I Was Seriously Injured at Work, Now What?
Sustaining a serious injury at work can be a stressful and frightening experience. Besides the physical pain and long recovery ahead, you also need to contend with the loss of income at a time when you need it the most. Each state operates its own workers’ compensation program that provides injured workers with a percentage of their regular pay until they return to work. It is limited both in how long you can collect it and the maximum amount you can collect. To initiate the process to receive benefits, you need to submit a claim to your employer within 30 days of the accident or work-related illness.
Here is information on the Texas Workers’ Compensation program from the Texas Department of Insurance.
You would like to think that your employer would feel sympathy for your situation and handle your workers’ compensation claim as efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, it is common for injured workers to experience significant problems in obtaining the money they are entitled to under state law. The insurance company representing your employer may deny your claim outright, demand that you see a doctor you do not like, delay payments, treat you poorly, or any number of other issues. This is the point that many injured employees decide to hire a workers’ compensation attorney to help them recover their rightful benefits.
Examples of When to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
It is always a shock for injured workers to receive a denial of benefits in the mail. Your employer’s insurance company may claim that your injury happened outside of work, that you had a pre-existing condition, that you are exaggerating your injuries or one of several other scenarios.
It is well-known in the workers’ compensation industry that insurance companies deny claims because they do not expect injured workers to fight back. This is the perfect time to contact a lawyer who will fight the insurance company on your behalf. You may also want to consider legal representation if you have received past-due notices for medical bills that should have been paid promptly. Some other reasons you may want to work with an attorney include:
- You have been demoted, had your pay or hours cut, or are subject to hostile treatment as retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
- The money you receive from your workers’ compensation settlement is inadequate to cover your medical expenses and lost wages.
- You can no longer work at all or your doctor expects your injuries to be permanent. In the latter case, you may need to work part-time or accept modified duties to accommodate your disability.
- Your employer committed serious misconduct that caused your injuries or they happened due to the actions of another party such as a manufacturing company that sold your employer faulty equipment. Although the law in most states prevents injured workers from suing their employer, an exception may exist if your employer acted in an especially egregious manner.
Our attorneys will help you obtain and file the proper forms within the allotted timeframe as well as gather evidence to help prove your claim.
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Originally from Kyle, Texas, Mr. Ornelas is a first-generation college graduate and a first-generation attorney.
Licensed in Texas, Cesar Ornelas’s nationwide practice is entirely contingency fee-based and consists of a wide variety of catastrophic personal injury and death cases. He has represented countless victims of catastrophic accidents across the United States.