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It’s another hectic day at work. You’re deeply focusing on your job when the unexpected happens; an accident. The incident leaves you harmed and confused, not knowing what to do next. But there’s a solution. You need to seek legal help to understand your rights as a victim.

Here are steps you can take if you sustain workplace injuries:

Immediate actions after the incident

If you’re not aware of your rights, even a minor accident at your workplace can leave you jumping up and down. However, knowing what to do allows you to take swift decisions.

Here’s how:

Notify your employer

After a workplace accident, promptly inform your employer right away. Timely reporting in a legal requirement and helps to avoid unnecessary delays, especially when processing workers compensation benefits.

Document the incident

Many things happen when accident occurs. That why you need a record of events immediately when your memory is still fresh. You should narrow down the specifics to date, time and the location the injury occurred. Every detail matters, because it strengthens your case for compensation and helps to establish the circumstances around the injury.

Seek medical attention

Your injuries may seem minor at the beginning, but worsen with time, especially when left untreated. Don’t hesitate to seek medical assessment promptly to avoid future health complications. Luckily, most employers already have designated healthcare protocols in place for handling work-related injuries.

Cooperate with medical Practitioners

When the time comes to assess your condition, ensure to provide accurate information to the medical team. Give details of how the injury happens and any accompanying symptoms. Follow all medical guidelines and attend scheduled appointments to monitor your recovery.

Preserve evidence

Where possible, record all evidence related to the incident, including damaged equipment or photos of the accident scene. This information is required to support your claim for benefits and establish liability for the injury.

Understanding your rights

Besides medical recovery, being aware of your legal rights is crucial, especially after experiencing a workplace injury. If you’re disabled permanently, you may be entitled to compensation.

Worker’s compensation

Here’s what it covers:

  • Doctor appointments
  • Prescriptions
  • Surgery and medical equipment
  • Vocational rehabilitation benefits

This insurance cover is a no-fault system. Which means you don’t need any proof of negligence or sue your employer to recover benefits. Rather, your employer ensures you receive the required medical care and informs their insurance providers to start filing a claim.

Filing a Claim

A worker’s compensation claim in Texas starts by presenting a report of your injury to your employer. You will be required to fill a form with accurate information and submit it promptly as instructed. Remember to keep a copy of all documents.  Once ready, your employer will file the claim with the relevant insurance provider.

Claim process

After filing the claim, the insurance provider will examine the details and decide whether to approve it or not. At this stage, additional investigation into the incident may be required. You should be ready to provide the necessary information when called upon to do so.

Legal protections

An employer has a legal obligation to provide a safe job environment. If you believe unsafe working conditions caused your injuries, you’re eligible to file a case with the relevant  regulatory bodies. They may investigate and address any potential hazards.

Retaliation protection

The law prevents employers from retaliating against employees who report safety concerns at the workplace. That includes:

  • Termination
  • Demotion
  • Unfavorable changes to your job

Retaliation complaints s can be forwarded to relevant government agencies to begin investigation and further legal remedies.

Right to return to work

Unless you’re physically disabled or incapacitated, you can return to your previous duties or alternative positions provided by your employer to suit your condition. It’s the employers’ duty to offer reasonable accommodation like flexible job hours to enable you to perform your duties efficiently.

Solving disputes

If your claim for worker’s compensation is rejected, you can still appeal the decision. Although the process varies with state, it involves bringing a hearing before a board or related judge. You’ll have the opportunity to avail your evidence to support your claim during the appeal.

Legal Representation

If you can’t handle the case on your own, you can consult an attorney familiar with workers’ compensation matters. They can offer valuable guidance and legal representation to help you secure your rightful compensation.

Recovery and rehabilitation

Injuries sustained from work may take long to heal. It requires more than just the initial medical intervention, but also ongoing care to return to work safely.

Here’s a how to navigate this process:

  • Follow-up medical care: Follow-up appointments with your doctor after the incident are crucial for close monitoring of your condition. Failure to attend these events can lead to poor recovery outcomes.
  • Rehabilitation programs: Based on physical condition, you might need some form of therapy to restore your full body function and perform daily tasks.
  • Mental health support: Workplace injuries can leave a victim and family mentally and emotionally drained. If you suffer from this condition, seek mental health help like counseling to help you cope with your depression or stress.

Financial considerations

Accidents that happen at work often trigger compensation claims. This can cause substantial financial implications. After recovery, you need to know your options to help you ease the burden.

Temporary disability benefits

If your injuries prevent you from performing your duties for a set-period of time, you qualify for payments for lost wages. This cover helps to relieve your financial strain while you recover. However, the exact amount varies based on the policy of the state.

Permanent disability benefits

If you’re totally disabled and unable to work due to injuries, you may be eligible for these payments. These payments benefits are designed to pay for wages lost if your injury leaves you permanently unable to work.

Medical expenses coverage

Worker’s compensation pays for all necessary and related medical expenses, including doctor visits, surgeries, and medications. Ensure you keep a record of all medical treatments and submit them for reimbursement.

Conclusion

Workplace can happen unexpectedly, even if everyone sticks to safety rules and protocols. Since these incidents are a fact of life, it’s the responsibility of everyone concerned to keep the working environment safe and healthy to prevent injuries.

About the Author

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Husain Law Firm

Nomaan K. Husain is the founder of Husain Law + Associates — Houston Accident & Injury Lawyers, P.C., a Houston-based law firm specializing in Litigation, Immigration, and Aviation. He is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law and Personal Injury Trial Law, with law licenses in Texas, New York, and other jurisdictions. Mr. Husain serves in key community roles, including as Commissioner on President Biden's White House Commission on Fellowships and Chairman of Houston's Asian American Pacific Islander Advisory Board. He's been recognized with several awards, such as the Global Leader Award from the Houston World Affairs Council.

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