Did you get hurt or sick while performing the duties of your job? Do you have physical or mental limitations that prevent you from working? If so, contact Gibson Hill Personal Injury – we can help you pursue the full workers’ compensation benefits you need. Workers’ compensation benefits are available to injured employees who need financial assistance for lost wages, medical costs, and other associated expenses.
We know you’re struggling since sustaining a debilitating injury, and we want to ensure you can recover and move forward with your life. Our Texas workplace injury lawyers know how to effectively navigate the workers’ compensation system and secure the positive results you deserve. Our uncompromising dedication to our clients has earned us recognition and awards, such as The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40.
We have a dedicated team of legal professionals who will remain by your side from start to finish of your case. Contact the Texas personal injury attorneys at Gibson Hill Personal Injury to schedule your free consultation. Call (713) 659-4000 right now.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Available in Texas
If your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance and you get hurt at work, you can file a claim for benefits. There are four main types of benefits available: income, medical, burial, and death.
Income benefits replace a portion of an injured worker’s lost income when they’re unable to return to their job or can work but at a limited functional capacity. The different forms of income benefits include:
Temporary income benefits: This is available to individuals who return to their previous place of employment but can’t earn their previous wages. You would receive 70% of the difference between your average weekly wages before and after the accident occurred.
Coverage begins on the eighth day of your disability. You can only receive benefits for the first week if you’re out of work for at least 14 days or can’t earn your usual wages during that period. Temporary income benefits end when one of the following situations occur:
- Your doctor places you at maximum medical improvement;
- You start earning the average weekly wages you made before the accident; or
- 104 weeks pass since the eighth day of your disabling injury or illness.
Impairment income benefits: These benefits pay injured or ill workers who can’t return to their jobs at all. Your doctor will evaluate you to determine your impairment rating. This rating indicates the level of damage to your body as a whole. You’ll receive payments at 70% of your average weekly wages before you developed the disabling condition.
Coverage typically begins on the day after your doctor says you have reached maximum medical improvement. The duration of payments will depend on the impairment rating you receive. Each percentage point is equal to three weeks of benefits. For example, if your doctor gave you a 10% impairment rating, payments would last for up to 30 weeks.
Supplemental income benefits: Payments are at 80% of the difference between your average weekly wages before and after you sustained a job-related injury or illness. Coverage begins after your impairment benefits end. You must meet the following requirements to be eligible:
- Haven’t returned to work or earning under 80% of pre-disability wages;
- Given an impairment rating of at least 15%;
- Actively looking for a job; and
- Didn’t receive a lump sum benefit payment.
Lifetime income benefits: Payments are 75% of your average weekly wages before you got hurt or sick on the job. Every year you’re still disabled, they will increase by 3%. You can receive benefits for the remainder of your life as long as you have one of the injuries below:
- Permanent and total vision loss in both eyes
- Third-degree burns covering at least 40% of the body that requires a skin graft
- Loss of both hands at or above the wrist
- Spinal cord damage that causes permanent paralysis to both legs, both arms, or one arm and one leg
- Loss of both feet at or above the ankle
- Traumatic brain injury causing imbecility or insanity that’s incurable
- Loss of one hand at or above the wrist and loss of one foot at or above the ankle
- Third-degree burns that cover most of both hands or one hand and the face
Medical benefits provide compensation for the medical costs necessary to treat the disabling illness or injury. If your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance belongs to a healthcare network, you must go to a doctor on the approved list to qualify for coverage. You have the option of seeing a doctor of your choosing, but you’ll have to pay for the appointment out of pocket.
Burial and Death Benefits
Burial and death benefits reimburse funeral and burial costs and replace some monetary losses if the worker dies from their disabling injury or illness. Surviving family members eligible for payments include:
- Minor children
- Child under 25 years of age who’s attending an accredited college or university
- Dependent grandchildren
- Other dependent family members
- Non-dependent parents if there are no other surviving family members
The person who paid for the burial and funeral services can receive reimbursement of the costs. Death benefit payments are at 75% of the deceased’s average weekly wages before the accident occurred. Eligible family members will receive benefits until they no longer meet the requirements:
- Spouse: Lifetime benefits unless they get married.
- Children: Benefits until they turn 18 years old or reach 25 years of age if they’re attending an accredited college or university.
- Grandchildren: Death benefits will continue for a maximum of 364 weeks.
- Other dependent family members: Payments last up to 364 weeks as long as there isn’t an eligible spouse, child, or grandchild.
- Non-dependent parents: Coverage will last a maximum of 104 weeks.
Steps to Take After Suffering a Disabling Injury or Illness At Work
When you get sick or hurt on the job, you might not know what to do next. The actions you take after you sustain an injury could directly affect the outcome of your case. If you want to recover the maximum benefits available, you should follow the steps below.
Step 1: Notify your employer of the disabling condition within 30 days. You have limited time, so it’s best if you report the accident immediately after it happens. Do it in writing, so there’s documentation of it, and include your name, the date, time, and location of the accident, how it happened, and the injury you sustained.
Step 2: Fill out the Form DWC041 that your employer provides. If they don’t give you the form, you can print it out from the Texas Department of Insurance website and submit it to the workers’ comp insurance company yourself.
Step 3: Ask your employer for a copy of the policy. You’ll find useful information, such as the benefit payments you’re entitled to, qualifying injuries and illnesses, and deadlines you must follow.
Step 4: Go to the doctor. You shouldn’t wait too long before seeking medical treatment. If your doctor refers you to follow up with other medical providers, listen to their orders. Continue attending appointments until you recover, or your doctor places you at maximum medical improvement.
Step 5: Maintain copies of every document. That includes medical records, invoices, prescription medications, insurance company letters, and correspondence with your employer.
Step 6: Get a physician letter. Your doctor should write a detailed letter explaining the disabling condition you have and why it prevents you from performing your regular work-related duties. Without it, the insurance company won’t have proof that your injury or illness impairs your abilities.
Step 7: Hire a Texas workplace injury lawyer from Gibson Hill Personal Injury. We can handle each step of the legal process so you can focus on healing. You won’t have to deal with the stress of filing a workers’ comp claim or communicating with the insurance company. We’ll do all of that for you.
Injuries and Illnesses Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Anyone can get hurt at work. Even someone who sits at a desk all day could suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome and be unable to return to their job. Accidents happen all the time, and workers may be exposed to dangerous working conditions that can lead to a disabling injury.
The most common workplace injuries that are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits include:
- Broken bones
- Repetitive motion injury, such as tendonitis
- Loss of limb
- Permanent physical or mental disability
- Spinal cord damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Burns or electrocution
- Organ failure
- Total loss of bodily function
- Vision or hearing loss
- Occupational diseases, such as mesothelioma
Let Gibson Hill Personal Injury Be Your Advocate
Our Texas workplace injury lawyers understand the suffering you’ve endured. We’ve been helping disabled workers recover the benefits they need since opening our firm in 2013. Our legal team dedicates their time and attention to each case we take. You’ll receive one-on-one attention and have access to our legal services 24/7.
At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we have experience filing workers’ compensation claims, appealing denied claims, and litigating cases in court. We can handle each step of the legal process so you can focus on recovering. You won’t have to worry about adding additional costs to your plate with our contingency fees. Our Texas workplace injury attorneys don’t charge upfront fees or costs to represent clients in workers’ comp cases. You won’t have to pay us unless we win benefit payments from the insurance company.
Call us at (713) 659-4000 today if you suffered a work-related injury or illness and need help with your application for benefits.