A workplace injury can lead to soaring medical bills, lost wages, and permanent disability. Worker's compensation exists to help lift the financial burden faced by those who have been injured on the job. Texas has unique worker's compensation laws that affect both employees and employers.
For example, in the state of Texas, employers who do not have worker's compensation coverage may be held liable for damages related to a workplace injury through a personal injury lawsuit. Here, we'll take a brief look at this and other Texas workers compensation laws. For help with your worker's compensation claim, contact the Spencer Law Firm in San Antonio, TX.
Key Texas Worker's Compensation Laws
Worker's compensation in Texas is a type of insurance established to alleviate financial burdens, such as medical expenses and lost wages, when an employee is injured on the job. Each state has unique laws governing worker's compensation. Some significant provisions in the state of Texas include:
- Workers' Compensation is a strict liability system, so there is no need to prove that any party was negligent.
- Employees have 30 days to notify their employer of a work-related injury or illness.
- Employees have one year to file for worker's compensation with the Division of Workers' Compensation.
- Worker's compensation benefits are provided to cover all reasonable and necessary health care costs.
- Benefits may also include payments for lost income equaling a percentage of average pre-injury weekly wages.
- In the event of death from a work-related injury or illness, legal beneficiaries may receive benefits based upon the deceased employee's average week wages and certain burial expenses.
- In rare cases of very serious injuries that fit strict criteria, lifetime income benefits may be awarded.
- Other state programs may be available for vocational rehabilitation to assist an employee in finding a different line of work if injuries prohibited him or her from returning to his or her previous job.
Employers and Worker's Compensation
One of the most notable laws governing worker's compensation in the state of Texas is that employers are not required to obtain worker's compensation coverage. Whether or not an employer subscribes to worker's compensation coverage, they still have certain legal responsibilities to employees. Some of these responsibilities of employers in Texas include:
- Texas does not require an employer to have worker's compensation coverage.
- Limits are in place on the amount and type of compensation an injured worker can receive for employers who subscribe to worker's compensation insurance.
- Employers who have insurance coverage but do not subscribe to worker's compensation coverage, “non-subscribers,” are not handled through the Division of Workers' Compensation administrative court system, but often have arbitration provisions.
- Employers that have no coverage at all and can still be sued under a theory of libility for personal injuries, but the injured employee must prove that the employer was negligent or at fault for the injury.
- Employers must notify employees at time of hire of coverage or non-coverage.
- Employers must provide their insurance companies a wage statement in order to calculate the injured workers' pre-injury wage and from that, their workers' compensation benefits.
Seeking Compensation for Work-related Injuries
It's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a workplace injury and notify your employer of the injury within 30 days to protect your worker's compensation claim. If an employer does not have worker's compensation insurance, a personal injury or non-subscriber attorney should be contacted to protect the injured worker's rights and ensure he or she receives compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
Contact the Spencer Law Firm
If you have suffered a work-related injury, we encourage you to contact the Spencer Law Firm right away by calling (210) 543-0000 to ensure you receive compensation for your injuries and other related damages.