San Antonio Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Workers’ Compensation in Texas
Texas is one of the few states that does not require employers to have workers’ compensation coverage. For employers, it is important to elect workers’ compensation insurance, as this protects you and your employees in the event of an accident or work-related injury. If you are an employee who has been injured due to a workplace or work-related accident, you may be able to submit a workers’ compensation claim if your employer has elected this coverage.
After a work-related injury, you need to know that you will be compensated for your medical expenses and lost wages as you take time off to heal. Whether you are unsure if you are eligible for workers’ compensation, or you are having issues with your claim, it is a good idea to work with an experienced attorney who can protect your rights and look out for your best interests.
If you are in the area, a San Antonio workers’ compensation attorney from the Law Offices of Pat Maloney, P.C. can help with your claim. We are happy to sit down with you to discuss the specifics of your situation at no cost to you. We also provide our legal services on a contingency fee basis so, if you choose to work with our firm, you do not owe a dime unless/until we recover compensation for you.
How to File for Workers’ Compensation in Texas
If you have been injured due to a workplace accident in San Antonio, Texas, you should know your rights and responsibilities when it comes to filing a workers’ compensation claim.
First, you must determine whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation. Because workers’ comp is not mandatory in Texas, you are only covered if your employer has elected this form of coverage. Additionally, you may need to meet certain other eligibility requirements to file for workers’ compensation in Texas. For example, you must be classified as an “employee,” not an “independent contractor.” Our attorneys can help you determine whether you are entitled to workers’ compensation.
Regardless of whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation, you should notify your employer of the accident/your injuries right away. If you are filing for workers’ comp, you must notify your employer within 30 days of the accident/injury. You should provide this notice in writing; simply telling a manager or supervisor about your injury is often not sufficient to be considered official notice.
Additionally, you have one year to file a workers’ compensation claim. In most cases, this one-year time limit begins on the date of injury. However, it may be extended to one year from the date on which you discovered your injury or illness (or reasonably could have discovered your injury/illness). This is more common in cases in which an individual suffers a work-related illness or does not receive a proper medical diagnosis for a certain period of time.
To file for workers’ compensation in Texas, you should take the following steps:
- Provide written notice of your injury or occupational disease to your employer within 30 days of the injury/diagnosis
- File an Employee’s Claim for Compensation for a Work-Related Injury or Occupational Disease (DWC Form-041) with the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) within one year
- Wait to receive notice of your claim’s acceptance or denial from your employer’s insurance company
If you need help with any aspect of your claim—or if your claim is denied—reach out to our San Antonio workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney, P.C. right away for help. Navigating the workers’ compensation system can be very challenging, but we have an in-depth understanding of the process, as well as a proven record of success in this area of law.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Texas
Workers’ compensation includes both medical and wage replacement benefits. It does not offer compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. However, workers’ compensation does include death benefits, which can be obtained by eligible family members who lose loved ones due to work-related fatalities.
After filing for workers’ compensation in Texas, you could be eligible for the following benefits:
- Medical Benefits: Workers’ compensation pays for all medical expenses associated with necessary treatment for a work-related injury or occupational disease. To be covered, treatment must be approved by or recommended by the injured worker’s treating medical provider.
- Temporary Wage Replacement: Temporary wage replacement benefits are available to those who suffer injuries/illnesses that prevent them from working temporarily. In Texas, temporary disability benefits are calculated based on 70% of the difference between a worker’s average weekly wages and the wages they earn after being injured/falling ill. The percentage is changed to 75% of the difference between the two amounts when the worker earned less than $10/hour.
- Supplemental Income Benefits: Supplemental income benefits may be available when temporary wage replacement benefits end and the worker meets all eligibility requirements. Supplemental income benefits are calculated based on 80% of the difference between what the worker earned before the injury/illness and what the worker earns after being injured/falling ill. Supplemental income benefits are available for no more than 401 weeks.
- Lifetime Income Benefits (Total Disability): Lifetime benefits may be available when a worker suffers a severe, significant, and lasting impairment. These include but are not limited to amputation of both hands/feet or one of each, permanent paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, severe burns, and blindness.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: In some cases, injured workers who are unable to return to their previous employment after a work-related injury or occupational disease may qualify for vocational rehabilitation benefits. These benefits are intended to help workers obtain the education, training, and materials needed to find a new job.
- Death Benefits: In Texas, surviving spouses, children, and other specific family members may be entitled to death benefits when their loved one dies due to a work-related injury or illness. These benefits include up to $10,000 in funeral/burial expenses and 75% of the deceased worker’s wages before death.
What to Do If Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied
Unfortunately, many workers’ compensation claims are denied. Your employer may dispute your claim, the insurance company may argue that you had a pre-existing condition, or the DWC may deny your claim based on mistakes on your application.
Regardless of the reason, having your workers’ compensation claim denied is stressful. How will you be able to pay for your medical expenses and manage everyday costs of living while out of work? The good news is, you can appeal the denial and continue seeking benefits.
To appeal the denial of your workers’ compensation claim, you will need to contact the DWC and provide official notice of your intent to appeal the decision. You will also likely need to attend a benefit review conference, and you may need to be present at arbitration and/or a hearing on your case. We strongly recommend that you reach out to an experienced San Antonio workers’ compensation lawyer at our firm if your claim was denied. We can help you understand your options and assist you in preparing for the next steps.
Contact the Law Offices of Pat Maloney, P.C.
At the Law Offices of Pat Maloney, P.C., we are here to help you navigate Texas workers’ compensation law. Our experienced team can walk you through the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim and assist you through each phase of the process.
Since 1953, we have proudly stood up for the rights of injured workers throughout the San Antonio area. In our 65+ years in practice, we have successfully recovered millions of dollars for our clients and have maintained a 99% success rate in the cases we handle. We provide personal, one-on-one attention directly to our clients from our attorneys and are available to answer your questions at any time.
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