On The Job
A seemingly ordinary workplace injury can be extraordinarily debilitating.
Not only are you having to deal with the pain and suffering the injury causes, but you’re also worried about whether your employer will let you keep your job after your treatment concludes.
You may also be struggling with trying to figure out whether your employer carries Worker’s Compensation.
Combine these worries with whether or not to seek benefits under a Short Term Disability policy, or whether to request leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, and you’re placed in a position of having to navigate complex legal issues while dealing with lost earnings and physical injury.
Under the traditional workers compensation scheme, an employer’s decision to “subscribe” to the scheme exempts them from liability to their employees injured on the job – the employee gives up his or her right to sue in exchange for the ability to receive benefits. Note that the employee does not give up the right to recover from a negligent third party who caused his on the job injury.
Texas’ workers’ compensation scheme is not mandatory though. Employers can opt out of the state run worker’s compensation insurance scheme. If they do this, they open themselves up to being sued for workplace injuries that occur to their employees, and they lose certain defenses. To confirm whether or not your employer subscribes to Texas workers’ compensation, you can use this tool provided by the Texas Department of Insurance.
Many employers have elected to take a third route, calling themselves “responsible non-subscribers” they purchase a private policy of insurance and afford their employees benefits for on the job injuries through these policies. These companies have purportedly equivalent private insurance in place to that offered by workers’ compensation, and they require their employees sign a waiver of their right to file suit in exchange for coverage.
We have experience with all of these permutations of benefits available to employees in Texas, and know how to navigate through the traps that each one presents. If you’ve suffered an on the job injury and are unsure what to do, don’t delay…