Suffering an injury on the job often means more than coping with physical pain. You may face expensive medical bills and miss time from work. The financial toll can be overwhelming. While many injured workers find some relief through workers’ compensation benefits, there are also circumstances where you may be entitled to more comprehensive payment for your injuries and losses.
At Pines & Goldenzweig, PLLC, our Houston work injury lawyers have years of experience helping clients who have been injured on the job. Our firm is dedicated to your well-being. We take the time to help you through all the difficulties caused by your injuries, including helping you find medical specialists when you need them.
Contact us now for a free case review with a Houston work injury attorney. We can answer your questions and map out a strategy for pursuing the maximum compensation you deserve. You will never pay any upfront fees for our representation – we get paid only when we win compensation in your case.
Understanding Your Rights Outside of Workers’ Compensation
Many workers injured on the job in Houston are entitled to benefits under workers’ compensation. However, an injured worker’s right to payment is generally limited under the workers’ compensation system to reasonable and necessary treatment and partial wage replacement. In certain circumstances, though, an injured employee may be entitled to pursue claims for compensation outside of workers’ comp:
When an accident on the job is caused by a third party, the law allows you to pursue a personal injury claim against that at-fault party. For example, if you are hit by a negligent motorist while driving somewhere as part of your job duties, you may be entitled to pursue a car accident claim against that motorist. Or, if you are injured on a slippery floor while making a delivery to a customer’s address, you may be entitled to bring a slip-and-fall/premises liability claim against the property owner. In these types of personal injury claims against a third party, an injured worker is entitled to seek full compensation for damages, including future anticipated losses and pain and suffering.
In Texas, private employers may choose not to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage to their employees. These employers are known as “non-subscribers.” When employers choose to become non-subscribers, they lose the protections of the workers’ compensation system. This means employees can file personal injury claims against employers when they are injured on the job. However, employees also lose the right to automatic compensation for work-related injuries. Instead, injured workers must establish that their employer is at fault for their injuries.
Compensation in a Work Injury Claim
If you can bring a third-party or non-subscriber claim after suffering a work injury in Houston, you may be entitled to full compensation for all your injuries and losses. This includes payment for:
- Costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation
- Lost wages from missed work
- Lost earning capacity due to disabilities resulting from your injuries
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish caused by your injuries
- Lost enjoyment or quality of life due to physical scars or disfigurement, or due to the inability to perform daily tasks of living or to participate in activities you previously enjoyed
To put it in perspective, workers’ compensation only provides payment for medical care and partial wage and earning capacity replacement. Through a third-party or non-subscriber work injury claim, you can pursue total compensation for all the ways your injury affects you both now and in the future.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt at Work
If you’ve suffered an injury on the job, take the following steps:
- Report your injury to your supervisor or employer.
- Confirm whether your employer has workers’ compensation insurance.
- Document the details of the work accident and your injury, including whatever you believe may have caused your injury, the presence of any safety equipment or warning signs, and the lighting and weather conditions (as relevant).
- Photograph any visible injuries you may have suffered as well as the accident scene.
- Get the names, contact information, and (if applicable) insurance information for any third parties who may have been involved in the accident.
- Take down the names and contact information for any bystanders who may have witnessed your injury.
- Get examined by a doctor as soon as possible.
- Save all paperwork related to your accident and injuries, including medical bills and communication with your employer or others involved.
- Talk to a Houston work injury lawyer about your options for pursuing the compensation you need to get back on your feet.