Satisfied client review of our workers’ compensation lawyers
We’ve had the pleasure of representing incredible clients. People come to us during some of the most challenging periods of their lives, and we make sure to provide them with legal representation that meets those challenges. Here is what one satisfied client had to say…
“Thank you very much for all your hard work and effort in obtaining the settlement on my behalf. It’s not often that I have met and worked with such a passionate, dedicated and focused team such as yourselves. Your attention is 100% customer and goal oriented, and many business professionals could learn from your excellent ‘can do’ attitude and effort. You are a great team and I am very appreciative of everything that you each did for me. On behalf of my family, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you.” – Gloria B.
Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law wants to help you, too. If you suffered an injury at work, you deserve a workers’ compensation attorney who knows how to get results. Let us make your case for you while you focus on healing. Call us today at (713) 973-8888.
EXPERIENCED WORKERS’ COMP LAWYER
learn about workers’ comp in Texas
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program managed by the state. It provides benefits to people who are injured or become ill on the job. It is a “no-fault” program, meaning that workers are entitled to benefits after a workplace injury without having to prove who caused the injury. They are covered from their first day on the job. The idea of the insurance is that workers can get benefits without a court battle, but the tradeoff is that you can’t sue your employer for your injuries when they carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Workers’ comp benefits
Just what benefits does workers’ comp provide to injured workers? Benefits typically include payment for medical bills and roughly two-thirds of a worker’s weekly wages. Here is a breakdown:
- Past and future medical bills for treatment related to work injuries. Payment is made directly to your medical provider
- Income benefits at approximately two-thirds of average weekly wages based on average earnings for the prior 13 weeks
- Mileage reimbursement for medical appointments that are more than 30 miles away
- Vocational rehabilitation to retrain for a new job if you can no longer work in your old job
- Death benefits that provide compensation to workers’ families due to work-related death or illness
- Burial expenses.
Our workers’ comp lawyer is your advocate
Though workers’ comp might seem complicated, our skilled attorney can handle the bulk of the work involving your claim and tell you in plain terms what is happening with your case and what you should expect in benefits. Your workers’ comp lawyer will be your advocate throughout the process of ensuring you get the benefits you need.
how long can you get income benefits?
The extent of income benefits you’ll receive after an on-the-job injury are determined by the seriousness of your injury. There are four types of income benefits. They include:
- Temporary Income Benefits (TIBs), which end when your doctor returns you back to full duty or states that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) or, if neither happens, approximately two years after your injury.
- Impairment Income Benefits (IIBs) are available if you have a permanent impairment from a work-related injury or illness.
- Supplemental Income Benefits (SIBs) are available to any injured worker with a whole body impairment rating of 15% or higher.
- Lifetime Income Benefits (LIBs) apply to injuries so severe as to disable a worker for the rest of their life – 75% of an injured employee’s average weekly wage (AWW), with a 3% annual increase.
Workers’ comp insurers can (and often do) dispute worker salary benefits. So, the longer you receive them – especially SIBs – the greater the odds you will be denied and have to appeal the ruling. If that happens, contact a seasoned workers’ comp lawyer immediately.
We understand that these classifications might seem complicated. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a legal expert to know that you deserve payment for an injury. We can handle the details while you focus on your recovery.
Get in touch with a Houston workers’ compensation attorney today by Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law at (713) 973-8888 to schedule a free initial assessment.
what workers’ compensation doesn’t cover
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation benefits are not always adequate to cover the true costs of a worker’s injuries, including the less tangible losses that many people who have serious injuries experience. These types of losses can include things that greatly impact day-to-day life, such as ongoing physical pain, disfigurement, and emotional trauma. Workers’ comp doesn’t provide compensation to pay you for your pain and suffering.
If you’ve suffered a work-related injury, our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can help protect your rights. We will stand up for your right to get workers’ comp benefits. Depending on your situation, we may be able to get you additional money beyond workers’ comp that can pay you for your pain and suffering and other damages. Once we learn about your case, we’ll advise you of your options.
how soon should a workers’ comp lawyer be hired?
It’s often wise to get help from a workers’ comp lawyer at the beginning of the claims process. This is especially true when you have serious injuries or you have injured a body part that has a preexisting condition. By the time many people bring in workers’ compensation lawyers to help them manage their claims, their situations are already worsening and valuable time has been wasted. The sooner you call an attorney, the better positioned you’ll be to get the payment you deserve.
A lot can go wrong when seeking injury benefits, and even a minor interruption in benefits can put you in a tough financial spot. To ensure this doesn’t happen, and that you get the benefits you need and are entitled to, a Houston workers’ comp lawyer from our firm can oversee your case and protect you from common issues that can affect claims.
what situations call for the help of a Houston workers’ compensation attorney?
When any of these situations presents itself, it may be time to bring in a lawyer:
- The employer rejects your claim or there is a delay in getting benefits. An ugly secret of the process is that many completely legitimate claims are rejected by insurers and employers because they know most people won’t appeal a claim. Unfortunately, they are right, as nearly 80% of rejected claimants will not.
- The benefits don’t cover all of the medical costs or lost wages. Adjusters, TDI officers, arbitrators, and judges are responsible for setting the benefit amount for a hurt employee, but their decision is not always fair or properly assessed. A lawyer will make sure that their client receives a fair judgment for their claim.
- An employee’s injuries prevent a return to work. If an accident is bad enough to disable permanently, the victim may be entitled to benefits that could extend out for the rest of his or her life. This is a nightmare for insurance companies, as it can be expensive to pay out these benefits. They may contest the claim aggressively, so you should consider expert legal representation.
- The claimant’s employer retaliates for filing a claim. Your employer is prohibited by law from treating you any differently after a work-related injury or unfairly disciplining you should you dispute any ruling by your employer’s insurance carrier about your benefits. Firings, demotions, slashed hours, or reduced pay are all common methods of retaliation an employer may use against a claimant. If they engage in such dishonest tactics, a lawyer will often need to intercede immediately.
A Houston workers’ compensation attorney can make the difference
Information is essential for executing a successful claim, and an experienced workers’ compensation attorney knows how to sift it out. Medical records, expert witness testimony, secondary medical opinions, and accident reports will all be valuable for proving a claim, and a lawyer knows how to organize and present it. Such preparation can make the difference between a failed claim and one that provides for a victim’s injuries, allowing them to concentrate on recovering.
It’s never too early to call a workers’ compensation lawyer. Even if you think you’ve waited too long, you should still call Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law to find out more about your legal options. Call us today at (713) 973-8888 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free initial assessment.
getting compensation through a lawsuit for your on-the-job injury
Injured workers may have other options for getting financial help. While in most cases you can’t directly sue your employer who carries workers’ comp, there are situations in which you may be able to sue in court.
Independent contractor misclassifications
Sometimes a worker is told that they are not entitled to workers’ comp benefits because they are an independent contractor. Employers sometimes misclassify workers in order to avoid paying them benefits. If you’re told you are an independent contractor, we’ll investigate to discover whether you’ve been misclassified. If you have been, we’ll stand up to your employer to get you workers’ comp benefits. And if you are, in fact, an independent contractor, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to receive payment if employer negligence was involved.
Gross negligence by an employer
Even though employers subscribe to workers’ comp insurance to shield them from employee lawsuits, there are a few provisions having to do with employer gross negligence or willful intent to injure you that exposes them to a civil lawsuit.
Third-party legal claims
If a third party was responsible, even partially, for the injuries you’ve suffered, consider filing a third-party liability claim. Third-party liability claims are often the path injured workers take if their injury was caused by a negligent manufacturer of faulty equipment, a negligent property owner, a contractor, or other party who isn’t their employer.
what if my employer doesn’t carry workers’ comp?
Texas is the only state in which employers are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. These employers are called “nonsubscribers.” If your employer is a nonsubscriber, you have the right to sue your employer for compensation for your injuries. The Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation has an online database that can tell you whether your employer is or is not a subscriber to workers’ comp. Sometimes nonsubscribers try to hide the fact that they don’t carry workers’ comp because they are afraid of being sued. Subscribers to workers’ comp are required to post notices in workplace common areas stating that they carry workers’ comp.
WORKERS’ COMP LAWYER PROTECTS YOUR RIGHTS
your rights under workers’ comp
The law guarantees workers certain rights under workers’ comp. By law, you . . .
- May receive benefits for your on-the-job injury, provided your injury wasn’t a result of intoxication, horseplay, an act of God, a planned accident, off-work duty, or a personal attack.
- Have the right to receive medical attention from the doctor of your choice within the workers’ comp treating healthcare network or from an approved list.
- May choose to keep your workers’ compensation claim confidential.
- May get assistance from a local ombudsman.
- Can hire a lawyer to help you with your case. Contact our team at (713) 973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000.
Additionally, employers are required to report employee injuries or work-related illness within eight days of occurrence to the Texas Department of Insurance and to provide a copy of that report to the injured worker.
protecting your rights following an injury
To protect yourself and increase your chances of having your initial workers’ comp claim approved:
- You must file a report in writing to your employer within 30 days of the occurrence of your injury or illness or the date you discovered it. However, you should tell your supervisor immediately after your injury happens. Include how, where, and when the injury occurred. It is then your employer’s obligation to file an Employer’s First Report of Injury or Illness with the company’s insurance carrier within 8 days of your notification or absence from work.
- You should visit a doctor right away and explain how your injuries or illness occurred. Be sure to inform the doctor that it was work-related.
- Finally, file your completed Employee’s Claim for Compensation for a Work-Related Injury or Occupational Disease (DWC Form-041) with the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation, as soon as possible and within one year from the date of injury.
At any point after suffering a workplace injury, you have the right to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer, and your attorney can then help you with the filing process.
To discuss your case in a free, no-obligation case evaluation, contact our Houston workers’ comp lawyer by calling (713) 973-8888 or filling out our online contact form.
workers’ comp questions (faq)
Here we address more concerns people commonly have about workers’ compensation.
Answering Your Workers’ Comp Questions (FAQ)
Workers often have many questions about the process of filing a claim. The answers to many of your questions can be provided only by a workers’ compensation lawyer who knows the specifics of your case. At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we offer free consultations, so you can meet with our team and get an initial case assessment at no cost.
However, there are some general questions that we frequently hear from injured workers that we can discuss here. Let’s address some of the most commonly asked questions about workers’ compensation in Texas.
appealing a workers’ compensation denial
unfairly denied benefits? don’t take no for an answer
When a worker is denied benefits following a workplace injury, they have the right to file an appeal of their claim. If you haven’t contacted an attorney for assistance by this point in the process, it is important to do so before filing an appeal. Your attorney can help you avoid a second denial of the benefits you’re entitled to.
Understanding the workers’ compensation appeals process
There are several steps involved in disputing a workers’ compensation claim through the Texas Department of Insurance’s Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDI-DWC). They include:
- A benefit review conference
- An arbitration or contested case hearing
- An appeals panel.
Each step must be completed and have a final decision announced before moving to the next step in the process.
If your employer or its workers’ comp insurer denies your claim, you can appeal. But you (or your attorney) must first try to resolve the matter with either party. Failing that, you must notify the Texas Department of Insurance’s Division of Workers’ Compensation.
(Step 1) Benefit Review Conference (BRC):
The first step is meeting with an insurance representative and a Benefit Review Officer from the TDI-DWC to discuss the issues. If the issues are resolved, an agreement will be typed up and signed by both you and the insurance carrier; if the issues aren’t resolved, you may choose to go to a contested hearing or arbitration.
(Step 2 – A) Contested Case Hearing (CCH):
A formal hearing is held with a Hearing Officer from the TDI-DWC; you will get an order from the Hearing Officer regarding his decision about your claim. If you still aren’t satisfied with the outcome, you can take your case to an appeals panel.
(Step 2 – B) Arbitration:
A meeting is arranged with an independent arbitrator chosen by the TDI-DWC where you and the insurance representative share your reasons for conflict regarding your claim; the arbitrator will make a decision for the claim that is final and can’t be appealed.
(Step 3) Appeals Panel:
If you weren’t able to come to an agreeable solution in the contested hearing, an appeals panel will review written statements from you, the insurance representative, and the Hearing Officer to make a final decision. You will be issued a written statement from the panel with a final decision.
You may also appeal your decision to a court of law in Texas if you don’t agree with the decisions made by the TDI-DWC.
Get help from an experienced workers’ comp lawyer in Houston
If you decide to dispute a decision regarding your workers’ compensation claim, you may ask a local ombudsman for assistance or hire an attorney. Here at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we are dedicated to getting you the benefits you need. Give us a call at (713) 973-8888.
statistics for on-the-job injuries
Every day in the United States, over 8,000 workers suffer an on-the-job injury or illness and approximately 13 workers lose their lives in a workplace accident. Texas regularly leads the nation in the number of workplace injuries and fatalities. The construction and oil and gas industries are leaders in the state when it comes to injuries and deaths.
When a worker suffers a serious injury on the job, they deserve compensation for the costs of that injury. The most immediate costs typically include medical treatment (including doctor visits, tests, procedures, medications, etc.) and lost income. However, in many cases, expenses go well beyond medical bills and lost wages. A workplace injury can leave a worker with a greatly reduced work capacity, which endangers their ability to generate income for months, years, or even a lifetime.
Workers in some of the most dangerous industries are frequently denied benefits or given payments that fall far short of their needs. We are proud to stand up for you to get you the maximum compensation for your workplace injuries. Let our legal professionals help you file a claim for workers’ compensation or damages from a non-subscriber or negligent third party.
At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we understand that times are tough for injured workers. Contact us 24 hours a day, seven days a week—call (713) 973-8888 or complete our initial consultation form today.
common workplace injuries in Texas
Workplace injuries can occur in any setting. Regardless of the injury you’ve suffered or the type of job you have, you deserve benefits when your injury occurs in the course of work. Here are some of the most common injuries and job types that Houston workers’ compensation lawyers encounter.
CAUSES OF INJURIES THAT LEAD TO WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIMS:
- Transportation-related accidents (on-the-job motor vehicle accidents)
- Falls, slips, and trips
- Overexertion injuries
- Repetitive stress injuries (such as carpal tunnel, wrist, or knee injuries)
- Heavy lifting-related injuries (most commonly associated with workplace back injuries)
- Exposure to dangerous toxins.
As you can see, workers’ compensation can apply to many different types of injuries. People commonly assume that a worker is covered when they suffer a sudden injury resulting from one specific incident. Though that is true, it’s also the case that workers whose injuries have accumulated over long periods are also entitled to benefits. In many cases, these types of injuries have a greater impact on a worker’s ability to perform their job. It is critical that these workers take full advantage of the benefits offered to them by workers’ compensation insurance programs.
DANGEROUS JOBS IN TEXAS
No job is without its own set of dangers. However, worker injury and death rates tend to be higher when heavy equipment, manual labor, and frequent transportation are part of the job description. This includes:
- Truck drivers
- Construction workers (including roofers and structural iron/steel workers)
- Farming, fishing, and forestry workers
- Oil and gas extraction.
If you work one of these jobs, you already know how dangerous they can be. You should also know that you should never pay the costs of an injury you’ve suffered at work. There is almost always a legal means to get compensation for the expenses you are facing.
contact a Houston workers’ compensation lawyer
At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we want to help injured workers get the justice they deserve. We have decades of experience standing up to employers and insurers who deny workers their benefits, and we know how to get results for you.
Suffering a serious injury at work can present many challenges in life. In addition to the pain and suffering of your injury, you’re likely sidelined from work and experiencing many difficulties performing routine tasks. You’ve given a lot to your employer, and it’s only fair that you are given benefits to help you through this difficult time. When employers fail to live up to their promises, we can help.
If you or a loved one has suffered a workplace injury and you want to discuss your legal options, contact Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law to schedule a free consultation. Terry Bryant is Board Certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is a former judge. To schedule a free consultation with Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, contact a Houston workers’ compensation lawyer on our team today by filling out our online contact form or calling us at (713) 973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000.