According to the National Safety Council, every 7 seconds, a worker is injured on the job, and nearly 13,000 American workers are injured each day.
In fact, employees may suffer from work injuries in any setting, but jobs in warehouses, manufacturing plants, construction sites, factories, restaurants, bars, grocery stores, retailers, and other industrial settings with heavy equipment (i.e. forklifts, bulldozers, and dump trucks), heavy merchandise, and/or inadequately maintained premises, have more inherent hazards than other lines of work due to extremely heavy equipment, hazardous materials, hazardous conditions on the premises, and other potentially dangerous aspects of the jobs.
When an employee is injured at work, the legal options vary according to the circumstances and whether the employer carries workers’ compensation insurance. In Texas, many companies carry workers’ compensation coverage – and if your employer does, you may not be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against them if you are hurt. However, there are numerous circumstances in which legal action in court may be pursued. For instance, you may be able to file a work injury claim if your employer does not carry workers’ compensation or if your injury was caused by a third-party such as a commercial driver, faulty equipment, contractor, subcontractor, or equipment manufacturer.
Under Texas law, employers are not required to provide workers compensation benefits to their employees. Employers who elect to participate under the Texas Workers Compensation Act receive protection from claims by injured employees. This is known as the exclusive remedy provision of the Texas Workers Compensation Act. Essentially, an injured employee who is guaranteed coverage under workers compensation insurance will be barred from bringing a lawsuit (i.e. negligence) against his or her employer. In theory, workers’ compensation exists to provide employees with the financial and occupational support needed to recover from your injuries. Workers’ compensation benefits are an employee’s exclusive remedy against employers that participate in the system. The advantage to employees is that they do not have to show fault by the employer to recover benefits, but the disadvantage is that the injured employee may not file a lawsuit or seek compensation directly from their negligence employer.
However, if your employer does not subscribe to workers’ compensation, they are considered a “non-subscriber”. Many of Texas’s largest employers, like Academy Sports and Outdoors, Best Buy, Big Lots, HEB, Wal-Mart, Kroger, Petsmart, Home Depot, Sears, Target, and Whole Foods, do not have workers compensation insurance. These companies are known as non-subscribers, and cases where workers are injured while working for non-subscribers are known as non-subscriber cases.
In fact, non-subscribers lose important legal protections (known as common law defenses), including contributory negligence, from most lawsuits by injured employees. They could also be forced to pay high damage awards if an injured employee can prove in court that the employer was negligent in any way. This means that as an employee, you are not provided a streamlined method of seeking compensation for your injuries, but it also means that your employer is not protected from lawsuits. In fact, if the employer is found to be just 1% at fault in causing the injury, the non-subscribing employer can be held liable for 100% of the damages. Thus, if your employer is a non-subscriber, you can bring a lawsuit against your employer to receive full compensation from your employer through the court for your workplace injuries.
If you have been injured on the job and your employer is considered a non-subscriber, Chandler | Ross, PLLC and our non-subscriber workplace injury attorneys can help you seek compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the employer.
Workplace accidents can affect one employee or a large group of people, depending upon the nature of the accident. Victims may experience a variety of injuries including:
Workplace accidents often result from common hazards such as:
Sadly, many of these accidents result in catastrophic injuries, leaving workers with expensive medical bills and lost work time, and unfortunately, employer negligence is to blame for many workplace injuries; when this is the case, you may be eligible to file a claim against the negligent party. In the aftermath of a workplace injury accident, it is vital to have strong and effective legal representation to protect your rights and help you obtain compensation for your injuries and losses.
Contact our Non-Subscriber Workplace Injury Attorneys at Chandler | Ross PLLC. With offices in Denton, Dallas, and Fort Worth, we are well positioned to provide the most effective and highly-skilled representation possible. Don’t wait, and don’t compromise – contact us today for a Free Case Evaluation and see how we can help you. In most cases, you pay nothing unless we settle your case or win a verdict. Contact Us now at (940)-800-2500 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your free personal injury case evaluation and consultation.