Workers commonly assume that they won’t have to worry about their finances very much if they get hurt on the job. After all, workers’ compensation protection is almost universal. However, the way that businesses comply with workers’ compensation coverage requirements differs in certain places.
In Texas, employers have the option of self-insuring, which means that they meet certain state criteria to handle work injury claims on a case-by-case basis with company assets instead of relying on an outside company to provide insurance coverage.
Many people working for big businesses that make use of this policy will sign an agreement when they start a new job. The company will require that they go to arbitration to settle a work injury claim. What will this process mean for you?
You will face pushback from professionals about everything you seek
Do you need medical treatments? Does your work-related injury leave you in pain and necessitate a leave of absence for several weeks? Do you believe that you may never return to full-time gainful employment because of a serious or degenerative medical condition you developed due to your work?
You can expect the lawyer representing your employer in arbitration to question every request you make and challenge every cost you want to cover. The process can be very adversarial, as the arbitrator serves a role much like that of a judge. The goal is to make them agree with you, and you may struggle to present the best case on your own behalf.
Not only is it hard to stay calm in a situation that could have a massive impact on your future, but you may not understand the proper language to use or how to develop your assertions in an arbitration setting. A lawyer will understand the process and will also have a realistic idea of what kind of benefits you may require.
In general, arbitration for work injury claims tends to benefit the employer because they have more resources to draw upon during that process. However, you can level the playing field by bringing in the right support. Understanding what you can expect in a work injury claims scenario where you must attend arbitration will reduce the obstacles between you and the benefits you need.