Austin Workplace Accident Lawyer
Have you gotten hurt on the job while working in Austin? It’s important to understand your legal rights and options. Contact the experienced workplace injury lawyers at Lorenz & Lorenz to schedule a free consultation. We’ll review the details of your accident and help you decide how to get the compensation you deserve.
Since 2001, we’ve helped thousands of clients recover millions in settlements and awards. We know how important money can be after an on-the-job accident and we’ll help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Call our law firm to learn more today.
Why Should I Hire a Workplace Accident Lawyer?
If you’ve been injured at work you may be struggling with a painful injury. Unless your employer offers paid time off, you might find yourself in a tough financial situation while you recover from your injury. Perhaps your injury is so severe that you’ll never be able to return to work, at all. It’s important to know that you can be entitled to compensation for your on-the-job injury.
However, getting that money can be challenging. Should you file a claim for workers compensation benefits or file a lawsuit? Is your employer responsible or is a negligent third party to blame? The answer will really depend on several different factors. It’s best to have an experienced Austin personal injury lawyer handle your workplace accident case.
You can trust that the legal team at Lorenz & Lorenz will fight to get you every penny you deserve after your workplace accident. We’ll fight for you by:
- Investigating your workplace accident and determine every possible cause
- Identifying who may be liable for your injuries
- Determining if you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits and file claims within the applicable time limits
- Protecting you when you’re inevitably blamed by your employer or others for the accident that caused your injury, and
- Consulting with injury and vocational experts to make sure your injuries are valued correctly.
Our goal is to make sure that you’re financially comfortable as you recover from your workplace injury. We’ll pursue compensation for all of your present and future damages. Call our Austin law firm today to learn more.
How Common Are Workplace Accidents?
Workplace accidents happen more frequently than you might think. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), one worker is injured on the job every seven seconds. That’s more than 12,600 workplace injuries every day and 4.6 million workplace injuries every year. OSHA reports more than 4,000 annual workplace fatalities.
Jobs Reporting the Most Workplace Accidents
Which jobs are the most dangerous? According to job injury statistics, the most dangerous positions include:
- Transportation and shipping
- Manufacturing and production
- Maintenance and repair, and
Approximately one out of every five workplace accidents happens on a construction site.
What Causes Workplace Accidents in Austin?
Accidents at work can and do happen for a variety of reasons. Leading causes of workplace accidents in Austin include:
- Struck by object
- Caught between objects
- Crushed in a collapsing structure or building, and
- Equipment malfunctions.
Always report your workplace accident and injury to your employer immediately. The sooner you report the injury, the easier it will be to link it to your work.
Commonly Reported Workplace Accident Injuries
Workplace accident injuries can range from minor scrapes and bruises to severe, even fatal trauma. You deserve to be compensated for all of your workplace injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage
- Eye injury
- Crushing injury
- Chest injury
- Back injury
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Paralysis, and more.
Was someone you love killed on the job? You may also be entitled to compensation for their wrongful death. Our compassionate attorneys can help you navigate this very difficult time in your life. Call us today to learn more.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation After Your On The Job Accident
While Texas doesn’t require employers to purchase and carry workers’ compensation insurance, many do. Workers’ compensation insurance is used to cover the costs of medical bills, lost wages, and disability when a worker is injured on the job. If you’ve been injured at work and your employer carries this type of insurance, you’re entitled to submit a claim for benefits.
Your employer, by law, has to let you know that you have five days from the date you’re injured to waive your right to collect workers’ compensation benefits. Waiving your benefits gives you the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. If you receive benefits, a lawsuit is usually not an option.
Your employer’s insurance company will probably only agree to award benefits if you were injured on the job while performing tasks within your scope of employment. You should expect that they’ll investigate your accident and try to find a way to deny benefits. Hiring an attorney to handle your claim will prevent them from denying your claim in bad faith.
Once you decide to seek workers’ compensation benefits you’ll have to jump through a few hoops. First, you must file an injury claim within 30 days of your workplace accident. Once the insurer receives your claim they’ll send you to one of their pre-approved doctors. The company might decline to cover your medical costs if you try to use a doctor of your own.
Temporary Benefits: You’re entitled to temporary workers’ compensation benefits while you recover from your injury. This is typically 70 percent of your average weekly pay.
Once you’ve reached Medical Maximum Improvement (MMI), you’ll get an impairment rating. This basically tells the insurance company how much you’ve recovered from your injury. If you have an impairment rating of 10, this means that you’ve only been able to recover from 90 percent of your injury. This number will be critical when the insurer calculates your supplemental and permanent benefits.
Supplemental Benefits: Once you’ve recovered the best you can, you may still need assistance making ends meet. If you have an impairment rating of at least 15 percent, you’re eligible for supplemental income benefits. This is typically 80 percent of the difference between 80 percent of your average wage before your injury, compared to what you can earn now. You have to keep reapplying for supplemental benefits. The insurer will probably make you see a doctor to determine if you are still disabled.
Permanent Benefits: You might be eligible for permanent workers’ compensation benefits if you are permanently disabled because of a catastrophic workplace injury (e.g., amputation, paralysis). The benefit is 75 percent of your average wage prior to the injury, adjusted for inflation every year.
Family members used to be entitled to lifetime benefits if a loved one died on the job. Thanks to Texas legislation that’s more supportive of employers than injured workers, this benefit no longer exists. Families are only entitled to death benefits if they can prove that their loved one died because of gross negligence.
Personal Injury Lawsuits After an Austin Workplace Accident
You’re not obligated to go through the workers’ compensation system. You can decide to opt-out and pursue a private lawsuit. There are also times when you may not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits because your employer is a non-subscriber.
You can file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer as long as you don’t collect workers’ compensation benefits. You can file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent third party – such as an equipment manufacturer – at any time, regardless of the benefits you receive.
With a civil lawsuit, you’ll typically have to prove that your employer or a third party was negligent. This negligence must have been a substantial factor in your injury.
You have more latitude when pursuing compensation with a personal injury lawsuit. You’ll be able to see a doctor of your choosing and recover compensation to cover your actual costs and expenses, not just an amount of money set by law.
When Do I Have to File a Workplace Accident Claim?
It depends. If you want workers’ compensation benefits, you must submit a notice of injury within 30 days of your accident. An insurance company will reserve the right to reject or deny your claim if you don’t file the proper paperwork on time.
If you want to file a personal injury lawsuit, you’ll have two years from the date of your workplace accident. You’ll lose the right to obtain compensation from your employer or a negligent third party if you don’t act quickly.
Not sure how much time you have to pursue compensation for your on-the-job injury? Contact Lorenz & Lorenz for immediate legal assistance.
Need Help? Call Our Austin Workplace Accident Lawyers
Contact Lorenz & Lorenz if you’ve been injured in an accident at work. We can help you determine the best way to recover the money you deserve. Your first consultation is free, so do not hesitate to call our law offices to get started on your case today.