Austin Work Injury Lawyers
Helping Protect Your Future
Expenses related to work injuries can be considerable, and paying them can impact both your financial well-being and your future. If you have been injured on the job, you should be focusing all of your energy on your recovery. You don’t have the time or expertise, on your own, to manage the personal injury process.
The Evans & Herlihy Law Firm knows Texas employment law and is well-versed in all issues related to work injuries. In fact, the firm has helped many injured workers in Texas receive the settlements they need to compensate them for their expenses, lost wages, and ongoing healthcare needs.
We handle personal injury cases on contingency, which means our fee comes from the settlement you receive, so you don’t have to worry about paying for legal help up front.
Contact us today at (512) 732-2727 to schedule your free consultation.
Our Austin Work Accident Lawyer Will Help You Understand Your Options for Making a Claim
What You Should Do When Workers’ Comp Is Not an Option
In many states, employees who suffer injuries at work must file a claim under workers’ compensation rules. The rules are not quite as stringent in Texas. According to Texas Law Help, the state-managed workers’ comp program gives the injured employee coverage for medical costs related to the injury or illness, as well as reimbursement of a portion of the salary you were unable to earn while recovering from your injuries. If you file under workers’ comp, however, you lose your right to seek a judgment against the employer for your injuries.
Where Texas differs from the majority of states is that private employers in the state do not have to participate in the workers’ compensation program. (In most states, nearly all employers must participate.) If your Texas employer chooses not to participate, you have the right to seek a personal injury judgment against your employer, as long as you can prove fault.
We Can Represent You in a Personal Injury Claim Against Your Employer
The Evans & Herlihy Law Firm does not represent clients in workers’ compensation cases. However, if you are bringing a work-related personal injury lawsuit against your employer after an at-work injury, we want to meet with you for a free consultation. Whereas seeking a workers’ comp claim is a straightforward process that injured workers often can complete on their own, filing a work-related personal injury case against your employer can represent a complex situation.
We will represent you in all aspects of the personal injury claim, including during negotiations with the employer’s insurance company and in trial, should we decide to take the case to court. Our team will provide advice throughout the process on how we think we should proceed, but the final decision will always belong to you.
How Do I Know If I Don’t Qualify for Workers’ Comp Benefits?
If your employer in Texas chooses not to participate in the state’s workers’ compensation program, the employer must notify you at the time of your hiring, and it must post notice of its decision not to participate at the worksite. If you suffer an injury at work, you then may be able to file a claim against your employer and any liability insurance policy it has. Our team can help you decide the best course of action for receiving an award outside of the workers’ comp program. If you file a claim outside of workers’ comp, you can seek an award for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Additionally, a few occupations allow employees to file a work-related personal injury claim instead of a workers’ comp claim, even when the employer in Texas carries worker’s compensation insurance. If you had an injury while working on a certain type of boat or if you suffered an illness from a potential asbestos exposure, you may qualify for this workers’ comp exemption. Even though our team does not take on workers’ comp cases, we can help you determine if you may qualify for an exemption to workers’ compensation.
Advantages to Avoiding a Workers’ Comp Claim
You May Be Eligible for a Greater Level of Compensation in a Work-Related Personal Injury Claim
According to the Texas Workforce Commission, participating in a workers’ compensation program after you suffer an injury on the job likely limits the amount you could receive compared to what you could win in a personal injury award. On the flip side, in a personal injury claim, you would end up receiving nothing if you do not win your claim, whereas with workers’ compensation, you almost certainly will qualify for some benefits, as long as you follow the program’s rules. Your burden of proof is less stringent in a workers’ comp claim than in a personal injury claim.
If your employer participates in the state’s workers’ compensation insurance program in Texas, you may have no choice but to file under workers’ comp after your injury. However, for those workers who qualify to file outside of workers’ comp and who suffer major injuries that leave them with permanent disability, ongoing pain, or a greatly reduced quality of life, filing the claim as a work-related personal injury case may give them a chance at a much higher settlement amount. These types of cases do not have the same caps on award payouts as workers’ comp cases do.
Evans & Herlihy: Work Injury Lawyers in Austin That Understand Reality
On-the-Job Injuries Are Commonplace
While we would all like to believe that we are safe at work, the truth is we’re not. Accidents happen, and those in the workplace are not unusual. Each year, many are injured as a result of work accidents. While some of the resulting injuries are minor, others can be incredibly serious.
In either case, injuries are overwhelming. You have to deal with medical bills, missed work, and an abundance of stress. An experienced work injury lawyer can help you navigate the legal process so you can focus on getting better.
Working Construction Is Dangerous
Without a doubt, certain occupations have a much higher rate of injury than others. The construction industry is a prime example. Construction workers operate complex machinery, use dangerous tools, and work with heavy materials. The opportunity for injury is staggering.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) calls the most common mechanisms of deadly construction injuries the “Fatal Four”:
- Struck by object
- Caught in/between; entrapment
While accidents like these can cause significant injury, they also are often responsible for construction fatalities.
Of course, accidents happen. But, employers are responsible for maintaining a safe workplace, and construction sites are heavily regulated. Unfortunately, not all employers abide by the law, meaning safety violations are commonplace. Inadequate fall protection or a lack of fall protection equipment is the most common safety violation OSHA finds in the construction industry.
Agriculture Workers Are Also at Risk
The agriculture industry in Texas is considerable; in fact, this state has one of the largest agricultural work forces in the country.
Understanding the rate of injury in specific industries is important; it helps to promote safety by identifying where issues lie. In Texas, not all agriculture employers participate in the state’s workers’ compensation program, but they are still required to report on-the-job injuries. Unfortunately, this requirement does not apply to certain farm and ranch workers. This results in the possible underreporting of agricultural workplace injuries in Texas.
According to OSHA, agriculture injuries and deaths are significant. This is one of the most dangerous industries in which to work. Some common injuries include:
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Illness (lung disease and respiratory damage from chemical exposure)
- Skin diseases
- Hearing loss (from consistent exposure to loud noise).
Farm workers risk their lives each and every day.
At-Work Injuries and Illness and Their Compensation Is Confusing
A Work Injury Attorney Answers Your Questions
If you have become injured or ill while at work, you have your hands full. In addition to managing your recovery and caring for your household and family, you are now faced with insurance and legal questions and often a mountain of paperwork. Filing claims can be complicated, and questions regarding them seem to always arise.
An Evans & Herlihy work injury lawyer provides answers here to some of those most frequently asked questions that we receive.
If you have workers’ compensation coverage through your employer, you must notify your employer of the injury through the Employee’s Claim for Compensation for a Work-Related Injury or Occupational Claim Form to the state workers’ compensation department. Failure to do so could jeopardize benefits. If you do not qualify to have workers’ comp benefits, you can contact our work-related personal injury lawyer for a free consultation to see whether you have a case and to see how you should proceed.
No, workers’ comp is a no-fault system. Even if you were at fault, you can still collect benefits. If you choose to hire our personal injury to represent you in a claim that falls outside of workers’ comp, however, we will need to prove that the employer was at fault or that a third party was at fault, such as a subcontractor at the jobsite.
My employer was at fault with regard to my injuries. Can I file both a workers’ comp claim and a work injury lawsuit to collect additional damages to cover my expenses?
No, you cannot. If you collect benefits under workers’ compensation, you give up the right to file an additional lawsuit against your employer. That said, if it was a third party (such as a subcontractor) who was responsible for your injuries, you can file suit against them to cover expenses that exceed your workers’ compensation payouts. Even though our work injury attorney does not handle workers’ compensation claims, we can help you determine if this option is appropriate for your specific situation.
You may. If your employer offers workers’ compensation, they can require you to use their doctor. However, if they do not, you can select a physician on your own. Even if you must use a company chosen physician, getting a second, independent opinion is a good idea.
The work injury lawyers at Evans & Herlihy understand that you likely have many more questions regarding your specific case. Reach out to them at (512) 732-2727 to schedule a consultation to get the answers you need.
Engage an Austin Work Injury Attorney Today
What Evans & Herlihy Can Do For You
If you have been injured or fallen ill due to situations at work, and if you do not have workers’ comp coverage, consulting with a work injury lawyer is imperative. The knowledge and experience these professionals have can help you navigate a complicated and stressful process.
Remember, the insurance company does not have your best interests at heart. When they are able to deny or minimize claims, they improve the profitability of their business, which is their ultimate job.
At Evans & Herlihy, we fight for your compensation as if it were our own. We work incredibly hard on your behalf.
We appreciate the time it takes to recover from illness or injury. As such, our team manages the claims process from start to finish. We will:
- Ensure all appropriate paperwork is accurate, complete and filed in a timely fashion
- Compile supporting documents to prove your claim
- Serve as your representative against the insurance company.
We handle everything, so you can commit your energy to your recovery. Your health should always be your highest priority.
Austin Work Injury Attorney: An Advocate for the Injured
Most of us go to work each day assuming everything will be fine. This is true even for those who work in the most dangerous of situations. As we have seen, accidents do happen, more often than we would like. Even those who hold what appear to be the safest of jobs can also be the victim of an accident or come down with a work-related illness.
If you have found yourself in this position, knowing what to do, and when and how to do it, can save you time and aggravation and help you win the award you need and deserve.
”I never experienced a heart Chip Evans had for me and my family during this whole process. He never walked away and was always there. You all heard the horror stories of some lawyers. But Chip is worth every penny!! Thank you my friend. Christopher Newton Sr.” – TPV Radio (Google Review)
If you’ve suffered a workplace injury for an employer who does not participate in Texas’ workers’ comp program, you need an Austin work injury attorney who will protect your rights and attempt to win the compensation you deserve. Don’t wait to seek help. Request your free consultation today by calling us at (512) 732-2727. We stand ready to answer your questions and to go to work on your behalf. Even though we do not take on workers’ compensation cases, we will work tirelessly to defend your rights in workplace accident cases that fit outside the state’s workers’ comp program.