Most workers understand that if they are injured at work, their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company should pay for the medical bills and any wage loss. But this may not be the case in Texas.
Does Texas Require Workers' Compensation?
In most states, all employers have to carry workers’ comp insurance. But does Texas require workers’ comp? No, the law doesn’t require every employer to buy workers’ comp insurance coverage for their employees.
Although most employers do have coverage for work injuries, some employers don’t carry workers’ comp insurance. These are called "non-subscriber" employers because they have opted out of subscribing to the Texas workers’ comp law.
But just because your employer may not carry the insurance, you still have options if you’re injured on the job with no workers’ comp insurance.
If you've been injured at work and your employer doesn't subscribe to workers' compensation, you should speak with an attorney. At Grossman Law, we have over 30 years of experience making sure our injured clients get the compensation they deserve, including recovering millions for workers in non-subscriber claims.
Contact us 24/7 to get your questions answered at a free consultation.
Injured Workers Can Still Receive Compensation in Non-Subscriber Cases
If you are injured at work and your employer is a non-subscriber, you can still recover compensation for your work injury. Under a normal workers’ comp case, the injured worker is entitled to wage benefits and medical benefits. But that’s it. They don’t get any monetary compensation for the pain and suffering of the injury, even if the employer was clearly negligent and caused the work injury.
Basically, there’s lawsuit protection for employers if they agree to cover ALL work injuries regardless of who caused them. That’s the whole idea behind workers’ comp. It reduces lawsuits while ensuring injured workers get the help they need.
For the benefit of covering all work injuries, employees aren’t allowed to file lawsuits against their employer for employer negligence. This isn’t the case with non-subscriber employers.
Non-Subscriber Cases Are Similar to Other Negligence Cases
Similar to a car crash or slip and fall, if an injured employee can prove that the injury was caused by the negligence of their employer, instead of filing a workers’ comp claim, the injured employee can file a lawsuit against their employer.
The compensation they can seek is expanded when you’re injured on the job with no workers’ comp. You can file a lawsuit seeking wage loss benefits, medical benefits, as well as pain and suffering for your injuries. The addition of the pain and suffering category of damages can significantly increase the total amount of money you can receive.
So if you’re injured at work with no workers’ comp coverage, the best thing to do is contact a knowledgeable and skilled Texas non-subscriber law firm that has successfully handled hundreds of these types of cases.
Here are the kinds of damages that can be claimed in a non-subscriber work injury lawsuit:
- Any unpaid medical bills for both past and future treatment;
- Mental anguish and pain and suffering;
- Permanent Impairment and significant disfigurement;
- Lost wages for both the past and going into the future, as well as lost earning capacity; and
- Punitive damages.
Some non-subscriber cases can be very complex and challenging to win. You need a law firm with the skills and resources to take on any employer, no matter how big they are.
Non-Subscriber Law Precludes Employers from Using Certain Defenses
Non-subscriber cases are designed to be easier to win than your basic negligence cases like a car accident or slip and fall. The reason for this is that certain defenses that a defendant would have available to them in a car crash case are not available to a non-subscriber employer.
The state enacted its laws in this way—taking away these defenses—to encourage employers to purchase regular workers’ comp insurance and not be non-subscriber employers. Here are the defenses that are not allowed to be used by non-subscriber employers:
- Contributory negligence—A non-subscriber employer can’t use the defense that the employee contributed to their own injury to offset the employer's liability.
- Assumption of the risk—The “assumption of the risk” argument is used when the injured plaintiff knew that the activity was risky and proceeded anyway. The employer can’t use this against the injured employee.
- Pre-injury waiver of liability—A waiver of liability is often signed by individuals who participate in certain risky activities. Non-subscriber employers cannot use this defense for injured workers.
However, a post-injury waiver is a valid defense that can be used. For example, the employer could offer to pay an injured worker a lump sum settlement to sign a waiver, preventing the worker from being able to file a lawsuit.
Grossman Law Offices Fight for the Rights of Injured Texas Workers
If you have been injured at work with no worker’ comp, you still have rights. Contact the Texas non-subscriber injury lawyers at Grossman Law Offices to get the help you deserve.