In Texas, employers are given a choice: they may either carry workers’ compensation coverage, or they may not, leaving themselves exposed to personal injury lawsuits from injured employees. If an employer elects to carry workers’ compensation coverage, it may be provided through the state fund, a private insurer, or through self-insurance.
Workers’ compensation coverage protects employers from liability in workplace accidents, and provides injured employees with wages and medical benefits while they recuperate from workplace injuries. Under workers’ compensation law, an injury or illness is covered regardless of fault as long as it occurred within the scope of employment. Once a worker accepts workers’ compensation, he no longer may bring a lawsuit against his employer for the event.
There are three types of workers’ compensation benefits: medical benefits, income benefits, and death benefits.
- Medical Benefits: These benefits pay for necessary medical care arising from the injury. There is no time limit upon necessary medical care, but if the employer participates in a workers’ compensation network, the employee must pick a treating doctor from the employer’s list of participating doctors.
- Income Benefits: Income benefits are intended to replace a portion of wages lost due to the work-related injury. They include lifetime income benefits, temporary income benefits, impairment income benefits, and supplemental income benefits.
- Death and Burial Benefits: Death benefits replace a part of lost family income for eligible family members, and burial benefits pay for some portion of funeral expenses.
An Industrial Injury Attorney at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP Can Help
Workers’ compensation claims can be very valuable to the injured worker, but the process of filing and collecting these claims can be a complicated one. In addition, in some cases, a third party other than the employer was fully or partially responsible for the accident that caused the employee’s injuries. The third party may be an independent contractor, or it may be the manufacturer or defective equipment. In these cases, the employee can pursue a claim against this third party independent of workers’ compensation.
If you have been injured on the job and don’t know what the next step is, an industrial injury attorney at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP can help. Our attorneys are experienced and compassionate and can defend your legal rights so you can focus on your recovery. We can investigate your accident and uncover whether there was a third party that was fully or partially responsible for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.