Know your workers' compensation rights and responsibilities

When you suffer an injury at work, you need to get the medical care you deserve to try to treat the problem. You shouldn't have to cover the costs out of your own pocket since the accident happened while you were working. The workers' compensation program in Texas is set up to try to prevent this from happening. Workers who are injured can turn to the program to cover the costs associated with medical care related to the injury, and there are some other benefits that they might qualify for.

You need to file an accident report with your employer as soon as possible after the incident. You have 30 days to get this done, so if you need to get emergency medical care or if you don't know that you were injured severely enough to warrant medical care, you can still make the report at any point during that 30-day window.

The doctor you see might vary. You do get to choose a doctor; however, you must choose one that's within your Workers' Compensation Health Care Network if your employer is part of one of these. You can change providers once without getting approval from the network. There are some restrictions when you do this, so make sure you understand them or you face the risk of having to cover the costs yourself.

If your injury doesn't allow you to return to work right away, you may qualify for partial wage replacement benefits. This is also handled through workers' compensation in most cases. When you file your claim, ensure that you're accurately reporting everything. There's a chance that you might be denied or not be provided the benefits you should be due. Appeals are possible, but you must act quickly if you need to do this.

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