Does getting a DWC 073 mean I have Worker's Comp?

If my doctor fills out a DWC Work Status Report, does that mean I have Worker’s Compensation benefits?

In short, the answer is NO! Doctors, urgent care or emergency clinics use the forms available to them from the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). Most of these forms, including the DWC 073 Work Status Report, are used routinely by doctors and clinics to report the status of your ability to work to your employer regardless of the type of insurance coverage your employer has for its employees.

If you work for Texas Non-Subscriber (i.e. not a Worker’s Compensation Subscribing Employer) and you are injured on the job, you will likely receive a DWC 073 Work Status Report from the company doctor. This does not mean you have benefits under Texas Worker’s Compensation. Remember, the law applies differently to employees injured while working for a Texas Non-Subscriber, and, if you have any questions, it’s better to consult with an attorney at Sandoval & Waldman, PLLC early in your case instead of waiting until later when your benefits are being limited or denied by your insurance.

If you have been injured on the job and you work for any of the employers listed below, call Sandoval & Waldman, PLLC at 713-688-4878!

Stripes

Walmart

Kroger

Academy

Home Depot

Target

La Michoacana Meat Market

HEB

Whataburger

Dairy Queen

Tejas Tubular

Gretna Machine Shop

C & L Carriers

Exel

Cardinal Logistics

Igloo

Dillard’s

Bealls

Palais Royal, and many more!!

Here are some recommendations if you are injured on the job:

1.       Report the injury no matter how minor it may seem! Make sure you have discussed your injury with a supervisor and that it has been documented.

2.       Seek medical treatment as soon as possible. If there is insurance and you have reported your injury, you should be receiving a call from an insurance representative to let you know where you can go for “Approved” medical care.

3.       If you reported the injury and no one is contacting you and you are in pain, do not wait, go to the doctor or hospital and get seen by a medical professional. There is no reason to compromise your health just because the company’s insurance is dragging their feet.

4.       Do not ignore your injury! Don’t decide not to report it because you don’t think it was a serious injury or because you think you can work through it. In the end, this doesn’t help you when you end up having to file the claim a few days or weeks later.

5.       Speak to a lawyer to discuss your options! It may be the last thing on your mind but, you need someone who is thinking clearly to help you get through the process and answer any questions you may have along the way.  

Protect your Rights!

Protect your Family!

Call Sandoval & Waldman, PLLC at 713.688-4878 (HURT)

Hector L. Sandoval, Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Attorney at

Sandoval y Waldman, PLLC.

Have you Spoken to your Lawyer Lately?

Will you ever speak with a lawyer?

When you or a family member have been involved in a serious accident and you are looking for a lawyer that you can trust, you would be surprised to learn that when you call certain law firms, you may never speak directly with a “lawyer” before you are asked to sign a contract to hire that lawyer. Is that what that firm thinks of your case? Is that what they think of you and your family? Is that how it is going to be while this lawyer handles my case?

This is why it is important for you to make sure that you take into consideration how you are treated when you first contact a law firm you are thinking of hiring. Lawyers and law firms are a customer service industry too even though some lawyers do not realize this fact. How can you and your family trust a law firm or a lawyer with your case at a time when you are most vulnerable and experiencing high stress without either speaking directly with your future lawyer or, for that matter, meeting him or her in person?

RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN LAWYER AND CLIENT ARE BASED ON TRUST!

At Sandoval & Waldman, PLLC, you will speak with attorney Hector L. Sandoval or Steve Waldman and, you will find out that you can trust them both to represent you. We pride ourselves on being available to discuss your legal issue on the phone or in person, determine quickly whether we believe we can help you and, if we can’t, we will try to offer some guidance to you and your family so that you can continue with your lives with peace of mind of knowing you’ve spoken to a lawyer.

When a family member is killedor is seriously injured because of someone else’s negligence, there are many questions that require answers!

If you or a family member have been involved in a serious accident with serious injuries, call a lawyer you can trust, a lawyer you can speak to, and a lawyer who will make every effort to give you and your family the answers they deserve.

Protect Your Rights.

Protect your Family.

Call Sandoval & Waldman, PLLC today at 713.688.4878

What is a Non-Subscriber Employer?

Does My Employer Have Workers’ Compensation Coverage?

What is a Non-Subscriber?

 

When you are injured on the job, you immediately start to have concerns about how you are going to pay for medical treatment and whether you are going to continue to receive a paycheck. In order to determine what types of benefits you may be entitled to, you will need to find what type of insurance your employer has that may cover injuries to its employees.

 

You may be surprised but, in Texas, companies ARE NOT REQUIRED to carry insurance that covers injuries to their employees. Smaller companies often have insurance that covers any personal injury or property damage that they may cause while they are operating their business but, this type of insurance does not cover injuries to its own employees. Therefore, there is often confusion about whether injured workers are receiving the benefits they deserve.

 

If you are injured on the job, you may be facing one of a few possible scenarios:

 

·        Your Employer has NO INSURANCE at all! Generally, this means if you get injured because of your employer’s negligence, you could only sue him or the company directly and recover from what assets your employer or the company may have, depending on how the business is set up with the State;

·        Your Employer only has a General Commercial Liability Policy! This type of policy does not provide coverage for injuries to employees or contractors;

·        Your Employer is a Texas Workers’ Compensation Subscriber and has insurance to cover injuries to employees. This means you will be covered but, the Workers’ Compensation rules are very specific and you may need help making sure you get the right treatment and benefits before you are sent back to work!;

·        Your Employer is a NON-SUBSCRIBER. The Company has its own insurance plan (Not Texas Workers’ Compensation) that provides benefits and covers injuries to employee while on the job. These are Non-Subscriber Employers. There are several companies that have their own insurance plans that cover injuries to employees. Some examples are: Stripes, Wal-Mart, Kroger, Academy, Home Depot, Target, La Michoacana Meat Market, HEB, and many other well-known companies in Texas.

 

Figuring out if you have benefits can be a difficult process and often times employers are not so willing to cooperate and help you figure it out. Therefore, if you are injured on the job, it is important you take the proper steps to make sure you haven’t affected your ability to claim your benefits.

 

Here are some recommendations If you are injured on the job:

 

1.      Report the injury no matter how minor it may seem! Make sure you have discussed your injury with a supervisor and that it has been documented.

 

2.      Seek medical treatment as soon as possible. If there is insurance and you have reported your injury, you should be receiving a call from an insurance representative to let you know where you can go for “Approved” medical care.

 

3.      If you reported the injury and no one is contacting you and you are in pain, do not wait, go to the doctor or hospital and get seen by a medical professional. There is no reason to compromise your health just because the company’s insurance is dragging their feet.

 

4.      Do not ignore your injury! Don’t decide not to report it because you don’t think it was a serious injury or because you think you can work through it. In the end, this doesn’t help you when you end up having to file the claim a few days or weeks later.

 

5.      Speak to an lawyer to discuss your options! It may be the last thing on your mind but, you need someone who is thinking clearly to help you get through the process and answer any questions you may have along the way.

 

Protect your Rights!

Protect your Family!

Call Sandoval & Waldman, PLLC at 713.688-4878 (HURT)

Hector L. Sandoval, Abogado

Sandoval y Waldman, PLLC.

Concussion Study: Help for Accident Victims

The NCAA and Department of Defense have launched a $30 million effort to study the effects of concussion and head impact. See the story here. Clearly, the push to examine the causes, effects and treatment of head injury came from the tragic stories of soldiers and athletes damaged in combat and competition. But, as with all science, the benefit percolates to the rest of society. For head injuries, that includes people who suffer traumatic brain injury or "TBI" in accidents, including those in vehicles, on the job and in falls.
 
For years, people with lasting effects of head trauma were written off. War veterans were "shell-shocked." Athletes who severely deteriorated in middle age were forgotten and ignored. Mental and physical conditions were attributed to a myriad of other causes. Often, victims of head injury were just called "crazy."
 
In the world of personal injury litigation, attacking the victim is a mantra. Many head injury victims received inadequate (or no) diagnosis or treatment of their condition. They were accused of malingering, which is a fancy way of saying "faking it."
 
This important study reflects increased awareness of the effects of head trauma. Hopefully, it will help many people, including soldiers, veterans, athletes...and regular people who happen to be accident victims.
 
Anyone involved in an accident (and their family members) should be aware of the signs of Traumatic Brain Injury. According to The Mayo Clinic (www.mayoclinic.org), even mild TBI in adults can produce:
 
    •    A state of being dazed, confused or disoriented;
    •    Headache;
    •    Nausea or vomiting;
    •    Fatigue or drowsiness;
    •    Difficulty sleeping;
    •    Sleeping more than usual;
    •    Dizziness or loss of balance;
    •    Blurred vision;
    •    Ringing in the ears;
    •    Changes in taste or smell;
    •    Sensitivity to light or sound;
    •    Memory or concentration problems;
    •    Mood changes or mood swings;
    •    Feeling depressed or anxious.
 
Symptoms are worse in more severe TBI, and they may be different in children. See the Mayo Clinic article here.
 
Anyone who may have a head injury should see a doctor as soon as possible. Even if the person was seen an at emergency room, symptoms may appear days or weeks later. Increased information about TBI is helping all doctors recognize these conditions, but Neurologists are the specialists who focus on treating concussion and TBI. Specialized testing byNeuropsychologists can show damage from TBI. Treatments are available, but only if there is a diagnosis.
 
Lawyers with experience in representing head injury victims can be a resource for finding avenues for diagnosis and treatment of TBI. Regardless of how an injury occurs, it is important to seek care for TBI as soon as the symptoms appear.

New Ruling on Same-Sex "Informal Marriage"

Sandoval & Waldman, LLP announces that on Friday, June 26, 2015, The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division (Hon. Marcia Crone), following the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, ___ U.S. ___ (No. 14-556, June 26, 2015), expanded the scope of same-sex marriage in Texas to include Informal Marriage, historically called "common law marriage."
 
The Court granted our client, Rhonda Renee Hogan, leave to assert a wrongful death claim as the surviving spouse of April Dawn Ranolls, in Shirley Ranolls, Individually and as Representative of the Estate of April Dawn Ranolls vs. Adam Dewling, Tankstar USA, Inc., Rogers Cartage Co., and Bulk Logistics, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:15-cv-111.
 
We argued on behalf of Ms. Hogan that she and Ms. Ranolls were, prior to the tragic death of Ms. Ranolls in a trucking accident, parties to an "Informal Marriage," as that relationship is defined by Section 2.401, Texas Family Code.
 
That provision of the Family Code limited "Informal Marriage" to a relationship between a man and a woman. However, we argued that, as with all other state marriage laws, this statute was modified by the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Obergefell.
 
Sandoval & Waldman, LLP, is proud to represent Rhonda Renee Hogan, and to join in representing the interests of same-sex couples in the State of Texas. 

 

It's good to be back ... and new!

Steve_Waldman_Houston_320x426.jpg

Dear Friends,
 
Three years ago, I left Houston to join a law firm in Dallas. Professionally, this experience has been great. I worked with a team of talented legal professionals, handled challenging cases and became a part of the Dallas legal community. I also acquired thousands of Southwest miles - half my docket was in Houston!

Dallas was a terrific personal experience as well. My wife Gayle and I overcame the Houston-Dallas rivalry and learned each city has its strong points (more about that later). We made friends and developed family ties as well. Life in Dallas was good.

Ultimately, three things brought us back to Houston.

First, as a lawyer, I believe the values of my firm should reflect my personal ideals. That is why I have always represented individuals, mostly in claims against big corporations or insurance companies. My new law partner Hector Sandoval and I share values of hard work and dedication to our clients, high standards in our work, giving back to our community, and above all, honesty and integrity in all our dealings. 

Second, having come from a family of immigrants, I empathize with all those working for a share of the American Dream. Every person I know has ancestors from somewhere else. Hector and I are building a new and innovative law practice that provides legal services with dignity and respect for people of all cultures.

Finally, Gayle and I lived for over 30 years in Houston, building lifelong friendships and family relationships, and bonds to the community. We leave friends and family behind in Dallas, but as we return to Houston, we know we are coming home.