Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Fights for The Injured
Work-related injuries or illnesses can be a nuisance or a life-changing problem. If you’re like most people, you’d rather just get on with it and go back to work, even if the injury is a distraction to getting the job done. However, sometimes you need to take some time off to recover so that you can be at your full potential. That’s the goal of the workers’ compensation programs. When someone is injured at work, the state ensures that workers can get paid time off, with money to take care of medical expenses, and not have to worry about battling with employers.
However, sometimes employers aren’t willing partners in their employee’s recovery. Sometimes their insurance company fights for every penny, stopping you from getting needed finances while you recover. Even worse, your employer may not participate in Texas’ workers’ compensation program.
Our Abilene Workers’ Comp Lawyer Takes on Employers and Their Insurance Companies for You
It’s during these times that you definitely need an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer like the attorneys at the Hanna Law Firm. We are eager to help people like you deal with the stress that comes from getting a work injury, whether it keeps you out for a week or requires you to receive temporary disability.
Our lawyers have significant experience in helping people, with clients from all over West Texas eager to report a great experience working with us. Call us at (432) 220-2649to find out how we can help.
WHAT THE WORKERS’ COMP LAWYERS AT THE HANNA LAW FIRM CAN DO FOR YOU
We Help Texans Get the Compensation They Deserve Through an On-The-Job Injury Lawsuit
If you are filing a workers’ compensation claim through the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation, we can help you navigate the complicated processes and strict demands of the system. Your paperwork will be timely, you won’t have to fight the doctor for information you need to file the claim, and you won’t have to deal with insurers. We can help you get back to supporting yourself and your family.
However, some employers do not have to be a part of the workers’ compensation system in Texas. They are called “non-subscribers.” That means if you want your employer to do the right thing and help you out while you recover from injuries you got on the job, you will need an attorney to make the case for you.
There is a process to undergo before you can sue one of these “non-subscribers” to workers’ comp insurance in Texas. We know how to take care of this. Once you come to us to discuss your injury, we will get started as soon as possible. We will be able to point you to some of the best care facilities in Abilene or nearby so that you can get proper treatment if necessary. We will try to help you get money for the days of work you miss because of your injury. Our workers’ comp lawyer will take care of the details so you can focus on recovery.
Texas is a growing state. People are moving here in droves; there’s a lot of construction, and the oilfields are still active. There’s a lot happening requiring labor that has some risk, and our firm wants to help protect the rights of people putting their lives on the line to make our lives easier. Call our workers’ comp lawyers in Abilene at 432-606-8048 to find out how we can help.
WHAT IF MY EMPLOYER DOESN’T HAVE WORKERS’ COMP?
Suing Your Employer For Work Related Injuries
In most states, the government makes it mandatory for employers with a certain number of employees to participate in their state’s workers’ compensation program. In Texas, employers are not required to participate. If an employer and employee both benefit from the program, why would Texas employers not want to participate? It has been a policy since 1913, when the state’s workers’ compensation law was enacted, and it hasn’t changed. Still, around half of private sector employees aren’t covered by state insurance, and 20% of employees in the state work for a non-subscriber.
Whether it’s because of cost or other reasons, the employers who do not participate in the Texas workers’ compensation program are putting themselves in some danger. Under the program, they lose certain legal protections they would have if they participated. If an employee files a claim against an employer under the program, they can argue that the employee performed some action that the employer shouldn’t have to pay for. They may claim any of the below to protect themselves:
- The employee was intoxicated.
- The employee hurt themselves on purpose.
- Another employee caused the injury.
- The injury was caused by a recreational activity (not work-related activity).
- There was a contributing injury from previous accident.
- The injury was cause by an act of God (like a severe weather incident).
- The injury was caused by horseplay.
- The injury was not within the course and scope of employment.
However, when an employee sues an employer for payment for their injuries and the employer doesn’t have the state-run insurance, they are prohibited from making certain defenses in court. They cannot argue:
- Contributory negligence: In negligence lawsuits in Texas, a person can defeat a claim against them using a modified version of contributory negligence. If a person is 51% responsible for their own injuries, they can’t claim anything. In workers’ comp claims, the non-subscriber employer won’t be able to use this. An employee could be mostly responsible for their injury, but they may still make a claim.
- Assumption of Risk: They cannot allege that you knew what you were doing was dangerous and you took an unreasonable action anyway that caused the injury.
- Another Worker is Liable: Self-explanatory
- Employee Signed a Waiver of Liability: An employer can’t use this as a defense if they are a non-subscriber.
With this loss of protection by the law, the outlook is better for an on-the-job lawsuit if your employer is a non-subscriber. The workers’ compensation rules are complex in Texas, so to be sure you will get all the compensation you are due, whether from filing for benefits or pursuing a work injury lawsuit, you need a skilled attorney.
OUR ABILENE WORKERS’ COMP LAWYER IS READY TO HELP
If you are working in the West Texas area and you’ve been injured at work, you need to call a lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. If you work for someone who doesn’t subscribe to Texas’ workers’ compensation program, you need an attorney who understands the complexities of the law and is ready to make a strong case on your behalf.
At the Hanna Law Firm, our workers’ compensation attorney in Abilene is prepared to get you what you need to get back to work, such as payment for medical bills and part of your wages that you would have if you were working. If you can’t return to work because of the workplace injuries, we can help with getting you proper medical treatment and long-term support. Call us at (432) 220-2649 today.
Our Abilene Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Wants to Help You
If you have been injured at work and you need help with medical bills, call the Hanna Law Firm as soon as you’re able. We help people whose employers do not participate in the Texas workers’ compensation program to get fair compensation for their injuries and lost wages. We know the difficulties caused by missing just a few days of work, and we know how expensive medical care is in this day and age. We want fellow Texans to know that there is someone fighting for the workers. So call our workers’ compensation attorney today at (432) 220-2649 and find out how we can help you.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is an insurance system of sorts, that makes it easier for workers to get compensated for injuries when they are injured while doing something for an employer. It’s also easier on the employer, because they don’t have to go back and forth with employees who need medical care. The state runs the program; the employer pays into the program via taxes.
What laws govern workers’ compensation in Texas?
The Texas Workers’ Compensation Act authorizes the program in the state. The Department of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) runs the program.
Do all employers in Texas have workers’ comp insurance?
No. Unlike other states, Texas does not require businesses to buy Workers’ Compensation insurance. Businesses that don’t have the insurance are called “non-subscriber” companies. They don’t have to participate in the state program. However, they lose the liability protections that companies have that do participate. Also, the employee must show in court that the employer is responsible for their injury or illness in order to get compensation. Your employer may carry some kind of private insurance if they are non-subscribers. You would have received notice of this when you started work.
How do I file a claim?
You can file a claim with the Dept. of Workers’ Compensation within 30 days of the injury. You must also notify your employer about the injury. If you fail to file the claim before that period ends, you may lose the right to file the claim unless you have a very good reason for missing the deadline.
What can I get from a workers’ compensation claim?
This will all depend on your situation. It will depend on how badly you’re injured; how long you are out of work, if at all; whether your condition changes; and other issues. In general, you may receive: Medical benefits – These take care of the cost of the medical treatment you need. The employer’s insurer is supposed to pay these costs. Income benefits – If you’re out of work because of your injury or work-related illness, you’re eligible to receive compensation for it. Your employer will report that to their insurance company to pay. Temporary income benefits – If you are out of work for more than seven days, you are eligible for up to 75% of what you were getting for an average weekly wage. There is a maximum amount of time you can receive these benefits. They can vary based on your ability to perform any kind of work. Impairment income benefits – You are eligible for these benefits (70% of average weekly wage) if you’ve injured a body part, like your back, and your ability to perform work is degraded. You could be eligible for these even after going back to the job. Supplemental income benefits – You may receive these benefits if you were seriously injured and the damage is permanent and you haven’t returned to work. You may receive these if you return to work but are paid less because you can’t perform your old duties anymore because of the injury. There are other requirements, like a doctor’s opinion, that may affect the amount. Lifetime income benefits – Persons eligible for these benefits are victims of a serious injury, like a brain injury, that creates an impairment. Death and burial – Benefits that go to the family of a person deceased while at work.
Can I settle my claim under workers’ compensation?
In a word, no. There are no settlement provisions in the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act. The Impairment income benefit may look like a settlement, because it is a lump sum payment. However, that payment may not be right for you. In a settlement, you may be giving up something of value to make the case end quickly. You can’t give away your rights to benefits in workers’ compensation.
What if my employer refuses to pay benefits?
It is possible that the employer’s insurance company will fight you on receiving workers’ compensation benefits. They may fight over minor details just to lower payments. The employer or their insurer may not want to pay anything. While the law says that you don’t have to prove anything in a workers’ comp case, the employer may make one of several arguments that can stop you from receiving the money you deserve. The fact that an employer can make an argument to stop you from receiving workers’ compensation should be enough of a reason to make you think about hiring an attorney to represent you when you file a claim. You may need someone to guide you through the process or simply help you feel at ease, knowing that a skillful workers’ comp lawyer has your back. If you are in Abilene and you have been injured while at work, call the Hanna Law Firm. If you are sick because your place of employment hasn’t kept a safe and clean workplace, call us. Our workers’ comp attorneys are ready to help you with your workers’ compensation claim. Call (432) 220-2649 as soon as you are able.
Your first step in getting a fair and just amount of money for your work-related injuries should be to call a workers’ comp lawyer in Abilene with the experience in the field and the passion for justice that we have at the Hanna Law Firm. We have helped thousands of people over the decades that we’ve been in business to get what they need to recover from a workplace injury. We’ve taken on some of the biggest employers in the biggest industries in Texas and have been able to do what’s right for our clients.
We know your goal is to get back on your feet and get back to work. We want to be a part of your recovery team. We will do that by putting you at ease that you will be well-taken care of if you let us help. We will ask for the compensation that best fits your situation. We can negotiate a settlement from a position of strength or be ready to battle in court. Call us today at (432) 220-2649 to find out how we can help you.
You will be entitled to various kinds of compensation if your employer is responsible for your injuries at work.
Medical Benefits – payments for hospitalization, treatments, medication, devices you might need, rehabilitation therapy you would need, as well as any money you’ve already spent or any miscellaneous costs related to recovering or treatment for the injury
Lost Wages – For the time you were out of work due to the injury, you’d get some of the wages you would have earned if you were able to work.
Payments to you for injuries not easily calculated. These are commonly known as damages for pain and suffering, loss of consortium or other negative effects the injuries have had on your life.
If your employer was reckless in making sure your workplace was safe, avoided warnings regarding the safety of the workplace or intentionally caused your injuries, a court may award you punitive damages. This is to sound a clear warning to employers that they can’t hurt other people by sloppy work or trying to save money at the expense of the employees.
Get Assistance from Our Abilene Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
The workers’ compensation claim process is primarily administrative. An employer and employee fill out some paperwork, turn it in, and someone makes a decision about your future based on those pages. When the employer disagrees with you on some issue, there are some pathways to resolve the issue. This is the time you should think about hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for help.
In Texas, you have a few things you can do to deal with the disagreement. The first thing you should do is ask a workers’ compensation attorney with experience in dealing with the workers’ compensation program in the state. Ask our workers’ comp lawyers at the Hanna Law Firm about the process. We have been helping clients in the West Texas area for years to get the money they deserve for their injuries.
Another avenue is to ask for a Benefits Review Conference. You and your representative can meet with other parties to your claim in an attempt to resolve the problem. The meeting will be led by a state employee called a Benefits Review Officer, and it will be similar to mediating a dispute.
Another option is to have a Contested Case Hearing. This process is less administrative and more like a judicial hearing. An Administrative Law Judge will hear evidence from both sides regarding your case. You should have a representative with you to make a case for you.
The next step is an Appeals Panel. If you are unsatisfied with a decision at this level, you may ask for an appeals hearing before a DWC Appeals Panel. The appeals panel will review your Contested Case Hearing and decide whether it agrees with the judge’s decision.
If the Appeals Panel agrees with the Administrative Law Judge, then you may need to file an appeal with the district court.
Workers’ Compensation Law Firm for Appeals and Lawsuits
We Will Fight for the Benefits You Deserve
At the Hanna Law Firm, we can help you with any of these processes to get your workers’ compensation claim resolved, your medical bills paid and some money in your account. We know the workers’ compensation system in Texas well. Our attorneys have successfully litigated cases for clients and won justice for many, whether they work in the oilfields of Texas or drive the trucks that service them. Call us at (432) 220-2649 for advice on handling workers’ compensation claims, denials, appeals and whether or not you can successfully sue an employer or their insurer when they don’t want to pay.
Suing Employers for On-the-Job Injuries
Can You Sue Your Employer When You Have Been Injured at Work?
If your employer subscribes to the Texas workers’ compensation program, you may not sue them for damages if you are injured at work, unless you have previously waived participation and retained a right to sue.
You may sue employers who do not participate in the workers’ compensation program (these employers are non-subscribers). You can sue employers if they intentionally cause your injuries. You can also sue a third party who might have been involved, like someone who made faulty heavy machinery for use on an oilfield or construction site.