Around 1.5 million people who form part of Houston’s population are employed. All Texas employers are required to provide their employees with safe work environments. Unfortunately, though, workplace accidents do happen.
Lawsuits stemming from the injuries that result from these mishaps typically involve workers’ compensation claims. An experienced Houston personal injury lawyer can educate, help you file and win your worker’s compensation claim.
Right to File a Personal Injury Claim with Your Employer’s Insurance Company
Houston employers must submit an employer report of injury forms within 72 hours since they become aware of their worker’s injury.
After you file a claim with the insurance company, the company has five days to notify you in writing of any decision denying your claim or any part of your claim.
The insurer must also include in this letter a clear explanation for such denial, along with information on how you can dispute that decision.
A Medical Exam with a Doctor of Your Choice is Required
When you first report your injury, the company’s insurance adjuster is required to provide you with a list of doctors in your area who the insurer has approved.
You can go to whichever doctor you choose, and the company will still be responsible only for paying that doctor directly for their services.
Workers Compensation in Houston is an Insurance Program Managed by the State
The insurance company pays for all approved medical care related to your injuries, including transportation if needed, which means that you could get an ambulance ride to the specialist.
This rule related to approval does not apply if there is an emergency and you need immediate medical attention.
If Your Claim Results in a Lawsuit against a Third Party, You will Receive a Notice about the Lawsuit
That means, if the injury results in you filing a third-party claim against someone else, such as your employer’s supplier or another worker, your employer must give you the name of the defendant and their insurance company.
You will also receive a formal notification from the insurance company when any settlement offer is made to resolve this type of claim.
If an Accident Causes Permanent Disability or Disfigurement, it May Be Necessary for You to Attend a Deposition Hearing in Houston
You are entitled to around 70% of your average weekly wages before the injury if you sustained a permanent disability in Houston, TX. Your attorney and one other person designated by the insurance company can participate in these hearings along with yourself.
This meeting takes place when either party wishes to question anyone who has factual knowledge about an issue related to your injury that could help prove that another party was at fault.
This requirement only applies to injuries that have been deemed, by a doctor, to result in permanent disability or disfigurement.
You May Receive a Settlement Offer from the Insurance Company
After the insurer has obtained all relevant information about your injury and its cause, an official will review your case with their claims adjuster and make what is known as a “final” settlement offer.
This settlement cannot be made until 30 days after you’ve submitted all required medical records related to your injury.
It also cannot be less than the total sum of compensation due up to this point plus prejudgment interest on those sums at 8 percent annually from the date they were first owed under Texas law.
Additionally, suppose the personal injury claim is not paid within 20 days after the insurer has received all the needed information. In that case, you are entitled to interest at 12 percent per annum on all amounts due.
You have a Right to Sue Your Employer for Severe Injuries if They Fail to Protect Workers
Cases that involve severe workplace injuries are more complex than standard workplace injury cases; defendants who intentionally neglected their workplace safety duties can be held liable for compensatory damages (lost wages, medical expenses, etc.) plus additional penalties of up to $100,000 or more.
You May Not Receive Compensation if You’re Intoxicated at the Time of Your Injury
Suppose alcohol or drugs contributed to your accident. In that case, Texas law states that you will not be eligible for any compensation, even if those substances were taken voluntarily and within the legal limits established by an official blood or breath test.
It can be challenging to prove intoxication in such cases because it is up to the injured party to provide evidence of their frame of mind when the event occurred.
Contact a Houston personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. If you feel that the insurance company is taking too long to process your claim, discuss your legal options about getting your unpaid wages with your attorney.