Your Austin Workers’ Comp Lawyers
Have you recently experienced an injury while working in Austin, Texas? You may have a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Contact Lorenz & Lorenz for immediate assistance. Don’t delay, as your claim may be time-sensitive.
Our experienced Austin workers’ compensation lawyers will help you fight for the compensation you deserve. We offer a free initial case evaluation, so contact our law office in Austin, Texas to schedule yours today.
Why Lorenz & Lorenz, PLLC Should Be Your First Call After a Workplace Accident in Austin, TX
Being injured at work can be a life-altering event. It can be a very difficult time emotionally and physically, especially if your employer and their workers’ compensation carrier are trying to minimize your injuries or assert that your injury was not work-related. The last thing you need to worry about while recovering from an injury or illness is financial uncertainty.
As advocates for injured and ill employees, we work tirelessly toward achieving proper compensation for our clients. At Lorenz & Lorenz, our Austin personal injury attorneys know how important pursuing a workers’ compensation case is, and we will fight to hold the employer accountable.
If you’ve been injured on the job, your first step is to consult an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. The presence of an experienced attorney who knows the law and can assert your rights on your behalf is key to successfully filing a claim or lawsuit. Our workers’ compensation lawyers recommend that you:
- Document everything with photos, especially your injuries;
- Seek medical attention immediately;
- Document the names of any witnesses present; and
- Consult our workers’ compensation lawyers immediately.
Contact our Austin law firm to schedule a free, no-obligation case assessment. When you call, we’ll discuss your options and do our best to answer the questions you have. You have a limited amount of time to act, so take the time to call our wrongful death lawyers for help today.
Overview of Workers’ Compensation Claims in Austin, Texas
The Texas workers’ compensation laws provide medical benefits for injured workers as well as a percentage of their lost wages. These are very valuable benefits, but they are not always easy to secure. Your employer and its insurance carrier may not be on your side or may be more concerned about minimizing their expenses than making sure you’re compensated for your injury or illness.
Fortunately, you’ve got the experienced Lorenz & Lorenz team on your side to help you navigate the complex workers’ compensation process and obtain the maximum amount of compensation for you.
If you or a loved one have been injured on the job or sustained a work-related illness in Austin, Texas, you have rights and may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Texas workers’ compensation attorneys at Lorenz & Lorenz to schedule a free, no-obligation case assessment. If you want to file a claim, we’ll fight to get you maximum benefits and the peace of mind you deserve.
Why It’s Important to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Texas is the only state in the country that doesn’t require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance for employees. Employers are able to opt-in or opt-out. Those who choose to carry workers’ compensation insurance are called “subscribers” and those that do not are called “non-subscribers.”
Employers must notify employees of their status regarding workers’ compensation insurance when hired, and must post conspicuous signage at the place of business to give notice to employees of their coverage status.
For employees whose claims originate from injury/illness sustained while working for a “subscribing” employer, claims are made and processed by the Division of Workers’ Compensation, and applicable benefits are determined by the Texas Department of Insurance.
The compensation for injured/ill workers of subscribing employers are predetermined compensation benefits, explained in more detail below. Texas law makes it advantageous for employers to subscribe to the state’s workers’ compensation insurance system, because subscribers’ insurance policies put a limit on the amount and type of compensation that an injured employee may receive which are set in the law.
Alternatively, workers who are injured or become ill while working within the scope of employment for a non-subscribing employer navigate an entirely different course. These employees may stand to recover more than they would have under the state’s workers’ compensation laws, and damages may include the full amount of future lost wages, explained in more detail below.
Additionally, non-subscribing employers are open to personal injury lawsuits from employees who are injured on the job and the damages and attorney’s fees are almost unlimited. What’s more, certain defenses available in most personal injury lawsuits, such as assumption of the risk, contributory negligence, “last clear chance”, and co-worker negligence, are not available to a non-subscriber in a workers’ compensation injury case.
As you can glean from the above, navigating the workers’ compensation process can be complex and overwhelming. Fortunately, the attorneys at Lorenz & Lorenz have handled these types of cases hundreds of times before, so you don’t have to do it alone. Retaining a lawyer who is well-versed in litigating workers’ compensation cases will result in proper compensation and peace of mind for you.
What Types of Injuries Are Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
If an employer has workers’ compensation coverage, then an employee can file a claim when he or she is injured on the job or develops a work-related illness.
According to the Texas Department of Insurance, there are about 200,000 new claims each year in the Texas Department of Insurance. More than half of these claims are for minor injuries involving a short period of medical treatment without any lost time from work.
The most common workers’ compensation claims include:
- Eye injuries;
- Slip and falls;
- Sprains and strains;
- Continuous or cumulative trauma (due to repetitive physical tasks);
- Falling objects;
- Exposure to harmful substances;
- Car accidents; and
- Machinery accidents.
This list is not exhaustive, and an injury or illness sustained within the scope of employment will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Any injury sustained by an employee on the job can be considered work-related.
Even if the injury was your fault, you are still entitled to workers’ compensation because it is a no-fault system. However, injuries will not be covered if they were the result of the employee’s horseplay, willful criminal acts or self-injury, intoxication from drugs or alcohol, voluntary participation in an off-duty recreational activity, a third party’s criminal act if directed against the employee for a personal reason unrelated to the work, or acts of God.
Additionally, the following industries report the highest number of workers’ compensation claims:
- The fishing industry;
- The logging industry;
- Aircraft pilots and flight engineers;
- Steel industry;
- Truck drivers;
- Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural industry;
- Landscape and lawn service; and
- Electrical utility installers and repairers.
The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Lorenz & Lorenz work tirelessly to investigate accidents of all types and to ensure proper compensation is paid to workers of all industries.
The Workers’ Compensation Process for Subscribing Employers
According to the Texas Workforce Commission, workers injured in Texas must file injury reports within thirty days of the injury using the hyperlinked form, must appeal the first impairment rating within ninety days of its issuance, and must file the formal paperwork for the workers’ compensation claim within one year of the injury.
If the work-related nature of the injury or illness was not immediately apparent, those deadlines run from the date on which the employee should have known the problem was work-related. If you do not let your employer know about your injury within thirty days, you may not get benefits.
Workers’ compensation claims are unique in that the injured party does not have to prove that an employer was at fault in causing your injury. Rather, the injured party must instead prove that he or she was an employee at the time the injury occurred and that the injury was within the scope of employment.
Once the claim is filed, the insurance company will pay any medical bills and lost wages associated with the injury until the employee is able to return to work again. If an employee is injured to the extent that they can’t return to work, then the insurance will pay the employee for the remainder of his or her life.
Unfortunately, Texas workers’ compensation claims do not always proceed as they should, and can be fully or partially denied for a number of reasons including:
- The doctor (typically selected by the insurance company) determines that the injury is minor;
- Employer refutes that the injury took place on the job;
- Failure to notify your employer within thirty days;
- Employee was treated by another doctor (not the one selected by the insurance company); and
- Employee did not seek medical treatment.
If your claim has been denied, don’t delay in contacting the workers’ compensation attorneys at Lorenz & Lorenz who will know exactly what to do. Their experienced team will improve the likelihood of your claim or appeal being successful.
What Are the Possible Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Compensation from Subscribing Employers
If you are injured on the job while working for an employer that subscribes to workers’ compensation coverage, you are entitled to certain benefits. The benefits you may be able to receive depend on your injury, and how severe it was.
Some of the benefits you may be able to receive include:
- Necessary medical treatment free of charge;
- Biweekly wage loss benefits for up to two years or until you can return to work (if temporarily disabled);
- Wage loss benefits for the reduction in pay of a new, less demanding position (if partially disabled and unable to perform previous job but still able to perform a less demanding job) until able to return to previous job; and
- 75 percent of your benefits for an amount of time determined by the severity of your remaining disability (if partially disabled after reaching maximum medical improvement).
The Texas Labor Code sets forth the policy limits for medical benefits, income benefits, and death benefits and can be found here.
Compensation from Non-Subscribing Employers
If your employer does not subscribe to workers’ compensation coverage, your only option is to pursue a work injury lawsuit against your employer. When recovering damages through a lawsuit, your compensation will not be limited to what is statutorily authorized by Texas law for work-related injuries. Instead, your compensation may include medical expenses, pain and suffering and the full amount of their future lost wages.
You can sue for the following types of losses:
- Pain and suffering;
- Medical bills;
- Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity;
- Punitive Damages;
- Loss of consortium; and
At Lorenz & Lorenz, we hire the most knowledgeable experts to assist us in litigating your case against your non-subscribing employer. This often includes forensic analysts, scene reconstructionists, and doctors who can testify to the nature and extent of your injuries. We will put our experience to work towards securing the maximum amount of benefits for you.
Call Our Austin Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Today
When you’re injured while working in Austin, TX, there’s a possibility that you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Lorenz & Lorenz can help you understand all of your legal rights and options. And, our qualified Austin workers’ compensation lawyers are ready and willing to fight for all of the money you deserve. Give our law firm a call to arrange a free consultation to learn more.