There’s nothing more American than putting food on the table through your hard work. The feeling of providing for your family, of ensuring their safety and wellbeing, is all the motivation you need to get to your job site in the morning. And no matter what that job is, there’s no greater sense of accomplishment and fulfillment than coming home for the day and seeing your family’s smiling faces.
So when you’re injured on the job and are robbed of your ability to work, it’s easy to feel a little lost. If you can’t work and earn a living for your family, what can you do?
Every workplace, from the office to the construction site, has a set of safety standards that they are required to follow by law. These safety standards are set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Failing to follow OSHA standards is an accident waiting to happen, yet workplaces across the United States fall short of meeting these standards on a daily basis.
OSHA considers an injury to be work-related if it was caused or significantly aggravated by an event or exposure in the work environment. To put it simply, if you were injured while you were engaged in your work, either by an unsafe condition or by interacting with machinery you use to do your job, then it is a work-related injury and you may be entitled to compensation.
Workplace injuries can be caused by many different types of on-the-job accidents, and largely depend on the kind of work that you do. For example, workers who interact with heavy industrial equipment are at a higher risk of injuries that result in the amputation of a finger, arm, or leg.
The most common workplace accidents are:
In any of these injury scenarios, there is the potential for serious, long-lasting harm. You could suffer a traumatic brain injury if you are hit in the head, or a paralyzing spinal cord injury if struck or crushed by moving machinery. If you’re exposed to hazardous chemicals, there is a chance that you could develop serious illnesses. In these cases, such injuries are often permanent and life-changing, meaning the costs to care for them are far greater.
In Texas, workers’ compensation laws provide benefits as part of an insurance program managed by the Texas Department of Insurance. This workers’ comp program provides medical benefits and pay to workers who suffer injury or illness due to work. However, the workers’ comp program comes with a catch: you are unable to bring a civil suit against your employer for the injury.
It works like this: if your employer decides to opt into the Texas workers’ compensation program, you have no choice but to file a workers’ comp lawsuit. If they don’t opt in, you can only be compensated for your workplace injury if you bring a lawsuit against your employer.
Also, what is often overlooked is whether a person or company other than your employer was responsible or partially responsible for your injury. If that is the case, then you can bring a claim against the negligent person or company even if your employer has opted in to the workers’ comp program.
Because of the complexities involved in these types of cases, it is important for you to hire an aggressive, competent lawyer with experience in this confusing area of the law.
The most important thing to do if you’re injured on the job is to immediately report the incident. Texas workers only have 30 days to report an injury to their employer before they potentially lose all rights to seek compensation. Additionally, reporting the injury right away will minimize the possibility of your employer later claiming that you may have suffered your injury away from the job.
After you report the incident, seek medical attention right away. Even if you feel that the injury was minor, it’s important to get it evaluated to ensure that it doesn’t become something more serious. (Also, you will have to prove that you were injured to receive any type of compensation for your injury, and the only way to do this is to have a doctor’s evaluation.) Make sure to seek medical attention from a doctor or facility that takes workers’ comp cases. The company may have a doctor on retainer they will offer, but you are under no obligation to use their doctor.
Once you have reported your injury, your employer has to file the appropriate paperwork to get your benefits started. If this isn’t done in a timely manner, your bills can quickly pile up as you’re unable to work.
If you are seriously injured in a workplace accident, you still need an attorney to help you navigate the complicated, tedious process of obtaining compensation for your injury. No matter how severely you are hurt, your employer and the insurance company will do everything in their power to avoid paying you. And even if they do pay out, they will try to get away with far less than you deserve. That’s why you need a lawyer on your side when you’re the victim of a serious workplace accident injury in Houston.
Whether your company is part of the Texas workers’ compensation program or not, a workplace injury deserves compensation. Every day that you are unable to work is a day that you aren’t able to provide for your loved ones. And now, with mounting medical bills and ongoing treatment, that livelihood is more important than ever.
With an experienced workplace injury attorney like Attorney Sgt. Pike at your side, you’ll have a warrior who knows the tricks these companies play. Attorney Sgt. Pike will help you manage the complicated and confusing workers’ comp claims process, get to the truth of your workplace accident, and fight tooth and nail to ensure that you get every single penny you deserve.
If you were seriously injured in a workplace accident, there’s no time to waste. Call Attorney Sgt. Pike today to schedule a consultation.