If you are injured on the job and unable to work, youll understandably be concerned about paying for your medical expenses and bills. Your employer may discourage you from seeking legal representation and encourage you to file a workers compensation claim or offer to reimburse you for medical expenses under the table. To protect yourself, do not agree to any compensation measures before talking to a work injury lawyer.
How Big a Settlement Can You Get With a Work Injury Lawyer?
Numerous factors determine the settlement amount of a personal injury lawsuit brought against an employer, which means there isnt a set amount employees can plan on receiving. Unfortunately, filing a personal injury lawsuit against your employer can be challenging in Texas. As a result, the only way the average individual stands a chance at securing a fair payout is by hiring a work injury lawyer in Houston, TX to handle their claim.
Employers Without Workers Compensation Insurance
If your employer is a private business, they are not required to have workers compensation insurance. Employees who are injured in workplace accidents can sue their employers if they do not have workers compensation insurance.
To successfully file a personal injury claim, you will need to prove that someone else (your employer) was responsible for your injuries. The specific elements you will need to prove are:
- Your employer was responsible for providing you with a safe workplace
- Your employer did not keep you safe in the workplace
- You were injured because you were not kept safe
- Your employers failure is responsible for your injuries
Personal Injury Cases
The most straightforward personal injury claims are ones where the victim has zero responsibility or fault for their injury. Although zero fault claims do occur, usually, the victim carries at least a small percent of the responsibility for the accident.
While being partially at fault for your injury does not make it impossible to receive a settlement, it does limit the amount you will receive. You can file a personal injury claim if you can prove your employer is at least 51% responsible for your injury. You cannot sue your employer if you are primarily responsible for your accident.
When you receive a settlement for a personal injury case, you accept the compensation in a lump sum. Your lawyer may be able to make a case that you deserve additional compensation for pain and suffering, in addition to coverage of your medical bills, missed wages, and other expenses incurred by your injury.
Benefits of Working With a Lawyer
Employers are less inclined to negotiate a fair settlement when an employee pursues compensation unrepresented. Your employer will be working with a lawyer, and depending on the circumstances of your case, they may be able to prove that you deserve little compensation or even none at all.
When you have a lawyer representing you, employers know they will not be able to manipulate you into a low settlement, so they will usually make you a better offer. Your employer will also be less likely to pressure you to drop the lawsuit, create a hostile work environment, and take other vengeful actions if you have a lawyer on your side.
Employers With Workers Compensation Insurance
In Texas, employers with workers compensation insurance cannot be sued by employees injured on the job unless the injury occurred under particular circumstances. Therefore, if your employer has workers compensation insurance, you will most likely not be able to sue them, but you will be able to file for compensation to cover your medical care and missed wages.
However, before you accept workers compensation for your injury, youll want to consult a work injury lawyer about the incident. In addition, since you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit after accepting compensation, youll want a lawyer to confirm that your situation is ineligible for an injury lawsuit before signing any documents related to workers compensation.
Workers Compensation Cases
Workers compensation cases are entirely different from most personal injury cases. In an average personal injury case, you would sue the individual or company responsible for the reckless or negligent behavior that caused your injury.
The judge will award compensation based on the severity of your losses. In compensation cases, your payment is nearly guaranteed; because of this certainty, you lose your right to file a lawsuit. Suppose you are injured due to your own error. In that case, the best-case scenario is that your employer has workers compensation insurance since you are then ensured compensation for your medical bills and missed wages.
The payment you receive for compensation is distributed to you as you need it to cover medical bills and expenses. It is technically not a settlement; it is money you are legally entitled to because of your employers insurance. Payments are usually made weekly, although Impairment Income Benefits are paid in a lump sum.
Benefits of Working With a Lawyer
Theoretically, you should be able to receive the workers compensation you are owed without the representation of a lawyer, but in practice, it often doesnt work that way. Having a lawyer represent you ensures that your injuries are classified correctly and that you receive the maximum amount of money possible. In addition, if any disputes occur during your claim, your lawyer will be able to fight for your rights and ensure that the company lives up to its legal obligation.
Settlement amounts will vary from circumstance to circumstance. Still, an experienced injury attorney will be to advise you on whether your case is worth pursuing and help you get a fair settlement. They will also be able to help you navigate whether you should file a personal injury lawsuit or accept workers compensation. Contacting an attorney regarding your workplace injury is the best way to ensure your accident doesnt have a lasting impact on your finances.