Getting injured at work can significantly impair your ability to earn a living in the future. But what should you do if a work accident aggravated the injuries that you already had? For tricky situations like this, you will need to hire a work injury attorney in Houston to help you with your claim.
A Work Accident Aggravated an Old Injury: Should I Get a Work Injury Attorney?
Employees in the labor industry have often sustained injuries that were aggravated by strenuous activities in the past. A workers’ compensation claim is slightly more difficult to file when a workplace injury aggravates an existing one.
When you hire a work injury attorney in Houston, TX, you can rest assured that your case will be handled by an expert who can navigate the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim for you. Your lawyer will ask specific questions about how you sustained your workplace injury, as well as learn about your previous injury.
What Injuries Are Covered By Workers Compensation Law?
Broadly speaking, if you are injured at work, then you are entitled to file a claim for workers’ compensation. Under workers’ compensation law, your injuries or illnesses are covered if you were hurt as part of the scope of your employment, such as being injured while working in a factory or on a business trip. But in general, having an old injury that is aggravated by a new injury should not prevent you from successfully filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ compensation law does not care about who is at fault for the injury, which means that even if you were injured by your negligence or the negligence of another employee, you are still entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, when you have a pre-existing condition that makes you more susceptible to injury, the process for your medical evaluation may be more detailed.
Ask a Work Injury Attorney in Houston: What Should Injured Workers Do?
Whether you have an old injury or not, there are several things you need to do when you are injured at work. It’s important to follow all of these steps promptly so that you can have a successful workers’ compensation claim. The main steps you should follow after being injured at work include:
File Injury Report
You will need to file an injury report with your supervisor or employer soon after you are injured. For example, many employees file an injury report after receiving emergency or urgent medical care. Other employees may file an injury report before receiving urgent care. Filing a prompt injury report will protect your claim in the future since this will be a document that proves when and how you were injured.
Appeal First Impairment Rating
If your physician who evaluated your injury for your employer gives you an impairment rating within the first 90 days of your workplace injury, you may have the right to appeal that rating. Based on your impairment rating, you can assess how much your disability will prevent you from working in the future. It is possible to use impairment ratings for both temporary and permanent injuries.
File Workers Compensation Claim
You will need to file a workers’ compensation claim within one year of your injury. If your injury was not immediately obvious, you will have one year from the date you notice the injury to file a workers’ compensation claim. That said, although you will have a year to file your claim, it’s generally a good idea to file your claim as soon as possible so you can receive workers’ compensation benefits.
What Benefits Are Covered By Workers Compensation?
Three main benefits are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer offers workers’ compensation benefits, then when you opt into this program as an employee, you will be able to receive benefits for medical, income, and death compensation. These benefits are typically available to you for up to two years after you have been injured in a workplace accident.
After two years, workers’ compensation law in Texas may not allow you to claim any compensation for medical or income benefits unless you file a lawsuit against your employer. Usually, you will only be able to file a lawsuit if negligence causes a permanent disability that will prevent you from earning any income in the future.
When a workplace accident aggravates a pre-existing injury, a workplace injury lawyer may be able to assist you with successfully filing a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation claims can be filed irrespective of pre-existing conditions if you were injured at work.