What compensation can I recover in my Non-Subscriber work injury case under Texas law?
When you've been in a work injury, your next logical step is to find out if your employer has workers' compensation coverage or not. When they do not have this coverage, since they can opt out in Texas, your employer then is a non-subscriber. A non-subscriber case works totally different from that of traditional workers' comp. In a workers' comp case, Texas law requires employers to pay injured workers in the form of several types of benefits. But in a non-subscriber case, there is no such law. Instead, workers retain the right to sue their employer, and they can sue for all of the ordinary damages that one can sue for in a typical Texas personal injury case.
Once we explain that to our clients, their next question is usually about what damages are recoverable for their non-subscriber work injury. In this article,our attorneys explain what kinds of compensation you can sue for in your Texas work injury case.
Questions answered on this page:
- What categories of damages are available to sue for in Texas?
- How do I get compensation for medical bills?
- How do I get compensation for emotional pain and suffering?
- How do I get compensation for lost wages?
What Kinds of Damages are Recoverable?
The most common types of damages sought in a Texas non-subscriber work injury case include:
- Medical Bills
These are probably the most obvious type of damages. If you're injured, you're of course going to need medical treatment. You may have paid for these bills by yourself, you may have a doctor willing to hold the expense until the settlement is received or case is completed, or a third party (like your insurance company) may pay the medical bills and ask for their due compensation once you're compensated.These medical damages cover your doctors' visits, your physical therapy, your vocational therapy, and other related healthcare visits. It also covers your continued care: surgery you may need down the road, more physical therapy and training, extensive pain management that may occur, and basically, any ongoing medical procedures. These medical damages also aim to even cover some of the more nontraditional costs, which may be surgery to correct a disfigurement or scarring. Like all others, the cost of these damages has to be proven to the jury, but it is less difficult than other damage costs because it's usually pretty clear.
- Mental Anguish Damages
Now, this is a little harder to measure than medical damages are. If you think about it though, it makes sense to give compensation to someone who has suffered a heavy emotional burden. These types of damages are often called pain and suffering, and it is the process of ascribing a dollar amount to the emotional suffering you've endured. Because it's not just an employer's negligence you've gone through, but now it's something that you or a loved one has lost sleep over, that you had to quit your job over your emotional stress, etc. This pain and suffering is generally proved through testimony. This can also be proved through psychological help, psychiatrists and counselors (medical experts) who come in and attest to the emotional aftermath of the accident.
Say you've lost a spouse, you've also probably lost a fellow caregiver to your children, someone who helps around the house, and even that can become a recoverable damage. Not only have you lost your husband or wife, but if you've lost a partner who was your children's daytime caregiver, you may even need compensation for childcare now. It's a sad reality that your emotional stress has turned into a financial burden.
- Lost Wages, Past and Future
In small cases, where you are out from work for a couple of weeks, its relatively easy to prove what your lost wages are. You can use simple math to do this. Where its complicated is when its a serious injury that keeps you out of work forever, or an injury that requires you to choose a different profession, or even when its a wrongful death case. In those cases, this money due is harder to prove. However, whatever situation it is, lost wages are definitely a recoverable damage. The jury recognizes that your injury caused you to stop earning an income--or that the loss of your loved one caused it to stop--and you have to at least maintain financial stability after the accident.
- Punitive Damages
This other category exists, but its hard to get. These are punitive, or exemplary, damages. These are in place for when your employer engages in intentional unlawful practices. Punitive damages are designed to punish, not necessarily compensate. This part of the law allows you to allege that your employer acted in such a grossly negligent fashion, that there was a reckless disregard for human life, and that you should be entitled to more than you've got. And most importantly, the employer is punished for negligence. But suffice it to say, while punitive damages are available, its pretty rare for a court to award them. If they are warranted however, you can bet our attorneys will fight for these damages.
This list is by no means all of the damages, which can be pursued under Texas law. For a more thorough review of all the damages, which can be recovered in a Texas non-subscriber work injury case, check out our Comprehensive Guide to Damages in Texas Personal Injury Cases.
Injured Workers Deserve Fair Compensation
The whole point of suing for damages is to get you back to some level of how things were before the accident. This compensation helps you decide how your life will be from now on. When we take on your non-subscriber work injury case, we work with you to determine the full extent of your losses and then we sue for that amount. Call us, we'll get you a fair settlement or take your employer to court to get you the maximum amount of damages you deserve. (855) 326-0000.
Related Articles for Further Reading:
- Beware of Employers Who Pretend to Have Workers' Compensation, but Don't
- Non-Subscriber Work Injury Defenses: Employee Intentionally Injured Themselves
- How Long Do You Have to File Suit for Your Work Injuries?