You have suffered a workplace injury, and now, you may assume that your only recourse is to battle through workers’ compensation system to receive compensation. That may not be the case. Texas does not require employers to participate in the workers’ compensation system, so you may have alternative legal avenues. Temple workplace injury lawyers can help you evaluate your options and pick the best course of action for your situation. Reach out to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your community.
Although the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act § 654 requires employers to provide a safe work environment, employees still get injured. Workplace injuries are quite common. Examples of accidents at work include, but are not limited to, the following:
When an injury happens, at minimum, the affected employee will need medical care. They may also need time off from the job to heal, and for some, returning to work may be impossible. Consulting with a workplace lawyer familiar with the Texas workplace injury law may be critical to receiving compensation that you deserve.
Unlike in many other states, Texas employers decide whether to opt-in to the workers’ compensation system. Employers who do not are considered non-subscribers and either buy separate insurance or self-insure. As a non-subscriber, the employer exposes itself to liability before a court where the amount awarded can significantly exceed what is available under workers’ compensation.
Employees injured on the job may sue non-subscriber employers for their injuries and recover both economic and non-economic damages. To prove a workplace injury case against the employer, employees must establish five elements.
If the employee demonstrates all of these elements, they may collect damages as defined by Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §41.001. The compensation ordered may cover all actual expenditures and monetary losses, such as medical bills and present and future earnings; it may also include damages that are not as easily determined, such as mental anguish and pain and suffering.
Whether or not an employer participates in the workers’ compensation system, employees may have claims against other persons or entities that impact the work environment’s safety. Third parties – landlords, co-workers, and manufacturers of machinery and products used at the employment site — might have contributed to the accident and be held liable for their negligence.
Negligent actions by property owners or managers, co-workers, etc. would follow the path of a traditional negligence suit, but Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 82.001 governs claims for harm caused by defective products. Seasoned litigators knowledgeable about workplace injuries help their clients identify potential defendants, negotiate with the various parties and insurance carriers, and prepare for trial, if necessary.
Injured employees with the benefit of filing a lawsuit still have rules to follow. The injured party must file cases alleging negligence within two years of the incident. If the claim is not filed within the deadline, injured claimants may be unable to recover compensation for damages.
Being hurt on the job may introduce a lot of uncertainty into your life – can you sue the company, how will you pay your bills, and the like. By hiring a Temple workplace injury lawyer, you can start the process of getting the compensation you need. Get started today.