There are two potential ways an employer can handle injuries in the workplace, depending on the type of insurance coverage they have subscribed to.
If the employer subscribes to Workers’ Compensation Insurance, they have essentially opted into a system of coverage that will often shield them from a lawsuit. In theory, workers’ comp coverage should pay for all of the injured employee’s medical expenses and a considerable portion of their lost wages. But the sad reality is that many employees do not get the compensation that they deserve and they must hire an experienced workers’ comp attorney to help them make the most of their unfortunate situation.
However, workers’ comp coverage is not mandatory in Texas and some employers elect to forgo participation. These employers are known as non-subscribers. A work injured incurred while working for a non-subscriber usually results in a more complex situation for the employee. While workers’ comp coverage is supposed to cover an employee regardless of how the accident happened, in a non-subscriber case, the normal personal injury laws (with some significant modifications) apply and the employer need only act like the injury was entirely the fault of the worker and they can successfully avoid paying the worker anything. The best/ worst part is that since the employer does not have workers’ comp coverage, the employee is allowed to sue for lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of earning capacity, medical expenses, and many other forms of damages. While that is certainly a positive, the laws that enable such a recovery also make acquiring such a recovery an uphill battle.
With so much money on the line, many if not most employers will sell their employees out and use all manner of tricks to ensure that they are not fairly compensated. Our firm can help you investigate whether or not your employer carries Workers’ Compensation Insurance, as this will ultimately help determine how much compensation you are entitled to receive, and we can determine exactly what options are available to you. In most instances, we can talk with a potential client and help them determine whether they need an attorney or not.
On the contrary, when dealing with a non-subscriber work injury case, your only chance at success is to hire an attorney as this is easily one of the most complex areas of law. In fact, most personal injury attorneys avoid these cases. Our firm, however, has 20 years of experience in winning non-subscriber work injury cases.
While Workers’ Compensation is a form of insurance, it does not function like your typical health insurance or car insurance policy. The policy is a fund established and regulated by the state and paid for by taxpayer dollars, but it is administered by private insurance companies. Because Workers’ Compensation is regulated on a state by state basis, the process of filing a claim and receiving benefits can be fettered by a great deal of bureaucratic red tape.
Employers are given the choice to opt in to participate in Workers’ Compensation Coverage, which while expensive, offers the employer a large amount of legal protection that is not present when dealing with a typical insurance policy. Thus, workers compensation does not function like a typical insurance policy and should not be treated as such.