Dallas Work Accident Injury Attorneys
When an accident happens at work, say a fall from scaffolding or a heavy equipment injury, it’s not difficult to pinpoint exactly how and when the accident occurred. Not all work-related injuries, however, are caused by accidents or mishaps. Carpal tunnel syndrome, and frozen shoulder, for example, are cases of repeated use type injuries which may come on slowly over a number of months or years of performing the same repetitive actions.
If you’ve been injured or have developed an illness due to your work, whether from an accident, from repetitive movement, or from exposure to hazardous substances over time, the work injury attorneys at the Barber Law Firm can help you recover compensation for your injuries, hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages. Don’t wait to contact our firm. Texas enforces strict time limits for bringing a claim after the discovery of your injury. The sooner you contact our firm the sooner you’ll be on your way to financial recovery. Your initial consultation is free and we won’t charge you a dime until your case is closed and you’ve been fully compensated for your losses.
How Do I Get Workers’ Compensation After My Injury?
Many injured Dallas workers are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. Unlike other states, however, Texas does not require employers to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance. If you discover an injury or illness that you sustained while performing work-related duties there are a number of steps you must take to begin the process of getting compensation.
- Find out if your employer carries insurance. – If you aren’t sure, and you don’t want to ask them, you can look up their Workers’ Compensation insurance status in the state’s online database here.
- Report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. – You have 30 days from the discovery of your injury to report it to your employer or you forfeit your right to compensation. While 30 days is the legal limit, it’s advisable to report the injury as soon as possible. The longer you wait to report the injury, the easier it becomes for the insurance company to dispute or belittle your claim.
- Seek medical attention. – If your employer has insurance, they may have a contract with a work comp healthcare network. If so, you will probably need to choose a doctor from within that network. Otherwise, you can choose any doctor approved by the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDWC). This first medical visit after your injury will generate key medical records related to your case so be sure to tell your doctor in detail how and where you were injured.
- File a Workers’ Compensation Claim With the TDWC – You can file this form in person, via mail, or through the TDWC website. Again, statutes of limitations apply. You will have one year from the discovery of your injury to file this claim or you risk forfeiting your right to compensation. Once the TDWC receives your form, they will inform your employer and their insurance company. The insurance company will review your claim and either accept or deny it. If your claim is denied you may file an appeal with the TDWC.
What If My Employer is a Non-subscriber?
If your company does not subscribe to the Texas’ Workers’ Compensation System, you may still be able to recover compensation even if the company tries to deny benefits for on the job or work accident injuries. Even though they may not be required to carry Work Comp insurance, they are still subject to certain regulations. For example, any company that employs five or more persons is required to file a report of all on-the-job injuries or illnesses. If the employer fails to do so they may be subject to certain penalties.
If your employer is a non-subscriber, your best chance at securing compensation is to work with a personal injury attorney who specializes in Texas work injury claims. Your attorney will be familiar with all Texas state employment and injury law and may be able to settle your claim with your employer or bring a lawsuit against the company.
What if I am an Independent Contractor?
Independent contractors who are injured on the job may still have a right to receive compensation for their injuries. While an employee who is covered by Workers’ Compensation need only prove he was injured while at work to receive compensation, an independent contractor must prove the negligence and fault of the employer.
An employer of an independent contractor has fewer obligations toward their worker than they would toward an employee, however, the employer is still under an obligation to provide what is known as a “reasonable duty of care” toward their workers. That is, they should take care to ensure that their job site is safe and that nothing about the working conditions can reasonably be foreseen to cause an accident. Proving negligence in such a case involves showing four elements:
- That your employer owed you a duty of care – This is easily established by virtue of the working relationship.
- That your employer was in breach of that duty – For example, they failed to clean up broken glass or to secure a wobbly railing.
- That this breach of duty lead directly to your injuries or illness – Correlation must be established between the dangerous situation and the resulting injury. For example, it must be proved that your injury was sustained due to an accident caused by your employer’s failure in his reasonable duty of care and was not a pre-existing injury or an injury caused by your own negligence.
- That the resulting injuries or illness resulted in loss – This is the value placed on pain, suffering, medical bills, and missed income.
Proving workplace negligence is no small task but our experienced work injury attorneys know just what questions to ask and what evidence to gather to build a strong case for your claim. Contact The Barber Law Firm to discuss whether you may be able to bring a claim against your employer as an independent contractor.
In some cases, a third party may bear some of the fault for your work-related injuries. This is often seen in cases involving a vehicle accident with another driver while performing delivery work or driving a company vehicle to or from a job-site. It may also come into play if your company is working on a project with another company whose negligence creates an unsafe environment.
In addition to compensation from your employer’s work comp insurance, your attorney may be able to pursue additional compensation from other involved parties. This is especially important if the work comp coverage limits are lower than than the total value of your claim.
Every case is unique. If you think a third party may be partly responsible for your work injuries, talk to one of our Dallas work accident injuries for a thorough examination of your case.
Don’t Talk to Insurance Reps Without Legal Representation
Insurance carriers know how to use the system to their advantage in order to limit benefits for injured workers. Individuals who suffer a work accident or injury on the job should know their legal rights so that they can receive the compensation to which they are entitled. A skilled Texas work injury attorney will be able to either handle these phone calls on your behalf or thoroughly brief you before-hand so that you don’t inadvertently say something which waives your rights or which the company could use to lower the value of your claim.
If you wish to discuss a work-related injury with a Dallas personal injury lawyer, click here. If we agree to handle your case, we will normally work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery. In almost all cases, a lawsuit must be filed within a certain amount of time from the date of the work accident injury. If you intend to pursue a claim, you should contact an attorney right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.