Injured Employees Must Understand Their Workers’ Compensation Rights After an Accident

David W. Hodges
David Hodges is a founding partner of Kennedy Hodges. He focuses his practice on personal injury claims.

Suffering an injury while on the job can be a devastating blow to many workers and their families. Not only is the injury physically taxing, it also may lead to significant financial strain since many injured workers are unable to return to work for weeks, months, or even permanently. Unfortunately, the bills do not stop accruing just because you are injured at work and cannot continue to earn a paycheck during the time that it takes you to recover. Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to provide employees with some measure of relief.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a state regulated insurance program. The program is designed to provide eligible employees with income and medical benefits when they suffer an injury or contract an illness related to their job. The costs associated with a workplace injury are often significant. Employees who are covered under Texas workers’ compensation insurance may receive various types of benefits. These benefits are categorized as follows:

  • Medical benefits
  • Income benefits
  • Death benefits
  • Burial benefits

Injured employees eligible to receive income benefits may qualify for wage replacement if they are told not to return to work by their doctor.

Do All Employers Offer Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

It is critical that all employees understand whether their employer offers workers’ compensation benefits. This is because Texas private employers are able to opt in or out of providing workers’ compensation insurance coverage to their employees. Typically, your employer is required to notify you as to whether or not it participates in the state run program. If an employer opts out of workers’ compensation, the employer is supposed to instead offer a privately run workplace injury program. Unfortunately, the benefits provided under these privately run programs are often far inferior to the benefits offered by Texas workers’ compensation insurance.

Another avenue that injured employees should pursue after a workplace accident is a third-party injury claim. Another party other than your employer may be responsible for the injuries that you received as a result of the accident. Pursuing a third-party claim may feel like an overwhelming process for those new to the law. Fortunately, we are here to offer the legal assistance you need after a work accident. We encourage you to check out our many case results to learn more about how we have helped many other clients protect their rights after an injury.