Q: How do I know if my employer is a workers’ compensation subscriber?
Typically, workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory under state law. Texas is an exception, however. Employers may opt out of the workers’ compensation program if they wish, though they must still compensate injured employees.
To recover damages, individuals must know whether or not their employers have workers’ compensation insurance.
The Importance of Workers’ Compensation Status
An employer’s workers’ compensation status has a big impact on an employee's recovery for his injury or illness. If the employer is covered by workers’ compensation insurance, payments will come from the insurance company.
On the other hand, employers who opt out of workers’ compensation, known as non-subscribers, are directly liable for all worker injuries. This may include medical bills, loss of present and future income, and pain and suffering. If a company is guilty of gross negligence, it may be liable for punitive damages as well. This means workers can conceivably recover more damages from non-subscribers than they would receive from employers' insurance carriers.
Since any potential recovery depends on the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance status, determining this status is the first step in securing compensation.
Determining Workers’ Compensation Status
Employers are required by law to notify employees regarding their workers’ compensation insurance status. Texas Department of Insurance Reference Rule 110.101(e)(2) mandates the posting of a notice in both the personnel office and in another prominent location within the workplace.
Employers are also required to notify new hires of their workers’ compensation insurance status, and to provide notice whenever that status changes. Unfortunately, companies aren’t always honest about their lack of workers’ compensation coverage. Employees can verify workers’ compensation status by contacting the Texas Department of Insurance.
If you’ve been injured on the job, you deserve compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney can help identify your employer’s workers’ compensation status, and pursue every type of recovery available to you. To learn more about what the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., can do for you, visit us on Facebook.