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Workers' compensation rules in Texas

Texas workers' compensation law details the processes and legal expectations for compensation that a worker may expect to receive if he or she is injured or contracts an illness as a result of working conditions in or around Houston. The process of filing for workers' compensation begins by reporting the injury or illness to the employer within 30 days of becoming aware of the issue. For certain concerns, a doctor's note may be necessary to provide evidence that workplace conditions caused the health issue.

Follow-up paperwork such as the Employee's Claim for Compensation for a Work-Related Injury or Occupational Disease must be submitted to the Texas Department of Insurance, Division Workers' Compensation, within a year of the injury. From there, the insurance carrier adjuster will get in contact and may ask for additional information including the date, medical information, contact information and copies of paperwork sent to the TDI-DWC.

Workers' compensation provides four types of benefits: medical benefits, income benefits, death benefits and funeral benefits. Medical benefits provide for hospital and doctor bills accrued in caring for the injury or illness acquired on the job. Income benefits supplement the income that the recipient would have received if he or she had not been injured. Death benefits are paid out to the family of the recipient if the workplace injury caused death. Funeral expenses provide for the funeral of the recipient in this instance also.

It is generally recommended to seek the assistance and advice of a workers' compensation lawyer before filing a claim. This is a lawyer may be better able to organize the information that goes into a claim and help fill out the paperwork for the TDI-DWC in such a way that is more likely to result in a payout. Furthermore, in the event that a claim is denied, a lawyer may be able to assist with Dispute Resolution proceedings between the workers' compensation seeker and the insurance carrier adjuster.

Source: Texas Department of Insurance, "Employee Frequently-Asked Questions", September 29, 2014

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