When you are injured on the job, it can be very easy to make a mistake when filing a claim under the Texas workers' compensation system. Unfortunately, a misstep can cause you to lose out on the valuable benefits that you need and deserve.
Many workers' compensation claims are initially delayed or outright denied because of avoidable mistakes made by injured workers. Fortunately, with the right legal representation, these common errors can be avoided.
If you have been injured on the job, we recommend that you read this page so you can learn how to avoid the most common mistakes made in reporting a work-related injury or illness.
- Failing to report your injury. Under Texas law, you must report your injury to your employer within 30 days from the date of injury, or from the date that you discovered that your injury or illness was work-related. If you fail to notify your employer within 30 days, you could lose your right to obtain benefits permanently.
- Failing to send completed paperwork. After your injury or illness, you must send a completed Employee's Claim for Compensation for a Work-Related Injury or Occupational Disease (DWC Form-041) to the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers' Compensation within one (1) year of the date of injury. If you don't complete and mail in the necessary paperwork, your rights cannot be adequately protected.
- Committing fraud. A worker commits fraud when he or she knowingly or intentionally conceals, misrepresents, or makes false statements to obtain workers' compensation benefits, or otherwise profit from being deceitful.
- Using your private health insurance. If you've been injured on the job, and your employer suggests that you use your own private health insurance instead of reporting your injury for the purpose of obtaining workers' compensation benefits – don't do this. Your health insurance coverage not only charges deductibles and co-pays, it does not provide you with disability benefits, or medical expense reimbursements. Your private health insurance is no substitute for workers' compensation and it was never meant to be.
- You fail to file a claim. Work-related injuries include repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. All too often, workers with repetitive stress injuries to the wrists, neck or back don't think that they are entitled to workers' compensation benefits because they don't think that their injury was caused by a job-related "accident." That's a mistake, and those who fail to file claims for repetitive stress injuries are missing out on crucial workers' compensation benefits of which they are entitled.
Contact an Austin Workers' Compensation Lawyer
If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, contact an Austin workers' compensation attorney from The Despit Law Firm. Our founder is a former insurance defense lawyer who has a firm grasp of all applicable state workers' compensation and personal injury laws.
We gladly offer free case evaluations and we accept cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning, you don't pay us a dime unless we win your case. Call our office today to get started – we look forward to serving you!