Texas Workers Compensation Laws

Texas workers compensation laws do not make it mandatory for all employers to carry occupational injury insurance coverage. There are however still some exceptions, such as construction contracts for governmental entities; in such cases, the insurance requirements are mandatory. But, workers have the legal right to file compensation claims if they think they have a genuine case and the employer is still refusing to pay monetary benefits. Awareness about the laws is very important when it comes to protecting your legal rights and interests. Following is a brief rundown on some of the major aspects of the laws that you must be well aware of.

Maximum Limit On Attorney’s Fee

Since insurance coverage is not mandatory for employers under Texas workers compensation laws, injured employees often have to file a lawsuit to receive the compensation they deserve. Considering the very fact that handling legal proceedings is often a very complex task, they usually have to hire an experienced lawyer who represents and guides them in legal matters. When you hire a lawyer, you must keep in mind that the laws require these lawyers to work on a contingency fee basis, which means no win, no fee. The attorney must not charge you any upfront fee. They must first win the claim for you. You need to pay their fee only after you have received the compensation. Here again, attorneys cannot charge as much as they want; there is a maximum limit imposed by the laws. As per the laws applicable in the state of Texas, the lawyer’s commission for these types of cases must not exceed 25% of the total amount of compensation awarded to the injured worker.

Waiting Period And Retroactive Compensation

Like the occupational injury laws in other states, Texas workers compensation laws have also imposed a waiting period, which means you must wait for a certain period of time before you qualify for monetary benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses. In your case, this waiting period is seven days. It means when you get injured at the workplace or while performing your job and do not get fully recovered (so that you can return to work) within seven days from the date of the accident, you have the right to ask for compensation benefits from the 8th day. No compensation claim will be entertained in case you get recovered and return to work within less than seven days. At the same time, it is also important to note that if the disability caused by occupational injuries or illnesses continues for over two weeks, you will have the right to ask for compensation benefits right form the first day of the accident. The monetary benefits must cover both medical expenses as well as any resulting income loss because of your absence from work.

Texas workers compensation laws provide the right to choose the physician to the injured employee, but the physician must be chosen from the division’s approved doctor list (ADL). If you are not satisfied with the treatment, you also have an option to change the doctor but only once. If you want to switch to another doctor for a second or subsequent time, you will be able to do so only if the division approves your request. The first change is allowed without requiring getting approval from the network.