Texas Workers’ Compensation Laws: a Riddle Wrapped in an Enigma
Thanks to our lawmakers (and the insurance company lobbyists who influence them) understanding workers’ comp laws – and their loopholes – is more complicated than it was 10 years ago. Texas construction companies are not required by the state to purchase workers’ comp. So, all workplace injury matters are divided into two distinct types that require wholly different methods and strategies to resolve. Employers who carry worker’s comp are referred to as subscribers; while those who don’t are non-subscribers. In order to know how to proceed with your injury compensation claim, we must first learn whether or not your employer is a subscriber or a non-subscriber.
Workers’ comp benefits come out of a “pool” of funds that are replenished by private insurance carriers that participate in the state-managed program. Workers’ comp pays regardless of whether or not the injury is severe. And it also protects subscriber-employers from employee lawsuits; which is a huge benefit for them. But this protection generally dismisses the full legal rights of employees to be fairly compensated when the employer is generally negligent because it limits, or “caps” the monetary benefits an injured employee can receive through the program.
If your employer subscribes to workers’ comp, it will give some compensatory relief to you when you are injured on the job site. This is because it’s essentially “no-fault” insurance because those covered by workers’ comp are reimbursed, regardless of how the accident occurred or who was at fault. However, in the event of a serious injury, a large part of the time, the amount of money you receive doesn’t necessarily cover the actual expenses of an on-the-job injury; especially if you suffer some sort of disability and cannot work for a long period of time
But in order to receive damages from a non-subscriber to workers’ comp, an injury victim must file a lawsuit. Fortunately for the injured party, the latest workers’ comp legislation established lower standards of proving subscriber negligence. And these same standards also apply against a non-subscriber if the injured worker files in a civil case. So many times it’s moderately easier to prove true liability to a non-subscribing employer, general contractor or subcontractor for accidents on the construction job site.
Since construction is such a dangerous industry by definition, it would seem prudent that all such companies would purchase workers’ comp insurance. But still, some choose not to subscribe to the program, even if it is less expensive than traditional liability insurance. So some shifty employers prefer to take the risk of not subscribing to workers’ comp. Then, when an employee is injured on the job site, seriously or not, they try to avoid a lawsuit by offering to quickly pay the benefits you would generally receive from workers’ comp and ask you to sign what they will represent as a “standard workers’ comp release” in order to further their trickery and evade a lawsuit that could put them out of business. We’ve some of these clever documents and some are pretty good forgeries.
The many reasons why you need an experienced workers comp lawyer with our Law Firm to get to the bottom of your company’s workers’ comp status are probably beginning to pile-up. Once we have identified the nature of your employer’s workman’s comp standing, our attorneys will know how to proceed with your case.
The experienced construction accident lawyers with our Law Firm help injured construction workers deal with their challenging work-injury cases. We have spent decades accumulating the expertise required to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Put our experience to work for you. We can tell you your rights, how to proceed with your claim, how much compensation you can secure and aggressively represent your case or claim to its final resolution: be it through successful negotiations or a favorable verdict in civil court.
Call our Law Firm now at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free), for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.