Employees, Do You Know What Mistakes to Avoid When Filing Your Texas Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that allows for employees to seek out wage replacement and medical benefits in the case that they are injured or harmed in any manner while performing their work duties.
Every state has its own conditions and requirements for employees who are attempting to file for these benefits. If you are going to file for workers’ compensation in Texas, you’ll want to review all information available to you on the Texas Department of Insurance website.
You’ll be able to find guidance on how to seek workers compensation as well as the forms necessary to file a claim.
Alongside understanding the process of what to do when attempting to secure workers’ compensation, you’ll also want to know what NOT to do. Your bad faith insurance lawyers at Millin & Millin would like to share a bit of information regarding filing a workers’ compensation claim so that you can begin the process of healing and recovery.
If you wish to receive treatment, compensation, and benefits for your work-related injury, beware these common mistakes.
4 Major Mistakes to Avoid When Attempting to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
1. Not knowing if your employer has workers’ compensation insurance.
Although it is required by many states, in Texas, employers have the ability to opt-out of obtaining workers’ compensation, except if they are public employers or if they fall under special categories.
It is necessary for employers who choose not to obtain coverage to notify the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) and to ensure all employees are well-informed about the lack of workers’ compensation. However, employers who fail to obtain workers’ compensation insurance (also known as nonsubscribers), are liable for workplace injuries and illnesses. If sued, nonsubscribing businesses cannot argue that:
- The injured employee’s negligence caused the injury.
- Another employee’s negligence caused the injury.
- The injured employee knew about the danger and voluntarily accepted it.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the injury, you should know whether or not you are protected by workers’ compensation insurance or if you will have to seek out another legal route to obtain compensation for your injury.
2. Reporting your injury too late.
If you have suffered an injury while on the job, you should report the incident to a supervisor or manager immediately. Generally, accident policies – which contain information on who needs to be notified of your injury – can often be found in the company’s employee manual.
If your company does not have an accident policy, it is best to inform multiple parties about what has happened. This includes your manager, supervisor, co-workers, and also those in Human Resources.
Often employees cannot file for workers’ compensation because they failed to notify their employer within an appropriate time frame. The longer you wait to notify your employer, the more challenging it becomes to prove that the injury happened at work and not on your own personal time.
You should be aware that the law generally requires you submit a written notice to your employer within 30 days of the injury. Although this is several weeks worth of time, you should not wait the entire duration as it may raise red flags.
3. Missing the deadline to file a DWC Form-041.
Once you have reported your injury to your employer, the next important action to take is to file a workers’ compensation claim for a work-related injury or occupational disease.
You can file with the DWC online or in person, but you only have a year after the injury to do so. The organization will gather information concerning your work situation, injury, and status. You may then follow up with the Office of Injured Employee Counsel.
Missing the deadline can impact your ability to obtain benefits or how much you can collect. Make sure to file the DWC Form-041 as soon as you report your injury to your employer.
4. Not Receiving Medical Treatment
It is essential that you seek medical treatment for your work-related injury in order to receive compensation or benefits. Failure to describe all work-related injuries or be truthful with any medical professional providing you treatment can harm your claim and ability to secure benefits.
The employer or insurance will generally appoint you to a company medical provider. Even if you choose to get a second opinion, you must attend these initial appointments to assess work-related injuries.
Additionally, if you begin to obtain workers compensation benefits, but fail to attend sessions with appointed medical providers, benefits can be terminated.
For protection against employer negligence or their failure to maintain Texas workers’ compensation provisions, seek professional help from the experienced and trustworthy bad faith insurance attorneys at Millin & Millin.
Even employers that do have Texas workers’ compensation insurance may try to opt-out of giving you these benefits, try to deny your claim, or act in an unfair manner.