A personal injury lawyer, in this case, a workers comp lawyer, specializes in assisting workers who need help receiving workers compensation insurance from work related incidents occurred while working on the job. The work injury attorney begins by looking at the workers compensation policies and then checks to see if there’s a conflict between the employee and the employer, in this case, the attorney will negotiate with the workers comp insurance companies to ensure that a fair workers comp settlement is agreed upon. A workers compensation lawyer is also referred as an employment attorney, injury lawyer, or accident attorney.
In Fort Bend, some of the best and biggest law firms can only have one or two personal injury lawyers that specialize in workers compensation insurance claims and personal injuries. A workers comp lawyer can also be a car accident lawyer and represent victims of sustained injuries in automobile accidents.
Back to workers’ injuries.
While the worker is seeking medical treatment for their injuries and in the state of recovery, a workers’ compensation attorney can help you figure out if you may receive benefits from a workers’ comp insurance claim. In the most difficult claims, a workers compensation board may be called in to help settle the claim.
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that most employers are required to provide for their workers in Texas. Workers’ employment lawyers are well trained in workers comp insurance and can help employees get reasonable and fair workers comp settlements.
The Rights of Injured Workers To Have Workmans Comp Insurance
In Texas, someone who has been in a work related accident and has sustained an injury, has certain rights according to the Texas workers’ compensation system. These are the rights as follows:
1. The right that at any time during the workers’ comp claims process, the injured worker can be assisted by a workers’ comp attorney;
2. The right to get aid from the Office of Injured Employee Counsel if the injured worker has not already had a workers comp lawyer;
3. If one is eligible and notwithstanding of fault, the injured worker may have the ability to gain financial and medical benefits through workers’ compensation (limited exceptions), and any surviving family members, have to option and right to burial benefits if the eligible injured employee were to pass way due to the work related injury.
4. The right to medical treatment for the workplace injury or illness for as long as the treatment is required;
5. The right to recover compensation benefits for the work related accident or sickness;
6. The right to disagree resolution regard claim in concern to death or income benefits.
7. The right to choose a treating medical physician within the Workers’ Compensation Health Care Network; and
8. The right to make sure that all of the workers’ compensation claim information kept private and confidential.
The Responsibilities of Injured Workers
Under the laws of workers compensation in Texas, injured employees have some responsibilities. The workers compensation law in Texas says that a worker who wants to be eligible for workers’ comp benefits, they must fulfill the following responsibilities:
1. The responsibility of reporting your work-related sickness or accident injury to your boss within 30 days of the sickness or injury;
2. The responsibility of finding out if the employee is a part of the Workers’ Compensation Health Care Network;
3. The responsibility of determining how to get medical care if the employee belongs to a political subdivision, which can be work for a school district, a city, or a county;
4. The responsibility of talking to the medical physician about the injury or sickness and whether it is related to work;
5. The responsibility of carrying out and presenting an Employee’s Claim for Compensation for a Work-Related Injury or Occupational Claim Form to the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation;
6. The responsibility of providing up-to-date contact information to the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation;
7. The responsibility of contacting the workers’ compensation insurance provider and the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation if the injured employee’s status changes;
8. If the employee that has been injured has passed away due to a work-related injury or sickness, the rest of the family members have the responsibility to complete and submit a Beneficiary Claim for Death Benefits to the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation within one year from the death of the worker; and
9. The responsibility of not creating a fraudulent or frivolous claim.
Types of Workmans Comp Insurance Benefits
Workers’ compensation is available in four different types of benefits in Texas:
- Medical Benefits. Medical benefits allow injured workers to be able to pay for their medical care needed to treat the work-related injury or sickness. Some restrictions are designed when obtaining medical benefits, which include gaining medical treatment under the workers’ compensation insurance provider’s service facility or you may have to choose a doctor from a list of prescribed network care providers (if however, the worker needs immediate treatment with a life threatening injury or illness, the work can go to an emergency care hospital.)
- Income Benefits. In Texas, workers with a work-related injury are eligible for four different kinds of “income” benefits.
- Temporary Income Benefits (TIBs). Temporary income benefits are compensated in the case that a worker has missed seven days or more of work due to a work related injury or ailment. Once an employee has missed eight days of work, they may be eligible for temporary income benefits. The total amount paid for TIBs is 70 percent of the entire difference between the worker’s typical weekly wage, as well as, any wages that the injured worker could be able to earn after their work related accident. Benefits can be paid in the event that the worker has returned to work, but this is shown in a modified position that would accommodate their injury. In the case that the employee has received a reduced pay while in a modified position, TIBs can continue. Typically, TIBs will cease after 104 weeks of payment, or once the injured employee has reached their maximum amount of medical improvement, determined by the workers’ health care provider. Another way to think about it, is that TIBs are wage replacement benefits.
- Impairment Income Benefits (IIBs). Injured employees can also receive impairment income benefits in Texas when the workers have suffered a permanent impairment as an effect from their work-related injury. Once the injured employee has reached their maximum amount of medical improvement, or that the best level of recovery that is possible, a health care provider can ascribe the injured employee an impairment rating. The employee’s impairment rating is used to determine their eligibility for IIBs. Three weeks of IIB remunerations are paid based on the percentage of the employee’s impairment rating. IIBs are paid under the following two options: Having 70 percentage of the worker’s weekly wage or the state average weekly wage (while the state wage acts at the cap on IIBs.)
- Supplemental Income Benefits (SIBs). In some cases, a worker with an impairment rating of 15% or more, did not go back to work because of the impairment, went back, but couldn’t make any more than 80% of their pre-work injury average payment, is looking for work, and did not receive the IIBs in a lump sum type of payment, the injured worker may be capable of gaining supplemental income benefits. An SIB will compensate 80% of the total difference between the employee’s pre-injury average weekly wage and the employee’s post-injury average weekly wage. SIBs have to be reapplied for every quarter after the IIB has been terminated, and they are paid on a monthly basis. SIBs then end after 401 weeks (about 7 and a half years) after the worker sustained the injury.
- Lifetime Income Benefits (LIBs). Sometimes injuries could enable to injured worker to gain lifetime income benefits. For example:
- Losing both feet or losing both hands, or the combination of any two;
- A combination of paralysis between two limbs;
- The worker becomes mentally disabled or insane, due to a traumatic brain injury; or
- In the event that there are third degree burns covering 40% of your body, requiring grafting, or if they cover both hands or a hand and the face.
For LIBs, one of the above injuries could make an injured worker eligible. Within 75 percent of an injured employee’s weekly salary, LIBs are paid with the weekly salary giving the opportunity of a 3% raise, or increase, each year. A written request must be made with the workers’ comp insurance carrier, in order to apply for LIBs.
Can I Choose My Own Doctor?
In Texas, in order for the employee to obtain workers compensation benefits, a wounded worker must select a medical professional so that they may get a medical examination to decide on the eligibility of the worker and whether they can get workers’ compensation benefits. The medical specialist must be designated by the Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation. By and large, bosses have data for harmed specialists on the best way to discover an assigned specialist inside the business’ laborers’ pay protection supplier’s medicinal services system. Injured employees can ask for this info from their employers.
Once the injured worker is in contact with a treating expert, they will have the ability to lead the injured worker to other in-system specialists or authorities as required. In certain cases an employer may not have a care provider obligation, so the injured worker has to find a designated doctor. During these times, the best place to search for a doctor, is the employee’s normal health care provider. If the employee’s normal health care provider works with employee’s compensation patients, then the normal health care provider should be adequate. If this is not the case, the worker can talk to their normal health care provider for a recommendation.
When all else tends to fail, a workers’ compensation chosen doctor can be found on the internet or the telephone directory. In emergency case situations, an injured laborer may look for emergency care from any doctor or hospital. After any initial trauma or life-threatening risks are lessened, the injured employee must find and go to a designated workers’ comp treating medical physician for any other treatment of the work-related injury or illness. Once you have had an emergency medical and urgent follow up, then you should locate services from a work related injury attorney.
You should wait before you talk to a Fort Bend personal injury attorney or workers comp lawyer, because of these two reasons. Firstly, you shouldn’t waste time getting medical treatment from a professional. The second may not be as obvious.
If you wait at all to see what the doctors will say about your injury and wait to see what types of bills are necessary, before you contact a list of workers compensation lawyers, you will have more information to give to them before interviewing a workers compensation lawyer. You will be able to use this info to make a better and stronger case for yourself.
Regarding a Workers’ Compensation Case What Is The Responsibility Of A Designated Doctor?
Adding to a workers’ comp attorney defending your workers’ compensation claim, a designated doctor is brought in to perform a medical exam and provide you with a recommendation about the work-related condition. Also, a designated doctor may be required to help out in regards to resolving a dispute concerning a work related accident.
As well as, the designated doctor might be called on to:
- Consolidate and look through medical records or information related to the work-related accident or sickness
- Execute exams, scans, tests, etc., as per necessity to fully assess the work-related injury
- Assess if and when the worker who has been injured has obtained their maximum amount of medical improvement
- Additionally, once the maximum medical improvement is reached, assigning an impairment rating; and
- Produce and submit a complete medical evaluation report for the injured laborer to the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation and insurance provide within a seven day period of the medical exam, including a narrative report and any additional documentation that may concern the injured laborer’s impairment rating.
Going Back to Work After An Injury Workers Compensation Forms
The best situation is for an injured employee to receive full workers’ comp benefits for their work-related injury or ailment until they are ready and well-enough to go back to work. This ensures that that worker is productive and engaged in their work, and also reduces any costs associated with the worker’s injury and time out of the workplace. Sometimes, there is pressure from the manager to return to work earlier than recommended by the doctor, this sounds odd, but Houston attorneys, have had to interfere with disputes between employees and employers, so that the employee can rest and allow the appropriate time to recover. After re-cooperating from a work-related injury or sickness, a laborer can then return to work.
The worker does not have to fully recovered in able to return to work. If the worker is close to being recovered and wants to go back to work early, they should discuss this possibility with their designated doctor and manager. Before going back to the workplace, the employee should understand any kind of instructions related to returning back to work and the proper workers comp form. ”Fine print” is a must for the employee to read.
It’s also imperative to check with the workers compensation lawyer that took on the case and to make sure that the employee is not in danger of losing his workers compensation insurance due to agreeing to accept a temporary position offered by the manager for the injured worker. There typically is at least some degree of workers’ compensation available until the laborer has made a full recovery. In some cases, bosses will have a Return to Work Program which are designed to help injured workers in their return to work by providing them with short-term assignments or modifications to their original job tasks to help them in their time of recovery. The basis behind programs such as this, is that having some amount of work, is better than no work, and this allows the worker to get back into their job while still being productive, stability and having normalcy.
After the worker has returned to work, if they are working in some sort of limited capacity, their workers comp benefits can then be suspended or reduced. A worker’s benefits can be lost only dependent of the eligibility in the first place, as well as, the wage difference between their original wage and the post-injury wage.