If you have been injured on the job, you may be considering filing a claim for workers’ compensation. Since you are here, you are also probably wondering if you should hire a lawyer to help you.
The fact of the matter is that there are several important reasons why you should consider hiring a lawyer for your workers’ compensation claim. Most importantly, if you make mistakes during the process, you could jeopardize your ability to collect benefits. The Texas workers’ compensation system is complicated, and injured workers who try to navigate the process on their own frequently end up without the benefits they deserve. If your employer denies your claim, this will create additional hurdles as well.
Another important reason is that it is entirely possible that you are entitled to compensation outside of workers’ comp. Injured workers often have personal injury claims against third parties, and if you do not hire a lawyer, you will never know how much you could have recovered for your losses. Workers’ compensation benefits are limited by Texas law, so pursuing a third-party claim (if you have one) might be your only option to obtain full compensation for your work-related injury.
Let’s look at these issues in a little more depth.
Important Reasons to Hire a Lawyer for Your Work Injury Claim
Reason #1: The Texas Workers’ Compensation System Is Complicated
While workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system (meaning that you can collect benefits without having to prove that your employer was negligent), the system is still designed in many ways to protect the interests of employers over their employees. For example, there are strict time limits for filing workers’ compensation claims, and you may need to see a doctor that has been pre-selected by your employer. If you don’t follow the rules, your employer may be within its rights to deny your claim.
Reason #2: Your Employer May Deny Your Claim
Of course, just because you follow the rules does not mean that your employer will simply pay you what you are owed. Most employers have insurance to cover their employees’ workers’ compensation claims, and between your employer and its insurance company, there will be a team of people looking for every possible excuse to deny your claim. Your case isn’t over if your claim gets denied, but you will be facing an uphill battle that requires skilled legal representation. By hiring a Houston personal injury attorney at the outset, you can both:
- Give yourself the best chance to avoid a denial, and
- Have your attorney fully up to speed if you need to request a Benefit Review Conference or file an appeal.
Reason #3: You May Be Entitled to Personal Injury Damages in Addition to Workers’ Compensation
Finally, while workers’ compensation may be the most obvious source of financial recovery, it may not be the only – or even the best – option that you have. If someone other than your employer was responsible for causing the accident, you may also have a personal injury claim against the responsible party. Unlike workers’ compensation claims, personal injury claims involving work-related injuries are not limited in terms of the amount you can recover.
Some common personal injury claims in work accident cases include:
- Claims against manufacturers of defective tools, equipment, machinery and vehicles
- Claims against negligent drivers
- Claims against owners and tenants of dangerous premises
- Claims against contractors, subcontractors, and other companies or individuals doing work at the claimant’s job site
Have You Been Injured on the Job? Contact Morrow & Sheppard LLP Today
At Morrow & Sheppard LLP, we provide thorough and aggressive representation for victims of work injuries in and around Houston. Our attorneys are experienced litigators, and if you have a claim, we will fight to make sure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries. To speak with a Houston work injury lawyer about your claim, call our offices at (713) 489-1206 or contact us online to request a free consultation today.