Workers’ Compensation Process in Texas
If you have been injured on the job, you need to report the incident to your workplace in order to begin the process of receiving benefits. According to the Texas Labor Code SEC 409.001, illnesses or injuries must be reported within the first 30 days of the accident. If the symptoms of an injury or illness are later found to be associated with work, then the employer must be notified within 30 days of the date the injury or illness was linked to the job.
Division of Workers’ Compensation
As a state-regulated insurance program, the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation provides employees who are covered under workers’ compensation with wage replacement and medical benefits when they get sick or injured on the job. In Texas, private employers can opt in or out of workers’ compensation. If your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, you are entitled to that coverage, and if they do not have insurance, you have the opportunity to file a personal injury lawsuit. Your employer must notify you whether they have workers’ compensation insurance or not.
Office of Injured Employee Counsel in Texas
Injured workers can file worker injury claims with the Office of Injured Employee Counsel (OIEC), either through an interactive form, over the web, or by calling an OIEC representative. The mission of the OIEC is “to assist, educate, and advocate on behalf of the injured employees of Texas.” Under the OIEC, you have the right to:
- Hire an attorney;
- Receive OIEC assistance if you do not have an attorney;
- Choose your treating physician;
- Possibly receive medical and income benefits;
- Dispute resolutions regarding medical and income benefits; and
- Have your workers’ compensation medical information kept confidential.
Denied Claims by Adjuster
If your claim is denied, you may want to speak to a work injury lawyer. Many claims are denied simply because the paperwork was not filled out correctly, and others are denied because the profit-driven employer or insurance company simply wish to drag their feet and make it difficult for covered employees to attain the benefits that they deserve.
Steps to Reporting
If you believe you have been hurt at work, then it is important you see a doctor within your employer’s health care network so you can be treated. Once it is determined that you have been physically compromised on the job, it is crucial that you file a workers’ compensation claim using Texas Department of Insurance Form DWC041.
Call an Attorney if Your Claim has Been Denied or You are Just Getting Started
The process of filing and receiving workers’ compensation is designed to be difficult, complex, and in favor of employers. Large employers and insurance companies pay lobbyists to help write Texas workers’ compensation laws, and this reflects the large number of denied claims that seriously injured workers have to put up with when they do not retain legal guidance. You need legal help to get the benefits that you need and deserve. Call Michael P. Fleming & Associates today.