Trevino Law Firm: What Rights Does an Injured Texas Worker Have?
Under the employment laws of Texas, a worker can either file a workers’ comp claim or sue their employer. However, this choice is made for the injured worker by their employer. Many injured workers feel that this concept is extremely confusing; however, it simply means that if your employer is a member of the Texas workers’ compensation program, you have one set of right. If, on the other hand, they opt out of the workers’ comp program, you have an entirely different set of rights. You do not get to choose which rights you have. Your employer chooses when they either opt in or opt out of the Texas workers’ comp system.
The idea of a state’s workers’ comp system is to prevent an employee from being able to sue their employer because of an injury that occurred at their work. Instead, the state provides a benefit plan that pays workers much like the unemployment benefits system of the state rather than like a case heard in the Texas court of law. If your employer purchases workers’ comp insurance through the workers’ comp system, your right to sue your employer is taken away. Instead, you are given the rights to file for benefits through the workers’ compensation insurance company.
Sue The Employer
Not all companies in Texas carry workers’ comp insurance. Instead, these employers would rather take their chances in the Texas law system. For this reason, Texas lawmakers gave employers the right to opt out of the state’s workers’ comp system. Typically, those employers who opt out of the state’s workers’ comp system are subject to personal injury law. If an employee is injured on the job, the employee has the right to sue the employer.
The Rights That You Have If Your Employer Has Workers’ Comp Insurance Coverage
If your employer provides workers’ compensation insurance coverage, you will be unable to sue your employer for the injuries that you sustained. Unfortunately, this option often benefits the company more than the employee. Instead of being able to sue for personal injury damages, you will be eligible for several different benefits, including income benefits and medical benefits. Income benefits are designed to supplementary any lost wages. The medical benefits cover any medical treatments that you may need. The idea behind a workers’ comp claim was to make it easier for employees to automatically receive benefits rather than needing to go to court. The reality is that this automatic remedy is not automatic.
The amount of benefits paid to you is limited and is based on a predefined formula. Furthermore, the employer gets off the hook when an injury at the workplace occurs. When a company has workers’ compensation coverage, it creates a no-fault situation. This means that it does not matter if the company is totally liable for your injuries. Instead, the company’s workers’ comp insurance pays for those injuries. There is never any fault finding of the employer. Other than the employer’s insurance premiums increasing, the employer faces no other consequences, even if they are negligent.
Opt Out Of Workers Compensation
Technically, employees are able to opt out of their employer’s workers’ comp insurance coverage when you start your job. You can find out more information on how to opt out of your employer’s workers’ comp insurance coverage, HERE. However, you should understand that your employer can fire you should you opt out of their workers’ comp coverage. Furthermore, when you employer opts into the workers’ comp system, you cannot be fired if you file a workers’ comp claim. If the employer fires you, you have the right to sue them for a violation of Texas’s labor laws.
The Rights That You Have If Your Employer Does Not Have Workers’ Comp Insurance Coverage
If your employer opts out of Texas’s workers’ comp coverage, you have the right to seek remedies for your injuries through the Texas court system. The employer is considered a non-subscriber and is not protected by workers’ comp laws. Instead, if you sustain a workplace injury, you have the right to file a lawsuit against your employer. In this case, the Trevino Law Firm can help you get the money that you deserve based on your injuries. A no subscribing employer can be held accountable by the jury hearing your case.
Donald Pattison is a personal injury lawyer in Corpus Christi. He is passionate about helping people who are facing difficult time after an accident, whether it be a person who has suffered a serious injury in an auto accident or a work accident. In his spare time, he loves to write and share his insights online.