Millions of employees are injured in work accidents each year. Sadly, thousands of these accidents result in severe or fatal injuries. However, depending on the circumstances leading up to such an injury, you may be entitled to financial recovery through the workers’ compensation system or a personal injury lawsuit. Likewise, when a loved one dies from work-related injuries, you and your family may also be entitled to these damages.

Texas worker’s compensation laws are complicated, but our skilled attorneys at Roberts Markland LLP are experienced in workplace accident cases. A Houston workplace injury lawyer has the resources and knowledge to identify and litigate for the maximum compensation you’re entitled to under the law.

The Four Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Texas is the only state in the country that does not require employers—except for public and private employers that enter government contracts—to provide workers’ compensation benefits to employees. However, most large companies voluntarily provide workers’ compensation, allowing their employees to recover the following benefits:

Income Benefits

These benefits replace part of the wages lost due to a work-related injury or illness and provide compensation for permanent impairment. The four types of income benefits include temporary, impairment, supplemental, and lifetime. However, injured employees must meet specific criteria to receive each kind of income benefit.

Medical Benefits

Medical benefits pay for reasonable and necessary medical treatment for an employee’s injury or illness. These benefits are paid directly to healthcare providers: the can must choose a treating doctor from a list approved by the Workers’ Compensation Commission who will serve as a gatekeeper for the employee’s medical care.

Death Benefits

When a worker is killed on the job, death benefits replace a portion of the lost household income.

Burial Benefits

On the other hand, when a worker is killed due to a work-related injury or illness, burial benefits pay some of their funeral expenses. A knowledgeable attorney in Houston could explain what benefits might be available to injured employees during a private consultation.

Filing a Lawsuit over a Workplace Injury

The primary benefit that Texas employers who choose to purchase workers’ compensation insurance enjoy is immunity from civil liability for work-related injuries and illnesses. For example, when a workplace injury stems directly from your employer’s negligence, but they offer you workers’ comp benefits, you cannot file suit against them. However, “non-subscribing” employers who choose not to provide workers’ comp coverage may be subject to civil litigation. It is often possible to file suit against third parties involved in workplace accidents as an alternative—or in addition—to recovering through workers’ compensation.

For example, when an accident on a worksite occurs because a contractor acted recklessly, they—as well as their employer—may bear civil liability for the effects of the accident. Similarly, a supplier who provides defective materials or a manufacturer that makes defective tools could be civilly liable for injuries caused by their products during work hours. A hardworking Houston lawyer could determine which course of action could provide the most compensation to you following an injury on the job.

Recovering For All Available Damages After a Work-Related Accident

Unlike workers’ comp claims that often limit available benefits, a successful third-party lawsuit for a work-related injury could demand restitution for all its economic, non-economic, past, and future effects, including:

  • Medical bills, such as costs of expected future care, rehabilitative therapy, and assistive equipment like walkers or wheelchairs
  • The full value of lost income, including lost future earning capacity
  • Personal property damage
  • Home modifications and in-home assistance to account for a physical disability
  • Physical pain and discomfort
  • Emotional and psychological trauma
  • Lost enjoyment or quality of life

While you can pursue both a lawsuit and a workers’ comp claim over a workplace injury, you cannot recover twice for the same losses. For example, if workers’ comp pays for all reasonable medical expenses related to a workplace injury, an ensuing civil claim could not seek restitution for those expenses.

Statute of Limitations

Typically, you have 30 days at most after getting hurt or sick on the job to report your condition to your supervisor and get the workers’ comp claims process started. Likewise, you have two years to file suit after suffering a personal injury in virtually any context due to someone else’s negligence. A diligent attorney in Houston could ensure deadlines are met on your behalf and work to get you paid for your work-related injuries.

Get in Touch with a Workplace Injuries Attorney in Houston Today

When you are injured at work, taking steps to protect yourself right away is important: our Houston workplace injury lawyers could help. Call us at Roberts Markland LLP for a case review with one of our experienced attorneys.