Though both federal and Texas workplace safety rules require employers to make all workplaces as safe as possible for their employees, accidents still happen. And when they do happen,
Report Your Accident Immediately
It is imperative that you report your accident to a supervisor or a safety director at the workplace immediately, whether or not you think you need medical attention at the time. For one thing, it is not uncommon for a small injury to turn into something worse in a matter of days. Also, it is imperative that your employer file an incident report on the accident and injury as soon as possible, since you should be covered by Worker’s Compensation Insurance, and a failure to do so could cost you benefits you may be entitled to. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Immediately Request Medical Treatment
You should always ask to see a doctor immediately and be checked out thoroughly. It is important that you only see an authorized doctor as your employer and their workers’ comp carrier get to choose the doctors and any other medical providers under Texas workers’ compensation law. Even if you don’t think you need medical attention is necessary immediately, be sure to see a doctor within a day or two, especially if you are feeling worse instead of better.
Within a few days, you may receive communication from the workers’ comp insurance carrier with information about your claim. This information should include your claim number and your contact person, whose role it is to authorize treatment, arrange appointments and pay the doctors’ bills. They are also supposed to set up wage replacement or any other temporary disability benefits that you are entitled to if you cannot work while you recover from your injury.
They represent the insurance company, so remember, they are not your friends. Their main interest is the insurance company’s bottom line, which is why the next thing you should do is so important.
Consult With a Workers’ Comp Lawyer
Contact a lawyer who will explain your rights and the benefits you are entitled to as soon as possible after you have been injured at work. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will be able to help you decide the best way to proceed in your situation. An attorney will be your representative and is interested in helping only you as their client, not helping the insurance company save money. the company’s bottom line. Getting your attorney involved in the process as soon as possible means they will be there for you anytime a need arises.
At some point in the process, it is not uncommon for an insurance company to suddenly schedule an examination with an independent doctor during your treatment. In many cases, this doctor may find that no additional treatment is necessary, even if the insurance company’s authorized doctor has scheduled additional testing or other medical procedures, such as surgery. Having an attorney on your side means it will be much easier for you, as your attorney can address things like this when they happen, rather than playing catch-up after that.
It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes, a workers’ compensation claim is denied, you should consult a lawyer immediately. Many claims that were initially denied by the workers’ comp insurance carrier are successfully litigated, which means the injured worker will receive payments for medical bills, temporary disability payments and anything else they would normally be entitled to. Also, if your injury has a permanent impact on your life, even after you complete treatment, you may be entitled to a cash award. In some instances, the insurance carrier will voluntarily pay for such things, but having an attorney n your side will maximize that possibility, as well as the amount of money you receive.