A workplace accident or injury can have serious consequences for an entire family. Medical and therapeutic costs can add up, while lost or reduced wages make bills harder to pay, adding to the stress and difficulty of recovery.
Workers’ compensation insurance protects most victims of workplace injuries in Houston, but Texas workers’ compensation regulations are complex. Here is some important information about Houston workers’ compensation that everyone should know.
Who is Eligible for Workers’ Comp in Houston?
All workers are entitled to a safe work environment, regardless of their immigration status. In Houston, all regular employees are eligible for workers’ compensation or personal injury compensation. Workers’ comp does not always protect Independent contractors, self-employed people, and freelancers and should carry their own insurance.
However, Texas is the only state in America that does not require all employers to carry workers’ comp insurance. Some private employers may choose not to carry workers’ comp coverage, and these employers are called “non-subscribers.” If an employee of a non-subscriber is injured at work, instead of receiving workers’ compensation benefits, they may need to sue their employer for personal injury.
Due to the complexity of Texas workers’ compensation laws, most lawyers do not handle these types of cases. Of the 95,000 attorneys working in Texas, only 40 represent the injured worker in straight workers’ compensation cases.
The Law Office of Aaron Allison still proudly provides assistance for those who have suffered catastrophic injuries at work, as we have for decades. Our Houston workers’ compensation attorney fights to help injured workers recover everything they are entitled to.
What Type of Injuries Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
When most people think of workplace injuries, they think of industrial or construction accidents that cause injuries like:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Neck and spinal injuries
However, all workplaces can pose some risks to workers. Workers’ compensation also covers less catastrophic injuries like:
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Illness from toxic or hazardous exposure
- Motor vehicle and transportation injures
- Hearing loss from exposure to loud noises
If you are unsure whether an illness or repetitive strain injury is work-related, you may want to consult with a Houston workers’ compensation lawyer to learn more.
Reasons Why a Workers’ Compensation Claim May be Denied
There are many reasons why a Houston workers’ compensation claim may be denied. The most common reasons for a claim denial are:
- The injury did not happen at work or was not work-related. If the accident happened offsite, during break time, or outside of the course of work duties, a workers’ comp claim may be denied.
- The injury was the result of the employee’s recklessness. If an employee is not obeying safety guidelines, properly using safety equipment, or engaging in reckless behavior, and they are injured, their claim may be denied. An employee who was under the influence or using substances at work will often be considered to be behaving recklessly and not be covered by workers’ comp.
- The injury is not eligible for workers’ comp. Some injuries, like colds and flu, are not eligible for workers’ comp, even if you were exposed to the germs at work.
- The employee is not eligible for workers’ compensation. Some freelance and independent contractors are not eligible for workers’ compensation. Likewise, an employee who has left the company may not always be eligible to claim workers’ comp from their past employer.
- The injury was the fault of a third party. If a worker is injured by another worker, a passing motorist, or some other third party, then the worker needs to pursue a claim against the third party rather than claim workers’ comp.
- The injury was caused by an “act of God.” An employee who is injured by a storm, flood, earthquake, or other non-preventable natural event may not be eligible to claim workers’ compensation.
- The deadline for filing a claim has passed. Workers’ compensation has strict deadlines and time frames in which an injury must be reported, and a claim must be filed. Claims that exceed the statute of limitations may be denied.
If you have filed for workers’ compensation and your claim has been denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. In fact, over two-thirds of workers’ compensation claim appeals are successful, so it is important to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney and be persistent, even if your claim was denied the first time. The appeals process is long and complex but is usually successful and results in payment for your damages.
How Can Aaron Allison Help?
Texas workers who have been injured or contracted an illness at work are entitled to protection and compensation. Whether traditional workers’ compensation covers you, another type of insurance, or work for a non-subscriber, the Law Offices of Aaron Allison are qualified to help you understand your case and fight for your rights. We work on a contingency basis and offer free consultations, so you don’t pay anything unless we recover for you.
Since 1978, Aaron Allison’s family-run law firm has been helping victims of construction accidents, car accidents, and personal injuries recover their damages so they can focus on getting well and caring for their families rather than paying the bills. Contact our Houston workers’ compensation law firm today if you or a loved one have been injured at work.