If you get injured and can’t work in Texas, you have several options, depending on your circumstances. For injuries that happen on the job, both Texas law and federal laws state that workers have the right to a safe work environment, and the OSHA provides many regulations to help ensure safety. Employers do not always abide by these regulations, however, and even when they do, accidents happen that cause serious injuries or death.
Most workers injured on the job are protected by workers’ compensation, an insurance program managed by the state. However, Texas law allows employers to choose to opt out of the workers’ comp system. If your employer provides workers’ comp, you may try to collect benefits under that insurance system. If your employer has decided to opt out, you have the right to sue the employer under personal injury law if an accident occurs.
Whether or not workers’ comp is involved, if you or a loved one has been injured and can’t work, you should get legal advice as soon as possible. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Terry Bryant Accident and Injury Law can keep you from making costly mistakes and help you get the benefits you are entitled to. If you are covered under workers’ comp, our work injury lawyers in Houston can ensure that everything is filed correctly and that you receive the benefits you deserve, and can appeal your case if denied. If your employer does not provide workers’ comp, we will pursue maximum compensation for you in a personal injury lawsuit.
Are you worried about what happens if you get injured and can’t work? We provide a free, no-obligation consultation to examine the facts of your individual situation and show you how we can help. Call the accident and injury law office of Terry Bryant today at (713) 973-8888.
What Happens if You Get Injured and Can’t Work?
If you are injured on the job and are unable to work, your options depend on several factors and what category of worker you fit in. These include:
1. Covered by Workers’ Compensation
The Texas Workers Compensation Act protects workers injured on the job. If your employer participates in the system and you put in a successful claim, you may receive benefits for things such as:
- Medical bills
- Income benefit to supplement lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Death benefits for surviving family.
However, if your employer provides workers’ compensation coverage, you are not allowed to sue for injuries you receive, even if the employer was negligent. Also, you will not be able to receive unemployment benefits unless the workers’ compensation benefits are for “permanent, partial disability,” and this would allow your employer to question your medical ability to work.
Chapter 451 of the workers’ compensation law prohibits discrimination or retaliatory action against employees who have filed workers’ compensation claims, or you can sue for a labor law violation.
2. Employer Does Not Have Workers’ Comp
If your employer is a non-subscriber who has opted out of workers’ compensation coverage, you may sue and seek compensation for your injuries through the court system. Employers who opt out are particularly vulnerable because they cannot use defenses available in most personal injury lawsuits, such as contributory negligence and co-worker negligence.
3. Independent Contractor
Independent contractors are not considered to be employees and are not covered by workers’ comp. Still, an employer can be found liable for damages in a personal injury lawsuit in situations such as when …
- The incident occurred on company property.
- The contractor was working on a project for the business.
- The employer was negligent and did not take reasonable care to prevent avoidable foreseeable harm.
Were You Injured On the Job and Can’t Work?
If you were injured on the job and can’t work, you have legal options to get compensated even if you are not covered by workers’ comp. Employers owe their employees a “duty of care” to provide a safe work environment. If employers fail in this duty and this causes you to suffer damages and be unable to work, you have several legal paths that include:
- Misclassification Claims – If you are classified as an independent contractor, but are really an employee, you may put in a legal claim and be awarded workers’ compensation.
- Third-party Liability Claims – If you are injured due to the negligence of a third party, such as the manufacturer of a faulty product, you can sue that party for damages.
- Personal Injury Claims – Workers and independent contractors not covered by workers’ compensation programs can sue the employer or other at-fault party in a personal injury lawsuit.
At Terry Bryant Accident and Injury Law, no matter what your situation, we will fight to get optimum compensation for you and your family. Call (713) 973-8888 today.
I Can’t Work Because of My Injury
What Compensation Can I Receive?
The amount of payment you may receive depends on several factors, including the type of injuries you sustained, the long-term effects of the injuries, and the expenses you have because of them. A minor injury, such as a broken arm, might mean being out of work for months, and could cost a few thousand dollars. A permanently disabling injury that requires continuing care, such as a traumatic brain injury or broken neck or spine, could cost millions of dollars in medical bills and lost income.
In a Texas personal injury lawsuit, you may receive compensation for:
- Economic, or Special Damages, that cover the cost of your bills for medical care, lost income, and other calculable expenses
- Non-economic, or General Damages, that compensate for losses that do not have a specific dollar value but negatively affect your life, such as pain and suffering
- Punitive damages, for rare situations where the injury was caused by actions that were wantonly reckless and negligent.
Call Our Houston Work Injury Lawyers for Help
At the accident and injury law office of Terry Bryant we can help you get compensation for your work injury by:
- Determining how much you should be entitled to by reviewing all relevant facts, interviewing witnesses, and gathering evidence
- Handling dealings and negotiations with insurance companies
- Consulting with world experts and building the strongest case possible to prepare your case for trial, if necessary.
We cater our services to meet your specific, individual needs. You pay nothing unless and until we win compensation for you.
Contact the accident and injury law office of Terry Bryant for a free case evaluation with a work injury lawyer in Houston.
Call us today at (713) 973-8888 to get started.