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What do I do if I was injured on the job?

The Rights of Injured Workers in Abilene, Texas: Navigating Workers’ Compensation, Third Party Claims, and More

job-site-injury-abilene-texas-attorneyOne of the most common questions that we get at The Low Law Firm involves work place injuries and an employee’s rights and obligations. At the center of the conversation is whether or not the employer is a subscriber to Texas Worker’s Compensation coverage and also, whether or not the employer is responsible for causing the accident. This guide will hopefully answer some common misconceptions.

Every year in Texas, thousands of workers face injuries and accidents on the job, leading to substantial medical costs, loss of wages, and other debilitating consequences. The state’s approach to managing workers’ compensation, the legal rights to file claims against third parties, and the dangers inherent in specific sectors are crucial areas of knowledge for both employees and employers. This article will explore the framework of workers’ compensation in Texas, third party claims, and statistics surrounding the most common and dangerous types of work-related injuries.

If you have been injured at work call The Low Law Firm at (325) 455-1889.

1. Overview of Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation in Texas provides medical benefits and wage replacement to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. Unlike most states, Texas allows private employers to choose whether or not to participate in the state’s workers’ compensation system. Employers who opt into the system are generally shielded from most personal injury lawsuits by employees. In contrast, non-subscribing employers can face lawsuits for workplace injuries, which could result in higher compensation payouts if the employer is found negligent. This is often difficult for employee’s to understand. Not every employer provides worker’s compensation coverage. The reasons for this are numerous, but one of the primary factors is cost. The coverage is expensive.

2. Benefits and Limitations

For workers covered under workers’ compensation, benefits include medical care for injuries, income benefits, rehabilitation services, and death benefits. The system is designed to help employees recover and return to work while providing a degree of financial stability. However, workers’ compensation also limits the amount and duration of benefits and does not compensate for pain and suffering, which can be a significant limitation for those with severe injuries. Unfortunately, if your employer is a subscriber to this coverage AND your employer caused your accident your claims for worker’s compensation are typically what is called your exclusive remedy against your employer. There are a few exceptions, but only in rare circumstances.

3. Process of Claiming Compensation

To claim workers’ compensation, injured workers must report their injury to their employer within 30 days of the incident. Following the report, a claim must be filed with the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). It is critical for injured workers to adhere to all procedural requirements and timelines to ensure that their rights to benefits are preserved. If you have questions about this contact an attorney who handles claims for worker’s compensation.

Third Party Accident Rights in Texas

1. What Are Third Party Claims?

When injuries at work are caused by parties other than the employer, such as equipment manufacturers, contractors, or other drivers, the injured worker may have the right to file a third-party liability claim. These claims can provide compensation for damages not covered by workers’ compensation, such as pain and suffering, and full lost wage reimbursement. If this describes your case, feel free to call an experienced work-place injury attorney at The Low Law Firm at (325) 455-1889.

2. Navigating Third Party Claims

Third party claims involve demonstrating that the non-employer third party was negligent and that this negligence caused the injury. Such cases typically require thorough investigation and strong legal representation to effectively argue the case before a court.

Key Statistics and High-Risk Areas in Texas

1. Statistics About Fall Injuries and Explosions

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls, slips, and trips are among the most common causes of work-related injuries in Texas. The construction industry frequently records the highest numbers of such injuries, significantly impacting workers’ health and productivity. Explosions, while less common, are particularly hazardous in industries like oil and gas extraction, which are prevalent in Texas. These incidents often result in severe injuries or fatalities, highlighting the need for stringent safety protocols.

2. The Most Unsafe Jobs in Texas

The construction sector stands out as particularly perilous, but other sectors in Texas also exhibit high injury rates. These include transportation, warehousing, and the oil and gas industry. Workers in these fields often face risks from heavy machinery, hazardous materials, and challenging work environments.

The landscape of workers’ rights in Texas is complex, especially given the optional nature of workers’ compensation coverage by employers. While workers’ compensation provides essential benefits, it also imposes significant limitations, which can be partially mitigated through third-party claims when applicable. Moreover, understanding the statistical trends in workplace injuries can help stakeholders push for better safety practices in the most dangerous industries. Employees must be proactive in understanding their rights and the available avenues for redress to navigate the aftermath of workplace injuries effectively.

If you have been injured at work and you are not sure what to do next, call an attorney who is experienced in work place injury cases. While we do not handle worker’s compensation claims, we do offer free consultations to see whether or not you have claims against a non-subscriber employer or a negligent third party. The Low Law Firm will help (325) 455-1889.

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