Houston Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Protecting Workers in Thousands of Cases Nationwide
Even though the law requires employers to provide a safe work environment for their employees, these standards are not always met—and certain workplaces can still be dangerous. This is particularly true for industrial and offshore work, which have a greater probability of workplace injuries overall. For this precise reason, workers’ compensation is available to protect those who have been wrongfully harmed while working. Workers’ compensation insurance provides wages and medical benefits for the injuries incurred on the job. This is meant to help the employee recover, especially if the injury has prompted a temporary leave from his or her occupation or requires job accommodations.
Workers’ compensation also waives an employee’s right to sue the employer. The system is designed to ensure that injured employees are compensated while insulating employers against endless torts and litigation.
Workers’ Compensation Specifics: “Non-Subscriber” Claims
Texas is the only state in America that does not require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. While most Texas companies still carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect themselves, some businesses choose to be “non-subscribers." A non-subscriber is a business that chooses to not give their employee’s the ability to file for workers’ compensation. Non-subscriber companies are not involved in workers’ compensation claims, but they open themselves to substantial lawsuits. In Texas, a lawsuit against a non-subscriber industry is stronger than a typical personal injury lawsuit. This is because companies that forgo workers’ compensation claims also forgo certain privileges.
Some of these privileges they forgo include the following:
- Assumption of Risk - An employer shouldn't be held liable for an injury that a worker receives when the job is "inherently risky."
- Contributory Negligence - An employee's partial responsibility for a personal injury due to a lack of prudent behavior.
- “Last Clear Chance” - A situation where an injured employee probably failed to take an opportunity to get out of harm's way.
Workers’ Compensation Specifics: Third-Party Claims
Just because your employer has workers’ compensation that does not mean that you cannot file a lawsuit. In some circumstances, your work injury could be filed under a “third-party” claim. A third-party claim is a lawsuit that is made by an employee against another entity other than the employer. For example, if one employee hurts another, the injured employee may pursue a third-party claim against the worker. Similarly, if an individual was injured by the use of a defective, dangerous product, there may be grounds to pursue a claim against the manufacturer.
Here is a list of common “third-party” claims and the party being sued for each claim:
- Injury by Another Entity - Claim Made Against the Entity
- Injury by Malfunctioning Equipment - Claim Made Against Equipment Manufacturer
- Injury by Toxic Substance - Claim Made Against Manufacturer
Am I Eligible for Workers' Compensation?
Any employee who is injured while on the job should be entitled to workers' compensation. Workers' compensation is a form of insurance that accommodates injured persons who were harmed while performing their job duties. Generally, a company will offer workers' compensation to its employees which will provide them with medical benefits and wage replacements should they be injured at work. There isn't a waiting period for workers' compensation to be applied to you, because you should be covered the minute you start the job. By accepting the financial and medical compensations offered through this type of package, an employee is agreeing to forego their right to sue the employer for tort negligence.
Workers' compensation plans vary from company to company and state to state. In general, you will be compensated in some capacity for the money you might lose if you have to take time off work to recover from an injury. Typically, if you are unable to work for more than seven days, you are entitled to weekly benefits. Not all workers are considered employees though, such as freelancers and independent contractors. It would be best to check with your employer to see if you maintain the status of "employee" who could be covered by workers' compensation.
Your workers' compensation will also provide financial relief for the medical bills and hospital expenditures that result from your workplace injury. You will probably need to contact an attorney if you are concerned with a claim you are filing, but in general, if you received an injury on the job, you are entitled to workers' compensation.
Call (888) 493-1629 to Schedule a Free Case Review
If you have been hurt on the job, calling an attorney is the next step. It is important for employers to provide you with the appropriate amount of financial and medical support to compensate both your injury and time off work. However, insurance companies can be notoriously stingy; often, adequate medical care cannot be paid for with the minimal amount of compensation that insurance companies give to injured workers.
Filing a workers' compensation claim is a complicated process that must be handled delicately. You will likely find that your medical and financial needs will only be met when a legal professional is on your side. Like the insurance companies, lawyers know how much of a settlement your injuries deserve. They can help you fight for an amount appropriate to your medical needs.
Personal injuries that occur on the job are difficult to overcome without the added stress of unresponsive insurance companies and/or businesses. It is your right as an employee to be dutifully compensated for any injuries you incur while on the job. If, for any reason, you are unable to obtain proper compensatory means, our firm can help. Workers' compensation law and help filing claims are among the many ways we have helped our clients, and just as with every other personal injury matter we handle, we are dedicated to seeing your case through to the end.
Have you been injured on the job? Call (888) 493-1629 for a free case review.