After a work-related injury in Texas, you need to notify your employer within 30 days. After notifying your employer, your workers’ compensation claim can move forward. If your claim is approved, you should have your medical bills paid and should receive disability income.
Unfortunately, sometimes workers do not claim compensation after a work injury. If this happens to you and you do not make a benefits claim with your employer, you could be deprived of your right to recover monetary benefits and compensation after getting hurt on-the-job. Do not risk your future financial security. If you are not certain of what you should do after getting injured at work, contact a Texas workers’ compensation lawyer at Abbott and Associates, L.L.C. for help.
What Happens if You Do Not Claim Compensation After a Work Injury?
The first thing to find out after you get hurt at work is whether your employer participates in workers’ compensation or not. Not all Texas employers buy workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer has not decided to participate in the workers’ compensation system, you do not have to claim compensation after a work injury. Instead, you can file a personal injury lawsuit if you can prove that the injuries occurred as a result of your employer’s actions or inactions. While you have just 30 days to file notice of a work-related injury if you want to make a workers’ compensation claim, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is longer. This means that you can still sue your employer even if several months have passed since you got hurt.
If your employer participates in workers’ compensation, workers’ compensation becomes the exclusive remedy system. This means that if you do not claim compensation after a work injury, you are not going to be able to pursue any kind of legal action against your employer. A failure to notify your employer of your injury in a timely manner could result in you being left with no benefits at all. This would mean you would be on your own for paying for medical bills and you would not be able to get disability benefits through your employer’s insurer if your injury prevents you from working. There may be limited circumstances under which you could try to argue that your delay in reporting your injury was justified or reasonable and that you should not be deprived of workers’ compensation benefits. However, it is difficult to succeed in getting benefits if you delayed in notifying your employer about your injury.
If you did not claim compensation after a work injury, you can also talk to an attorney about whether there are any third-party non-employers who you could potentially file a lawsuit against. Although you can’t sue your employer, you could sometimes sue someone else like the manufacturer of equipment if a defect in that equipment contributed to getting hurt.
To learn more and to get help understanding what to do to claim compensation after a work injury, contact a Texas workers’ compensation lawyer at Abbott and Associates, L.L.C. today.