What Rights to Injured Workers Have in Texas?
Injured workers in Texas have a number of rights, including the right to:
- File a workers’ compensation claim with their employer.
- Receive benefits for medical expenses, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation.
- Sue their employer for negligence if their injury was caused by the employer’s intentional or reckless act.
- Receive death benefits if they are killed in a work-related accident.
In order to file a workers’ compensation claim, an injured worker must first report their injury to their employer as soon as possible. The employer must then file a First Report of Injury form with the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission (TWCC). The TWCC will investigate the claim and determine whether the work-related injury is compensable. If the claim is compensable, the worker will be entitled to benefits.
Benefits for injured workers in Texas include:
- Medical expenses: The employer is responsible for paying for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses incurred as a result of the injury. This includes doctor’s visits, hospital stays, surgery, and prescription drugs.
- Lost wages: The worker is entitled to receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage for the time they are unable to work due to the injury.
- Vocational rehabilitation: If the worker is unable to return to their previous job, the employer is responsible for paying for vocational rehabilitation services. This can help the worker learn new skills so they can find a new job.
In addition to workers’ compensation benefits, injured workers in Texas may also be able to sue their employer for negligence if their injury was caused by the employer’s intentional or reckless act. This is known as a “third-party claim.” To be successful on a third-party claim, the worker must prove that the employer was negligent, that the negligence caused the injury, and that the worker suffered damages as a result.
If an injured worker is killed in a work-related accident, their survivors may be entitled to death benefits. Death benefits include:
- Burial expenses: The employer is responsible for paying for the worker’s funeral expenses.
- Weekly death benefits: The worker’s dependents are entitled to receive two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage for the rest of their lives.
- Lump-sum death benefit: The worker’s dependents are also entitled to a lump-sum death benefit, which is equal to two years of the worker’s average weekly wage.
If you have been injured in a work-related accident, it is important to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you file a workers’ compensation claim and ensure that you receive the benefits you are entitled to.