There Are Two Ways To Deal With Work Injury Claims In Texas
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) February 13, 2013 – strong>There are two methods to deal with work place injury claims in Texas.
“Texas has a system of what is referred to as subscribers and non-subscribers – to workers compensation insurance. If the company does have worker’s compensation insurance, a worker needs Form DWC 041. If the company does not have insurance, they are a non-subscriber, and if you are injured, you may file a personal injury lawsuit,” clarified Brooks Schuelke, an Austin personal injury lawyer with Perlmutter & Schuelke, L.L.P.
A worker injured on the job site of a company that is a non-subscriber may file an injury lawsuit, even if the employer pays for medical care or a portion of lost wages. In the case of a non-subscriber, the employer is required by law to inform all their workers that they do not carry workers compensation. “If, for some reason, you are not clear on whether or not your employer does carry worker’s compensation and you have been injured, call 800-252-7031. Provide your employer’s name as it appears on your check and the date of your accident,” said Schuelke.
No matter what the situation may be in regards to a workplace accident, or injury on the job, all accidents and injuries, even ones that seem inconsequential, must be reported to the employer. If there is no report filed and the injury turns out to be more serious than first thought, then it can be much more difficult to seek compensation.
Many times an injured worker is asked to make a statement about their accident. “If you are asked to do so, talk to an injury lawyer before you make any type of recorded statement. Do not sign anything and do not provide access to your medical records until you have consulted with an attorney familiar with injuries on the job,” Schuelke added.
Accidents reports, however, do need to be filled out, and in exacting detail. Name any witnesses, identify the precise reason for the accident, as accurately as possible, by providing the facts, and not speculating on what went wrong. For instance, if the employer did not provide a safety harness for working on scaffolding, state that fact. Leave any opinions out of the injury report. Comments such as, “I think the boss should have provided us with top of the line safety gear,” are best discussed with a personal injury lawyer.
For a non-subscriber, the worker must show the company failed to provide a safe workplace, and that may include not warning the workers of dangerous conditions, not providing enough workers, not training workers properly or not providing safe tools and equipment. “If you are hurt in a forklift accident, fall from scaffolding, are involved in crane accidents and so forth, you may be compensated for being unable to work, lost wages, future medical care, medical expenses, impairment and pain, etc. This is something we discuss if you wish to file a personal injury lawsuit against a non-subscriber company,” stated Schuelke.
Just because the employer has worker’s compensation insurance does not necessarily mean a worker will not be able to pursue a claim. For example, if an injury was caused by someone other than the employer or a fellow employee, then the worker may be able to pursue a claim against those people or companies.
Perlmutter & Schuelke, LLP
206 East 9th Street, Ste. 1511
Austin, TX 78701
Call (512) 476-4944
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