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If you are not able to work because of an injury or illness that occurred at work in Houston, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. When a workplace injury happens, you might find yourself missing out on paychecks, accumulating medical bills, and being overwhelmed with paperwork. This can be an extremely stressful and uncertain time.
Fortunately, Texas law protects workers from negative fallout related to work injuries by requiring employers to carry workers compensation insurance.
What is Workers’ Compensation and How Does It Work?
Workers' compensation is a form of insurance that is purchased by an employer to protect their employees from job-related injuries and illness. It offers a safeguard for injured employees so that they are not left with no job and no money while trying to recover from an injury. Some jobs can be dangerous, and it shouldn't be the responsibility of the employee to manage all the consequences that come with an injury.
Under the Texas Workers' Compensation Act, individuals that are hurt on the job can get different kinds of financial support to cover their injury-related expenses. This includes:
Unlike a personal injury case, workers can qualify for benefits despite being at fault for a work-related accident. However, injured workers can not recover compensation for damages typically awarded in a personal injury lawsuit.
Common Causes of Workplace Injuries
The top three leading causes of job-related injuries account for more than 84% of all nonfatal injuries at work. This includes:
Overexertion and Repetitive Motion Injuries
Overexertion injuries can occur when a worker uses excessive physical effort to do a task and becomes injured. This includes lifting, pushing, turning, holding, carrying, or throwing.
Repetitive motion triggered by stress or strain on some part of the body is due to the repetitive nature of the job. Common repetitive tasks include lifting boxes, typing on a computer, using a ten-key machine, sitting for long hours, and working on an assembly line.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common on-the-job injuries. They account for 25% of yearly injury claims, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Falls at work include falling from slippery floors, from tripping, and from heights like ladders, roofs, scaffolding, or other structures.
Injuries from Contact with Equipment and Objects
Contact with equipment and objects refers to injuries that occur when an individual is struck by something or bumps into something. This can include a worker being hit by a moving object, bumping into or being pushed in front of an object, being crushed in equipment, or being caught in wire or rope. It may also include incidents like a worker being struck or crushed by collapsing structures, equipment, or materials.
Workers' Compensation May Also Cover Occupational Illnesses
Along with being hurt, workers can also get sick with an illness because of their job. When this occurs, workers compensation insurance is designed to help cover some of the expenses.
Job-related illnesses include diseases that arise from hazardous work environments or workplace exposures. Some typical illnesses that occur at work include:
Situations involving occupational illness are complicated for a number of different reasons. One of the main reasons is that you will need to prove that your illness was caused by your job, and not from any other factor like genetics or something that occurred during your personal time. This is further complicated by the fact that many illnesses develop gradually, which makes them harder to recognize and to identify the origin.
What Should I Do if I Am Hurt on the Job?
If you become injured in the course of your employment, you should always report the accident, injury, or illness as soon as possible to your employer. This is important even if an injury appears minor. This, because injuries that appear minor in the beginning can become much more serious in the coming days or weeks.
For example, an injury that might feel like just a strained muscle can turn out to be a sign of permanent nerve damage. Or a sore lower back from lifting a heavy object could be a disc herniation that needs surgery.
Additionally, you should always have a job-related injury examined by a medical professional. This is the only way to learn the extent of your injury, and what can be done to recuperate. This is especially important for stress or repetitive motion injuries. Here, making changes in the ergonomic environment might not only cure the injury, but help to prevent injuries to others. Further, to protect the long-term ability of an employee to keep and carry on in his or her job.
Finally, waiting too long to report an injury at work may seize your right to claim any kind of workers' compensation benefits.
Should You Contact a Houston Workplace Accident Lawyer?
Consequently, if you suffer an on-the-job injury in Houston, speak to the Houston personal injury attorneys at Dunk Law Firm. Do not go through these hard times alone. We are here to assist you with your claim. We know the causes and effects of work accidents and injuries. Also, we know the laws and regulations related to workers' compensation in Texas and will work to make the most of the compensation you receive.