Suffering an accident while at work is difficult, to say the least. Many people fail to report the accident in fear of being let go. The employee feels that if they assume the responsibility of the accident and does not ask the business for compensation, they will stay in a better light with the employer. They put their “loyalty” to the company over their own pain and injury. This is a mistake.
In order to see how misguided this is, we must look at the laws in Texas. An employer is given the option of buying into the Texas Workers’ Compensation insurance plan. If they opt into the plan, employees will be required to report the accident within a few days to the owner, manager, or human resources department.
The employee is sent to the workers’ compensation doctor for treatment. The insurance covers the medical costs and pays a portion of the employee’s salary while they are off-duty. They cannot be terminated for filing a claim. If the employer has accepted this state insurance program, the employee cannot sue them for damages.
If the employer did not sign up for workers’ compensation program, the employee must seek their own medical attention and in this case, they can bring a lawsuit against the employer for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering. You can also seek compensation for expenses you incurred such as hiring someone to help care for you, special equipment you needed, and if the injury was permanent, the remodeling of your home or car to make them accessible to you.
You do not get to make this choice, The employer was given the options and they decided for you. If they decided that workers’ compensation was not the option they preferred, they knew going in that a lawsuit would follow an injury at the place of business,
Things Are Not Always As They Seem
A workplace accident attorney can help you see things in a clear and legal light. Perhaps you were injured because the forklift you were driving malfunctioned, causing the load to flip you over. This may be a case, where the forklift company may be liable.
What if you were injured in a car accident while driving a company car in the scope of business? In this case, you have a workers’ comp claim, but you may also have cause to sue the insurance company of the at-fault driver. You do not have to choose only one option. Again, you cannot be terminated because you were hurt on the job and filed a claim. This is the option your employer provided for you. Use it.
There is no consultation fee to speak with a workplace accident lawyer about your options. It is always wise to discuss what legal avenues you have. Rarely are you unable to get due compensation. You may need an attorney to show you how.
Finally, suffering in silence and keeping a strong upper lip may be honorable in your mind, but consider this. Your health must be your priority. Seek the compensation you are entitled to.