After an injury on the job, most workers simply want to be treated fairly by their employers. They may need weeks or even months off work to recover, and many rely on their employers to help them recoup the financial costs of the accident. While some workers can get adequate payment without the need to hire a lawyer, there are many reasons Texas employees should consult with an attorney before accepting injury compensation.
How an Attorney Can Help After an On-the-Job Injury
Some workplace injuries are a painful inconvenience, and others can permanently change the course of a person’s life. For this reason, the primary focus of an injury attorney should be to secure you an amount of compensation that will not just pay for your past medical bills but will adequately cover any additional losses you have sustained as a result of the accident.
An attorney can guide you through all of your legal options after a work injury, including:
- Workers’ compensation eligibility. If your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, this is the only way you can recover payment for your work injury costs or for the death of an employee. Under the law, workers’ compensation benefits should provide funds for medical treatments as well as disability and death benefits, but does not allow for additional amounts for pain and suffering. An attorney can help you tally your losses, determine if you qualify for other benefit programs, and ensure your payments will cover the costs of your injury.
- Non-subscriber claims. Texas is the only state in the nation where workers’ compensation insurance is optional for employers. If your employer chooses not to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, your employer may offer a different form of accident or health insurance coverage. Even if your employer offers you alternate benefits, you can still sue the employer through a non-subscriber work injury claim. Your attorney can examine your eligibility for this claim and gather evidence to prove the employer’s liability.
- Negligence. Many work injuries are caused by an unsafe work environment or illegal actions on the part of the employer. Your attorney should investigate your workplace to discover if there were any maintenance problems, safety violations, or other violations that can be seen as negligence. If the negligence led to the death of a worker, an attorney can determine if the survivors are eligible to file a wrongful death claim for payment of funeral expenses, lost wages, and loss of family support.
- Firing or demotion. Employers are forbidden from firing or demoting employees who file for workers’ comp or take legal action after a work injury. If you have suffered retaliation after a work injury, your attorney can hold the employer liable for lost income and damage to your reputation.
- Third party injuries. If a third-party caused your injury, you may pursue a lawsuit even if your employer subscribes to workers’ compensation. Your attorney can identify whether the manufacturer of a defective product, a landscaping or maintenance company or another non-employer could owe you compensation.
- Calculating damages. While many injury victims are able to calculate the amount they have spent on medical bills, they often do not realize that they can also be compensated for most of their expenses during their recovery. Prescription medications, co-pays, fuel costs to and from doctor’s appointments, the purchase of assistive devices, and other out-of-pocket costs could be reimbursed through a lawsuit. Your attorney should carefully examine the circumstances of your case to see how much you have spent, how much your injury will cost you in the future, the pain and suffering you have endured, whether your injury will prevent you from earning at your full capacity in the future.
Injured workers and survivors of family members who were killed on the job should fully understand all of their legal options before they give up their right to future compensation. Contact the Packard Law Firm today to speak to a work injury attorney in your free, confidential, and no-obligation consultation.