Could Texas be doing more to protect injured workers?
As of 2014, Texas had the highest rates of worker fatalities for seven of the previous 10 years. And unfortunately, the laws have changed over time in ways that benefit employers, not workers.
For example, in Texas, there are caps on temporary wage-replacement benefits, only allowing workers to collect those benefits for two years following an injury. This is true even if the employee has not fully recovered. Two years, in terms of workers’ compensation proceedings, is not very long at all. This hurts the worker, who may have to wait months upon months for surgeries or treatments, all while the two-year time limit is ticking down.
Other changes in 2005 limited the worker’s ability to choose his or her own doctor, and increased the use of independent medical examiners to resolve disputes regarding treatment and payment. All too often, these independent examiners will either rule that an injury is not work-related, or make their judgments based solely on medical records or a brief exam. This can make it more difficult for the worker to receive the treatment he or she needs.
What Do I Do If I Am Denied Workers’ Comp in Austin?
Just because your claim is denied does not mean you will not be able to receive benefits. You have options to fight back against a denial. Your first step in this process is to contact your employer or workers’ compensation insurance provider to discuss the issue. If they won’t budge, you should consider appealing the denial. An Austin workers’ comp attorney can help you through this process.