LEGALLY, WHAT IS A WORK-RELATED INJURY?
A work injury, or industrial accident, is any injury that occurs while an employee is performing the duties associated with their job. Injuries cover a broad spectrum of harm that requires the injured worker to need medical treatment and may cause the worker to miss time from work and suffer a loss of income. Work injuries can come in many forms. A number of injuries are the result of a sudden accident, like falling off of a scaffold or having a heavy object fall on you head. An injury may develop over a period of time, like a repetitive motion trauma. Data entry clerks develop carpal tunnel syndrome from constant and prolonged wrist and hand activity. A machinist may press a lever hundreds of times a day causing elbow injuries of shoulder separation. Illnesses which “arise out of and in the course of employment” can be covered under the workers’ compensation system where the working conditions present unusual or extraordinary risks of contracting an illness – such as coal miners being able to recover for black lung disease.
If you have been injured or harmed in any way because of something that happened at work, don’t trust your employer to tell you if you have a claim, consult an experienced and qualified attorney. In a free phone call, Roxell Richards and Associates can tell you if you may have a claim and put you on the path of maximizing the value of your case. Call now, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
DOES MY INJURY MEAN I CAN RECEIVE WORKER’S COMPENSATION?
Workers’ compensation is available to employees who suffered traumatic physical injuries, repeated trauma injuries, mental injuries and occupational diseases.
HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE TO REPORT MY INJURY AND FILE A CLAIM?
An injury should be reported to an employer within 30 days. An injured worker then has a two-year window to file a workers’ compensation claim in civil court.
WHAT BENEFITS CAN I GET TO RECOVER FROM MY INJURY?
An employer’s healthcare provider is required to pay for necessary medical treatments, testing, rehabilitation, and prescription drugs associated with a work injury. Death benefits, payment for missed work time, and compensation for permanent disability may also be available.
CAN I RECOVER LOST WAGES FROM A WORK ACCIDENT?
Yes. As an injured employee you are entitled to lost wages. A personal injury attorney can help you recover full compensation for this wages, and in some cases, additional compensation for damages.
CAN MY EMPLOYER FIRE ME FOR BEING INJURED?
It is against the law for an individual to be fired for filing a worker’s compensation claim. Additionally, you cannot be fired because of an injury caused by your employer.
CAN I SUE MY EMPLOYER?
Workers compensation is an exclusive remedy. In other words, if an employee is injured as a result of an accident that occurred in the course and scope of their employment, an employee cannot bring any other claim against their employer for the injuries sustained as a result of that injury. An employer may not sue an injured worker for causing a catastrophe nor can the injured worker sue the employer for their injury. This trade-off makes it possible for injured workers to receive immediate medical care, at no cost to the injured worker, without any consideration for who was at fault, the employer or the employee. In civil law, negligence must be established through litigation before any compensation is awarded. Under the workers compensation law, there is no need to prove negligence.
WHAT IF I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR MY OWN INJURY?
Texas Workers’ Compensation covers almost all employees or workers by law in the state of Illinois, regardless of who is at fault for the injury. Generally in Texas, you can still recover even if you were at fault, after deducting the percentage of your fault from the award. Consult an attorney if you have been injured on the job to find out exactly what benefits you are entitled to by law within the specific parameters of workers’ compensation.The exception to this rule is if an employee’s injury was caused by any form of intoxication on the job or with willful intent to harm oneself.
CAN I BE COMPENSATED FOR MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL INJURIES?
The law is well settled in Texas that mental trauma claims must be traceable to a specific time, place, and cause. Transportation Insurance Company v. Maksyn, 580 S.W.2d 334 (Tex. 1979). In Maksyn, the Texas Supreme Court held that damage or harm resulting from a repetitious mental traumatic activity, as opposed to a physical one, cannot constitute an “occupational disease” for purposes of the workers’ compensation statute.
In laymen’s terms if you can recall your mental and emotional injuries to a particular reason and time during your employment, a personal injury attorney can recover damages for them.