Types of Compensation Available After a Workplace Injury

When you get hurt at work, there are two main ways to seek financial compensation: (i) filing for workers’ compensation benefits, and (ii) filing a personal injury claim for damages.

If your employer participates in workers’ compensation (participation is not mandatory in Texas), you can file for workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer is a “non-subscriber,” you can file a personal injury claim, provided that you can prove that your employer was at fault in the accident. If a third party (such as a contractor or subcontractor) was at fault in the accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the third party as well.

Workers’ Compensation Claims: Types of Benefits in Texas

In Texas, workers who suffer non-fatal injuries can seek two types of workers’ compensation benefits: income and medical.

Income benefits provide compensation for a portion of your lost wages while you are unable to work. Texas’s workers’ compensation law specifies maximum coverage amounts which are dependent upon the extent and long-term effects of your work-related injury:

  • Temporary income benefits: 100 percent of state average weekly wage
  • Lifetime income benefits: 100 percent of state average weekly wage for one year
  • Impairment income benefits: 70 percent of state average weekly wage
  • Supplemental income benefits: 70 percent of state average weekly wage

For purposes of workers’ compensation income benefits, the state average weekly wage, “is equal to 88% of the average weekly wage in covered employment computed by the Texas Workforce Commission.” Since these are the maximum coverage amounts, if you earn less than the state average weekly wage, your benefits will be determined based upon your actual earnings.

Medical benefits provide coverage for “necessary medical care” to treat a work-related injury or illness. While your medical expenses should be fully covered for up to two years, insurance companies will often try to terminate workers’ medical benefits early by claiming that they have achieved their “maximum medical improvement.”

In the case of a fatal work injury, the worker’s family can claim burial and death benefits through workers’ compensation. Burial benefits provide limited coverage for funeral expenses, while death benefits are similar to income benefits and are subject to a limit of 100 percent of the state average weekly wage.

Personal Injury Claims: Types of Losses You Can Recover

Unlike workers’ compensation benefits, the damages available in personal injury cases are not limited to your medical costs and partial wage replacement. As an undocumented worker, you have the right to seek full compensation for your injury-related losses. This includes:

  • Outstanding medical bills
  • Future medical expenses
  • Prescriptions and other out-of-pocket costs
  • Lost wages
  • Lost future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of society, support, companionship, and enjoyment of life

If you have lost a family member in a work-related accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be able to seek compensation through a claim for wrongful death. In Texas, eligible family members can recover financial compensation for:

  • Lost future earnings
  • Lost inheritance
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of services, support, care, and maintenance
  • Loss of society, companionship, and comfort

Discuss Your Case with a San Antonio Work Injury Lawyer

If you would like to speak with an attorney about seeking financial compensation for a work-related accident in South Texas, please contact our offices to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation. You can reach us by phone at (210) 308-8811; or, submit our confidential request form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.