Because Texas is the only state that does not require private employers to carry workers’ compensation benefits, employees injured on the job may think they have no rights. Thankfully, this is not always the case.
In Texas, employers are encouraged, but not required, to participate in the state’s workers’ compensation program. If your employer does subscribe to the Texas workers’ compensation program and you are injured on the job, you are required to report your injury to your employer. The timeframe for reporting an injury can depend on whether or not it is an accident or an occupational disease, but generally you should report the occupational injury or illness as soon as you believe you have been injured.
If you are injured on the job and your employer offers workers’ compensation benefits, then you are entitled to collect disability benefits if a doctor determines you are unable to do your work and are entitled to medical benefits. Unfortunately, collecting medical benefits can be difficult. You cannot see any doctor; you must see a doctor that accepts or is part of the state’s workers’ compensation system.
If your employer does not subscribe to the Texas workers compensation system, they may have a non subscriber’s insurance policy. Depending on the type of policy, you may be paid disability benefits and for your medical bills.
However, because the employer writes these policies, they may have very strict guidelines and require strict compliance with meeting certain deadlines. For example, many policies require that you report your injury by the end of your workday or else you are disqualified from receiving any benefits.
Another possibility is that your employer carries no insurance whatsoever on workers. This means if you are injured on the job, you may not receive any disability benefits or be compensated for medical care. In this situation, your only legal recourse is to file a lawsuit against your employer.
In Texas, if your employer or co worker was negligent in causing your injury or if your employer failed to provide a safe work environment that resulted in your injury, then your employer may be responsible for paying all of your damages. However, even if the employer is at fault, they may not have the funds or assets to pay any legal judgment against them, so it may be fruitless to pursue a claim. You won’t know until you speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, the experienced personal injury legal team at Roberts & Roberts is here to help with compassionate, aggressive representation. Please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.