What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ Compensation is a state controlled insurance plan for employers that pays for the medical expenses and some lost wages of their employees who were injured at work.

Texas is the only state where having workers’ compensation is an option for the employer. This means that employers do not have to have workers’ compensation through the state. The employers may choose to buy their own insurance or go entirely without insurance coverage for injured workers. Employers who do not purchase the state workers’ compensation plan are called “non-subscribers.”

Non-subscribers do not have the same legal protection that subscribers do. Non-subscribers can be sued by their injured employee if the injury was caused by the employer’s negligence.

 How do I know if my employer is a non-subscriber?

An employer must disclose to new employees its workers’ compensation coverage status. Employers in Texas must report to the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) each year regarding their status as a non-subscriber. Your employer should post signs in the breakroom describing their coverage. If you do not know if your employer is a non-subscriber or not, please contact our office and we will find out for you.

What types of injuries can I sue for?

We have helped hundreds of people who have been injured on the job. If your employer has not provided you with a safe working condition and you are injured, you likely have a claim. Examples of some injuries that have lead to successful claims are, injuries caused by a lack of safety equipment or a safe place to perform the work and injuries caused by the actions of a coworker while at work.

How do I recover for my injuries?

If you have been injured due to the negligence of your employer, you may have a cause of action against them if they are a non-subscriber. If you are injured as a result of your non-subscriber employer’s negligence, they must give you a copy of the injury benefit plan upon request. An injury benefit plan that is available is beneficial to you. It will help with your medical expenses. Get the medical treatment you need under the injury benefit plan.

Getting medical treatment will not kill your cause of action. The injury benefit plan may look to be paid back for any money they have received but you can still recover for your pain and suffering and lost wages that were not paid for by the injury benefit plan. You are in a good position to bring a claim against a nonsubscriber. The biggest benefit of bringing a lawsuit against a nonsubscriber is that they cannot claim contributory negligence. This means that they cannot claim that you were at fault for the injury and try to reduce your potential recovery.  If you have any questions, contact The Joeckel Law Office at 817-924-8600 for assistance.