In Texas, employers may opt into workers’ compensation or opt out of workers’ compensation. Workers need to know which of these options your employer has chosen in order to understand how to protect your financial interests in the event that you get hurt on the job.

If you are hurt and don’t claim compensation after a work injury, you could end up being precluded from receiving any money or benefits. The American Society of Safety Engineers has indicated that employee injuries have a cost of nearly a billion dollars per week. Your injury of illness could devastate your finances and your family’s financial stability if you do not make a workers’ comp claim. Before you make the decision not to claim compensation, it is important to talk to an attorney for help understanding your legal options. The Texas workers’ compensation lawyers at Abbott and Associates, L.L.C. can provide the advice you need to make smart choices after you are hurt.

If your employer is not a participant in workers’ compensation, you don’t have to claim compensation after a work injury. Instead, if you want to obtain monetary damages to cover your losses, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. The case may settle outside of court or you could have to go before a jury and provide evidence to prove your employer is to blame for your injuries.

If your employer is a participant in workers’ compensation, then you need to claim compensation after a work injury. You need to do this right away, as you only have 30 days to let your employer know about the fact that you got hurt on the job. If you wait too long to notify your employer and get your claim started, then your employer and workers’ comp insurer will no longer be obligated to provide benefits to you. Your claim can be denied because of your delay and there will be almost nothing you can do about it. You’ll have to pay your own medical bills and, if you can’t work, you won’t be able to depend upon workers’ comp to provide disability benefits.

Sometimes, employers try to tell their workers that they don’t need to make a claim. Your employer may lead you to believe that your health insurance should cover your medical expenses and that you can use any sick leave you have during your recovery period.  Do not listen to this type of advice. Health insurance typically has co-pays and may not cover everything you need, while workers’ comp should provide comprehensive coverage for all medical expenses incurred because you got hurt at work. Disability benefits available through workers’ compensation can also provide you with income on an ongoing basis if you are temporarily or permanently disabled, which sick leave won’t do.

You never know how serious your injuries will turn out to be, nor do you know how long you will be out of work after you got hurt. Do not take a chance and count on your employer to take care of you- follow the steps you need to ensure you’ll get workers’ comp benefits.

You need to understand your legal rights and you need to know the process to claim compensation after a work injury. A Texas workers’ compensation lawyer at Abbott and Associates, L.L.C. is here to provide you with the legal assistance you need throughout this process. Call today to learn more.

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