Reporting a Texas Workers’ Compensation Claim

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If a Texas worker suffers an on the job injury, the worker has the responsibility to report that injury to initiate their Workers’ Compensation Claim.  The claim must be reported not only to the employer, but also to the Texas Department of Insurance/Division of Workers’ Compensation.

Reporting Injury to Employer:                                                   In Most circumstances an injured worker must notify their employer that they suffered a work related injury within 30 days of the injury or from the day they knew or should have known they suffered a work related injury.  There are exceptions to this Rule when the work relied upon medical advice that it was not work related or when the injury was trivialized by the worker.

An injury may be reported to anyone with supervisory authority over the worker.  The injury is considered reported when the employer has actual notice of the injury (ie witnessed event causing injury), the employer has written notice (ie work incident report) or the injured worker verbally notified a supervisor.  The employer should notify their workers’ compensation insurance carrier.

Reporting to The Division of Workers’ Compensation:           The Division of Workers’ Compensation must receive written notice of a work related injury within one year of the date of the accident.  The notice requirement is met when a DWC-41 form is filled out and stamped by the Texas Department of Insurance/Division of Workers’ Compensation.

The Division of Workers’ Compensation will sent notice of the claimed injury to the injured worker, employer and their insurance carrier.  This will initiate a workers’ compensation claim.

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Non-Subscriber Work Injuries in Texas

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If an employer in the State of Texas elects to not subscribe to the Texas Workers’ Compensation system, the Division of Workers’ Compensation will not assist in administering the claim.  Most employers will handle the Claim through their Employee Retirement Security Act (ERISA) plan.  The claim is generally initiated by contacting the plan administrator.

The employer or their plan administrator can create the rules on how the claim will be handled.  Rules on how a claim is set up and handled should be available from the Human Resource Department or through the plan administrator.

However, when an employer elects to be a non-subscriber, they are no longer protected from negligence claims.  If the worker was injured as a result of negligence on the part of their employer, a claim may be brought against the employer.  These claims are either brought through the court system or through binding arbitration. If a case goes to district court or binding mediation, the expenses are a lot greater than a subscriber case.

Injured workers who deal with an employer that is a non-subscriber, should have their claim evaluated as soon as possible.  An experienced attorney will help the injured worker understand what rights they have and all possible causes of action.

Daniel L Morris  The Morris Law Firm (214)357-1782 info@themorrisfirm.net

Subscriber Work Injuries in Texas

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Subscriber claims are handled by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI).  Administered through the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC).  The DWC helps to coordinate work claims between the injured workers (claimants) and the insurance carrier.

Texas Workers’ Compensation claims are considered to be a no fault insurance.  They generally do not look at how the accident was caused, only that it occurred in the course and scope of the employment.  Additionally, the employer is protected from a claim for negligence brought by their employee (except in gross negligence resulting in death).

The Texas Labor Code requires that in most cases an injured worker must report their accident to their employer within 30 days of the date of their injury.  The claim must be filed with the DWC within one year of the date of the accident.  There are exceptions to these Statutes, so if you need assistance, contact someone who is experienced with Texas Workers’ Compensation claims.

The DWC will notify the employer’s insurance carrier of the filed claim.  The insurance carrier has 60 days from the time they receive notice to accept of deny the claim.  Not only may the entire claim denied; the denial may be regarding disability, extent of injury, medical treatment or any number of other issues.

An injured worker should always seek assistance from an experienced attorney to assist with their workers compensation claim.  An experienced professional will help to avoid many of the obstacles that may arise.

Daniel L Morris  The Morris Law Firm (214)357-1782 info@themorrisfirm.net

Texas Crimes Misdemeanor (Penalties)

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In Texas, there are two levels of criminal activities.   Misdemeanors are for lesser violations and deal with the less  serious violations.

Misdemeanors

Although these are the lesser charges, they can still greatly affect the person’s life.  There are three levels of misdemeanor crimes.  They are  classified as A, B or C.

Class C Misdemeanors involve such acts as traffic violations,  public intoxication, gambling, simple assault, etc.  These crimes are punishable by a fine up to $500.

Class B Misdemeanors are crimes such as first offense driving while intoxicated, criminal trespass, vandalism, prostitution, etc.  These crimes are punishable by time in jail up to 180 days, a fine up to $2,000 or a combination of both.

Class A Misdemeanors are crimes such as driving while intoxicated (second offense), assault with bodily injury, public lewdness etc.  These crimes are punishable by time in jail up to one year, a fine up to $4,000 or a combination of both.

Conclusion:

Although misdemeanors are not as serious as a felony charge,  these charges can have serious consequences to your life.  Some misdemeanors could a affect your ability to obtain a job or an apartment.  Do not attempt to handle any criminal charge  without a full understanding of the possible results and how to  properly handle the charge.

Daniel L Morris, The Morris Law firm, (214)3571882  info@themorrisfirm.net

Work Injuries in Texas

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In Texas work injuries are handled differently from every other State in the United States (Oklahoma now allows for nonsubscribers).  Texas is the only State which does not generally require employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.

Employers in Texas may elect to subscribe to the Texas Workers’ Compensation system (subscriber), or they may elect to not be protected by the system (nonsubscriber).  When an employee has a work related injury, they will need to know if their employer is a subscriber or a non-subscriber to determine how their claim will be handled.

If the employer is a subscriber, a claim may be started by filing an Employee’s Claim For Compensation (DWC041 form).  This will provide notice not only to the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation, it will provide notice to your employer and their insurance carrier.

If the employer is a nonsubscriber, the Division of Workers’ Compensation will not have authority over the claim for injury.  Most employers will handle the Claim through their Employee Retirement Security Act (ERISA) plan.  The claim is generally initiated by contacting the plan administrator.

Once the claim has been reported, the injured worker will receive notice if the claim has been accepted or denied.  Regardless of the notice received, this will just be the beginning of obstacles to be crossed.

Daniel L Morris  The Morris Law Firm (214)3571782    info@themorrisfirm.net