A workplace injury can upend not only an injured worker’s life, but his or her family’s financial stability as well. In Texas, there are often several people who depend on an injured worker’s livelihood. An injured worker may seek workers’ compensation benefits after being hurt on the job if the employer has workers’ compensation insurance.
In Brownsville and Cameron County, TX, the Texas workers’ comp lawyers of Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., help workers and their families after occupational injuries. We have resolved thousands of job-site accident cases in our clients’ favor. Below, we take a look at the types of compensation that may be obtained in a workers’ compensation claim in Texas.
What must be kept in mind is that, unlike other states, Texas does not require employers to maintain workers’ compensation insurance for their workforce. If workers’ compensation is not provided, our attorneys may be able to help with a personal injury claim after a job-related accident.
If you are dealing with a worksite injury that has put you out of work for more than a week, contact a Brownsville workers’ compensation lawyer at Herrman & Herrman at (361) 882-4357 or online today for a free review. We can review the accident and discuss the steps available to you to recover the compensation for your losses.
How to Calculate Workers’ Comp in Texas
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that businesses may carry to cover workers who are injured on the job or who become ill because of working conditions. Benefits available through workers’ comp insurance are authorized by complex rules found in Chapter 408 of the Texas Labor Code.
There are four types of workers’ compensation benefits:
- Medical Benefits pay for all necessary medical care to treat work-related injuries or illnesses. This should include every medical expense necessitated by the workplace injury or illness, from surgery or chemotherapy to pain relief medication and including physical therapy and psychological counseling. If you are covered by your employer’s workers’ comp insurance, no doctor should ever bill you for treatment of a work-related injury or illness.
- Income Benefits replace a defined portion of wages lost while you are out of work with a work-related injury or illness. There are four types of income benefits, three of which are based on a percentage of the worker’s average weekly pay:
- Temporary Income Benefits (TIBs). Most injured workers receive payment for lost income as part of a workers’ comp claim. TIBs are 70% of your average weekly wage or 70% of the difference between your average weekly wage and the amount of money you are able to earn each week after your work-related injury. TIBs are available if a work-related injury or illness causes you to lose some or all of your wages for more than seven days.
- Impairment Income Benefits (IIBs). Workers may be eligible for compensation if a work-related injury or illness affects their body as a whole. Impairment benefits are based on an impairment rating (IR) determined by a health-care provider. An eligible worker gets three weeks of IIBs for each percentage of impairment.
- Supplemental Income Benefits (SIBs). SIBs are available to workers after their IIBs run out if they have an impairment rating of 15% or more. To determine your SIB, subtract any wages you’re earning after being injured from 80% of your average weekly wage before being injured. If you get paid during a 13-week qualifying period, those wages are subtracted from your SIBs.
- Lifetime Income Benefits (LIBs). These are for permanent injuries, such as the loss of a limb, paralysis or loss of sight, or widespread third-degree burns. LIBs are 75% of your average weekly wage, with a 3% increase each year.
- Death Benefits help families replace some of the money lost when a family member dies because of a work-related injury or illness. Spouses of first responders can get death benefits for life even if they remarry. Death benefits are 75% of the deceased employee’s average weekly wage.
- Burial Benefits pay up to $10,000 of an employee’s funeral expenses to the person who paid those expenses (for an injury suffered on or after September 1, 2015).
Average Workers’ Comp Settlement in Brownsville
The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), Division of Workers’ Compensation says it received 34,679 claims for Temporary Income Benefits in calendar year 2019 and paid more than $220 million in temporary income benefits, an average of $6,348 per claim.
As for Medical Benefits in workers’ compensation claims, TDI says that, in 2019, the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) paid $539,825,347 for “professional bills” in 295,168 claims, an average of $1,828.87.
Workers’ compensation provided coverage for a wide range of medical services provided by M.D.s, physician assistants, dentists, chiropractors, osteopaths, lab/pathology, anesthesia, occupational therapists, physical therapists and other professionals, hospital inpatients, hospital outpatients, hospital lab services for nonpatients, skilled nursing inpatient, skilled nursing outpatient, home health outpatient care and special facilities/ambulatory surgery centers.
Texas DWC also reports payments in 2019 of:
- $361 million for 88,771 institutional bill claims from hospitals, an average of $4,074.48 per claim
- $87 million for 66,336 surgery bill claims, an average of $1,311.43 per claim
- $62 million for 104,550 pharmacy bill claims, an average of $597.13 per claim
- $24 million for 15,334 durable medical equipment supplier claims, an average of $1,623.94 per claim
- $154 million for 221,482 medicine bill claims, an average of $696.37 per claim
Contact a Texas Workers’ Comp Attorney
Workers’ compensation is meant to provide financial stability for an eligible injured or ill worker while he or she recovers and to a family that has lost its breadwinner to an occupational accident or illness. Unfortunately, some employers and insurers will try to deny claims or shortchange eligible injured workers and their families. Employers may wrongly classify a worker as an independent contractor to try to avoid paying benefits.
If you have a valid workers’ compensation claim in Brownsville or the Cameron County, Texas, area, the lawyers at Herrman & Herrman can help you seek the full benefit you deserve. Contact us for a free, no-obligation initial consultation at (361) 882-4357 or online today.