If you suffered an injury or illness while performing work duties in Texas, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, many injured employees are not familiar with the legal process and even their own rights. It is not uncommon for workers to make mistakes that can have a negative impact on their claim.
The following are the most common mistakes injured Texas workers need to avoid when filing for workers’ compensation benefits:
- Failure to properly report the accident – As soon as the accident occurs, the most important step to take is to report the injury to your employer. According to Texas law, failure to provide notice within 30 days after the injury could result in losing the right to collect benefits. Employers often ask injured employees to complete an incident report and provide information to start the claims process. If your employer doesn’t do this, it is wise to file a written report about your injury.
- Failure to seek medical treatment – Workers’ compensation benefits are provided to treat injuries suffered by employees and help them recover. If an injured worker fails to seek medical care, the employer or their insurance company will assume that no injury exists. Additionally, medical records are considered one of the most important pieces of evidence in a claim. So without it, the claim can be easily denied.
- Failure to adhere to medical treatment – You follow the treating doctor’s orders and attend all medical and therapy appointments. If an injured worker fails to comply with medical treatment or intentionally doesn’t show up to medical appointments that have been scheduled by the employer, insurance company, or the doctor, his/her benefits will be suspended or stopped entirely.
- Sign documents without an attorney – If you sign a settlement offer, the claim process is over. If you are later unhappy with your settlement, you cannot revisit your claim. In most cases, the initial settlement offer from the insurance company is typically low. A lawyer can review the documents from your employer and/or insurance company and determine whether or not it is in your best interest to sign them.
- Failure to hire legal representation – Many injured workers avoid hiring an attorney because they either worry about affording legal counsel or don’t know how to find a good lawyer. They also make the mistake of assuming their employer or insurance company are looking out for their best interests, which is never the case. Although an attorney will typically get a portion of the money injured workers collect from the insurance company, a good lawyer can help them obtain all of their entitled benefits.
If you have suffered an injury at the workplace, our Forth Worth workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Office of James M. Stanley is ready to protect your rights and future. We can guide you through the complexities of the legal process to help you avoid making mistakes that could jeopardize your benefits.
Contact us and schedule a free consultation for more information today.