Workplace injuries can mean major headaches for the employee affected. They may need medical care and an extended leave of absence from work while they recover, and they may even require a permanent change of job functions if they have permanent symptoms from their injury.
Whether you work in a maritime environment or a terrestrial industrial setting, you could get hurt severely wild just trying to do your job. Those who work in a factory or land-based environment can potentially file a claim for workers’ compensation. Those hurt while working at a maritime job may need to file a civil lawsuit for compensation under the Jones Act.
Knowing your rights as a worker requiring healthcare after an injury on the job will make filing a claim and getting quality healthcare easier for you. Who determines what doctors provide the medical care for injured workers who need to make a workplace compensation claim?
When you claim workers’ compensation
Under the workers’ compensation program in Texas, employers purchase insurance. The individual insurance companies create coverage networks that include certain doctors and hospitals. A worker who gets hurt on the job or develops a work-related illness has the right to choose their own doctor.
However, they will have to pick a physician who is in-network for the workers’ compensation coverage their employer carries. If they don’t agree with that doctor after starting treatment, a worker can change the physician providing their care one time without getting any pre-approval.
When you need to file a Jones Act claim
The Jones Act is different than workers’ compensation. It is not a mandatory insurance program but rather a federal statute that allows injured workers to file a civil lawsuit.
You usually need documentation showing negligence or misconduct on the part of your employer to seek compensation for an injury under the Jones Act. Given that there is no insurance coverage involved but rather a need to file a civil lawsuit for your losses, you have the right to you see any physician you want after a maritime injury. You can then apply any compensation that you received from a successful claim to the resulting medical bills.
Getting hurt on the job can affect your income and your quality of life. Knowing your rights as an injured worker will help you minimize the long-term impact you suffer from those injuries.