Injury claims are complicated and challenging. You need to go through the proper channels to gain compensation and get the help that you need.
Workplace injuries can happen to anyone. The CDC reports that each year, over 35 million people visit the emergency room because of an injury, and these are not all minor injuries. Some of them are severe enough to keep people out of the workplace for weeks or longer. This can also include long-term injuries that can have a severe impact on employment ability and quality of life.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and similar state and local laws, an injured worker should be able to take time off, but not all workplaces are there to accommodate the worker or help them to get the time off they need to recover. This is where you need to draw up a workplace injury claim and go through the proper channels.
Even when you do go through the process legally, there are hurdles that you need to overcome, but you can find help along the way. Here’s what you need to know about worker compensation and how you can pursue a claim.
Something that you need to consider when filing an injury claim is if you are an independent contractor or not. You should be aware of your status if you do your own taxes.
If you are an independent contractor, you only have the right to get workers’ compensation in certain circumstances in Texas. These are covered under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act.
So, the main factor here is whether you have employees or not. In Texas, if an independent contractor does not have employees, then they are considered to be an employee by the company that is hiring them for their services.
However, if you have your own employees that work for you, then you do not have the right to claim workers’ compensation from the company that hired you.
How the Injury Happened
The next factor when it comes to a workplace injury is how the injury happened. For example, if you hurt yourself at home, then you cannot file an injury claim just because it may force you to miss time from work.
If it happens at work during employee hours, then you have the right to file an injury claim in most circumstances. However, there are times when you still may not get compensation.
The main circumstance here is when you are working while you are impaired. Did you drink too much alcohol before or during your shift? Are you under the influence of any drugs?
If it is found out that you got hurt at work while you were drunk or high, then you lose any right to file an injury claim.
Another circumstance when you may not be entitled to compensation is if you got caught in horseplay. For example, if you were trying to do a parkour stunt jumping from the top of the steps to the bottom of the steps and then hurting yourself, you would not be entitled to an injury claim.
The main thing to take away here is that the injury has to happen while you are in condition to work and while you were performing a routine workplace act.
Filing a Claim
Now that you have an idea of when you are eligible to file a claim, the next step is acting on this claim. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you do this.
Reporting the Injury to Your Employer
First, you have to report the injury to your employer. Preferably, this should be as soon as the injury occurs. Of course, this cannot always be helped because some injuries linger until later. However, if you know you are hurt because of a specific incident at that time, then you should report it to your employer right away.
This strengthens your case because you did not wait until it may be too late to get any compensation. Plus, reporting it the day it occurs typically reduces the risk of a fraud case in the eyes of an employer or an insurance company.
Getting Medical Attention
Next, you need to get medical attention for your injury. Again, this should be as soon as possible. Once you do that, keep a copy of your medical records and have a doctor sign off on any injuries that you have and any time off they recommend that you take from work.
This does two things in terms of your case. The first thing it does is it gives you supporting evidence that you have a legitimate claim. This can be an x-ray or medical record of broken bones in your arm and a doctor describing the specific injury.
The second thing this does is it gives you verification from a medical expert that you sustained a serious injury and that this is the proper amount of time it will take to recover from it. That gives you a legitimate claim when you are asking for compensation for the missed payments that you will incur because of the injury.
Hire a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Injury Claims
Finally, when you think you have a case for workplace injury and employer negligence, you need to hire an attorney who deals with injury claims. They can provide you with the legal counsel that you need, and get you the appropriate, and maximum compensation that you deserve.
If you remember the top steps to take when filing a claim and how you are eligible for one, you should get your compensation.
Do you need an injury attorney? Get a free consultation with us today.