Being injured while on the job is a painful, confusing, and stressful experience that can leave a worker wondering what their next steps are and if they are going to be able to continue working and supporting their family. The first thing many employees think of after suffering a work injury and seeking medical treatment is filing a workers’ compensation claim. In Texas, however, employers are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance – and companies that opt out are called non-subscribers. What happens when a worker is injured on the job and an employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance?
Texas Workers’ Compensation Subscribers and Non-Subscribers
Texas workers’ compensation is divided into two categories – subscribers and non-subscribers. If your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, they are considered a “subscriber.” Employees injured on the job while working for a subscriber have a fairly straightforward process for filing a workers’ compensation claim for financial benefits. The employee must simply show they were performing their work duties within the normal scope of their job when they were injured to receive compensation. They do not need to prove any negligence on the part of their employer; however, the benefits they will receive and the types of treatments that are covered are dictated by the regulatory process.
An employer is considered a non-subscriber in Texas when they do not pay for workers’ compensation insurance. Non-subscribers are not immune from lawsuits brought by injured workers, however, and can therefore be sued directly. Injured workers who prove their employer’s negligence caused their injury can sue the employer for financial damages.
When an employee is hired, the employer is required to notify them of its coverage status – if it does or does not subscribe to workers’ compensation insurance. That information must also be posted in a designated area along with all other required workplace posters. If an employer has workers’ compensation insurance but does not renew its coverage at any point, it must also notify current employees of that change.
Third Party Claims
Even if an employer is a workers’ compensation subscriber, if an employee is injured on the job, they may be able to maintain a cause of action against responsible parties other than their employer. Do not assume that workers’ comp is your only remedy, even if your employer says so. It is always worth speaking with an experienced occupational injury lawyer to determine if another party – a third party like a contractor or subcontractor – can be held responsible for the injuries you suffered.
If you have been injured at work, first seek medical treatment and then consult with an experienced work injury attorney to determine the next best steps. If you suffered a serious or debilitating injury on the job, hire a personal injury lawyer immediately so they can navigate the delicate process of seeking financial compensation for you. Your employer may seem nice at first, but things could turn ugly when they learn just how much they may have to pay for your injuries. The financial recovery for injured workers from Texas non-subscriber employers is not limited in amount or type of compensation you can be awarded after being injured on the job. Depending on how severe your injuries are and how long your recovery may take, you may recover damages for physical pain, mental anguish, disfigurement, lost wages and wage-earning capacity, and other damages not available under workers’ compensation.
An experienced workplace injury attorney will investigate and find all evidence needed to ensure you receive fair and adequate monetary compensation. In some cases, employers may have violated established work safety standards set by OSHA by asking their workers to perform duties that are inherently dangerous, such as climbing without safety harnesses or requiring employees to work in unsafe work environments. An employee who is injured as a result of employer negligence deserves to be compensated for their injuries.
Houston Work Injury Attorneys
The legal team at Dax F. Garza, P.C. is here to help you navigate the complicated process of filing a lawsuit after suffering work injuries. We will take the time to learn all the details of your case, investigate all unsafe work conditions and hazards, find any evidence of inadequate safety training, and determine if work equipment was faulty or not maintained properly. If there is evidence that your injury was a result of your employer’s negligence, we will find it.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed while working and the employer is a non-subscriber, work with our knowledgeable legal team to ensure your rights are protected. There is limited time to act, so contact us today to discuss your case.