What To Do When You Get Hurt at Work: Facts to Protect Your Rights

by the Best Personal Injury Lawyer in Carrollton, Tim O’Hare

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If you’ve been injured at work. you’re not alone. Each year, 4.7 million American workers suffer a work injury, according to the National Safety Council. That’s one work injury every seven seconds.

Don’t assume that if you get injured at work, your employer will automatically pay.  In Texas, businesses and organizations are not required to subscribe to a worker’s compensation insurance plan, and oftentimes employers choose to opt out in order to save money, leaving you with medical bills to pay and no way t o cover your living expenses.. 

If you suffer a work injury, you have enough to worry about without the added stress of wondering whether or not insurance will cover your treatment and pay while you’re unable to work. Here are some frequently asked questions about work injuries and how you can protect your rights in Texas. 

What do I do when I get injured at work?

First and foremost, report your injury to your supervisor or another designated person. Do not wait. If your injury requires a trip to the emergency room, call your employer from the ER. If your employer does have worker’s comp insurance, fax form 41 to the Texas Department of Insurance. 

Even if you experience a minor injury, report it immediately. Sometimes minor injuries can turn into big problems down the road, but the injury needs to be reported quickly.

In Texas, employers who do not carry worker’s compensation insurance may have an alternative insurance policy that requires the injury to be reported within 24 hours. Even if your employer is a non-subscriber to Texas worker’s comp and won’t accept your injury report, document the injury with photos and/or video. 

Can I still receive compensation even if my claim is filed late?

It is certainly possible.  Calling a personal injury lawyer that handles work injury claims is the best way to get an answer to that question.  This is why it is so important to report your work injury as soon as possible after the incident. Even minor injuries should be reported. Should your case go to court, a prompt report only builds your credibility with judges and juries.

How important is a witness statement?

Similarly to if you were involved in a car accident, witness information can be vital to your case. In Texas, the burden of proof falls on you, not your employer, so if anyone witnessed the accident that led to your injury, get their information and a statement as soon as possible. 

Can I quit my job?

If your employer carries worker’s compensation through the Texas Department of Insurance, yes, you can quit your job. However, if your employer carries a different policy or your claim is made through your employer rather than the Texas Department of Insurance, you risk losing work injury benefits if you quit your job. 

Does my employer carry worker’s comp insurance?

While law requires employers to disclose this information to employees, many employers fail to post the required signage. If you have any doubt, you can contact the Texas Department of Insurance to find out if your employer carries worker’s comp. You can also call The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare and we can help you find out that information.

What are my options if my employer does not carry worker’s comp insurance?

If you’ve been injured at work and your employer does not carry insurance to cover your injury, you have the option to sue your employer for your loss, including medical expenses and lost wages. MAny times, a lawsuit is not necessary and a claim can be made and settled without ever filing a lawsuit. In this case, you need the help of a personal injury attorney who will stand up for your rights as an injured worker. In non-subscriber cases, the employer will often seek the help of an attorney whose sole purpose is to release the employer from liability in the case, leaving the injured worker at fault. 

The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare works with individuals who have “non-subscriber” job injury cases. If you have been injured at work and your employer does not carry a Texas worker’s compensation insurance plan, we may be able to help. 

If you have been injured at work, you are entitled to compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages and perhaps even pain and suffering. If you have questions about work injury laws or aren’t sure if you need an attorney, call us. The experienced legal team at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare will guide you through your job injury case and ensure you get everything you deserve. 

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