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“The most important piece of advice I can give people who are looking for a job: pay attention to what documents your employer gives you when you’re hired.”
Texas is unique in that it doesn’t require employers to carry workers’ comp insurance. Workers for companies like Kroger, HEB, Albertsons, and many hospital chains don’t have workers’ comp. So what should a worker do if they're injured at work and they’re not covered by workers’ comp?
Raymond Hatcher is a trial attorney with Sloan Law Firm, which is based in Longview, Texas, and has offices in Houston and Santa Fe. He devotes his practice exclusively to litigation, and his areas of practice include truck accidents, car accidents, commercial litigation, toxic torts, ERISA claims, and workplace injury cases.
In this interview, he explains what injured Texas workers should do about on-the-job injuries when workers’ comp isn’t an option. He says that workers’ comp non-subscribers can still be held liable for injuries and accidents that take place at work.
To learn more, contact the attorney directly by calling 888-364-6814 or by submitting a contact form on this page. There is no charge for the consultation, and you never owe any out-of-pocket attorney fees.
Texas is the only state that allows private employers to opt out of purchasing workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees. Employers who choose to opt out of providing workers’ compensation or “workers’ comp” benefits to injured employees are considered non-subscribers. If an employee is injured while working for a non-subscriber, they might have to pursue other means of recovery for their damages such as medical bills and lost wages due to a workplace injury.
Workers’ compensation is beneficial in the sense that it ensures an injured employee will not be left alone to pay for their own medical bills and lost wages in case of a workplace accident. In the case of a workplace fatality, this also ensures that the victim’s family can receive aid. However, the kind of aid an injured employee has access to will be limited to an approved network of medical professionals, and the financial compensation will likely be limited as well. In the case of bad faith insurance, a workers’ comp insurance company could deny the valid claim of an injured employee. In this situation a workers’ comp attorney would be required to recover from the insurance company, but would then receive a portion of the resulting benefits leaving less for the injured employee.
While the process for seeking compensation after a workplace injury can be more complicated and take a longer amount of time to resolve without workers’ comp, the amount of compensation the injured party is eligible to receive could be greater. This is why an injured employee cannot sue their employer if they are already receiving workers’ comp, and is also why many employers choose to subscribe even if not legally obligated. However, if a workplace injury occurred due to a third party’s negligence and not the employer’s, the employee could be eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits in addition to filing a third party personal injury claim.
Employers are legally required to tell their employees if they are a subscriber or non-subscriber. This information should be included in an employee’s entry paperwork, and should also be posted in a visible location like a break room. If an employee is injured or killed on the job, the process to seek compensation from a non-subscribing company becomes extremely complicated.
If you or a loved one find yourself in this situation, it’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to learn more about your options and any alternate insurance plans the non-subscribing employer might offer. Many employee contracts contain an arbitration clause, which removes an employee's right to trial in court in favor of private arbitration. In either circumstance bringing an experienced workers’ compensation attorney into the mix can make or break an employee’s chance for financial recovery.
To learn more, contact Raymond Hatcher directly by calling 888-364-6814 or by submitting a contact form on this page. There is no charge for the consultation, and you never owe any out-of-pocket attorney fees.
Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.
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