Austin is one of the highly populated and rapidly growing cities in the United States. With a booming economy and plenty of job opportunities, many people are drawn to the city for work.
The highest paying sectors are Management of Companies & Enterprises, Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting, and Utilities. These sectors are prone to workplace injuries due to the hazards involved in work.
If you are injured at your workplace, it can be a very traumatic experience. You are dealing with the pain and suffering of the injury itself, but you may also be worried about how to support yourself and your family while you are out of work.
If this happens, it is essential to know what steps to take to protect your rights. You have to be aware of the benefits of hiring a reputed Austin personal injury lawyer. Here is an essential guide on what to do if you are injured in Austin.
1Get Medical Attention
According to a report, primary care physicians in Austin, TX, see 1158 patients per year on average. Hence, if you are injured at your workplace, you should first get medical help.
Even if you know the injury is minor, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and get treated by a doctor. If your employer has a designated healthcare provider, be sure to go there so that your employer can be appropriately notified of the injury. Your medical records will be kept in one place.
If you are severely hurt, you may need to go to the hospital. In this case, it is essential to have someone with you who can advocate for you and ensure that you get the medical care you need.
2Notify Your Employer
As soon as possible, report the injury to your supervisor or manager. It is essential to do this even if you think the injury is minor. Your employer should then give you a workers’ compensation claim form. You have one year from the date of your accident to file a claim, so don’t wait long to notify your employer and get the ball rolling on your claim.
With a worker’s compensation claim, you are entitled to the following benefits:
- All medical expenses related to your injury should be covered
- You should receive a portion of your lost wages while you are out of work recovering from your injury.
- If you are permanently disabled because of your workplace injury, you may be entitled to additional benefits.
If your employer does not have worker’s compensation insurance for some reason, you may still be recovering damages through a personal injury lawsuit.
3Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer
You should find a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your workplace injury. Your attorney can help you navigate the workers’ compensation system and ensure that you get the benefits and compensation you are entitled to.
Here are some ways a lawyer can help:
The first step in any personal injury case is to gather evidence. Your attorney will know the steps to obtain and preserve the evidence necessary for your claim. The evidence may include:
- Witness statements
- Medical records
- Photographs or video footage of the accident scene
- Accident reports
File a Claim
Once the evidence has been gathered, your lawyer will file a claim with the workers’ compensation insurance company. The claim will set forth the injuries you have suffered and the benefits you are entitled to.
Negotiate a Settlement
Insurance firms try to save money by offering low settlements. If you have a good lawyer, the insurance company will know this and may be willing to give you a higher settlement. Your lawyer will also be able to tell you how much your case is worth and what a fair settlement would be. This is where an Austin personal injury lawyer can assist you.
If negotiation is unsuccessful, your lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Represent You at the Hearing
A lawsuit involves the following process:
The primary step is to file a petition. It is where you, the plaintiff, formally notify the court of your intention to sue the defendant. The court will issue summons to the defendant. The summons will require them to appear in court on a specific date and time to answer your allegations.
If the defendant does not show up to court, the judge may issue a default judgment in your favor. If the defendant does show up, both sides will present their evidence and arguments to the judge or jury. Once the evidence has been given, the judge or jury will decide.
Injuries at the workplace are not uncommon. If you or someone you know has been injured in Austin, it is essential to take steps to protect your rights. A skilled personal injury attorney can help you navigate the workers’ compensation system and fight for the compensation you deserve.