Workers’ Compensation Claims Versus Non-Subscriber Lawsuits
In Texas, workers’ compensation insurance is optional for most employers. The process of recovering damages for a work-related injury will differ depending on whether the employer participates in the Texas workers’ compensation system.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
Workers’ compensation is a state-regulated insurance system that guarantees the payment of medical bills, as well as some lost wages to employees injured on the job. Private sector companies involved in state building and construction projects, and governmental entities, are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance. When an employer purchases this insurance, the company is shielded from employee injury litigation in nearly all instances. Instead, the insurance company assumes liability for the employee’s injuries without regard to negligence or fault.
Workers’ compensation benefits may include:
- Medical benefits for work-related injuries and illnesses.
- Disability income benefits.
- Compensation for burial expenses for employees killed on the job.
- Death benefits for dependants of employees killed on the job.
Texas doesn’t require most private employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Companies opting out of the workers’ compensation system are known as non-subscribers. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, 22 percent of Texas private, year-round employers were non-subscribers to the workers’ compensation system during 2016.
Unlike companies providing workers’ compensation benefits, non-subscribers may be sued by injured employees. This means that the company might have to pay substantial damages when the injured employee proves negligence on the part of the employer. To do so, the employee must show that his employer did one or more of the following:
- Failed to maintain a safe facility and working conditions.
- Failed to maintain sufficient staff to perform the work safely.
- Failed to provide the equipment needed to perform the job safely.
- Another employee was negligent.
Regardless of whether your employer participates in the Texas workers’ compensation system, you’re entitled to pursue compensation if you’re injured on the job. Unfortunately, non-subscribing employers often make it difficult for injured workers to claim compensation, so you need representation by an experienced attorney to protect your rights. To learn more about what the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., can do for you, visit us on Facebook.