Third Party Caused Work-related Injury
At Farrah Martinez, PLLC, we handle workers’ compensation claims, specifically those accidents caused by a third-party’s negligence. If a third-party caused the injury, then we sue the third-party directly. A third-party is anyone other than your employer that caused the injury you suffered while on the job. For example, if you are a truck driver and were in an accident while transporting good for your employer and a drunk driver hit you, then the drunk driver (a third-party) is responsible for your injuries. You might also be able to pursue a claim against your employer for income and health benefits under the worker’s compensation act.
An injury that occurred at work and happened while you were performing your job, is generally handled through the Texas Worker’s Compensation Division unless your employer does not carry worker’s compensation insurance.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance is Optional
Workers’ Compensation Insurance, often referred to as workers’ comp, is a form of insurance coverage maintained by employers to provide medical and wage assistance to employees hurt as a result of performing their job. In Texas, employers are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. So, the first step is to find out if your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance coverage for employees. Next, it depends on if your injury qualifies as a “compensable injury”.
Recovery for Injuries
A compensable injury is a legal term. In Texas, it means an injury that arises out of and in the course and scope of employment for which compensation is payable under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Simply put, the injury occurred as a result of you performing your job.
It is Illegal for an Employer to Fire an Employee for a Compensable Injury
Many employees are afraid to file a workers’ compensation claim because they do not want to risk being fired. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, each year tens of thousands of employees file workers’ compensation claims. By law, an employer is not allowed to fire an employee that files a workers’ compensation claim in good faith. If you are fired for filing a claim, you might have a retaliation claim for wrongful discharge.
The Texas Workers' Compensation Act says you have the right to the following:
You may receive benefits for job related injuries if the injury was not the result of intoxication, an act of God, a planned accident, horseplay, off duty work, or a personal attack
You have the right to seek medical attention from the doctor of your choice either from an approved list or a doctor within the healthcare network
You have the right to keep your workers’ comp claim confidential
You have the right to hire a workers compensation lawyer.
The Texas Workers' Compensation Act also places responsibilities on an injured employee. If you have been injured, you must:
Report the injury in 30 days.
Visit a doctor and explain your injuries or illness and tell you doctor the injury or illness is work related.
File a claim with the Division of Workers’ Compensation within one year of your accident.
If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, contact Farrah Martinez at (713) 853-9296, Houston Personal Injury and Accident Attorney for a free consultation and review of your work-related injury.