In Texas, you are required to notify your supervisor or someone in a supervisory role after sustaining an injury on the job. You should do this in person and document this in writing as well, either by email, text, or if you fill out an incident report with your employer ask for a copy. In a Texas Workers’ Compensation claim, you only have 30 days to report a work related injury; however, if you wait a week or two before reporting your injury, the insurance carrier will more than likely question the gap in time in the reporting and question your credibility as to when the injury took place. Thus, it is important to report an injury right away, no matter how minor you may think it is.
If you sustain an obvious injury, i.e. a break a bone or slip and fall and think you may have torn a muscle in your knee or shoulder, more than likely you will request medical treatment immediately after the incident occurs and your employer will be made away of your injury that same day. However, we represent many injured workers’ that strain or pull a muscle in their back or shoulder and feel pain that day or the next, but think the pain will go away in a few days. It is very important that you notify your employer that you injured yourself as soon as you realize it and document it in writing regardless of whether you think you will get better without medical attention because if your injury continues to get worse or it ends up being more severe than you initially thought, at least you have reported it within the initial 30 days of injuring yourself, so you are not barred from pursuing treatment and benefits under Texas Workers’ Compensation.
You have a right to seek medical treatment with the doctor of your choice, as long as the doctor will take a workers’ compensation claim. Even if your employer or insurance carrier sends you initially to a doctor of their choosing for an initial evaluation, you have a right to follow up with another doctor. Sometimes you have to choose from a list of in-network doctors. In-network means you have to choose a doctor from a list of insurance approved doctors. While many of these doctors are company doctors, an attorney at Abbott & Associates will help you choose a doctor, whether it be in-network or non-network, that we know will work for you to get you the best treatment for your injuries. Another thing to remember is to make sure the first medical provider you see documents how you injured yourself. This will help if an issue arises with the insurance carrier regarding how you injured yourself or when you injured yourself at work.
After you injure yourself, you should always contact an attorney. At Abbott & Associates, attorneys are always available for a free phone consultation to discuss your claim. We make sure you are getting the highest amount of disability benefits you are entitled to receive, as well as complete medical treatment with the best doctors throughout Texas.