Federal law requires your employer to keep you safe at work. Despite their best efforts to provide a safe workplace, however, on-the-job accidents happen every day. A work-related accident can leave you stranded with medical bills and out of work while you recover.
As a Home Depot employee, you may be eligible to collect benefits under their workers’ compensation program.
Most large employers, including Home Depot, carry workers’ compensation insurance. This is a special type of insurance they use to compensate employees for injuries incurred at work. Workers’ compensation benefits cover medical expenses and provide workers with a portion of their lost wages. If your injuries are serious (permanent or resulting in total or partial disability), you may be able to collect additional benefits.
Types of Injuries at Home Depot
Home Depot is the fifth-largest private employer in the United States, giving jobs to nearly half a million people. The DIY home improvement store fills many different job positions, including:
- Associates on the sales floor
- Lot associates
- Freight associates (loading and unloading)
Each one of these positions has a unique set of responsibilities, but they all can lead to injuries. Here are a few examples:
- Salesfloor associates make copies of keys, mix paint, and cut household materials to order, among other tasks. Operating machinery of this kind can lead to serious and even permanently disabling injury (especially if the store didn’t properly train you in their use).
- As a freight associate, you can incur injury from falling from ladders or lifting heavy objects repeatedly (back strain).
- A lot associate may be injured by slippery floors or uneven parking lot surfaces.
Your likelihood of injury increases if you’re asked to step outside of your job duties. For example, if you’re asked to operate machinery without training or lift without being taught proper technique, you face the possibility of debilitating injury. Fortunately, filing a workers’ compensation claim against Home Depot can help compensate for medical bills and lost wages.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim with Home Depot in Texas
Each state has its own rules for workers’ compensation insurance, and Texas is one of the few that does not require businesses to provide compensation for injured workers. As a large employer, however, Home Depot chooses to provide workers’ compensation insurance to all its Texas employees.
The workers’ compensation system is “no-fault,” which means you won’t have to prove that Home Depot was legally liable for your injuries. In fact, you may be able to collect benefits even if the accident was partially your fault. In exchange for accepting benefits, you waive your right to pursue additional litigation (like a personal injury lawsuit).
In addition, Home Depot offers a “non-subscriber” plan in Texas. Non-subscriber means the employer gets to make up many of the rules.
How Does the Workers’ Compensation System Work?
If you’re injured during your shift at Home Depot, tell a supervisor as soon as possible. Texas law gives workers 30 days to report a workplace injury, but we suggest reporting much earlier than that. An insurance company or employer might be skeptical of claims you report days or weeks after the injury (the exception to this rule is injuries that can take days to manifest).
Once you file a report with your employer, they may tell you where to get medical care. Some workers’ compensation programs allow you to see your own provider, while others require that you see a physician within their network. At your first appointment, be sure to tell your doctor you were injured on the job.
The workers’ compensation system is often complex. If the insurer denies your claim or you feel your employer isn’t properly representing your rights, a workers’ compensation attorney is your best option. These specialized lawyers can assist with filing claims and appealing denials, leaving you to focus on your recovery.