracted while at work or an injury resulting from a workplace accident. Stress-related problems, such as digestive problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, or others are also included in the coverage.
When a worker gets compensation for an injury or disease, the benefits will cover past and future medical bills such as hospital payments, treatment, rehabilitation, physical therapy, etc. It also covers permanent or temporary disability, as well as loss of income.
In order to claim workers’ comp benefits, the first step an employee needs to take is to notify the employer within 30 to 45 days of the date of the injury or accident, or when an illness caused by a workplace condition is first noticed. If an employee does not notify the employer on time, he may be denied benefits altogether. Once the report is sent, the employer sends it to the insurance provider and the workers’ comp system in your state. Then, the carrier starts paying your medical bills, and you also get a percentage of your weekly income. If your claim is rejected, you may be able to appeal the rejection. Most rejection appeals are won if an experienced attorney works with the injured worker. The attorney will request a review from the workers’ compensation administrative judge.
Also, as soon as you get injured or sick in the workplace, you must get immediate help and treatment from a medical professional. Not only will you get the help you need to recover, but you will also get a medical record from the doctor that will help in the claim filing process. This record will serve as proof and professional testimony that your injury or disease is real. This is a great piece of information that will aid you in getting the benefits you deserve.