How Do I Sue for a Work Injury?
If you were injured at work, you may have had to take time off work to recover while at the same time racking up large medical bills that need to be paid. This can be a stressful time, but there may be ways for you to receive compensation from your employer.
Normally you would gain relief through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. But what if your claim is rejected, or your employer does not carry workers’ compensation? You may need to file a personal injury lawsuit. As an employee, you have a right to a safe workplace. If an action or negligence on your employer’s part created an unsafe workplace, you may have a strong case for a workplace injury suit.
Your Employer Has Workers’ Comp. Insurance
Workers’ compensation insurance supplies medical and wage benefits for workers who are injured on the job. Your lost wages and medical bills related to an on-the-job injury are covered under this insurance.
Texas statutes do not require private employers to provide state-regulated workers’ compensation. Construction, agricultural, and farm employers often do not have workers’ compensation insurance.
Report Your Injury
If your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance the first thing you need to do is report your injury. You have 30 days from the date the injury happened or from the date you discovered your illness or injury was related to your job, according to the Office of Injured Employee Counsel (OIEC). You may lose your right to obtain worker’s compensation benefits if you do not notify your employer within 30 days.
In order to protect your rights, you have one year from the date of your injury to send a completed DWC Form-041 (Employee’s Claim for Compensation for a Work-Related Injury or Occupational Disease) to the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC).
If your employer’s insurance company denies your claim, you are allowed to challenge that decision through the DWC. You will have to participate in a benefit review conference prior to seeing a workers’ comp judge.
You Can Still File a Lawsuit
You can still sue if your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance if you feel your injury was caused by gross negligence. Gross negligence means your employer failed to create a safe and healthy working environment.
You will be required to show your employer had a duty of care to you and breached his or her duty by not utilize reasonable care. You will then be required to show the court that your employer caused your injury through negligence.
Your Employer Does Not Have Workers’ Comp. Insurance
If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance and you are injured on the job, you are allowed to file a lawsuit against him or her. A non-subscriber employer forfeits their common law defenses and can be sued for negligence.
In order to bring a lawsuit against your employer for a work injury, you need to gather all the evidence you can. A judge will examine your case to find out if you were treated unfairly or whether you suffered an injury on the job.
You will also need to prove to a judge that you sustained an injury. You may have to bring your doctor or another expert witness to testify an injury occurred. To find out whether or not your employer has workers’ compensation, contact the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation.
An Experienced Workplace Attorney Can Help
Being hurt on the job can be stressful. Contact an experienced workplace attorney to help guide you through the process of suing for a work injury. Your attorney will make sure you receive the compensation you are entitled to.