WHAT IS WORKERS COMPENSATION FOR

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1 WHAT IS WORKERS COMPENSATION FOR An experienced Houston, TX workers compensation lawyer can provide you with guidance on your right to benefits and can assist you in applying to receive compensation after an accident.

2 In the state of Texas, workers compensation laws exist to provide important protections for employers and for workers. Texas is unique among the states in the U.S. because employers are allowed to choose whether they want to take advantage of those protections and participate in the workers compensation system. Workers need to know whether they are covered by workers compensation. If you get hurt on the job or if your family member is killed while doing work, you may be entitled to receive benefits. An experienced Houston, TX workers compensation lawyer can provide you with guidance on your right to benefits and can assist you in applying to receive compensation after an accident. WHAT IS WORKERS COMPENSATION FOR? Workers compensation is designed to ensure that every employee who sustains an injury because of his work can receive the money and benefits he needs to get appropriate care. 2

3 Employers who choose to participate in workers compensation will buy insurance coverage for their workers. If an employee becomes sick or gets injured, the workers compensation insurer will pay for medical treatment costs. The employee will also receive either temporary or permanent disability benefits in situations where his injury has affected his ability to work. Disability benefits provide partial wage replacement if the employee is unable to do any work due to the severity of his injuries. If the worker is restricted to light duty and is earning less than before he became ill or injured, workers compensation benefits will make up some of the difference between what was earned before the injury and the new reduced rate. Finally, if the worker is killed, his dependents will receive coverage for funeral costs as well as death benefits. Employees benefit from workers compensation insurance because they have a guarantee that they will receive these necessary funds any time they can demonstrate their injury was related to their job. 3

4 Employers benefit from purchasing workers compensation insurance because the law has established workers compensation as an exclusive remedy system for participating companies. This means an employer who participates in workers compensation cannot be sued by a worker after an injury except in very limited cases such as when an employer intentionally harmed an employee. The purchase of workers compensation insurance protects against potential legal costs and judgments resulting from a personal injury or wrongful death claim. WORKERS COMPENSATION VS. CIVIL LAWSUITS Workers compensation provides broader protection for workers because it offers benefits in situations where a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit would not be appropriate. Without workers compensation, an employee who is hurt on the job has legal recourse only if he can prove negligence. 4

5 To sue an employer, the injured worker would need to show that the employer had breached a legal duty of care or that an employer was vicariously responsible for the negligence of an employee because of agency rules. Agency rules make employers responsible for certain acts of their workers while on-the-job. If an employee is not able to prove negligence or wrongdoing, he would be left without resources. His only options if he became unable to work for the longterm would be to try to apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. He would not receive any coverage for medical costs. The financial consequences of the workplace injury could be devastating. 5

6 Workers compensation prevents this type of problem from occurring. Any employee who can demonstrate any type of workplace injury or workplace illness is eligible to receive benefits. This means that a person can be covered for: Injuries that result from repetitive stress. This includes medical problems like carpal tunnel syndrome. Injuries that result from overexertion. This includes injuries like a herniated disc. Illnesses that result from any type of exposure to toxins or chemicals. This includes things like black lung disease, asbestosis, mesothelioma and moldrelated illnesses. Injuries that occur in an accident onsite or outside of a regular work environment. If you are doing any work tasks when you are harmed, the injury should be covered regardless of where you are located at the time. However injuries on your commute to work are not covered. The comprehensive nature of workers compensation insurance coverage ensures that workers compensation serves the purpose for which it was intended: protecting employees from financial loss. An experienced workers compensation attorney can represent injured workers and their loved ones and work to ensure they receive the benefits they are entitled to by law. Contact a Houston, TX workers compensation insurer today if you need help getting your benefits. 6

7 About Abbott & Clay, LLP Abbott, Clay & Reed, LLP, is a Plaintiff Personal Injury Law Firm in Houston, Texas with 7 attorneys committed to protecting the rights of the injured. They do not represent companies or insurance carriers. The primary focus is on Workers Compensation claims and maritime injuries. They represent injured works before every field office in the state of Texas and have handled more Workers Compensation claims than any other plaintiff Firm in the state. The partners of the Firm, Bill Abbott, Fyodor Clay, Bianca Reed, and Leslie Levingston, have spent over 45 years combined fighting for the rights of injured workers. The remaining lawyers of the Firm have all been actively fighting for injured workers for the Firm for at least 2 years. Abbott, Clay & Reed, LLP, is a continuation of the Ogletree, Abbott, Clay & Reed Law Firm, formerly Ogletree Abbott, LLP, and Bill Ogletree P.C. Bill Ogletree, who spent his entire career fighting for the rights of workers, retired in He began assisting workers before the Division of Workers Comp, or the Texas Workers Compensation Commission, were even created. He was joined by Bill Abbott in 1999, and the two attorneys teamed up to create a Firm that handles the largest volume of Workers Compensation claims for injured workers in the state. Abbott, Clay & Reed L.L.P N Featherwood Drive Suite 200, Houston, TX Houston: Dallas: Austin: San Antonio: Toll Free: COMP 7

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