Workers’ Comp Attorney Dallas
Workplace accidents are common, which is why most states require it by law, but Texas is an exception. The Lonestar State does not, in fact, require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. But just because it’s not mandated, does not mean that your employer doesn’t have insurance. Despite Texas’ looser insurance requirements, many employers opt to carry workers’ compensation insurance to limit their exposure to personal injury lawsuits.
If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, the cost of rehabilitation, and damages for your pain and suffering. The workers’ compensation attorneys at Thorpe & Hatcher, LLP stand ready to defend your rights as a worker. Call today to speak to an attorney free of charge.
How Workers’ Comp Laws Work in Texas
The state of Texas and the Federal Government have enacted many laws and regulations governing the safety of workers. Texas has taken the unusual approach of leaving the decision to the employer as to whether or not they decide to carry workers’ comp insurance. That does not mean, however, that Texas doesn’t have legal requirements governing this type of coverage. Employers who choose to forgo coverage must inform incoming employees that they do not carry WC coverage. They must also place posters conspicuously throughout the workplace stating whether or not they have coverage. An incoming employee has five days to waive their right to coverage if the employer does not carry it. If the employer discontinues coverage, they must announce it to employees and the Workers’ Compensation Division of the Texas Department of Insurance as soon as possible.
Workers’ Comp Benefits for Injured Workers
If you’re injured at work and your employer is covered with a workers’ comp policy, there are four types of benefits. You may be eligible for one or more of these benefits.
These are benefits that partially or fully replace your lost wages. They’re further broken down into four categories:
- Temporary Income Benefits (TIB) – If you lose some or all of your income for a minimum of seven days, you may qualify for this type of reimbursement. These benefits are 70 percent of the difference between your wages before your injury and your wages after your injury. If you earn less than $10 per hour, it’s 75% of the difference.
- Impairment Income Benefits (IIB) – You would be eligible for this if your injury caused your entire body to be impaired. Your level of impairment is determined by the healthcare provider. You get 70 percent of your wages for a number of weeks based upon your impairment rating.
- Supplemental Income Benefits (SIB) – This is for a severe injury that enables you to work in some capacity. These are calculated as the difference between 80% of your pre-injury wages and the full amount of your post-injury wages.
- Lifetime Income Benefits (LIB) – These are paid for debilitating serious injuries that prevent you from working at all. These are 75 percent of your average weekly earnings and a 3 percent annual cost of living adjustment.
2. Medical Benefits
You shouldn’t have to pay to heal from your injuries. These benefits pay for medical expenses like hospitalization, surgery, scans, test, prescription medicine, medical equipment, etc. With today’s astronomical medical costs, this is an essential part of the coverage.
3. Burial Benefits
This covers the funeral expenses for the accidental death of an employee in the workplace. The person who paid for these costs would be reimbursed.
4. Death Benefits
Certain family members may recover 75 percent of the deceased employee’s average weekly wage. The length of time that someone can receive death benefits is based upon the relationship and a variety of other circumstances. Contact a workers’ compensation attorney to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions About Workers’ Comp in TX
As top-tier Dallas workers’ compensation attorneys, the lawyers of Thorpe & Hatcher, LLC hear numerous questions from injured employees. Here are some of the most common concerns among our clients and the corresponding answers.
Can I recover pain and suffering damages through workers’ compensation?
Your employer’s workers’ compensation policy does not cover non-economic damages like pain and suffering. To recover additional damages, you may need to file a personal injury claim or launch a personal injury lawsuit.
If I’m at fault for my accident, can I still recover damages through workers’ comp?
Workers’ comp insurance covers the employee regardless of fault. Even if you feel responsible for the accident, you should pursue your claim.
What if I quit or was fired after the accident?
If you were employed at the time you sustained your injuries, you should be covered and can still receive benefits.
What should I do if I was involved in a workplace accident?
Your safety and health come first. Get medical attention immediately. You should notify your employer that you had an accident in the workplace. If you’re able to, take photos or videos of the accident scene. Note other employees or witnesses to the accident.
Do I have to go to the workers’ comp doctor?
If you’re trying to make a claim under a workers’ compensation policy, the insurance company has the right to have their doctors examine you. You can still go to your own doctor, but that may be an uncovered expense.
Dallas, TX Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
For years, Steven Thorpe and Carla Hatcher have championed the rights of workers. We have negotiated and litigated countless cases and have decades of combined experience. If you were injured on the job, we believe you are entitled to compensation, and we have the legal acumen and experience to get it for you. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.