How a Workers' Compensation Injury Claim Works
An Overview of Workers' Compensation in Texas and How to File a Workers' Comp Injury Claim
This article is about workers' compensation subscriber claims. In Texas, your employer is not always a subscriber of workers' comp. Follow this link to see the differences between these types of claims.
Workers' compensation is a system where an injured person can be compensated for the injuries that they suffered on the job. Workers' compensation laws are governed by the Workers' Compensation Act. The laws of workers' compensation are very business friendly and typically do not work in favor of the injured worker.
How Does Workers' Compensation Work?
When you are injured on the job, you as the employee will go to your company's human resources department and inform them that you have been hurt. Then human resources will have you complete a number of forms, explaining what happened and that you want to file for workers' compensation. Once this is completed, then you will be instructed to visit the company doctor. Note that you have a limited number of days after your injury to visit the company doctor. The company doctor will then proceed to give you an examination and will confirm that the injuries you suffered were work related. After your visit to the company doctor, you will then fill out additional forms that will be processed in order for you to receive workers' compensation benefits. This could take a few weeks and during this time you are likely to be sitting at home injured and out of work.
Who Administers Workers' Compensation
Workers' compensation is driven by private insurance companies. The insurance companies administer the claims and oversee the process. They are representatives for themselves and for your employer. Workers' compensation claims fall under administrative law procedures and in administrative law, there is not a jury to decide your case.
Hiring a competent and educated attorney in the Dallas area who understands workers' compensation claims will afford you with the best legal representation available.
Compensation From Workers' Compensation
According to the workers' compensation laws in Texas you as the employee can be awarded up to 70% of your wages. This award may not exceed approximately $700 a week and will commence the first full week you are out of work. This means that if you received a paycheck every week and you brought home $2000, then with workers' compensation you will only receive $700.
You can also receive other benefits from workers' compensation, such as medical treatment.
Setbacks From Workers' Compensation
If you are out of work for a considerable amount of time then you may be forced to go back to work by your employer before you are fully healed which can cause additional injuries to occur or worsen your original injury.
The company doctor will ultimately determine your recovery through a process called Maximum Medical Improvement or MMI. MMI is an evaluation where it allows the doctor to let the employer know the point in time that the injury has improved or is going to improve. Once this is determined, an impairment rating is calculated which will indicate the amount of lump sum benefits, if any, you will receive.
There are no settlements in workers' compensation claims and only a small amount is usually awarded even if you are permanently disabled. The way this amount is calculated is that the company doctor will perform an evaluation and determine how deficient you are. For example, if as a result of your injuries you will forever walk with a limp you will clearly never recover 100%. Your doctor may calculate that you have recovered up to 95% of your original condition. Therefore, he/she will conclude that you are 5% deficient. For each percentage point of deficiency, you will be awarded three weeks pay at the reduced amount of 70% of your normal wages not to exceed approximately $700 a week. So, let's assume that you make $400 a week normally and you are found to be 5% deficient, the lump sum payment that you will receive will be $4200 ($400 x .70 x 3 x 5 = $4200).
As you can see, the benefits paid out in a workers' compensation are fairly insignificant. Because of this, you will greatly benefit from having an experienced Dallas workers' compensation attorney who can dispute the doctor's findings and therefore argue that you should be issued a more significant deficiency rating.
Do not handle this matter yourself. Without the resources of an experienced Dallas attorney, you might not receive the appropriate compensation that you deserve, nor will you be able to determine what the best solutions are for you.
A skilled attorney will be able to fight for your rights and provide you with the adequate compensation that you deserve. Contact Grossman Law Offices at 1-855-326-0000 for a free consultation any time, day or night.
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