Workers' Comp & Your Responsibilities
Injured? Call a Houston work accident attorney.
If you were injured at work or have been diagnosed with a work-related illness, you should understand what responsibilities you have when it comes to applying for workers' compensation benefits. Gaining insight on these responsibilities can help you ensure that you do nothing that would jeopardize your right to benefits and medical care. At Stern Law Group, we believe in offering guidance that will help our clients make informed decisions about their cases. In addition to reviewing the basic information included here, feel free to call a Houston workers' compensation lawyer at our offices at any time.
As an injured employee in Texas, you have the following responsibilities when it comes to applying for workers' compensation for on-the-job injuries and occupational illnesses:
- You have the responsibility to inform your employer of your illness or injury. After a work accident or diagnosis of an occupational disease (or when you discover that an illness is work-related), you have 30 days to tell your employer. We recommend doing this in writing and keeping a copy for your records.
- You have the responsibility to inform your doctor of the nature and circumstances of your injuries/illness. You need to tell your doctor that your injury is work-related and must be honest and forthcoming when it comes to describing your symptoms and the circumstances surrounding your injuries.
- You have the responsibility to file a workers' compensation claim. It is your responsibility to send a completed Form DWC-041, Employee's Claim for Compensation for a Work-Related Injury or Occupational Disease, to the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC). You must file this form within one year of the date of your injury or diagnosis.
- You have the responsibility to find out how to receive medical treatment. It is your responsibility to find out whether you are in a Workers' Compensation Health Care Network, or if you work for a political subdivision, to find out how to receive medical treatment. Your employer should be able to provide you with this information, so you know your options in choosing a treating physician.
- You have the responsibility to provide DWC and the workers' compensation insurance provider with your current contact information. You need to provide DWC and the insurance company with accurate information regarding your current address, phone number and employer.
- You have the responsibility to inform DWC and the workers' compensation insurance provider of any changes in your employment or wages. If you begin working again, stop working because of an on-the-job injury, are offered a job or otherwise change your employment status, you need to inform DWC and insurer.
- You have the responsibility to refrain from making fraudulent or frivolous claims. You need to be honest when it comes to applying for workers' compensation benefits. This means you should not exaggerate or invent symptoms, try to file a claim for an injury that is not work-related or otherwise commit workers' compensation fraud. This is a crime and may also result in an inability to recover any benefits.
If you have questions about your responsibilities and obligations when it comes to workers' compensation, please do not hesitate to call our firm. We will be happy to offer insight as it applies to your unique claim and concerns. Remember, failing to uphold the above responsibilities may result in an inability to recover workers' comp benefits. Allow our legal professionals to guide you through the process as we seek a timely and beneficial resolution to your claim.