As an employee in Texas, it is important to understand your rights in the event of a workplace injury. In this article, we will define what it means to be an injured employee in Texas and provide an overview of the rights and options available to you.
Filing a Claim
To begin the process of receiving workers’ compensation benefits, you will need to file a claim. In Texas, there are specific requirements and time limits for filing a claim, so it is important to understand the process and act quickly.
To file a claim, the injury must have occurred in the course of your employment, it must be reported to your employer within 30 days of the incident and you must file a claim with the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation within one year of the incident.
The process of filing a claim includes: reporting the injury to your employer and requesting an accident report, obtaining medical treatment and documenting your injuries, filing a claim with the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation and waiting for a decision from the Division regarding your claim.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Once your claim has been approved, you may be eligible for a variety of workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits are intended to help cover the costs of medical treatment and lost wages as a result of your injury.
Medical benefits are available to cover the costs of medical treatment related to your injury, including doctor’s visits, surgeries, and prescription medications. Income benefits are available to provide a portion of your lost wages while you are unable to work due to your injury.
Eligibility for benefits is based on the following criteria: your injury must have occurred in the course of your employment, your employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance, and you must have reported the injury to your employer within 30 days of the incident.
The amount of benefits is calculated based on the actual cost of treatment for medical benefits and on your average weekly wage and the extent of your disability for income benefits.
Return to Work
In many cases, injured employees are able to return to work after receiving medical treatment. However, it may be necessary for you to return to work on a modified or light duty schedule. Your employer has a responsibility to accommodate your needs and provide you with the necessary resources to return to work safely.
Employer’s responsibility to accommodate injured employees includes providing light duty or modified duty work, providing necessary equipment or accommodations, and providing vocational rehabilitation services.
Light duty and modified duty programs allow you to return to work on a schedule that accommodates your physical limitations and your employer must provide you with a job that is suitable for your condition and allows you to earn at least 80% of your pre-injury wage.
Vocational rehabilitation services provide you with the necessary training and support to return to your previous job or find a new job if you are unable to return to your previous job due to your injury.