If you’ve been hurt on the job in Brownsville, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation provides benefits such as paid medical care to full- and part-time employees who are injured in work-related accidents, regardless of who was at fault. However, Texas does not require businesses to have workers’ compensation insurance, so some do not provide workers’ compensation.
A Brownsville workplace injury attorney can help you understand whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation and can help you appeal a disputed claim. If you are eligible for workers’ compensation, your lawyer will work to make sure that your employer honors its obligation to provide medical care and wage replacement as you receive treatment for a workplace injury.
Common Job Hazards and the Injuries They Cause
If you’ve suffered from one of the following injuries in a Brownsville workplace accident, you may qualify for paid medical treatment and replacement of a portion of your wages through your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage.
Even people in low-risk jobs can fall victim to workplace injuries. Common types of workplace injuries and the hazards that cause them include:
- Injuries from Slips and Falls: Wet floors can occur in virtually any workplace. If a wet floor is not properly marked, slip-and-fall accidents can occur quickly. Slip-and-fall injuries can result in severe bruising, head injuries, back injuries and broken bones. Many work-related injuries are caused by falls.
- Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries: People whose jobs require them to drive regularly are at higher risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident and having crash injuries. Even the safest drivers who obey traffic laws cannot prevent an irresponsible driver from causing an accident. Motor vehicle accidents can cause all types of injuries including whiplash, external and internal bruising, and broken bones. You may be entitled to workers’ compensation for your injuries and also have a right to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused the vehicle accident.
- Muscle Strain Injuries: Many jobs require people to lift heavy objects. Employees can easily pull muscles with these repetitive motions. Repeated strain of the back and neck can lead to chronic pain problems and more severe injuries in these areas.
- Injuries Caused by Falling Objects: Objects falling from shelves, ladders, or roofs are accidents that can happen in any workplace. The most common injuries caused by falling objects are head and neck injuries. The force of falling objects can cause cuts, bruises, and even concussions.
How Do I Report My Injury?
If you’ve been hurt on the job in Texas, you can take the following steps to ensure that your bases are covered for pursuing compensation. Firstly, you must report your injury to your workplace within 30 days of the time you were injured, or from the date you discovered that your injury or illness symptoms were a result of your workplace accident.
Next, you must send a completed DWC Form-41, an Employee’s Claim for Compensation for a Work-Related Injury or Occupational Disease, to the Texas Department of Insurance. You can complete this form online or mail a completed copy to the following address:
Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation
7551 Metro Center Drive, Suite 100 MS-93
Austin, TX, 78744-1645
You can also fax a completed form to DWC at 512-804-4378. No matter how you choose to send in the DWC Form-41, you can call the Texas Department of Insurance to confirm receipt.
What Are the Benefits of Workers’ Compensation?
In Texas, there are four types of workers’ compensation benefits that you may be eligible to receive as an injured employee:
- Income Benefits: Income benefits are designed to replace a portion of the wages that you lose by being off work due to your workplace injury or illness. Some cover temporary disabilities while others address long-term impairments. The types of income benefits include temporary income benefits, impairment income benefits, supplemental income benefits, and lifetime income benefits.
- Medical Benefits: Medical benefits pay for the medical care that you receive to treat your workplace injury or illness.
- Burial Benefits: In the devastating event that you lose a loved one to a workplace injury or illness, burial benefits can compensate you for some funeral expenses.
- Death Benefits: Death benefits help families cope with the tragic loss of a loved one to a workplace injury or illness. They do so by replacing some of the income that the family is left without due to the death of a loved one.
Learn more about workers’ compensation benefits and how they may apply in your case. You can speak with our knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyers online or call us at 361-245-1263.
What is the Process to Get Back to Work?
After a workplace injury, nothing is more important than your health and recovery. You should never return to work until your doctor says you have recovered enough to return to work safely.
Even if you don’t feel 100% ready to return to work, you must return when your doctor approves you or you will risk losing access to workers’ compensation. Keeping all doctor appointments and obeying the doctor’s orders will help you preserve your workers’ compensation rights.
The doctor will monitor your recovery and decide if you should remain completely off of work, return to work with some restrictions, or return to work in full capacity. Pay close attention and follow your doctor’s orders exactly.
Your doctor’s notes will serve to determine your workers’ compensation disability rating. It will be one of the following: temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent total disability, or permanent partial disability. Your rating will help determine your timeline for returning to work, and to what degree you’re able to work.
When you return to work, make sure your workers’ compensation representative and your employer both have copies of your work restriction notes. Don’t try to go above and beyond what the doctor says you’re able to do safely. Doing so can put your eligibility for compensation in jeopardy.
Call Our Trusted Brownsville Workplace Injury Attorneys Today
Navigating workers’ compensation laws can be a complicated task, especially while you are hurt and trying to recover. Let the experienced Brownsville workers’ compensation attorneys of Herrman & Herrman help you pursue the benefits you deserve.
Herrman & Herrman has a proven track record of success in injury cases, and we stay involved in the Texas communities that we serve. For your free consultation, call us at (361) 882-4357 or fill out our callback form online. We have both English- and Spanish-speaking team members for your convenience.