If you suffered an injury at your job, you should get in touch with a workers comp lawyer in El Paso, TX. You are entitled to receive compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. A lawyer can help you file a claim and ensure your rights are protected.
When It’s Necessary to Hire a Workers Comp Lawyer
If you got hurt at work, your next step is to file a workers compensation claim. However, you might wonder if you should do this on your own or hire a lawyer to assist you. In certain cases, you may be able to go through the process without legal assistance. For example, if your injury was minor or your employer admits that your injury occurred at work, you may get by without a lawyer. However, if you find yourself in any of the situations below, it’s worth it to work with a skilled lawyer.
- Your employer has denied your claim. When you get injured at work and file for benefits, you expect your claim to get approved. Unfortunately, however, employers can reject workers’ compensation claims. The good news is that you have the opportunity to appeal the denial. A lawyer can help you file the appeal and improve your chances of getting fair compensation.
- Your settlement isn’t sufficient. Even if your employer approves your workers’ compensation claim, the settlement might not be enough to cover your medical bills or lost wages. If this is the case, it may be time to speak to a workers comp lawyer in El Paso, TX.
- Your employer has retaliated against you. It’s completely within your right to file for workers’ compensation if you get hurt at work. However, that doesn’t stop some employers from retaliating against their workers for filing for benefits. If your boss has demoted, cut your pay or terminated you after you filed for workers’ compensation, you should consult a lawyer promptly.
- A third-party contributed to your injury. Workers’ compensation benefits were created to prevent workers from filing lawsuits against their employers for work-related injuries. However, if a third-party contributed to your injury, you may be entitled to additional compensation. For instance, if you drive a vehicle for your job and another motorist crashes into your vehicle, you may sue that driver’s insurance company. A skilled lawyer can help you pursue this lawsuit.
FAQs About Workers Comp Cases
If you’ve been injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation, or workers’ comp, benefits. The money you receive can help pay for medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages and lost work. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions we hear at Davie & Valdez, PC.
What Is Workers’ Comp?
Workers’ comp is a type of insurance that protects both businesses and their employees from potentially catastrophic financial costs if someone is injured or becomes ill in the course of doing their job.
What Should I Do if I Am Hurt on the Job?
Inform your employer immediately if possible. They may have a preferred doctor or hospital they want you to use for workers’ comp cases. This can be a verbal statement to your supervisor; it doesn’t have to be formal or written down. Then seek medical attention. If your injury is severe, seek medical attention immediately, then inform your employer when you are no longer in danger.
Do I Have a Workers’ Comp Case?
Generally speaking, if you were an employee carrying out the duties of your job, and you were injured or became ill because of your job duties, you may have a workers’ comp case. Only a workers comp lawyer in El Paso, TX, can tell you for sure how strong of a case you may have.
What If My Employer Denies Anything Happened?
This is one tactic used by employers to avoid having their workers’ comp insurance costs go up. They may try to say you weren’t on the clock, you were on drugs or that your illness or injury was caused by something else. Don’t let this dissuade you from consulting a workers comp lawyer in El Paso, TX.
What If My Employer’s Insurance Won’t Pay?
Let the lawyers at Davie & Valdez, PC worry about making insurance companies pay. Workers’ comp cases can get complicated quickly, and it’s tough to dig your way out from under the mountains of paperwork these cases generate. If your employer’s insurance company refuses to pay, you can take them to court in a civil case to try to receive compensation for your injury or illness.
How Long Does a Workers’ Comp Case Take?
A workers’ comp case can go extremely fast or extremely slow; it all depends on the individual case. A case could be settled in a matter of weeks or drawn out for years. Your workers comp lawyer in El Paso, TX, will keep you informed every step of the way, so you always know where your case stands.
Six Misconceptions About Workers’ Comp
Making a Claim Is Easy
Making a workers’ comp claim should be easy and straightforward, but it’s rarely either. Between figuring out what you can claim compensation for, determining what paperwork needs filled out and submitting the right documentation, making a claim is complicated. Your workers comp lawyer in El Paso, TX, can help you sort everything out to get your claim going faster.
You Can Only File a Claim When Your Injuries Happen at the Job Site
So long as you’re on the clock when you’re injured, you should be eligible for workers’ comp even if you weren’t on the job site. For example, if you’re driving between job sites, on your way to the bathroom or driving as part of your job duties, and you’re in an accident, you may be eligible for workers’ comp benefits. Davie & Valdez, PC attorneys may be able to help you figure out if you’re eligible.
People Who Caused Their Own Injuries Aren’t Eligible for Workers’ Comp
Workers’ comp is a no-fault system. So long as you weren’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it doesn’t matter if you caused your injuries or not. If you accidentally tripped over your shoelaces and broke your arm in the fall, and you were sober, you could be able to file a successful workers’ comp claim.
Only Some Employers Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Almost all companies are required to carry workers’ comp insurance. If yours doesn’t, it may face steep fines and penalties. Notable exceptions are sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, railroads, maritime employers, and government employers. If your employer tries to tell you they don’t have to carry workers’ comp, talk to a workers comp lawyer in El Paso, TX, as soon as possible to figure out your next steps.
Getting Injured at Work Is Rare
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, private industries reported 2.7 million workplace industries, an incidence rate of 2.7 for every 100 full-time equivalent workers. With so many people being injured at work, it’s more important than ever to know your workers’ comp rights. If you have questions, contact a workers comp lawyer in El Paso, TX.
You Can’t File a Claim for Illnesses
Work-related illnesses can result in a successful workers’ comp claim. For example, if you work in a coal mine and were diagnosed with mesothelioma, you could file a workers’ comp claim. Ask a Davie & Valdez, PC workers comp lawyer in El Paso, TX, if your illness qualifies.
Do’s and Don’ts of Workers Comp Claims
Do Seek Immediate Medical Attention
If you’re injured on the job, get immediate medical attention. Don’t let anybody move you if you think you may be seriously injured. Have someone call 911 and wait for paramedics to arrive, assess your situation and transport you safely to the emergency room. If you think your injuries are minor, you should still call for an ambulance because adrenaline and shock can both hide the symptoms of serious medical conditions.
Do Report Your Injury to Your Supervisor
As soon as possible, tell your supervisor about your injury. This can be done verbally or in writing. If there’s an incident report filled out, ask for a copy of it for your records. Make sure everything in the report is accurate to the best of your knowledge. Your workers comp lawyer in El Paso, TX, at Davie & Valdez, PC will want a copy of that report.
Do Get Contact Information of Witnesses
If anyone was around who might have seen what happened that caused your injury, make sure you get their names, addresses and phone numbers. Don’t ask them to make statements to you about what they saw; that’s your attorney’s job.
Don’t Allow the Insurance Company Access to All of Your Medical Records
Your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company is going to try to do everything possible to deny your claim. That includes looking through your medical records for anything that could have contributed to your injury. Broken arm when you were 12? Chronic condition such as arthritis or fibromyalgia? Former alcohol abuse? It’s all fair game if you allow the insurance company to see all your medical records. Only permit them to see the records involving your current injury.
Don’t Sign Any Releases
Your Davie & Valdez, PC workers comp lawyer in El Paso, TX needs to look over any legal documents before you sign them, especially releases. You don’t want to sign a release until all your medical costs and lost wages have been accounted for, both past and future. Only when everything has been taken care of should you consider releasing the insurance company from future claims.
Don’t Settle Your Case Without Consulting a Lawyer
It may be tempting to accept the first offer the insurance company offers you. After all, you’ve got bills to pay, and laying at home convalescing isn’t going to get them taken care of. However, the first offer may be painfully low. You won’t know that unless you consult with a workers comp lawyer in El Paso, TX, to make sure everything is being covered that needs to be.
Schedule a consultation with our workers comp lawyer in El Paso, TX. Call Davie & Valdez P.C. today!