There is no other state quite like Texas — especially when it comes to the work injury laws. Unlike other U.S. jurisdictions, Texas does not require an employer to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Employers in the state have the option to forgo workers’ comp insurance coverage and, instead, to handle work injury claims through the state’s negligence laws.
help you get a better understanding of the workplace injury rules and
Texas work injury attorneys have put together a brief guide explaining the
key things that you need to know about the three main types of work injury
claims that can be filed under state law.
An Overview of the Three Basic Types of
Work Injury Claims in Texas
To start, employers in Texas can opt in to the state’s workers’ compensation insurance system. This is a no-fault insurance system through which injured employees can seek coverage for their medical care and financial compensation for lost wages.
That being said, if you are covered by workers’ comp, you are not allowed to file a personal lawsuit against your employer. Workers’ comp is the exclusive legal remedy that an injured worker has against their employer.
As was mentioned, workers’ comp is not mandatory in Texas. Employers can choose to opt-out of the system altogether. The Insurance Journal reports that around 72 percent of employers in Texas were subscribed to the state’s workers’ compensation insurance system in 2018 — meaning slightly more than one-quarter of employers in Texas decided not to subscribe.
Work Injury Claims
If you were injured on the job and your employer is not a subscriber to the workers’ compensation insurance system, you cannot bring a workers’ comp claim. However, you do have the right to file a lawsuit directly against your employer.
In contrast to a workers’ compensation claim — which a no-fault case — a non-subscriber claim is based on negligence (Tex. Lab. Code §406.033). If deemed to be negligent, non-subscriber employers can be held liable for the full value of an injured worker’s damages, including pain and suffering.
Third-Party Liability Claims
Finally, regardless of your employer’s workers’ comp status, you always have the right to bring a third-party liability claim. Essentially, a third-party liability claim is a personal injury lawsuit that is filed against a negligent defendant other than an employer.
Defendants in third party liability work injury lawsuits may include outside contractors, machinery/equipment manufacturers, and other businesses.
Discuss Your Case With Our Texas Work
At Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C., our Texas workplace injury lawyers are strong, aggressive advocates for our clients. We handle the full range of work injury cases, including workers’ comp claims, non-subscriber claims, and third party liability lawsuits.
To set up a free, no-obligation review of your work injury claim, please contact our legal team right away. With a law office in Lubbock and a law office in Odessa, we serve workers throughout West Texas.