Dangerous working conditions are unacceptable, and you have the right to work in an environment where safety protocols are followed. If you are injured because of another party’s negligence, you can seek compensation by filing a claim. Meeting with a work injury attorney in Houston, TX is a decision that can clarify your legal options and strengthen your case with professional representation. The end result is often a higher payout for you and a more efficient submission process.
What to Expect When You Hire a Work Injury Attorney
Professionalism and Expertise
When you are evaluating work injury lawyers in Houston, you should pay attention to their areas of specialization and their track records. Go with an attorney who is focused on personal injury law. Sometimes, these lawyers will argue cases that deal with malpractice, automobile accidents, wrongful death, and other similar issues in addition to work injury. That’s ok, but you should avoid someone who claims to be a jack-of-all-trades.
A Free Consultation
Most attorneys offer a free consultation, which is your opportunity to present your situation and get to know the lawyer you may be working with. He or she will ask you the basic who, what, when, and where questions about how your injury occurred. If you decide to work together, several forms will be signed to make the client-lawyer relationship official. The Texas State Bar Association is a good source for seeing lawyers’ credentials.
They Will Advise on What Type of Claim to File
Because workplace injuries are so common, the workers’ compensation system exists to provide benefits quickly and to make accidents less costly for employers by avoiding litigation. If your employer caused your injury, you will need to file for workers’ compensation instead of pressing charges. Forbes has a good summary of the most essential points of coverage that are usually included in workers’ compensation.
If your employer is a non-subscriber who has opted out of workers’ compensation insurance, you will file a non-subscriber claim. Lastly, a third-party personal injury claim may be filed if someone other than your employer or one of your co-workers was responsible for the damages. Your lawyer can help sort out the details of the case to help you determine which type of claim you can file. Sometimes, you can maximize the value of your compensation by filing more than one.
A Thorough Review of the Damages
Your attorney should be very familiar with the laws surrounding workplace injuries and how they are compensated. He or she should take the time to learn all of the details of your situation, listening for opportunities to increase your payout. For example, if you file a third-party personal injury claim, you can list a missed promotion under lost wages. Working with a skilled attorney will give you the opportunity to learn about damages you may have otherwise overlooked.
They Will Fight for You in Challenging Situations
There are some circumstances that make it especially important to work with an attorney. If your employer denies your workers’ compensation claim, does not pay you the full benefits, or does not pay you in a timely manner, you will want a seasoned lawyer on your side.
Similarly, if you had a pre-existing condition at the time of the accident, you will need to show that the incident caused a new injury or aggravated the old one, resulting in new medical expenses. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services provides information on what defines a pre-existing condition. Your attorney can help you collect medical evidence showing that your injury had stabilized prior to the work accident.
They Will Keep You Informed About the Process
When you are filing any type of claim, paperwork is involved, deadlines are important, and protocols need to be followed correctly. Your attorney can explain what you need to do on your end to get the claim through successfully.
They Will Help You Build Your Case
If your employer, the third party, or the insurance company push back on your claim, your attorney can help you build evidence to strengthen your case. Evidence can include:
- Medical records from before and after the accident
- Tests and x-rays done in the ER
- Physician testimonials
- Witness statements
- Pay stubs and tax returns showing your normal rate of pay
- Records showing that you missed work
Representation in Negotiations and in Court
As your claim progresses, you might need a lawyer to negotiate with the insurance company for a larger payout. If it goes all the way to trial, they will need to formally argue your case in a convincing way. According to the recognized client-lawyer relationship, your attorney should act with an unyielding commitment to your best interests, leveraging all of their legal training and familiarity with work accident laws.
Putting the Laws on Your Side in Houston, TX
When you are injured at work, your health and your income need to be protected. Working with an experienced attorney is the best way to take advantage of laws designed to get you compensated. When you work with a lawyer, you can expect them to guide you through the process and hold the liable parties financially responsible.