Injured on the job? Need a workers’ comp lawyer in Dallas?
Did you know that Texas is the only state that does not require employers to subscribe to a workers’ compensation insurance plan? There are some exceptions (such as construction teams working on government contracts), but for the most part, employers in Texas do not have the same obligations as those in the other 49 states.
However, this does not mean that those without workers’ comp have no ability to recover compensation for job-related injuries; it just means they have to file a claim or lawsuit like any other personal injury. Additionally, workers’ comp payments are reduced, capped and limited, but there are NO restrictions to the amount of money you can seek in a “nonsubscriber” work injury claim.
Here’s the deal. Employers are given the opportunity to purchase workers’ compensation insurance through the State-run Texas Insurance Commission in order to gain immunity from negligence lawsuits. If your employer carriers workers’ comp, you are barred from filing a lawsuit for said injury (except in cases of gross negligence which lead to death); instead you’re forced to go through the administrative process of filing a WC claim. Employers essentially have to decide if the cost of workers’ comp insurance is worth the immunity.
The hard part is determining if your employer really has WC insurance, as a lot of them subscribe to a deceptively-similar-sounding insurance plan in order to trick employees into thinking they cannot sue. In reality, 32 percent of employers in Texas do NOT subscribe to workers’ compensation. This accounts for 17 percent of the entire workforce in Texas (1.7 million people).
Even in states that have mandatory workers’ compensation laws, determining whether the accident or illness was work-related can be a drawn out process. In most cases, if the employee was doing something that is beneficial to the employer, it’s usually determined to be a valid claim.
In spite of the fact the requirement for an injury to be work-related may seem rather simple, it can be rather tricky at times. Some situations are rather obvious while others fall into a “gray area” and may necessitate the need to speak with an attorney in order for the employee to determine whether he or she is entitled to benefits. Some of the situations in which an employee may be involved that may or may not fall under worker’s compensation include the following:
- Lunch breaks are not usually covered although this may change if the employee is picking up lunch for the boss or for a company luncheon.
- Company events even if off-site are usually covered.
- The commute back and forth to work is not usually covered, but if you are traveling to someplace other than your usually place of work (such as on a business trip), any injuries are usually covered.
- An employee who is injured while performing an act that is in violation of company policy even if it is criminal in nature, may still be covered under workers’ compensation, but that employee will be unable to sue the employer for those work-related injuries (the injuries may not be covered if they were self-inflicted).
- Preexisting conditions are generally still covered when a situation occurs that aggravates a previous injury.
- Hearing loss that is caused as the result of the work environment is covered under workmans’ comp.
- Any mental conditions that are job-related are covered under workers’ compensation (this could be from witnessing the death or injury of a co-worker).
- Any disease or illness that is related to your work is also covered under workmans’ compensation.
We can determine your legal options.
If you’ve been injured on the job and are not sure if your employer is a true workers’ compensation subscriber, call us! Our Dallas workers’ comp lawyers can verify with the Texas Insurance Commission and explain what options you have available to you. This is a free service to you, and if we take on your case, you’re never charged a dime unless we win you money. Send us an email via the form found on this page or call our office 24 hours a day, toll-free at 1-877-405-4313.
Speak With a Dallas Personal Injury Attorney For Free
The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to speak to you about your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 651-6100, or toll-free at 1-877-405-4313.