Workers Compensation in Amarillo, TX

You aren’t alone if you ask “How does workers comp work?” Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage and medical benefits to people who have become ill or injured while at work. The extent of workers’ comp coverage an employer must carry depends on Texas state law. Thus, in trying to figure out how workers comp works, it helps to understand the laws on the books. If the injury or illness a worker sustains is eligible for compensation, the insurance carrier should help ease the financial burden. Learn some of the basic principles of Amarillo, Texas workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.

Workers Compensation Statistics in Amarillo, Texas?

According to the Texas Department of Insurance, there were 608 fatal occupational injuries in Texas in 2019. These fatalities trace to the construction, trade, transportation & utilities, and transportation & warehousing sectors. Additionally, these three sectors represent almost 50% of nonfatal occupational injuries. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in Amarillo in these sectors has increased, compared to a year ago. Given its strong transportation infrastructure and low cost of living, Amarillo is ready for growth. Unfortunately, that can also bring more potential work-related injuries.

How Does Workers Comp Work in Amarillo, Texas?

Unfortunately, going through the process of applying for workers’ compensation begins with getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to your problems are especially crucial. For example, the injury had to occur during your regular work duties. While an event that happens during your lunch break wouldn’t apply, getting into a car accident while running an errand for your boss would qualify for a claim. 

The Texas Workforce Commission notes that Texas is one of the few states that does not require most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, coverage is mandatory for government employers. This requirement also applies to some construction, motor carrier, and gas or propane companies. If an Amarillo employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage, you can pursue damages in civil court. If they do, potential included benefits are medical expenses, death benefits, and lost wages. Mental injuries for first responders may be compensable. They can qualify if the job incident was a substantial contributing factor to PTSD.

For example, say your supervisor asked you to drop something off on your lunch break. While running this errand you then get in a car accident on your way to the destination. Any resulting injury is eligible for workers’ compensation. However, if you are on your lunch break, performing no such task when you get in an accident, it does not qualify for a claim.

The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Amarillo, Texas are critical for purposes of filing a claim for compensation. Follow the following steps to preserve your rights and learn how workers comp works.

Get Medical Attention

After you get injured or feel ill, the first step is to see a doctor. Don’t delay seeking help from a Amarillo, Texas healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process. Having a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occurred is the first step in the process. Your employer cannot file a claim with their insurance carrier without this information.

When dealing with a job-related illness, the symptoms and diagnosis may not happen right away. You may find yourself attending regular checkups and testing for weeks or months. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is either the result of your work conditions or aggravated by them. Once they do, see your human resources representative to file a workers’ compensation claim.

File a First Report of Injury

The first report of an on-the-job injury or illness will provide the workers’ compensation insurance carrier with the details of the events leading up to the injury. In this report, you will provide your physical injuries, the medical treatment you received, and the facilities that provided it. It’s always a good idea to bring a copy of the doctor’s report to submit with the report of injury.

If you get injured on the job in Amarillo, you have 30 days to report the injury to your employer. However, it is always best to notify your employer immediately, if possible. You are also required to file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Division of the Texas Department of Insurance within 1 year. The employer needs to file an Employers’ First Report of Injury or Illness with their carrier within 8 days of notification of the injury.

Timeline and Other Information

According to the Texas Department of Insurance, there is a 7-day waiting period before benefits can be paid in Amarillo. If your claim is accepted, the insurance carrier will typically begin payments on the eighth day of missed work. If you are out of work for more than 14 days, you may receive compensation retroactively for the first seven days. Temporary disability benefits in Amarillo last up to 104 weeks. If your doctor determines that your condition will not improve, you may be eligible for permanent disability benefits.

Your employer should furnish you with information about the claims process. The adjuster or insurance carrier representative may want to speak to you at some point about the incident. In the meantime, the workers’ comp insurer may begin paying medical benefits while the investigation into your claim continues.

Why You Should Hire a Amarillo, Texas Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in Amarillo, Texas, in others, it may be more difficult. For example, your employer may decide to question whether your injury happened on the clock or your own time. It’s also common for a company to question the full extent of the damage. Hiring a Amarilloworkers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Amarillo, Texas

If you contract an illness or get hurt as a result of your job in Amarillo, Texas you need to find the right people to help. Since the workers’ compensation claims process can have pitfalls, you should consider getting a local attorney who knows how to avoid them. 

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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