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If you are not able to work because of an injury or illness that happened at work in Austin, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. When a workplace injury occurs, you may find yourself losing out on paychecks, accumulating medical bills, and being overwhelmed with paperwork. This can be an extremely stressful and uncertain time.
Thankfully, Texas law protects workers from negative fallout related to work injuries by requiring employers to carry workers compensation insurance.
What is Workers’ Compensation and How Does It Work?
Workers' compensation is a form of insurance that is purchased by a company to protect their employees from job-related injuries and illness. It provides a safety net for injured workers so that they are not left with no job and no money while trying to recuperate from an injury. Some jobs can be dangerous, and it should not be the responsibility of the worker to deal with all the repercussions that come with an injury.
Under the Texas Workers' Compensation Act, people that are hurt on the job can receive different types of financial support to cover their injury-related expenses. This includes:
Unlike a personal injury case, workers can qualify for benefits regardless of being at fault for a job-related incident. However, injured employees can not recover compensation for damages normally awarded in a personal injury case.
Common Causes of Workplace Injuries
The top three leading causes of work-related injuries make up more than 84% of all nonfatal injuries on the job. This includes:
Overexertion and Repetitive Motion Injuries
Overexertion injuries can happen when a worker uses excessive physical effort to do a task and becomes injured. This includes lifting, pushing, turning, holding, carrying, or throwing.
Repetitive motion triggered by stress or strain on some part of the body is because of the repetitive nature of the task. Common repetitive tasks include lifting boxes, typing on a computer, using a ten-key machine, sitting for long hours, and working on a production line.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall accidents are among the most frequent on-the-job injuries. They make up 25% of annual injury cases, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Falls at work involve falling from slippery floors, from tripping, and from heights like ladders, roofs, scaffolding, or other structures.
Injuries from Contact with Equipment and Objects
Contact with equipment and objects refers to injuries that happen when a person is hit by something or bumps into something. This can include a worker being struck by a moving object, running into or being pushed in front of an object, being crushed in equipment, or being caught in cable or rope. It may also include incidents like a worker being struck or crushed by collapsing structures, equipment, or materials.
Workers' Compensation May Also Cover Occupational Illnesses
Along with being injured, employees can also get sick with an illness due to their job. When this happens, workers compensation insurance is designed to help cover some of the expenses.
Job-related illnesses include diseases that arise from hazardous work environments or workplace exposures. Some common illnesses that happen on the job include:
Cases involving occupational illness are complex for a number of different factors. One of the main reasons is that you will need to prove that your illness was caused by your job, and not from any other factor like genetics or something that occurred during your personal time. This is even more complicated by the fact that several illnesses develop over time, which makes them harder to notice and to identify the origin.
What Should I Do If I Am Injured at Work?
If you get hurt during your employment, you need to always report the accident, injury, or illness as soon as possible to your employer. This is necessary even if an injury appears minor. This, because injuries that seem minor at first can become much more serious in the coming days or weeks.
For instance, an injury that might feel like just a strained muscle can turn out to be a symptom of long-term nerve damage. Or a sore low back from lifting a heavy object could be a disc herniation that needs surgery.
Further, you should always have a job-related injury examined by a medical professional. This is the only way to learn the extent of your injury, and what can be done to recuperate. This is particularly important for stress or repetitive motion injuries. In this case, making changes in the ergonomic environment may not only treat the injury, but help to prevent injuries to others. Furthermore, to protect the long-term ability of an employee to maintain and continue in his or her job.
Lastly, waiting too long to report an injury on the job may seize your right to claim any workers' compensation benefits.
Should You Get In Touch with an Austin Workplace Accident Lawyer?
Consequently, if sustain an on-the-job injury in Austin, contact the Austin personal injury lawyers at Dunk Law Firm. Do not go through these hard times on your own. We are here to help you with your claim. We know the causes and effects of job accidents and injuries. Additionally, we know the laws and regulations related to workers' compensation in Texas and will work to maximize the compensation you receive.