Lots of people get injured at work. While some occupations (i.e., working in construction, at an oil refinery, etc.) are particularly dangerous, all occupations present risks for on-the-job injuries.
If you have been injured on the job in Texas, here is what you need to do next:
7 Steps to Take After You Get Injured at Work
1. Report the Injury to Your Employer
When you get injured at work, one of the first things you should do is notify your employer that you were hurt on the job. This step is important for three specific reasons:
- Creating a Record of Your Job-Related Injury – When you report the injury to your employer, the employer is required to submit an accident report. This will create an official record that you can use to help prove that your injury is work-related.
- Preserving Your Legal Rights – Under Texas law, you must report a work injury to your employer to preserve your workers’ compensation eligibility. While you have up to 30 days, it is best to report the injury as soon as possible.
- Making Sure You See the Right Doctor – As we discuss below, you may need to see an approved doctor to remain eligible for workers’ compensation benefits (assuming you qualify). If you see your own doctor, your medical expenses might not be covered.
Read More: Have You Been Injured at Work?
2. Seek Medical Treatment for Your Injury
Seeking medical treatment promptly is critical when you suffer a ob-related injury. Not only will seeing a doctor right away maximize your chances of making a full recovery, but it will also help you avoid many challenges related to seeking workers’ compensation benefits or filing a personal injury claim.
Read More: Can I Sue My Workplace for an Injury?
Importantly, Texas law gives employers the option to provide coverage through a certified health care network. As the Texas Department of Insurance explains, “If your employer is in a network, you must choose a doctor from the network’s provider list.”
Even if your employer isn’t in a certified health care network, not all doctors accept payment through workers’ compensation. Before you see your primary care physician, you will want to find out if he or she will accept payment from your employer’s insurance company.
3. Keep Track of Your Expenses
As you recover, you need to keep track of any expenses you incur as a result of your work injury. You will also want to keep track of the days (or hours) you miss from work. Keep all receipts, written communications, and other records from your employer and doctor and put them in a file where you will be able to access them easily when necessary.
4. Take Care of Your Injury
Even if you are anxious to get back to work (or your employer is anxious for you to get back to work), you need to take care of yourself in the aftermath of a workplace injury. Follow your doctor’s advice and devote the necessary time to rest and recovery. Ignoring the injury doesn’t just increase the risk of complications; you could also run into issues with your claim for compensation.
5. Avoid Returning to Work or Resuming Normal Work Activities Too Soon
One of the most common mistakes injured workers make is returning to work too soon. While your employer might thank you, you won’t be doing yourself any favors.
As noted above, ignoring your medical needs can be costly. If you need to be on light duty, you should stay on light duty for as long as necessary.
6. Make Sure You Know Your Legal Rights
Employees who get injured at work have clear legal rights in Texas. If you’ve been injured on the job, you need to make sure you know your rights so you don’t do anything that could jeopardize your physical or financial recovery.
7. Get Advice from a Work Injury Attorney
From explaining your legal rights to filing a workers’ compensation and/or personal injury claim on your behalf, there are several ways a work injury attorney can help you if you’ve been injured on the job. There is no risk in scheduling a free consultation, and it is strongly in your best interests to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
Work injury claims in Texas are often complicated by the fact that Texas law does not require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Many employers still do. But, if your employer is a non-subscriber, your compensation and claim options are very different from employees who are covered by workers’ comp.
Patrick Daniel Law can help if you were injured at work and are unsure where to turn. Our team is Strategic, Meticulous, and Merciless in advocating for our clients, and we will explore all of your options for obtaining the maximum benefits and other compensation you deserve.
For a free case review, please call Patrick Daniel Law at (713) 999-6666 today. Houston work injury lawyer Patrick Daniel serves clients throughout Texas.