What To Do After a Waco Work Injury
It can be overwhelming and stressful to suffer an injury while at work. However, it is important to try to remain calm as the next steps will be critical to your Waco work injury claim.
Report the Injury
It is essential to notify your manager or supervisor immediately after a work injury. Texas allows workers to report an injury within 30 days, but the sooner, the better. If you fail to do so within that time, you may lose your right to worker’s compensation benefits.
Seek Medical Care
Call 911 if you are severely injured. If you do not believe you require emergency medical care, your employer should advise you on the procedure for seeking treatment and give you a list of approved providers. However, if you are uncomfortable with the doctor your employer recommends or unhappy with their diagnosis, you have the right to request a second opinion and even a third. You may also request your employer’s network to allow you to use your primary care physician (PCP) as your treating doctor, but the network must approve, and your PCP must agree to the network’s contract terms.
Document the Scene and Collect Evidence
If you are not taken to the hospital and can remain at the scene, take photos and videos of the area where the accident occurred, what caused your injury, and of your injury. Ask any coworkers or witnesses for the contact information if you do not have it and if they are willing to make a brief statement on your phone. All this information will be critical if a third party is also liable and you pursue a third-party claim. Keep copies of all reports and paperwork related to the accident, including the accident report given to your employer, medical bills, lost income, receipts for any accident-related expenses, etc. In addition, write down your daily symptoms in a journal and how your injury limits your activities.
File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Once your employer is aware of the injury, they are required to notify their worker’s comp insurance company. Workers’ compensation is a state-regulated insurance program that typically will pay your medical bills and replace a portion of your lost wages if:
- You are injured at work or suffer a work-related illness;
- Your employer has workers’ compensation insurance coverage under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act; and,
- Your work-related injury or illness causes you to lose all or some of your wages for more than seven days from one or more jobs.
However, you must complete DWC Form-041 and send it to the Texas Department of Insurance within a year of your accident.
Speak to a Waco Workplace Injury Lawyer
Contact a Waco work injury attorney as soon as possible. They will evaluate your case for free and can advise you on your workers’ compensation claim and whether a third party may be liable. Even if you end up only filing a workers’ compensation claim, it is not always a smooth process. Employer’s insurance companies commonly deny valid claims. Hiring a lawyer for representation and to help you navigate your claim will ensure your rights are protected, and you are treated fairly. Reach out to our firm to get started.