What to do if you are injured on the job
Texas Workplace Injury Law
Texas is the only state that allows employers to opt out of having workers’ compensation. Even though having workers’ compensation insurance is in the best interest of an employer’s business, some choose not to have it. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, a significant percentage of Texas employers do not carry workers compensation insurance. If they do not have worker’s compensation, they are known as non-subscribers. The TDPI gives the following statistics: 44 percent of Texas employers are non-subscribers, 20 percent of Texas employees work for non-subscribers, 40 percent of Texas employer s with five or fewer employees are non-subscribers, 12 percent of Texas employers with more than 1000 employees are non-subscribers. If injured on the job and their employer is a “non-subscriber, the worker has two choices to recover compensation. They can either receive payment through an alternate benefit plan or they can file a non-subscriber work injury claim. The amount that a worker receives can vary greatly depending on the method they choose to go with.
The Employer's Responsibility
An employer still has a responsibility to the employee even if the employer has opted out of having workers’ compensation insurance. Under Texas law, employers have a duty to provide a safe work environment for their employees. If an employee is injured on the job, the employee can pursue a negligence claim against his employer. The employee must show that the employer failed to provide a safe workplace in several ways such as failing to hire adequate staff, failing to provide sufficient training to employees, failing to properly supervise employees, failing to provide safe machinery and tools and failing to train employees in the use of those tools, and failing to provide safety equipment.
Non-subscribing employers are prohibited from arguing that the employee was at fault and caused their own injuries unless the employee was visibly intoxicated or intentionally brought about their own injury. It is likely that the injured employee will have strong case if neither of these situations apply to the employee’s case.
The non-subscribing employers are under no obligation to pay for a worker’s lost wages. The employer can choose to pay the injured employee a portion of their current wages. The amount and duration of these payments is completely up to the employer. The payments may not be enough to cover the worker’s bills, forcing the employee to return to work before they have fully healed from their injuries. Compensation available through non-subscribing employers is often inadequate and employees should always consult with an attorney before accepting any employer benefits.
Need a Lawyer?
If you have been injured on the job and your employer is a non-subscriber, you need to speak with an experienced work injury attorney to help you file a claim. Contact us by filling in the form below or call us at (512) 246-9191