When you work in a dangerous environment, your supervisors and company owners need to provide you with the training and protection to prevent grievous injury. Parties who fail to uphold this responsibility can see you and their other employees suffer severe injury as a result of negligence.
In the wake of this negligence, you may have the right to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. In burn injury cases where your losses are severe, however, workers’ compensation may not cover the full breadth of your recovery expenses. With that in mind, why should a burn victim look beyond workers’ compensation, and what are the benefits?
What Are Texas’s Workers’ Compensation Requirements?
Your right to workers’ compensation begins only when an employer provides you with the in-house insurance to attend to work-based injuries. If your employer opts out of the insurance required to protect you from on-site harm, you may have no right to preserve workers’ compensation through your employer.
Should your employer work to protect you from harm, however, you may file a workers’ compensation claim through the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation. You must let an employer know of your intent to act within 30 days of your injury. After that, you have one year to bring your complaint forward.
Workers’ compensation claims allow you to request only economic recovery in the wake of your injury. This means that your complaints can request coverage for your medical expenses and lost wages. Some employers are also willing to help you replace any property damage in your injury.
For a free legal consultation, call 844-349-9196
What Are the Limits Placed on Workers’ Compensation Claims?
While workers’ compensation claims make it easier for you to recover from your injuries, they are not comprehensive. As noted, your right to request compensation will be limited based on the insurance policy and acted by your employer. What’s more, these insurance policies tend to prioritize their bottom lines above your ability to recover.
The losses you face due to a workplace injury may be more than economic in nature. This is why we encourage burn victims to look beyond workers’ compensation claims. Your losses may instead entitle you to a personal injury claim.
You may only file a personal injury claim against an offending employer under certain circumstances. If your employer does not offer you workers’ compensation, you can skip collaborations with the Division of Workers’ Compensation and move straight to civil court. You can also take this action if your employer denies your workers’ compensation claim.
How Do You File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Texas?
If you want to file a personal injury claim against an employer, you need to present evidence that employer negligence resulted in your losses. You can collaborate with a personal injury attorney in Texas to present evidence of a:
- Duty of care owed to you by an employer or landowner
- Duty of care violated by negligence or recklessness
- Losses endured due to a violated duty of care
The evidence you used to present this information can later be used to elaborate on the value of your losses. Know that you can present everything from footage of your accident to testimony from your coworkers to elaborate on the nature of an employer’s oversight.
What Is the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in Texas?
Like your workers’ compensation claim, personal injury claims come along with a deadline. Unless the circumstances of your accident are particularly exceptional, Texas will view your personal injury complaint as one that must abide by the statute of limitations on such cases.
Specifically, you can reference Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 16.003 when determining the deadline placed on your case. The statute declares that the party pursuing personal injury claims has two years in which to do so. Failure to file your claim in time can see you waive your right to support.
What Damages Can You Request for Personal Injury Accidents?
As mentioned, your right to compensation expands when you file a personal injury claim as opposed to a workers’ compensation claim. A personal injury claim allows you to recover the same economic losses that a workers’ compensation claim does. However, you also gain the right to request non-economic damages.
The non-economic damages tied up in a burn case include:
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death, as applicable
These losses do not come with bills, like their economic parallels. Instead, our team relies on multipliers approved by the state of Texas to assign value to these losses. We can apply the affirmative multipliers to the sum of your economic losses to establish your case has value.
Can Employers Retaliate Against You for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
It can be intimidating to look beyond workers’ compensation after a burn injury. Even if an employer violates their responsibility to your safety, you may fear retaliation if you take additional legal action. While this retaliation is illegal, the impact it can have on your life may still make a personal injury case seem unnecessary.
You can fight back against retaliation with a personal injury attorney. You can even take forward evidence of retaliation in an active personal injury case, should you need to go to trial. A judge can then consider your right to punitive damages in the wake of exceptional employer negligence and mistreatment.
If you find yourself concerned about what actions your employer may take in the wake of a personal injury lawsuit, let our team though. We can manage communications with your employer moving forward and help you secure the tools you need to protect your future.
The Buzbee Law Firm Fights for You
If you have questions about your right to either workers’ compensation or a personal injury claim in the wake of a burn injury, you can connect with the personal injury attorneys in Texas.
The Buzbee Law Firm can ensure that you have every opportunity to assess the nature of your losses. In turn, we can stand beside you should you move to demand comprehensive compensation.
Why should a burn victim look beyond workers’ compensation? Because personal injury claims may help you recover from your losses faster. To meet with our attorneys, you can schedule a case consultation through our website or by calling our office. You can contact us any day of the week during operating hours.