December 18, 2020
Do you know what to do about lost wages from a work injury? This is critical knowledge to have if you’ve been seriously hurt on the job. Work injuries can take away not only your paycheck while you recuperate, but also your long-term ability to earn money. Knowing how to recover wages can make the difference between paying your bills and financial devastation.
When you’ve been injured and can’t work, you may be able to recover lost wages through:
- Workers’ compensation
- A legal claim against your employer
- A third-party lawsuit.
Which of these options is best for your situation depends upon your specific circumstances. It’s usually wise to have a skilled work injury lawyer review your case when you’ve been injured on the job. Experienced work injury lawyers in Houston seek to get their clients the maximum compensation possible in on-the-job injury cases.
Getting Workers’ Comp Benefits to Replace Lost Wages
Workers’ compensation insurance (commonly referred to as “workers’ comp”) provides coverage to employees hurt on the job. Unlike in other states, however, employers in Texas are not required to carry it. If your employer does carry workers’ comp, you can file a claim for benefits when you are injured. Benefits include getting a portion of weekly lost wages. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you could get a weekly payment equal to 70-75% of your average wage before your injury.
As you can see, though, workers’ comp benefits don’t replace all the income you’ve lost because of your injury. And when you need to put food on the table and you have other expenses, losing more than a quarter of your weekly income can make it impossible to make ends meet.
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to get additional compensation to replace your lost wages and make up for other costs your injury has caused you through a third-party lawsuit. And if your employer doesn’t carry workers’ comp coverage, you may be able to bring a legal claim against them if their negligence caused your injury.
Bringing Legal Claims against Employers
Workers’ comp protects employers from lawsuits. But if your employer doesn’t carry it, they are open to being sued. Some Texas employers who are non-subscribers to workers’ comp may carry their own accident or disability policies to cover employees when they are hurt on the job. Some of these employers may even try to pass these coverages off as being Texas workers’ compensation insurance so that they don’t get sued. But these alternative coverages are not workers’ comp, and employers who carry them are not protected from lawsuits. They can be held liable by injured workers if their negligence causes injuries.
Workers who aren’t sure what kind of on-the-job accident insurance their employers have can benefit by getting guidance from an experienced Texas work injury lawyer. A lawyer will examine the coverage and call the employer out if they are trying to pass it off as workers’ comp.
Filing Lawsuits against Third Parties
Sometimes on-the-job injuries happen because of the actions of third parties. These third parties are other people or entities at workplaces whose negligence causes harm. Some examples of possible third parties who could be held liable for workplace injuries include:
- Contractors, vendors, and suppliers who cause dangerous accidents. Just one scenario is a truck driver delivering supplies who carelessly runs into another vehicle at a construction site.
- Product manufacturers who make defective products. If equipment, tools, or machinery malfunction and cause injury, the manufacturer may be held liable if negligence can be proven.
- Makers of toxic substances that cause injuries or illness. Chemical burns and other accidental injuries and long-term exposure to cancer-causing substances can cause severe workplace injuries.
Replacing Lost Income Due to an Injury at Work
As you can see, there are different ways to replace lost income due to an injury at work. The best way to replace lost wages for your work injury will depend on your specific situation. Many people who are injured on the job turn to work injury lawyers for advice about the most financially beneficial path forward. For injured workers left without a paycheck, it’s important to get the maximum compensation possible, especially if your working ability won’t be the same in the future.
And if you’ve lost a family member who was a provider due to a workplace injury, a compassionate lawyer who handles work injury cases can counsel you about your options to replace their lost wages. You may be able to collect workers’ compensation or bring a legal claim through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Work Injury Statistics in Texas
Texas can be a very hazardous place to work. Injuries occur all too frequently here. The most recent data shows that in a single year, nearly 180,000 workers were hurt on the job in the state. Out of that figure, approximately 54,000 were serious injuries that required significant time off work. Hundreds of people are killed due to workplace injuries each year, per data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some of the most dangerous injuries for workers include:
- Oil and gas
No matter what industry you work in, you need legal help when you’ve been seriously injured at work. A lawyer can’t fix your injuries, but they can pursue the compensation you’ll need to pay for your lost wages, your medical treatment, and your pain and suffering.
Contact an Experienced Work Injury Lawyer in Houston
At the Waldman Legal Group, our dedicated and compassionate work injury lawyers will work hard to help you get compensation for your lost wages and the other damages you’ve suffered. We’ll carefully examine all the circumstances of your workplace injury to determine liability. Then we’ll take the steps necessary to get you the money you need so you can focus on your well-being instead of worrying about the financial repercussions of your injury. Don’t delay in contacting us when you’ve been injured at work.
Call our law firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation at (713) 688-4878.