Being injured while on the job can be devastating.
Physical injuries, medical bills, and time away from work while in recovery—it can all feel overwhelming and complicated to navigate.
Unfortunately, dealing with the aftermath of your Texas workplace injury can be even more complex.
If you have sustained a workplace injury, you may be entitled to relief through a Texas workers’ compensation claim.
But where do you begin?
The first step to getting the recovery you deserve is to contact a Texas workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your claims.
With over 85 years of combined legal experience, the workplace injury lawyers at The Zimmerman Law Firm are well-prepared to handle your case.
Give our team a call today at (254) 752-9688 or submit the short form below to speak with a Texas workers’ comp lawyer and get started on fighting for your rights and pursuing your work injury claim.
“They said my employer has Texas Workers’ Compensation, but I didn’t really know …”
Filing For Texas Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If my employer is not covered by Texas Workers’ Comp, then what can I do to get help with my bills, lost wages, and medical needs?
I know my employer is covered by Texas Workers’ Comp, but how do I know that I am getting paid weekly and fairly? What are my rights in Texas?
If my injury involved someone other than my employer (3rd party), which is not covered by Texas Workers’ Comp, then can I still get medical and financial help?
These are questions that many workplace injury and oilfield accident victims have. And while they may be complicated, the good news is that you don’t have to answer them alone.
How Does Workers’ Comp Work in Texas: An Overview of Texas Workmans’ Comp Laws
Workers’ compensation is a state-regulated insurance program that provides workers who sustain work-related injuries or illnesses with medical and income benefits if their employer subscribes to workers’ comp.
Importantly, the injury or illness must be work-related. Thus, you must have sustained the injury or illness while working and/or in connection with your job-related duties.
But after sustaining your workplace injury, where do you go to proceed with your workers’ compensation case? There are a few key steps that you should follow to get the benefits you need to recover.
Step 1: Report Your Workplace Injury or Illness
The first step is to report your injury or illness to your employer
This starts the timeline for the entire workmans’ comp claims process. Thus, it is imperative that you report as soon as possible after your injury occurs or after you become aware of your work-related illness. In fact, failure to do so promptly could jeopardize your entire claim.
Step 2: Seek Medical Attention
After you report your injury, your employer should provide you with details on how you may seek medical attention.
Some employers may require that you seek your medical care from a specific provider or workers’ comp health care network. If this is the case, make sure to comply with these requirements. Otherwise, you may seek out the care of any physician approved by the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC).
Regardless of what physician you select, don’t forget to tell them at the outset that your injury or illness occurred while at work. You should also be sure to tell your doctor all other relevant facts related to your injury. This will ensure that you receive appropriate diagnosis and treatment moving forward.
Step 3: File Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Now you are ready to file your claim. You must complete and file with the DWC what is called an Employee’s Claim for Compensation for a Work-Related Injury or Occupational Disease.
The claim form will ask for information related to your:
- Injury or occupational illness,
- Work status, and
- Selected physician.
However, don’t wait too long to file your claim form. You must file your claim for Texas workers’ compensation benefits within one year of the date of your injury or from the date you knew or should have known the injury or disease may be work-related. Except in rare circumstances, failure to do so can result in a loss of your benefits.
If you have questions about how to complete and file your claim, do not hesitate to contact a Texas workers’ comp lawyer. In fact, the claim form includes a space to designate whether you have the assistance of an attorney.
Filing the initial claim form is a crucial step in the process. Thus, it can’t hurt to have one or more experienced workplace accident lawyers in your corner to help you along the way.
Types of Texas Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Sustaining injuries or becoming ill in the course of your work-related duties can lead to financial losses.
Expenses for medical care and treatment can rack up quickly. Further, you might lose out on valuable wages because you have to miss work while you recover. And sometimes, your injuries are so severe that you can never return to your job in the same capacity that you once could.
While this can be devastating to come to terms with, Texas workers’ compensation benefits, fortunately, provide an avenue for recovery.
Income benefits can replace a portion of wages that you may lose because of a work-related injury or illness.
There are four types of Texas workers’ compensation benefits that we’ll explain below:
- Supplemental; and
Temporary Income Benefits (TIBs)
You may be able to receive temporary income benefits (TIBs) if your work-related injury or illness causes you to lose all or some of your wages for more than seven (7) days. Temporary income benefits (TIBs) are paid out on a weekly basis.
TIBs Min (Oct. 2020-Sept. 2021) = $151
TIBs Max (Oct. 2020-Sept. 2021) = $1,007
You become eligible for TIBs after you miss eight (8) days from work.
Your TIBs will end when one of the following occurs:
- A healthcare provider determines that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), the point at which no further recovery from your injury is expected;
- You reach the average weekly wage you received from your employer before your injury; or
- You reach the end of your maximum TIBs benefits period, 104 weeks after the 8th day of your disability.
It is also important to note that in the context of a workers’ compensation claim, disability refers to your inability to earn an income. It does not necessarily mean a physical handicap.
Impairment Income Benefits (IIBs)
Impairment income benefits (IIBs) are paid to Texas workers whose work-related injury or illness affects their body as a whole. IIBs are also paid out weekly and are typically paid to an injured worker who has reached MMI and received an impairment rating (IR) higher than 0%.
A healthcare provider will determine your IR by assessing your injuries and calculating a percentage of permanent damage to your body. Injured workers are eligible to receive three weeks of IIBs for each percentage of impairment.
IIBs Min (Oct. 2020-Sept. 2021) = $151
IIBs Max (Oct. 2020-Sept. 2021) = $705
You become eligible for IIBs the day after you reach MMI. These benefits will end after you have received three weeks of IIB payments for each percentage point of your IR.
Supplemental Income Benefits (SIBs)
Supplemental income benefits (SIBs) are income benefits that you apply for quarterly (4 times per year, or every 3 months). However, they are paid monthly to injured employees that meet specific eligibility requirements.
To qualify for SIBs, you must:
- Have an IR of 15% or more;
- Not have returned to work, or if you have, have earned less than 80% of the average weekly wage for your position due to your injury;
- Prove that you are currently looking for work; and
- Not accept any lump sum payment for your injury.
If you have questions about whether you qualify for SIBs, contact a Texas workers comp lawyer today.
SIBs Min = N/A
SIBs Max (Oct. 2020-Sept. 2021) = $705
If you are eligible, SIBs will begin the day after your IIBs end.
Your entitlement to receive SIBs ends at 401 weeks (approximately 7 1/2 years) from the date of your injury.
Lifetime Income Benefits (LIBs)
In some scenarios, you may be entitled to receive lifetime income benefits (LIBs). As the name suggests, certain work-related injuries may result in a condition for which you are entitled to income benefits for your lifetime. These benefits are paid out weekly.
LIBs Min (Oct. 2020-Sept. 2021) = $151
LIBs Max (Oct. 2020-Sept. 2021) = $1,007
Examples of situations in which you may be entitled to LIBs include:
- Total and permanent loss of sight in both eyes;
- Loss of both feet;
- Loss of both hands;
- Third-degree burns that require grafting and cover at least 40 percent of the body; and
- Permanent paralysis of limbs.
While this is not an exhaustive list, a workers’ comp lawyer in Texas can help you determine whether you may qualify for LIBs for other reasons.
Questions? Contact a Texas Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
Dealing with the aftermath of a work-related injury or illness can be scary. But a Texas workers’ comp lawyer can help.
If you are looking for an attorney to help you with your claims, the job injury lawyers at The Zimmerman Law Firm are here to help.
We have a team of qualified workers’ comp lawyers in Texas who have dedicated their practice to helping injury victims in need. With more than eight decades of combined legal experience, we are confident that our workplace injury lawyers have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you pursue your claims.
Workers’ Compensation FAQs
No. As long as your injury is job-related, it’s covered. For example, you will be covered if you are injured while traveling on business, doing a work-related errand, or even attending a required business-related social function.
Businesses and contractors that have workers comp insurance policies also have Employer Liability and Business Auto Liability insurance policies. These policies will compensate employees and independent contractors for injuries.
Workers’ compensation, also known as workmans’ comp, is a state-mandated insurance program that provides compensation to employees who suffer job-related injuries and illnesses.
No. First of all, not all employers are required to have workers’ compensation coverage. State laws vary, but an employer’s responsibility to provide coverage usually depends on how many employees it has, what type of business it is, and what type of work the employees are doing.
Your injury need not be caused by an accident — such as a fall from a ladder — to be covered by workers’ compensation. Many workers receive compensation for injuries that are caused by overuse or misuse over a long period of time.
Workers’ compensation, covers most, but not all, on-the-job injuries. The workers’ compensation system is designed to provide benefits to injured workers, even if an injury is caused by the employer’s or employee’s carelessness. But there are some limits.
An injured employee that believes he or she is eligible for Lifetime Income Benefits (LIBs) may submit a written request to the insurance carrier. The insurance carrier is required to respond within 60 days of receiving the request. Lifetime Income Benefits (LIBs) payments must begin on or before the 15th day after the insurance carrier decides.