Private employers in Texas are not required to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage for employees. However, they must notify all employees of the coverage they do or do not provide. If you are injured at your workplace, you may be able to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages, depending on the situation. The Texas Office of Injured Employee Counsel sets forth regulations concerning the rights of injured workers.
If you have sustained a work injured in Texas, here’s what you need to know:
- You have the right to choose your doctor. If you are part of the Workers’ Compensation Health Care Network, you can choose a doctor from the available list. You may change your doctor once without having to get approval from the network. If you are not in network, you can choose any doctor willing to treat you. However, you must get approval by the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDI-DWC) when changing the treating doctor. For workers in the political subdivision, such as the city, school district, or county, you must follow their specific rules for seeking medical treatment.
- You have the right to confidentiality. When filing a workers’ compensation claim in Texas, your information may be kept confidential. This means your claim cannot be obtained by any unauthorized person. However, some parties have the right to know the information in your claim. These include your employers and your insurance carrier. Furthermore, a potential employer may be able to get limited information about your workers’ compensation claim before hiring you.
- You have the right to legal counsel. It is always a good idea to hire an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to protect your interests and guide you through the process. If you cannot afford an attorney, you have the right to seek assistance from the Office of Injured Employee Counsel (OIEC). You must sign a written authorization form, and depending on the situation, you may receive representation from OIEC customer service representatives or from Ombudsmen. Ombudsmen are trained in the workers’ compensation field and can provide assistance at a contested case hearing (CCH), benefit review conference (BRC), or appeal hearing. However, they cannot provide legal advice or make decisions regarding your case.
Under Texas Law, you may also have the right to:
- Receive medical benefits and compensation for lost wages, regardless of fault
- Receive income benefits
- Dispute the resolution of your income and medical benefits
- Receive compensation for travel for medical appointments and treatment
Seek a Beneficial Outcome with the Help of Our Attorney
At The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC, we are passionate about meeting clients’ legal needs. The workers’ compensation process in Texas can be complicated and stressful without the experienced guidance of a lawyer, and our firm can walk you through the process. We have guided hundreds of clients to successful legal solutions. With our Austin workers’ compensation attorney, you can receive diligent representation for your case.
Contact our firm today for a free consultation. We are available 24/7 to take your call.