When injured on the job, you may be eligible to file for a workers’ compensation claim. While this process seems straightforward, you may be shocked to learn that your claim was denied or the funds offered were barely enough to cover a doctor’s appointment. Keep reading to discover whether or not you can appeal this decision and how a San Angelo, Texas work injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you are entitled to.
What Is Workers’ Compensation and How Does It Work in Texas?
Workers’ compensation is insurance that provides benefits and wages to an employee injured while performing work duties or on the job. In exchange, the employee cannot sue the employer for negligence. However, there are different requirements and steps those injured on the job must meet to be eligible for these benefits.
The injury must have occurred due to job-related activities. For example, if you injure your back while operating heavy machinery, you would be eligible so long as you were using the machinery as intended in relation to your job duties. However, not all injuries are covered, and if you were hurt due to intoxication, committing a crime, or violating a company policy, you are not eligible to receive benefits.
Generally, in Texas, any work-related injury or illness must be reported to your employer within thirty days. However, the sooner you report the injury, the better your chances are of receiving compensation. You should also seek medical attention immediately following the injury. Generally, your employer will provide a list of pre-approved doctors covered by their workers’ compensation insurance. However, if it is a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment, you can and should go to the hospital.
However, it is vital to note that private employers in Texas do not have to provide workers’ comp insurance for their employees. While this opt-out choice varies from employer to employer, injuries that occur on the job must be reported to the state’s Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) regardless of whether or not you have insurance.
What Should I Do If My Claim is Denied or Insufficient?
If your claim is denied or the funds you are awarded are insufficient, you can appeal the decision. However, you’ll need to contact your employer first, as in some cases, errors or missing information can impact whether or not your claim is accepted. If this is the case, you’ll likely be able to remedy the error.
If this does not work, you can contact the DWC to request a hearing, which allows you and a representative of your employer to discuss the decision in an attempt to settle. However, if this does not yield good results, you must elevate the issue to higher authorities. This means you should obtain the guidance of legal representation.
When hurt at work, the Mathis Law Firm believes you should receive the compensation you are entitled to. If your employer or their insurance provider disagrees, our dedicated legal team will fight to ensure you receive the best outcome for your situation. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you through this challenging time.