What are the Limits of Workers Comp in Texas?
Injuries and illnesses on the job are challenging, especially when you are left disabled. Workers’ compensation is an insurance program for businesses that provides limited benefits to workers injured on the job. There is, however, a trade-off: under worker’s compensation, you waive the right to file a civil lawsuit to recover damages.
In other words, workers’ compensation provides you with a relatively easy way to receive limited compensation for medical care and lost wages but, in exchange, you waive the possibility to receive a much larger payout for damages such as pain, suffering, and other non-economic damages. Further, even if you have workers’ compensation, you may still need to fight to get all the benefits you have a right to claim.
Texas’ Workers’ Compensation Limitations
Under state law, if you are injured on the job in Texas, you are required to do the following:
- You must report your injury or work-related health condition within 30 days
- You will be provided with medical care within reason as long as you choose a doctor from an approved list, with exceptions granted in cases of emergency
- You will receive lost wage payments at a percentage of the income you would otherwise have earned, with limitations on the maximum compensation
- If your injury results in an inability to return to your job, workers’ compensation will provide benefits for retraining so you can gain alternative employment
- The family of a worker who dies on the job is eligible to receive 75% of the victim’s weekly wages and up to $10,000 in funeral and burial expenses.
Workers’ compensation further allows for extended benefits in extreme circumstances, including:
- Lifetime benefits of 75% of your previous weekly wages (with a yearly 3% increase) in cases of specific and severe injuries, such as amputations, paralysis, blindness, severe brain injuries, and severe burns.
- Medical travel expenses, if you have to go more than 30 miles from your home and closer treatment was unavailable.
Your Rights as a Worker in Texas
Whether you work in an office or construction site, you have the right to sign up for or reject workers’ compensation if your employer offers it. You also have the right to take it and use it to maintain your health and well-being throughout your employment. Workers’ compensation comes with many advantages, with one of the most significant being the speed with which benefits can be obtained.
How a Lawyer Can Help
If you’ve opted out of workers’ compensation and you were injured on the job, there’s no question that engaging an attorney is a smart decision. The level of benefits you receive can vary, and your attorney will identify all sources of compensation, including filing a third-party lawsuit if appropriate. Your attorney will work closely with your medical professionals to evaluate the severity of your injuries and the impact on your health, and the ability to earn a living.
At Sorey, Gilliland & Hull LLP, our personal injury attorneys have decades of experience fighting for the rights of injured workers. We’ve won millions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts, and we’re here for you. We offer a free consultation, so call us today at (903) 207-5526. If you can’t come to us, we’ll come to you.