Hurt on the job? Here’s what to do!
What are my rights when I get hurt on the job?
If you’re injured on the job, like a lot of people you probably assume that your employer is going to help you pay for things like medical bills, physical therapy expenses, and lost wages that result from that on-the-job injury. Unfortunately, if the company doesn’t carry workers’ compensation coverage, this isn’t always the case.
That’s because in Texas, the law doesn’t require all private employers to carry this kind of insurance. That can leave employees who are injured at work on the hook for expenses like those we just mentioned. It means they could be missing out on possible compensation for past and future economic losses, as well as things like benefits for dependents of workers killed on the job.
While most companies do choose to offer these kinds of protections to their workers, many – including some major national and international corporations – choose to forego this coverage. The Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) estimates that around 28% of private, full-time employers (employing nearly 18% of the private workforce in Texas) do not subscribe to the workers’ compensation system, these businesses are referred to as “non-subscribers”.
Some of the largest and most recognizable companies in Texas are non-subscribers. Go to the Texas Department of Insurance website to learn what Texas Corporations are non-subscribers!
Click Here! : https://www.tdi.texas.gov/wc/employer/coverage.html
3 key rights for employees of businesses without workers compensation insurance to remember :
If you work for a business that doesn’t have workers’ compensation coverage and you’re injured on the job, we want you to understand that you do have legal rights.
Please be aware, these non-subscriber employers may pressure injured workers into accepting a settlement, making statements, and/or taking other actions that can ultimately make it harder to file (or win) a claim later on.
Here are the three most important rights for employees of non-subscribers to keep in mind:
- Even if the employer pays for some or all medical expenses or lost wages stemming from an injury, employees are still entitled to pursue a remedy through a personal injury claim.
- Employees do not have to give a statement about the incident without speaking to an attorney first.
- Employees do not have to sign any paperwork relating to the incident or give anyone access to their medical records without speaking to an attorney first.
How does the remedy process work when an employer has workers’ compensation?
If you’re injured at work and your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, the next steps are fairly straightforward. The workers’ compensation insurer is responsible for paying for all necessary, reasonable medical treatments and co-payments for required care. They also typically cover a percentage of lost wages.
Besides acting as a safety net for employees, there are other major reasons companies choose to offer workers’ compensation insurance. First, if an employee is injured at work, the workers’ compensation system is then wholly responsible for all financial remedies. In other words, the workers’ compensation system is the injured worker’s sole remedy.
In return, the business is protected from costly lawsuits on the part of injured parties and their families. There are a few exceptions, including situations where gross negligence on the part of the employer led to the death of the employee, but for the most part employers are shielded from any litigation as a result of the incident.
What are your rights when your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation coverage?
When an employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance, the process can get a little more complicated. In this case, an injured employee has the right to sue the business for damages related to their injury, including past and future medical expenses, pain, mental anguish, disfigurement, physical impairment, and loss of earning capacity, but also for punitive damages and other penalties.
Importantly, not only are employers who choose not to provide worker’s compensation insurance vulnerable to lawsuits, they’re also barred from using certain arguments in their defense. Employers lose what are known as “common law defenses.”
For example, the employer can’t claim that negligence on the part of the injured employee (or a fellow employee) caused the injury, or that the injured employee knew about the danger and voluntarily accepted it.
Why filing a personal injury lawsuit can be beneficial :
While the process of filing a personal injury claim can seem arduous and time consuming, there are actually some benefits with it compared to filing a workers’ compensation claim.
The main benefit is that you can seek compensation for the full amount of your damages, whereas with a workers’ compensation claim the amount you’ll get is capped by law. This means that all of the medical, psychological, and rehabilitation costs associated with the injury will be paid in full, as opposed to the typical two-thirds compensation you can expect from workers’ comp claim.
Another major benefit of a filing a lawsuit is that you can also seek compensation for more than just reimbursement for medical bills, lost wages, etc. This includes things like emotional pain and mental anguish, physical impairment, and disfigurement stemming from the injury, as well as punitive damages for any gross negligence on the part of the employer which might have contributed to the incident. These options simply aren’t allowed when you file a workers’ comp case because the workers’ compensation system operates on a no-fault system.
What should you do if you’re injured at work?
If you work for a company that doesn’t offer workers’ compensation insurance, knowing what steps to take after a work-related injury is critical. There are a few simple steps you can take to ensure the best chance of success if you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against your employer.
Make sure to do the following:
- Get prompt medical attention and document any and all injuries and make sure your doctor notes them in your medical records. Failing to disclose all injuries and/or their extent could weaken your case later on.
- Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They will have the resources and contacts to make sure you get the best possible care, and the sooner they start building your case, the better your chances of a positive outcome.
- Take pictures and/or videos of the scene of the accident where you were hurt. Also, make sure you get the names and contact information of any witnesses to the incident.
- Make sure to go to all follow-up medical, psychological, and/or rehabilitation appointments and adhere to any instructions they give you related to your care.
Proving negligence in on the job injury cases :
In order to win damages, you need to show that your employer’s negligence caused your injury. The primary way to establish this is by showing that the company did not maintain a safe workplace.
Examples of ways employers fail to maintain a safe workplace include:
- Failing to provide employees with adequate warning of dangerous conditions
- Failing to properly train employees
- Failing to hire or assign enough employees to a specific task
- Failing to provide employees with safe equipment (tools, machinery, vehicles, etc.)
When you consult a personal injury law office like GreeningLaw, P.C., we not only help you go over the facts and circumstances surrounding your injury to make the best possible case, we also hire safety experts who will testify to what the company should have done to help prevent the accident.
We want to help employees injured at work when their employer doesn’t have worker’s compensation insurance.
If you’ve been injured on the job and your employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance, figuring out what you need to do next and determining what steps you can take to protect your best interests can seem overwhelming.
That’s why your first call needs to be to an experienced personal injury law office like GreeningLaw, P.C. so we can help you start building your case and make sure everything is filed correctly and in the proper legal timeframe.
Our law firm is one of the most recognized personal injury firms in the state because we have the resources to help our clients get the best care available and the experts needed to ensure the best compensation for their case. In addition, our lawyers treat each case with the same care and attention to detail as they would if they were representing their own family.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. In it, we’ll go over all the elements of your case, and make recommendations on your best course of action. Plus, we work on a contingency basis, so you don’t owe us anything unless we win your case.
We fight the legal battle so you have time for healing and renewal, and we’ll get you through this.