Dealing with an injury is often the prime focus after a workplace accident. Whether you need to visit an on-site nurse’s office or leave your job to go to the hospital, getting medical care right away is best for you. A quick diagnosis and treatment can decrease your recovery time and improve your overall prognosis.
Unfortunately, especially if your injuries are bad enough to keep you off of work for a few weeks, leaving right away to seek medical care might mean overlooking the most important step to protect yourself financially. Before you leave, if possible, or right after you get discharged, you need to file a report with your employer about the injuries you suffered.
There is a small window of opportunity to report a workplace incident
The workers’ compensation program in Texas has many restrictions for those who need these benefits. Perhaps the most important is the requirement to report an injury or diagnosis within 30 days.
For most people, that means that the minute they get hurt, the clock starts ticking. For those hurts so severely that they lose consciousness or are unable to handle legal matters on their own behalf, the countdown likely begins when their condition stabilizes and they regain consciousness. For those who have a delayed diagnosis with a work required illness, they have 30 days to make a report once they connect their condition to their work.
Your initial report is just the start of the process
As an injured or sickened worker with a condition directly related to your job, you both have rights and responsibilities under Texas law. You have the right to medical treatment and disability benefits to replace your wages if you qualify. However, you also have the responsibility to report your injury, file necessary paperwork and comply with the doctor’s instructions regarding your treatment.
The better you understand your rights and responsibilities, the easier it will be for you to navigate the workers’ compensation system. Keep in mind that you can get help with your claim if it becomes overwhelming or you encounter problems.