Workplaces injuries in Texas could lead to income inequality

In a recent study, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that workplace injuries in the U.S. can lead to greater income inequality.

When employees in Texas are injured on the job, they may incur injuries that require extensive medical care and harm their ability to work on either a short or long-term basis. However, these are only a few of the adverse effects injured workers may experience after they are hurt while working. Recently, according to The Huffington Post, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a report arguing that workplace injuries contribute to income inequality in the U.S.

According to this report, every year, employers report approximately 4 million serious injuries and illnesses, but the real total is likely much higher. Additionally, after workers are seriously injured, they earn approximately 15 percent less every year for the following decade.

Why this income gap exists

Although those injured in a work accident are eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits to recoup some of their expenses, it is estimated that this system only covers about 21 percent of the total costs incurred by injured employees due to medical bills and lost wages. However, this is particularly true for low-wage workers and immigrant workers. These groups of workers may struggle to overcome the challenges they face after a workplace injury because:

  • They often do not have a full grasp of the English language
  • They are unsure of what their rights are
  • They do not want to lose their job, so they do not file a claim for workers' compensation benefits out of fear

According to this new report, of the injured workers who are eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits following an injury, less than 40 percent even apply.

Benefits injured workers are eligible for

When employees do file a claim for workers' compensation benefits following a workplace accident, there are several different types of benefits that they may be able to acquire. For example, according to the Texas Department of Insurance, injured employees can receive compensation to cover the cost of receiving medical care to treat related injuries. Additionally, the families of workers who pass away as a result of a workplace injury may be able to receive death and burial awards to pay for funeral expenses and a portion of their deceased family member's lost income.

Those who are injured in a Texas workplace accident may have concerns about how the situation will affect them financially now and in the future. For this reason, injured employees should consider reaching out to an attorney to ensure their rights to fair and proper compensation are protected.