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Workers' Compensation

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Houston Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Protecting Workers in Thousands of Cases Nationwide

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance used by employers to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and other benefits after a worker has been injured. When a worker is injured, they usually must file a claim for worker’s compensation within 30 days of the injury or the illness becoming known.

Even though the law requires employers to provide a safe work environment for their employees, these standards are not always met—and specific workplaces can still be dangerous. This is particularly true for industrial and offshore work, which have a higher probability of workplace injuries. For this precise reason, workers’ comp is available to protect those who have been wrongfully harmed while working. Workers’ comp provides wages and medical benefits for the injuries incurred on the job. This is meant to help the employee recover, especially if the injury has prompted a temporary leave from his or her occupation or requires job accommodations.

Workers’ compensation also waives an employee’s right to sue the employer. The system is designed to ensure that injured employees are compensated while insulating employers against endless litigation.

Workers’ Compensation, Loopholes & No-Fault Claims

Worker’s compensation is a no-fault claim, which means the worker has a right to compensation without the need for proving employer negligence. However, employers may use other loopholes to deny compensation. For instance, if there were no witnesses to an accident, then an employer may use this as a reason to deny the veracity of the claim. Certain injuries like repetitive stress injury may not be entirely verifiable as occurring due to workplace hazards, even with X-rays and tests. Employers can use this as a reason to deny or delay compensation. The bottom line is this: workers’ compensation laws tend to favor the worker over the employer, but employers may still try to find loopholes.

Workers’ Compensation Specifics: “Non-Subscriber” Claims

Texas is the only state in America that does not require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. While most Texas companies still carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect themselves, some businesses choose to be “non-subscribers." A non-subscriber is a business that chooses not to give their employee’s ability to file for workers’ compensation. Non-subscriber companies are not involved in workers’ compensation claims, but they open themselves to substantial lawsuits. In Texas, a lawsuit against a non-subscriber industry is stronger than a typical personal injury lawsuit. This is because companies that forgo workers’ compensation claims also forgo certain privileges.

Some of these privileges they forgo include the following:

  • Assumption of Risk - An employer shouldn’t be held liable for an injury that a worker receives when the job is “inherently risky.”
  • Contributory Negligence - An employee’s partial responsibility for a personal injury due to a lack of prudent behavior.
  • Last Clear Chance” - A situation where an injured employee probably failed to take an opportunity to get out of harm’s way.

Workers’ Compensation Specifics: Third-Party Claims

Just because your employer has workers’ compensation that does not mean that you cannot file a lawsuit. In some circumstances, your work injury could be filed under a “third-party” claim. A third-party claim is a lawsuit that is made by an employee against another entity other than the employer. For example, if one employee hurts another, the injured employee may pursue a third-party claim against the worker. Similarly, if an individual was injured by the use of a defective, dangerous product, there may be grounds to pursue a claim against the manufacturer.

Here is a list of common “third-party” claims and the party being sued for each claim:

  • Injury by Another Entity - Claim made against the entity.
  • Injury by Malfunctioning Equipment - Claim made against the equipment manufacturer.
  • Injury by Toxic Substance - Claim made against the manufacturer or other at-fault party.

Choosing a Third-Party Claim Over Workers’ Compensation

Workers' compensation is appealing because it provides workers with a sure source of financial support after an accident. However, though it may take more time, a personal injury case against a third-party allows workers to pursue more damages and receive more compensation for their injuries. This additional compensation can help ensure their family is provided for if their injury is permanent or debilitating.

Third-party worker injury claims can seek compensation for the following:

  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Physical and emotional suffering
  • Past and future medical costs
  • Compensation for property damage
  • Any other appropriate damages

So, while an employee can file workers’ compensation for immediate payment, a third-party claim will enable them to pursue potentially much more in court. Workers’ compensation only solves immediate financial issues, but a personal injury attorney fights for full economic recovery.

Texas Workers' Comp FAQ

Are all industrial injuries covered by workers’ compensation?

In Texas, unlike every other state, employers are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This means that not all industrial injuries will be covered by workers’ comp. They will only be covered if the employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, and even then the injury must be deemed work-related to qualify. Even if your injury is not covered, however, you should know that you have other avenues available to you. You could be entitled to money for your medical bills, lost earnings, and also pain and suffering through a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. No matter what, you should consider all of your options.

What type of workers’ comp benefits am I entitled to in Texas?

Injured workers in Texas may be entitled to benefits that cover their medical costs and a portion of their lost wages. Families of workers who lose their lives in work-related accidents may be entitled to money for burial and funeral costs and the loss of their loved one’s income. Additional compensation can be sought in civil court, and this is one of many reasons it may be beneficial to involve an experienced work injury lawyer. You should be compensated for every loss, injury, and expense, and that’s what a skilled lawyer can help accomplish.

Should I hire a lawyer to help with my workers’ compensation claim?

You are not required by law to hire a lawyer to file a workers’ compensation claim in Texas, but you should know that there is no guarantee that you’ll get fair benefits—even if your claim is truly valid. If you were seriously injured or are running into any problems trying to recover the benefits you deserve, you should talk to a lawyer. Workers’ comp insurance companies and employers are notorious for trying to limit claim payouts. A lawyer can help you avoid delays or an outright denial that would jeopardize your ability to get the medical treatment and financial support you deserve.

Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

Any employee who is injured while on the job should be entitled to workers’ compensation. There isn’t a waiting period for workers’ compensation to be applied to you because you should be covered the minute you start the job. By accepting the financial and medical compensations offered through this type of package, an employee agrees to forego their right to sue the employer for tort negligence.

Workers’ compensation plans vary from company to company and state to state. In general, you will be compensated in some capacity for the money you might lose if you have to take time off work to recover from an injury. Typically, if you are unable to work for more than seven days, you are entitled to weekly benefits. Not all workers are considered employees though, such as freelancers and independent contractors. It would be best to check with your employer to see if you maintain the status of “employee” who could be covered by workers’ compensation.

Four areas of workers’ compensation benefits that Texas employees are eligible for include:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Burial and funeral expenses
  • Lost income for family

Your workers’ compensation will also provide financial relief for medical bills and hospital expenditures. You will probably need to contact an attorney if you are concerned with a claim you are filing; in general, if you were hurt on the job, you are entitled to workers’ compensation.

About Social Security Disability

In case of an injury causing a disability, a worker can apply for Social Security Disability benefits. This can be done at the same time as you apply for workers' compensation. That's because Social Security Disability Insurance is a federally funded program, while workers' compensation may differ from state to state. Social security benefits can be paid out for the lifetime of the person, unlike workers' compensation packages that come with limited benefits.

To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, a worker:

  • Must have a physical or mental impairment.
  • Must be able to prove that the disability has lasted 12 months, or is expected to last for that long.
  • Must be unable to work, or to earn more than $900 a month, as a result of the impairment.

Call (888) 493-1629 to Schedule a Free Case Review

Workers’ compensation alone is generally insufficient to compensate for injury victims. An experienced lawyer can find additional responsible third parties to add into your industrial accident lawsuit so that you can obtain the full amount of compensation you are due. Additionally, some companies are non-subscribers, meaning that they have purchased private insurance to cover workplace incidents instead of subscribing to state workers’ compensation. A non-subscribing employer or other responsible business owners can be sued directly for damages.

Top-rated workers' comp lawyers will know how much of a settlement your injuries deserve. They can help you fight for an amount appropriate to your medical and financial needs.

Personal injuries that occur on the job are difficult to overcome without the added stress of unresponsive insurance companies or businesses. It is your right as an employee to be dutifully compensated for any injuries you incur while on the job. If, for any reason, you are unable to obtain proper compensatory means, our firm can help. Workers’ compensation law and help filing claims are among the many ways we have helped our clients, and just as with every other personal injury matter we handle, we are dedicated to seeing your case through to the end and fighting for the best possible results.

Have you been injured on the job? Call Arnold & Itkin at (888) 493-1629 for a free case review.

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  • $171 Million One of the Largest Confidential Settlements in History Arnold & Itkin worked over the course of several years to represent clients in a case that many other law firms turned down. In the end, we were able to obtain a record-setting confidential settlement of $171 million.
  • $97 Million Massive Settlement Secured for Refinery Workers Arnold & Itkin is proud to share that after months of preparation for trial, our firm was able to secure a huge settlement for clients who were injured in a refinery fire. Find out more now.
  • $44 Million The Largest Verdict Ever Won for an Amputee Victim Arnold & Itkin represented a construction superintendent who required a leg amputation after a crane collapse. At the time of the collapse, our client had been standing behind a safety fence 100 feet away when a fallen piece of crane equipment pinned ...
  • $39.7 Million Record Verdict Won for Victim of Industrial Accident Attorneys Kyle Findley and Adam Lewis obtained a record $39.744 million verdict on behalf of a client who was burned in a severe dust fire and explosion at a plywood plant in Corrigan, TX.
  • $18.5 Million Second Verdict Won for 4 Victims of Geismar Explosion In our second trial on behalf of victims of the 2013 plant explosion in Geismar, LA, Arnold & Itkin won a massive verdict for 4 workers and their families. The verdict will go toward providing the extensive care they have required in the years since ...
  • $15.5 Million Massive Verdict Won for Geismar Explosion Victims Arnold & Itkin won a landmark verdict against Williams Companies, Inc. and child company Williams Olefins LLC for their part in the 2013 explosion that killed 2 workers and injured over 100 more. Williams Companies tried to blame the incident on ...
  • $13.7 Million Massive Settlement Won Only Months After Injury Arnold & Itkin represented a plant worker who was seriously injured in an accident on the job. Plant injuries are often complex, taking years to fully investigate and litigate. Fortunately, our firm’s work was able to secure a multi-million dollar ...
  • $12 Million Injured Worker Received Settlement for Burn Injuries Our industrial injury lawyers have recently recovered $12 million on behalf of a plant worker who suffered burns when a safety valve failed at the refinery where he was employed. His settlement will go toward providing him with extensive and ...
  • $11.7 Million Settlement Won for Plant Worker Injured During Turnaround Attorneys Kurt Arnold and Jason Itkin successfully recovered $11.75 million on behalf of a man who was injured while working a turnaround at an industrial plant. He was injured because he and his team were not informed of the plant’s dangers, and his ...
  • $11.6 Million Verdict Secured for a Worker Partially Blinded on the Job Our client was only offered $300,000 by the defendant for his near-total loss of sight in one eye, but the jury only deliberated for less than 2 days before they found the defendant guilty of defective equipment design. They gave our client an award ...
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“They're very professional. They didn't back down. That's why I like my lawyers. Even when I had to do my testimony in court, they didn't let those lawyers run over me. They fought hard. You have some lions with Arnold & Itkin. They not going to back down.”
Maurice Workplace Explosion Victim

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