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Workers Compensation

Houston TX Workers Compensation Lawyer

Our competent Houston TX workers compensation lawyer is familiar with the frequency with which injured workers are denied the benefits to which they are entitled. It happens frequently. We’re here to prevent it from happening to you. There are a variety of causes for insurance company denials, beginning with the filing of a claim. 

Regardless of whether your initial claim is denied, necessary treatment for your work-related injury is denied, or your disability rating is contested, we will ensure that you are treated fairly. When you’ve been injured on the job, you may be anxious about filing a workers’ compensation claim. 

However, you should be aware that the process need not be stressful. We can guide you through the entire filing process to ensure that your claim is thorough and complete, thereby minimizing its likelihood of denial from the outset. Throughout the claims process, we negotiate with insurance companies and employers to ensure that you receive the benefits to which you are entitled.

When working with our team, you can delegate the process to us so that you can concentrate on your health and recovery. When you need a workers’ compensation lawyer in Houston, Texas, call Wadler Law or fill out our online contact form.t

Why Do I Need a Workers Compensation Lawyer in Texas?

Even a minor injury could result in a long-term disability, which would negatively impact your quality of life. Instead of attempting to manage your pain, you should file a claim. You are not required to navigate the process alone. Instead, you should consider hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer in Houston, Texas. 

With the assistance of our skilled Houston TX workers compensation lawyer, you can present your case and receive the deserved compensation. Continue reading to discover why you should retain our legal team. Discover the benefits of having an attorney on your side.

Experience and Guidance

Claiming worker’s compensation for the first time can be intimidating. Your claim could be weakened if you fail to take the necessary steps. For instance, you must immediately receive medical care to prove your case. There are over 229 thousand injuries caused by contact with objects and equipment. 

The severity of these injuries has required employees to miss work. If you are unable to work due to an injury, you may struggle to pay your medical expenses on your own. Our knowledgeable Houston TX workers compensation lawyer can assist you in navigating the process. 

We will outline the steps you must take to file your claim correctly. Otherwise, you may overlook a crucial step that could be detrimental to your case. Our prior experience and pertinent knowledge of the law and legal procedure can strengthen your case.

Counsel Regarding Compensation

Are you uncertain about your eligibility for compensation? There is a possibility that your employer will not want you to be upfront. Instead, they will seek to protect the company’s best interests.

Consult a workers compensation lawyer in Houston, Texas for all the information you need to determine if you qualify for coverage. We will have your best interests in mind, not those of the business.

Complete Your Claim Form

A minor error in your documentation may prevent you from receiving the compensation you deserve. Our versed Houston TX workers compensation lawyer will ensure that the paperwork is filed properly. If there is a problem, we will assist you in determining the optimal course of action moving forward.

Insight Into Other Benefits

You may be eligible for additional benefits without even realizing it. We can assist you in researching additional benefits, including Social Security and long-term disability benefits. With our assistance, you can receive the maximum amount of compensation you deserve following a workplace injury.

Using Appeals and Hearings Effectively

What happens if your worker’s compensation claim is denied? You may believe that this is the conclusion. Working with our qualified workers compensation lawyer in Houston, Texas will allow you to appeal the carrier’s decision and defend your rights. 

Additionally, we will assist you if the carrier refuses to pay. We will be familiar with the procedures that will help prove your case.

What is Texas Workers’ Compensation?

The Texas workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits to help your employees recover from a work-related illness or injury. Employers in Texas can benefit from workers’ compensation because it provides a defense against claims of:

  • Assumption of risk
  • Contributory negligence
  • “Last clear chance”
  • Co-worker negligence

In Texas, if an employer lacks workers’ compensation insurance, he or she is responsible for all costs associated with a personal injury lawsuit. Even if it was your employee’s fault that they were injured or became ill, you would still be responsible for the costs associated with the lawsuit.

What Are the Differences Between Workers’ Compensation Claims and Personal Injury Lawsuits?

Your sole recourse against an insured employer is workers’ compensation benefits, but not all Texas employers carry workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer is uninsured or a third party injures you on the job, you can file a lawsuit for personal injury.

Personal injury lawsuits have advantages and disadvantages compared to workers’ compensation claims, which our personal injury attorney can assist you in evaluating.

A Workers' Compensation Claim Does Not Require Proof of Fault

In a workers’ compensation claim, you are not required to prove that your employer caused your injury negligently or intentionally. You need only demonstrate that you were an employee (not an independent contractor) at the time of your injury and that your injury is compensable to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

A compensable injury occurs on the job and is a direct result of your job duties.

You can recover workers’ compensation benefits even if you negligently caused your injury, so long as you were not intoxicated, you did not cause your injury intentionally, you did not injure yourself while attempting to unlawfully injure someone else, and you were not engaging in horseplay.

To recover damages in a personal injury case, you must prove that your employer or a third party acted negligently or intentionally to cause your injury. A personal injury lawsuit can result in a larger settlement, but it is a riskier option.

Personal Injury Damages Can Be Higher But Time-Consuming

You can only recover wage loss benefits, impairment benefits, and medical care benefits in a workers’ compensation claim. You can receive death and burial benefits if you file a claim on behalf of a deceased worker who was killed on the job.

In general, punitive damages are not recoverable unless your claim involves the death of a worker caused by an employer’s intentional act, omission, or gross negligence. In a lawsuit for personal injury, you have access to a wider range of remedies, including:

  • Wage loss
  • Hospital bills
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages

As previously stated, workers’ compensation income benefits are also subject to statutorily mandated maximums that do not apply to personal injury awards. Not only are wage loss benefits subject to statutory limits, but the rate of income benefits is limited to 75% of your average weekly wage. 

In contrast, personal injury lawsuits allow you to recover your lost wages in full. Although a personal injury claim can result in a larger settlement, you do not recover anything unless you win at trial or settle, which can take up to a year.

In a workers’ compensation claim, medical benefits are payable immediately, and weekly income benefits are payable after seven days of wage loss.

Workers' Compensation Restricted Your Doctor Selection

While any physician can treat you for a personal injury claim, your workers’ compensation physician must be on a list approved by the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. The same workers’ compensation physician oversees your treatment from beginning to end and makes crucial decisions regarding your care, impairment rating, and benefit amount.

Your workers’ compensation doctor cannot be changed without a special request. In a personal injury claim, you have more leeway to switch doctors. Unlike workers’ compensation, you may not be reimbursed for personal injury medical expenses until you win your case or reach a settlement with the defendant.

After sustaining a workplace injury, you may have access to multiple types of remedies, depending on the circumstances. Our versed Houston TX workers compensation lawyer can evaluate and determine your optimal recovery options.

When is a Worker Eligible for Workers' Compensation?

To successfully file a claim for workers’ compensation in Texas, you must qualify for coverage under your employer’s policy. This indicates:

  • You were working at least part-time for the employer when you were injured on the job.
  • Your employer has a workers’ compensation policy in effect.
  • The injuries or illnesses were a result of your job duties or workplace exposures.

What Are the Most Common Types of Work Injuries in Texas?

Wadler Law has experience handling a variety of claims for workplace injuries. These consist of:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Severe burns
  • Injuries to the spinal cord and paralysis
  • Amputated limbs
  • Abrasions and lacerations
  • Bone fractures
  • Injury of soft tissue
  • Damage to the internal organs
  • Nerve damage
  • Eye injuries and loss of vision
  • Hearing damage and deafness
  • Occupational illnesses

These and other injuries may result from a variety of incidents and safety risks. Some injuries are the result of a sudden fall or other accident. In other cases, occupational injuries and illnesses may develop gradually due to repetitive actions (such as operating a tool or machine) or exposure to hazardous substances (e.g., asbestos, chemicals, toxic fumes, etc.).

Whether the injury or illness occurs suddenly or gradually, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately for any work-related complaint. In addition to receiving an accurate diagnosis and beginning necessary treatment, seeing a doctor as soon as possible creates a record of your injury, symptoms, prognosis, and likely cause.

Whether you are filing for workers’ compensation or bringing a claim against your employer, you must provide all of these details.

How Does Workers’ Compensation Work in Texas?

Workers’ compensation is a state-regulated insurance program that provides medical and income benefits to employees who sustain work-related injuries or illnesses if their employer subscribes to workers’ compensation. Importantly, the illness or injury must be related to work.

Therefore, you must have sustained the injury or illness on the job or in the course of performing job-related duties. However, after sustaining a workplace injury, where do you file a workers’ compensation claim? There are a few essential steps you must take to recover the necessary benefits.

  1. Report Your Injury or Illness at Work. The first step is to notify your employer of your injury or illness. This initiates the entire workers’ compensation claims process. Therefore, you must report your work-related injury or illness as soon as possible after it occurs or you become aware of it. Failure to act quickly could jeopardize the validity of your entire claim.
  2. Seek Medical Assistance. After you notify your employer of your injury, he or she should provide you with information on how to seek medical attention. Some employers may require you to seek medical care from a specific provider or network for workers’ compensation health care. If this is the case, then you must adhere to these requirements.  Aside from that, you may seek treatment from any physician authorized by the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). Regardless of which physician you choose, you must inform them immediately that your injury or illness occurred on the job. You should also be sure to inform your doctor of any additional pertinent information regarding your injury. This will ensure that you receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment in the future.
  3. Submit a Workers’ Compensation Claim. You are now prepared to submit your claim. The DWC requires that you complete and submit an Employee’s Claim for Compensation for a Work-Related Injury or Occupational Disease. The claim form will request the following information:
    • Employer
    • Accident or occupational disease
    • Work status
    • Chosen physician

However, do not delay in filing your claim form. You must file your claim for Texas workers’ compensation benefits within one year of the date of your injury or the date on which you knew or should have known that the injury or disease was work-related.

With rare exceptions, failure to comply can result in the loss of benefits. If you have questions regarding the completion and submission of your claim, please contact our talented Houston TX workers compensation lawyer.

The claim form contains a section indicating whether you are represented by a workers compensation lawyer in Houston, Texas. Initial claim form submission is a crucial step in the process. Therefore, it does not hurt to have one or more skilled personal injury attorneys in your corner to assist you.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Your Work-Related Injury?

For the vast majority of workplace injuries, workers in the vast majority of states are not liable. When employees are injured on the job, workers’ compensation is typically their only option. Because Texas has such lax workers’ compensation regulations, employer liability is a much more prevalent concern in Houston and throughout the state. 

However, the fact that an employer can be sued does not imply that every case will succeed. Unfortunately for many workers, accidents and injuries are not always the result of negligence. Despite the best efforts of workers and employers to prevent accidents, some workplace injuries still occur. 

If so, the injured worker will likely be unable to file a lawsuit. Without workers’ compensation, the injured worker in the scenario above would be responsible for covering all costs associated with the injury. Before resigning yourself to this situation, it is important to consider all of the causes of workplace accidents.

An investigation may reveal that your injuries were caused by the negligence of one or more third parties. Potential examples include:

  • As a result of a defect, a product you used for your job failed or malfunctioned. You may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer for product liability.
  • The property owner overlooked or disregarded hazardous conditions. This may constitute a claim for premises liability.
  • You were driving for work when an accident was caused by a careless driver. You may be eligible for compensation through a claim for an auto accident.

Bringing a claim for third-party liability is just as challenging as suing an employer. Wadler Law is meticulous, strategic, and ruthless. We identify all parties whose negligence led to your work-related injuries, and we aggressively pursue the full compensation you and your family members are entitled to.

This does not prevent you from filing a lawsuit against one or more negligent third parties if your employer has workers’ compensation insurance. Considering the limitations of workers’ compensation benefits, it may be necessary to explore this option to maximize your recovery.

What Happens If My Employer Does Not Provide Workers' Compensation?

Texas is the only state that does not require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. These companies are known as “non-subscribers.” If your employer is not a subscriber, you have the right to sue for compensation if you are injured on the job. 

The Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation maintains an online database from which you can determine whether or not your employer subscribes to workers’ compensation. Occasionally, non-subscribers attempt to conceal the fact that they do not carry workers’ compensation insurance out of fear of being sued. 

Subscribers to workers’ compensation must post notices in common areas of the workplace stating that they carry workers’ compensation.

What Damages Can I Recover for My Work-Related Injury?

The types of recoverable damages are one of the largest differences between workers’ compensation and personal injury law. The scope of workers’ compensation benefits is restricted to the following:

  • Medical Benefits. Workers’ compensation pays for medical costs associated with a workplace injury.
  • Income Benefits. If a worker becomes disabled due to a work-related accident, workers’ compensation benefits will cover a portion of the worker’s lost wages.
  • Death Benefits. In the event of a worker’s death on the job, workers’ compensation will cover a portion of the worker’s burial costs and provide death benefits (partial replacement of lost income) to eligible family members.

Most workers’ compensation benefits have restrictions. The emphasis of the program is on returning workers to work, not on compensating for all losses associated with a workplace injury. When you file a lawsuit against your employer for a work-related injury, however, you can seek compensation for all of your damages. 

You may be eligible for compensation for the following situations:

  • All medical expenses, including current bills and future expenses
  • All wages lost to date
  • Loss of earning potential (i.e., the wages you will lose as a result of impairment from a work injury)
  • The price of transportation to and from medical appointments, physical therapy, etc.
  • Modifications to your residence and automobile
  • Professional assistance with household tasks such as home maintenance, lawn care, upkeep, child care, etc.

You may also be entitled to recover non-economic damages in addition to these economic losses. Injuries sustained on the job frequently result in chronic pain, disability, scarring, and disfigurement, as well as other negative effects on your quality of life. 

At Wadler Law, our skilled Houston TX workers compensation lawyer evaluates the evidence and consults with experts to calculate all of your damages.

What Doesn't Workers' Compensation Cover?

Unfortunately, workers’ compensation benefits are not always sufficient to cover the true costs of a worker’s injuries, including the intangible losses that many individuals who sustain serious injuries endure. These losses can include things that have a significant impact on daily life, such as ongoing physical pain, disfigurement, and emotional trauma.

You are not compensated for your pain and suffering under workers’ compensation. If you have sustained a work-related injury, our accomplished workers compensation lawyer in Houston, Texas can assist you in defending your rights. We will defend your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. 

Depending on your circumstances, we may be able to secure compensation for your pain and suffering and other damages in addition to workers’ compensation. After learning more about your situation, we will inform you of your options.

What Are the Most Common Denials Used for Workers’ Compensation Claims?

There are some common denials that employees who pursue their claims on their own may encounter. Among the most prevalent are:

  • The injury or illness is not severe enough to prevent you from functioning normally.
  • Your employer or the claims adjuster for workers’ compensation believes that your illness or injury was pre-existing.
  • You did not provide the required or requested documentation to the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation.
  • You did not adhere to the prescribed medical treatment as instructed by your medical provider.
  • You weren’t hurt or made ill based on something from work. This includes the claim that you weren’t on the clock at the time.
  • You were only injured on the job because you were impaired.
  • You failed to submit the necessary paperwork and forms before the statute of limitations expired.

How to Appeal a Denied Workers’ Compensation Claim?

When a worker’s claim for benefits following a workplace injury is denied, they have the right to file an appeal. Before filing an appeal, you must contact our Houston TX workers compensation lawyer if you have not already. We can assist you in avoiding a second denial of benefits to which you are entitled.

Disputing a workers’ compensation claim through the Texas Department of Insurance’s Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDI-DWC) involves several steps. They consist of:

  • Benefit Review Conference (BRC)The initial step is a discussion with an insurance representative and a Benefit Review Officer from the TDI-DWC. If the issues are resolved, both you and the insurance company will sign a written agreement. If the issues cannot be resolved, you have the option of proceeding to a contested hearing or arbitration.
  • Contested Case Hearing (CCH)A formal hearing is held with a TDI-DWC Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer will issue an order regarding his decision regarding your claim. If you are still dissatisfied with the verdict, you may appeal to an appeals panel.
  • ArbitrationThe TDI-DWC will arrange a meeting with an impartial arbitrator where you and the insurance representative will discuss the conflicting reasons for the claim. The arbitrator’s decision regarding the claim is final and cannot be appealed.
  • Appeals PanelAn appeals panel will review written statements from you, the insurance representative, and the Hearing Officer if you were unable to reach an agreement during the contested hearing. The panel will provide you with a written statement containing its final decision. If you disagree with the decisions made by the TDI-DWC, you may also file an appeal with a Texas court of law.

Contact Our Experienced Houston TX Workers Compensation Lawyer Today

Workers’ compensation claims in Texas are complex. If injured on the job, the absence of mandatory workers’ compensation requirements leaves many employees with few options. Although you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer or other third parties, proving negligence on your own can be difficult.

Wadler Law’s team is strategic, meticulous, and relentless when it comes to defending the rights of employees and pursuing maximum compensation on their behalf. Our workers compensation lawyer in Houston, Texas is recognized as one of the leading litigators in a variety of practice areas related to workplace injury litigation, such as construction accidents, maritime law, and railroad worker or FELA claims.

Please contact Wadler Law for a free case review. Our qualified Houston TX workers compensation lawyer serves clients from all over the state.

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