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Workers Compensation Lawyers

A Houstong workers’ compensation lawyer is here to make sure you get what you’ve been promised.

Injured Workers Deserve Compensation – NO EXCEPTIONS.

Workers comp lawyers know how common it is for an injured worker to be denied the benefits they’re entitled to. It happens all the time. If you’ve been injured on the job, you might be worried about the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim, but you should know that the process doesn’t need to be stressful.

We encourage you to leave the sleepless nights to us, and call Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law to speak to a Houston workers’ compensation attorney. We work on your behalf, dealing with insurance companies and employers to make sure you get the benefits you deserve. When you work with our team, you can hand over the process to us, so you can focus on your health and recovery.

When you need a workers’ comp lawyer in Houston, contact Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law by calling (713) 973-8888 or filling out our online contact form. Put us to work on your case today.

Workers’ Compensation Client Review

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 are a few of the kind words our clients have 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

Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law wants to help you, too. If you suffered an injury at work, you deserve a workers’ compensation attorney that knows how to get results. Let us make your case for you. Call us today at (713) 973-8888.

Houston Workers’ Comp Lawyers

Workers’ Compensation in Texas

Workers’ compensation insurance is a “no-fault” program. That means that a worker is entitled to benefits after a workplace injury regardless of who was at fault for the on-the-job accident. These benefits typically include payment for medical bills and roughly two-thirds of a worker’s weekly wages. In some cases, the payments offered through workers’ compensation insurance are inadequate to cover the true costs of a worker’s injuries.

If you’ve suffered a work-related injury, our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can help protect your rights to get benefits. Even if your employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation coverage, you may still be entitled to money for your injuries.

Injured Workers Can Get Paid While Not Working

Most Texas employers carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover injured employees on the job and also protect themselves from lawsuits by injured workers. In Texas, an injured worker can receive monetary benefits (usually paid weekly) and medical benefits that pay the doctor bills. The weekly benefits are based on a percentage of the injured worker’s salary and help sustain them while they’re unable to work.

Workers’ compensation benefits should provide compensation for expenses related to an on-the-job injury, such as:

  • Past and future lost wages
  • Past and future medical bills
  • Disfigurement
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering.

These are just a few of the expenses that an employer should cover in the event of a worker’s injury. It is very important that you factor in all the costs you have suffered from your work-related injury, so you can be sure that you are given fair compensation for these expenses. It might seem overwhelming to calculate all these costs, but when you work with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, you can hand over that task to your attorney.

Experienced workers’ comp lawyers know what it takes to get clients results. Though the legal issues surrounding workers’ comp might seem complicated, a skilled attorney will not only handle the bulk of the work involving your claim, they’ll also be able to tell you in plain terms what is happening with your case and what you should expect as the process unfolds.

When Should a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Be Hired?

The sooner you call an attorney, the better positioned you’ll be to get the payment you deserve.
By the time someone needs to bring in a workers’ compensation attorney to help them manage a work comp claim, their situation is likely already worsening. Accidents and injuries can happen while on the job, and employers are obligated to protect their employees in the event of an injury, assuming the employer has opted into state employee injury benefits programs. However, even if an employee is entitled to benefits, getting them is another concern.

A lot can go wrong when seeking injury benefits, and even a minor interruption in benefits can put the victim in a tough financial spot. To ensure this doesn’t happen, and that the victim gets the benefits they are entitled to, a lawyer can oversee a case and protect the victim from common claim issues.

WHEN SHOULD A HURT EMPLOYEE CONSIDER HIRING A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ATTORNEY?

There are several obstacles that may stand in the way of a hurt claimant. When any of these situations presents itself, it is time to bring in a lawyer:

  • The employer rejects a claim or there is a delay in 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. 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 it is best to walk into court with expert legal representation.
  • The claimant’s employer retaliates for filing a claim. Although this is not allowed, many employers will get petty and vindictive toward an employee that could cost them money, even if the employer is responsible for injuring the claimant. Firings, demotions, slashed hours, or reduced pay are all common methods of retaliation an employer may use against a claimant; and if they engage in such dishonest tactics, a lawyer will often need to intercede immediately.

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.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION Rights & Responsibilities

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR INJURY AND WORKERS’ COMP

The law guarantees workers certain rights under the Texas Workers’ Compensation System. You and your employer both have certain responsibilities related to workers’ compensation claims. To help you with your claim, there are a few key things you should know about workers’ compensation laws in Texas. Let’s start with your rights as a worker…

YOUR RIGHTS:

By law, you are entitled to the following under the Texas Workers’ Compensation System:

  • 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.
  • You have the right to receive medical attention from the doctor of your choice, either in the healthcare network or from an approved list. There are no time restraints on when you can seek medical attention, but the sooner you go, the quicker you can document your injuries.
  • You may choose to keep your workers’ compensation claim confidential.
  • You may get assistance from a local ombudsman.
  • You can hire a lawyer to help you with your case. Contact our team at (713) 973-8888.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers are strongly encouraged – but not legally required – to carry liability insurance coverage in the event an employee receives a work-related injury or illness. If they “opt-in,” they must notify their employees when hired and post notices of coverage in a prominent place within their workplace. Employers must report any employee injuries or work-related illness within eight days of occurrence to the Texas Department of Insurance and provide a copy of that report to the injured worker. They must report any changes in an injured employee’s pay or employment status to their insurance carrier. 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.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES

As an injured employee, you also have responsibilities, such as:

  • You must report your accident or illness to your employer within 30 days of your its occurrence, though you should tell your supervisor immediately after your injury happens.
  • You should visit a doctor and explain how your injuries or illness occurred, noting that your accident is work-related.
  • If you’re in a workers’ compensation healthcare network, you should file a claim form with the Division of Workers’ Compensation within one year of your accident, with all of your up-to-date contact information and work status.

At any point after suffering a workplace injury, you are free to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer, and your attorney can then help you with the process. Let’s look more closely at each of the above responsibilities.

First, tell your employer immediately. Include how, where, and when the injury occurred and seek immediate medical treatment. You must then formally report your injury – in writing – to your employer within 30 days from the date of the injury (or the date you knew your injury or illness was related to your job). 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 within your one-year window from the date of injury.

If you need help handling your work comp claim, contact Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law. We are here to make sure you aren’t taken advantage of by your employer. To discuss your case in a free, no-obligation case evaluation, contact our workers’ comp lawyers in Houston by calling (713) 973-8888 or filling out our online contact form.

If You’ve Been Hurt on the Job, You’re Not Alone

The statistics paint a picture of the dangers Texas workers are facing. We look at the numbers and the types of disability workers experience.

When you’re dealing with the fallout of a serious workplace injury, you might feel like you are totally alone in your experiences. It can be helpful to understand that people suffer serious on-the-job injuries every day in Texas. Workers’ compensation laws were enacted to ensure that injured workers are given benefits to cover the costs they are facing. The benefits a worker receives depends on the extent of his or her injuries. Let’s look at the statistics and examine the types of disability classifications used in workers’ compensation claims.

Have you suffered an injury on the job?

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.

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 nonsubscriber 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.

Work Injury Statistics

In 2017, 534 Texans died from an on-the job injury. Approximately 2.3 of every 100 Texas private sector workers suffered a non-fatal on-the-job injury in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) – noticeably fewer than the national private sector figure of 2.9/100 in 2018.

Workers sacrifice a lot for their jobs. They give their time and effort. They often travel long distances to get to work. Unfortunately, many also give their lives. On an average day, 13 workers die on the job in the United States.

Some industries – and some states – are more dangerous than others when it comes to workplace safety. Texas has long been known to have high rates of injury and death among workers, a fact that is especially true in sectors such as construction and oil and gas extraction.

To learn more about this topic, we’d suggest checking out this injured employee resource provided by the Texas Department of Insurance, along with the legislative amendments of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act.

Types of Disability

The benefits you will receive after an on-the-job injury are determined by the extent of your injury. There are four types of benefits that an injured worker might expect. Though the specifics of your benefits will be contingent on your income, knowing the distinctions might give you a clearer picture of the compensation you are entitled to.

We refer to the corresponding income benefits for each disability.

  • 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.
  • Temporary Income Benefits (TIBs) cease when your doctor returns you back to full duty, or states you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) or, if neither happens, approximately two years after your injury.
  • 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 benefits lawyer immediately.

We understand that these classifications might seem like a lot to take in. 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 calling Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law at (713) 973-8888 to schedule a free initial assessment.

Types of Workers’ Comp Claims and Qualifications

Many workers don’t realize just how much compensation they are entitled to when injured at work. An injury has many consequences and costs. Many of these costs are covered by workers’ compensation benefits. For example, you are not entitled just to a portion of your income while you recover for your injuries – you are also entitled to healthcare, which means that your employer’s insurance company should pay your medical costs directly. There are also available benefits to surviving family members in the event of a worker’s death.

According to Texas Workers’ Compensation law, there are four types of benefits:

  1. Medical – Pays all medical bills directly to the treating physician/clinic/hospital
  2. Income – Replaces a portion of an injured employee’s lost wages due to a work-related injury
  3. Death – Provides compensation to workers’ families due to work-related death or illness
  4. Burial – Reimburses the worker’s estate/family for a portion of their burial costs.

As you can see, the benefits a worker is entitled to depends on the nature of their injury. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits you deserve, don’t hesitate to contact a Houston workers’ compensation lawyer. Call Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law today at (713) 973-8888 or simply fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation with our team.

Understanding Common Workplace Injuries

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. Of course, certain types of injuries are more common than others, and certain types of jobs are more dangerous than others. In this section, we’ll explore some of the most common injuries and job types that worker comp attorneys encounter.

Causes of injuries that lead to workers’ compensation claims:

  • Transportation-related accidents (on-the-job motor vehicle accidents) Falls, slips, and trips
  • Overexertion
  • 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, so 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.

No job type is without risks. Office workers can suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. Store workers can be injured while lifting a heavy object. No matter what your injury is, you should always consider your legal options to get the benefits you’re entitled to.

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.

WILL I HAVE TO PROVIDE INFORMATION FOR MY CASE?
You should report your injury or illness to your employer immediately following your accident. Initially, you can simply tell your supervisor about your injury, but you should provide a written notice of the injury to your employer within 30 days of the injury’s occurrence. You will need to provide both your employer and the doctor with details of how the accident occurred. It is also helpful to keep records of your time spent away from work, your medical appointments and medications, and your report and claim numbers. To learn more about filing a workers’ compensation claim, contact our team at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law at (713) 973-8888 or fill out a free initial consultation form.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY EMPLOYER DOESN’T HAVE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE?
You can’t receive workers’ compensation benefits from nonsubscribers—that is, employers who choose not to have workers’ compensation insurance. Around one-third of our state’s companies either go without any insurance completely or buy cheaper, “non-approved” benefit plans. However, you still may be entitled to compensation for your injuries if the court determines that your employer is responsible for your accident. There are also other ways for injured workers to get compensation, even if their employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance. To learn more about workers’ compensation insurance and nonsubscribers, contact Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law at (713) 973-8888 or fill out a free initial consultation form.
WHAT IF MY EMPLOYER FIRES ME BECAUSE I FILE FOR WORKERS’ COMPENSATION?
It’s illegal for your employer to fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. If you have been laid off from work and you feel it’s in relation to your claim, give us a call at (713) 973-8888 or fill out a FREE initial consultation form now. We will hold your employer accountable for their actions.
ARE THERE PENALTIES FOR WITHHOLDING INFORMATION?
Yes. By law, you can’t knowingly withhold information or intentionally lie about details of your claim to receive benefits. This could be considered fraud, which is a crime in Texas. It’s important to note that workers’ compensation is a no-fault program, so even if you might have contributed to your own injury, you could still be entitled to benefits.
CAN I FILE A CLAIM FOR EMOTIONAL OR MENTAL STRESS?
No. For workers’ compensation claims, there are four types of benefits you can receive: income benefits, medical benefits, death benefits, and burial benefits. However, if you eventually decide to take legal action beyond a workers’ compensation claim, such as a third-party liability claim, you might include your emotional or mental suffering in that claim.
HOW IS COMPENSATION CALCULATED?
Medical treatment for a work-related injury is covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance and goes directly to the medical provider. Only costs pertaining to on-the-job injuries or illnesses are covered. Your lost wages are calculated by your average weekly wage. To learn more about workers’ compensation benefits, contact Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law at (713) 973-8888 or fill out a free initial consultation form.
I WAS DENIED COMPENSATION. CAN I APPEAL MY CLAIM?
Yes. You can appeal your claim through the Texas Department of Insurance’s Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDI-DWC), and you may hire a lawyer to help you with your appeal. To learn more, read about workers’ compensation appeals or fill out a free initial consultation form to find out whether you have a case.
CAN I COLLECT SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS AND WORKERS’ COMPENSATION?
If your work-related injury or illness is expected to last longer than a year or result in death, you may be qualified for Social Security Disability (SSDI or SSI) benefits. At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we have a team of professionals who are qualified to handle both workers’ compensation and Social Security claims and will fight for the benefits you need. To learn more about filing for workers’ compensation or Social Security, contact Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law at (713) 973-8888 or fill out a free initial consultation form.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WORKERS’ COMPENSATION AND MARITIME BENEFITS?
Maritime injuries are not covered by regular workers’ compensation laws due to jurisdiction issues. The Merchant Marine Act (Jones Act) and Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) were created to protect workers in the nautical industry. To learn more about our workers’ compensation lawyers and maritime benefits, contact Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law at (713) 973-8888 or fill out a free initial consultation form.

FILING A Workers’ Compensation Claim

Understanding the Workers’ Compensation Claim Process

Knowing how to approach these claims might help alleviate some of the anxiety you feel when filing your claim.

The process of filing for workers’ compensation benefits can be complicated and intimidating for workers. When you work with a skilled, experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, you won’t need to worry about the more complicated aspects of filing a claim. However, for many workers, simply knowing more about how these claims unfold can demystify the process and make you more confident in your claim.

When it Comes to Work Comp, Texas is Different

Texas is one of the very few states in which employers are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Private employers have the option to either carry workers’ comp coverage or post a bond (approved by the Texas Department of Insurance’s Division of Workers’ Compensation) to reimburse injured employees. If your employer has workers’ comp coverage, you must go through that process to be compensated for your injury.

The Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation has an online database that confirms that your employer has acceptable coverage. It will tell you whether your employer has a commercial policy through an insurance company or is self-insured. If your employer is self-insured and you encounter any problems with being compensated, contact an experienced work injury attorney immediately!

Determining Your Eligibility

There are two requirements you must meet before you apply for workers’ compensation benefits. Your employer must be covered in either manner outlined above, and you must have suffered an illness or injury that’s job-related. If your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance and you are injured at work, you should file a claim. You are eligible for benefits from the very first day on the job.

Getting Medical Treatment

When you’ve been injured on the job, even if the accident was your fault, you must report your injury or illness to your employer within 30 days. 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.

After reporting your injury or illness, your employer should either tell you how to get medical care or, if self-insured (and if you do not need emergency treatment), may make arrangements for you. If your employer provides medical treatment through a workers’ comp healthcare network, you can choose a doctor in that network. But if you are allowed to pick your own doctor, make certain that he or she is willing to treat workers’ comp injuries. When you arrive for that first visit, it is vital that you tell the doctor you were injured at work.

Knowing the Benefits You Deserve

  • Medical Treatment – You may receive full compensation to cover your medical expenses and treatment, but only for work-related injuries. The benefits are paid directly to the medical provider by whoever is covering those costs.
  • Lost Wages – You may receive a portion of your lost wages through workers’ compensation income benefits. They are calculated by your average weekly wage (AWW), which is based on your average earnings for the prior 13 weeks if you’re a full-time employee.

What to do When There are Benefit Disputes

If the insurance company denies your claim, you can challenge the ruling through the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation. If you fail there, you can then request a workers’ comp hearing before a workers’ comp administrative judge. Because the workers’ comp dispute and hearing processes both follow complex procedural rules, you are best served by hiring an experienced workers’ comp lawyer to help win your dispute or subsequent hearing.

Supplementing Your Workers’ Comp Claim

If your work-related injury or illness keeps you from being able to return to work or forces you to adjust to new and different duties for a year or more, you may qualify for Social Security (SSDI or SSI) benefits.

The amount you can receive depends on how much money you made when you worked, whether you are receiving workers’ compensation, and how much. Benefits can range from $300 to around $2,000 per month. They are calculated by the Social Security Administration, based on your income, your contributions to Social Security and, again, whether or not you are receiving workers’ comp.

Filing Workers’ Comp Lawsuits

If your employer is a nonsubscriber and doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance, you may sue your employer for compensation for your injuries. Also, 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. And if a third party had any involvement in causing your work injury, you can bring a lawsuit directly against them as well.

Seasoned work injury lawyers have experience in all three types of work injury-related lawsuits and can be a valuable asset in helping you recover the full amount of compensation you may be due.

When Workers’ Compensation Doesn’t Apply, You Still Have Options

Workers may be ineligible for work comp benefits for many different reasons. If this has happened to you, you should know that being ineligible is not the end of the road. You likely have another path to compensation.

You’ve Been Misclassified

Sometimes a worker discovers that they are not entitled to benefits, either because their employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance or because they are misclassified as an independent contractor. In these cases, a worker can file a personal injury claim against their employer or a third party to receive payment.

You Employer Doesn’t Carry Work Comp Insurance

Texas is the only state in the nation that allows employers to opt out of workers’ compensation insurance and leave their employees without coverage. While this puts many workers at a disadvantage after a workplace injury, it opens that employer to legal action like personal injury claims. The important thing for injured workers to know is that there are several different legal options to potentially consider.

Another Party Was Responsible for Your Injury

If a third party was responsible, even partially, for the injuries you’ve suffered, you should 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 or a negligent property owner. In these cases, the amount of compensation the injured worker is eligible to receive is far greater than workers’ compensation benefits.

You shouldn’t lose hope if your workers’ comp claim was denied. The Texas Department of Insurance’s Division of Workers’ Compensation allows workers to dispute claims decisions for another chance at getting benefits. Check out our Workers’ Compensation Appeals page to learn about what steps to take to dispute your claim and find out how Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law can help.

Workers’ Compensation Appeals

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.
We encourage you to fill out a FREE initial consultation form today and talk to our Houston workers’ compensation lawyers about your accident.

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), including a benefit review conference, an arbitration or contested case hearing, and 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:

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:

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.

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, we are dedicated to getting you the benefits you need. Give us a call at (713) 973-8888.

Texas Workers’ Compensation Laws

Workers in the U.S. are guaranteed the right to a safe workplace. When a worker is injured on the job, employers are supposed to provide them benefits through workers’ compensation claims. The workers’ compensation laws in Texas are very different from those of other states. While some critics of our state’s laws believe that these laws put workers at a disadvantage, workers still have the right to pursue compensation for the costs of their injuries.

Texas Law

Workers’ compensation is an insurance program designed to help employees pay for their medical bills and replace part of their lost wages after being injured on the job. Each state regulates its own programs. By Texas laws, you may qualify for benefits if:

  • you are injured at work or have suffered a work-related illness, and
  • your employer has workers’ compensation insurance under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act.

As a worker whose employer does have insurance under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act, you may qualify for a portion of lost wages if your work-related injury or illness causes you to lose some or all of your wages for more than seven workdays. Employees still have rights even if their employers don’t subscribe to workers’ compensation insurance.

Contact Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

If you were injured on the job, contact the Houston workers’ compensation lawyers at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law. Our firm is led by a Board Certified* attorney and former judge Terry Bryant (*in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization). The lawyers at Terry Bryant have more than 100 years of combined experience. Fill out a FREE initial consultation form now or call (713) 973-8888.

What Should Employees Know About Workers’ Compensation Claims?

In a perfect world, there would be no disputes between workers and their employers. All work-related injuries would be covered, and no questions would be asked. Unfortunately, workers are often given the short end of the stick. Here are a few key things you should know about workers’ compensation claims in Texas.

Employee safety should always be a concern for every business, but even at the safest companies, worker’s compensation or non-subscriber claims are inevitable. However, if an employer has effective safety measures in place, they will greatly reduce the risk of serious on-the-job injuries. It’s these companies that potential employees should focus on, because being hurt on the job can be a disaster, both medically and financially. In a perfect world, people would be able to prioritize prospective employers by something akin to a safety rating.

At companies who make safety a priority, you should expect that before a new hire begins their first day on the job, they should be briefed on all safety standards, and these standards should be provided in writing so there is no mistaking them. If an employee is hurt, an accident report should be produced immediately, and it should coincide with the employee’s account.

It’s also important to remember that worker’s compensation claims can be complicated in Texas. That’s because Texas allows companies to opt out of state compensation programs if they choose to do so. However, opting out means they give away their protection from negligence lawsuits, so if an employee is hurt on the job, and their employer does not provide assistance, the employee may file a legal action for negligence.

This can be an alternative to guaranteed assistance, which may provide only a small portion of what an employee needs. But it does come with more risk. Whether that risk is worth it is something potential employees will have to consider before choosing a job.

If you’re an injured worker, it’s understandable that you might feel as though the odds are against you. Workers aren’t always given the respect and fair treatment they deserve. At the very least, these workers should be given compensation when they suffer injuries on the job.

Contact Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

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 a Board Certified* attorney and a former judge (*in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization). 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 giving us a call at (713) 973-8888.

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