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Workers’ Compensation FAQs in Fort Bend

Fort Bend TX Workers Compensation FAQs

What is Worker’s Compensation?

In Texas, worker’s compensation is given to injured workers through a state regulated insurance provider, if an employee is injured while working.

Worker’s comp can also cover injured that occur out of the workplace, but only if the worker is on the clock.

Worker’s comp also provides benefits in the case of the development of a work-related illness.

This insurance provides compensation for medical bills and temporary compensation for lost wages.

Worker’s compensation insurance coverage in Texas by Private employers, must be decided upon and the private employer must notify employees about whether they have coverage or not.

Worker’s compensation insurance coverage is not required by employers.

As long as the employee didn’t cause the injury through reckless or deliberate manner, worker’s compensation benefits will be granted.

These are the work-related injuries that are not covered by worker’s compensation:

  • Injuries occur because of the worker’s horseplay.
  • When a worker is acting careless, they are endangering themselves.
  • Therefore, the injuries that have occurred would be the worker’s own fault, due to their own recklessness.
  • Injuries are due to the worker being intoxicated.
  • A laborer in the workplace under the influence of alcohol or drugs could possibly be injured.
  • If the employee was not under the influence of drugs or intoxicated, the injuries that occurred probably wouldn’t have happened.
  • The worker’s negligence is the worker’s fault.
  • The injuries are a result from the worker’s willful criminal actions. If the employee is injured because of their own willful criminal actions, they will not be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits.
  • Injuries are due to the worker having voluntary participation in off-duty recreational activities. In the case that the injuries occurred due to a recreational activity, even if the activities happened on the workplace premise, they are not eligible for worker’s comp, because they are not work related.
  • The injuries are a result from the criminal actions of a third party. Even if the injuries are due to a third party criminal act, the injuries could not be eligible for worker’s comp benefits.

What types of Workers Are Eligible For Worker’s Compensation?

Worker’s compensation in Texas provides multiple benefits to injured workers or their family members.

The benefits include:

  • Medical Benefits. An injured employee has the rights to medical benefits that allow the injured worker to be able to pay any medical expenses that are associates with treatment to the work-related injury.
  • Income Benefits. In the state of Texas, injured employees are eligible for four different types of “income” benefits.
  • Temporary Income Benefits. When an employee has had to miss seven or more days of work, due to a work-related injury, Temporary income benefits are paid. In other words, temporary income benefits are wage replacement benefits.So they are used to help replace an injured employee’s wage.Temporary income benefits are also known as wage replacement benefits.
  • Impairment Income Benefits. In Texas, an injured employee can receive impairment income benefits if the employee has suffered permanent impairment due to their work-related injury.
  • Supplemental Income Benefits. An injured employee may receive supplemental income benefits depending on their impairment rating and by other satisfying qualifying criteria.
  • Lifetime Income Benefits. In some cases, an injury could be so serious that the injured worker could be eligible for lifetime income benefits.
  • Death Benefits. In extreme cases, where the injured employee has passed away as a result of the injury or ailment, the employee’s family may be able to receive death benefits.
  • Burial Benefits. If an individual pays the burial expenses of an injured employee who passed away due to their work-related injury, burial benefits may be available.

Can I Choose My Own Doctor?

As long as the doctor is chosen through the Texas Division of Worker’s Compensation as a licensed worker’s comp medical professional, the injured worker can choose their own doctor.

There is a list of designated doctors typically provided by the injured employee’s boss.

In the case that the employer is not able to supply this list, the injured employee can look for any worker’s compensation designated doctor to give them the proper medical treatment they need for their work-related injury or ailment.

If I Need Help With My Worker’s Compensation Claim, Where Can I Turn?

An injured worker has three main choices when they need help with the Texas worker’s compensation system.

An injured worker can either talk to a worker’s compensation lawyer, contact the Texas Department of Insurance Division of Worker’s Compensation and speak to a staff member, or seek help from the Office of Injured Employee Counsel if the injured individual hasn’t already talked to a worker’s compensation attorney.

No matter the choice, each option is able to provide the injured worker with:

  • A graspable understanding of the worker’s compensation framework
  • Direction on how to navigate and use the Texas worker’s compensation system
  • Answers to any questions that may arise in regards to what a claim is, what a claim dispute is, how to file a claim, or how to handle a claim dispute; and
  • Guidance on what to do after an injured worker’s claim is denied.

Is Worker’s Compensation Claim Information Kept Confidential?

When an injured worker makes a worker’s compensation claim, all of its information is confidential and only those involved with the case are able to access the information.

In regards to the injured worker’s worker’s compensation claim, the injured worker is given the option to designate someone to be authorized to consult with the Texas Division of Worker’s Compensation.

Future employers are able to look up in background checks whether a potential hire has reported any work-related injuries in the past.

A potential employer has the ability to see if a potential hire has reported two work-related injuries in within the past five years.

Is Worker’s Compensation My Only Means of Recovery?

Sometimes, injured worker may need seek compensation from other sources if they have injured themselves at work.

For example, if a third party is responsible for causing a work-related injury or ailment, an injured employee might have to claim a personal injury claim against the liable third party.

In a third person liability lawsuit, an injured employee can look for damages that are beyond compensation for hospital bills and lost income (where the injured employee can recover by filing a worker’s compensation claim), and can look for noneconomic damages for injuries that are difficult to put a financial value on, such as mental anguish, pain and suffering, etc.

Is My Boss Allowed to Treat Me Differently, Discriminate Against Me, or Fire Me?

There are certain legal provisions put in place to protect individuals who have filed worker’s compensation, to be discriminated against, however, as a general rule, an employer should not treat their employee any differently after they have filed worker’s compensation.

A wrongful termination lawsuit could be called for if an employer terminates an injured worker because they had filed a worker’s compensation claim.

However, since Texas is an at will employment state, and employers may fire their employees for any reason, except for a reason that is protected by the law.

Though an employer can fire an individual because the workplace is slow, or if the injured worker cannot perform their work duties because of the work-related injuries.

Texas employers must have a legitimate reason for firing an injured employee.

Can I File For Workers’ Compensation If I’m Only Part Time in Fort Bend?

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