Texas Workforce Commission says that reported work related injuries are down 31% in part because workers’ fear reporting injuries.
In a recent report to the Texas legislature the Workers’ Compensation Commission made an amazing statement that work related injuries are down 31% over the last decade. While the Commission tried to take credit for safer working conditions they did made an astonishing admission: “the possibility of under-reporting workplace injuries and illnesses.” Injuries may go undocumented for a number of reasons, experts say: laborers in grueling jobs like trucking or construction may simply fail to notify their supervisors, either out of fear of retaliation or reluctance to miss work and miss a paycheck.
Whenever a work-related injury or illness costs an employee at least one day of work, state law requires workplaces to send documentation to their insurance carrier. Workers have 30 days to report an injury to their employer. If they don’t they can be barred from filing a workers’ compensation claim. It is very important for Texas and El Paso workers’ to give notice, in writing of their injury as soon as possible. It is amazing the number of times that employers claim they never heard about the injury even though they are the ones who the injury was reported. This is extremely unfortunate because the Texas Supreme Court has gone out of its way to help and not punish Insurance Companies who deny claims of workplace injuries even if they make that denial in bad faith.
While the 30 day requirement is for Texas employers who have Texas Workers’ Compensation and a huge number of employers in Texas have their own occupational injury plans. These plans often have reporting times that are way shorter than 30 days and can be as short as “immediately” or the claim is denied. The important thing is to see a board certified employment lawyer as soon as you have an injury to preserve your injury claim. Do not wait, report you injury and go see a lawyer. This is the only way you can have a fighting chance to get the recovery you deserve. Many Injured workers’ in El Paso have had the unfortunate situation where their injury benefits have been denied by their employer or insurance company and need quick legal representation so that they can learn what are their rights and to take action to defend those rights and get the help they need.