Is Your Employer a Non-Subscriber to Workers’ Compensation?

After you have a serious on-the-job injury, your life will significantly change, at least in the immediate future. In severe cases, you could lose certain physical functionalities for life. In the aftermath of a workplace injury, you have so much to worry about: medical bills, lost wages, your physical and emotional recovery, and so much more. On top of all that, you have to determine whether or not your employer even carries workers’ compensation insurance. Unfortunately, in Texas, employers are not required by law to carry workers’ comp. So, what happens then?

How to Find Out Whether Or Not Your Employer Actually is a Non-Subscriber

You can visit the state’s website to confirm that your employer is a non-subscriber to workers’ compensation. Another place you could look is your original employment agreement that you signed. Additionally, your employer is required to inform you if they are a non-subscriber. So, when seeking compensation for an on-the-job accident, your first step should be to confirm that your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance. 

If Your Employer is a Non-Subscriber

Unfortunately, if your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, then you will likely have a more difficult time recovering compensation for your on-the-job injuries. In Texas, employers that carry workers’ compensation insurance are generally shielded against lawsuits from employees who get injured and are unhappy with the payouts they receive. However, employers who do not carry workers’ compensation (non-subscribers) are open to lawsuits from employees. This exists as a route for workers to receive compensation even when their employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance. 

Look to Other Liable Parties

Depending on the nature of your work, you might come into contact with personnel from other companies who provide support for your job. For instance, during a construction project, there are many different parties involved. Even if your employer has workers’ compensation, you might still be able to sue a different company that may also be liable for your injuries. 

If a Loved One has been Killed on the Job

Texas law provides that if a worker is killed on the job, and the death was a result of the gross negligence of the employer, the employees’ family may still seek exemplary (also known as punitive) damages from the employer in court even if the employer has workers’ compensation insurance. Gross negligence is when a person knows that an activity is very dangerous, but does it anyway.  For example, if an employer instructs a worker to work at a great height without any fall protection the employer could be liable for gross negligence if the worker falls and dies. 

Conclusion

The bottom line is that receiving compensation for your workplace injuries can be complex and difficult when your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance. On top of that, employers may sometimes try to have you sign a post-injury release form that does away with some of your rights. Before you agree to anything, be sure to give Wyly & Cook a call at 713-236-8330 to discuss your options and determine if a lawsuit is appropriate for your circumstances.

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Wyly & Cook, PLLC

The team at Wyly & Cook, PLLC brings a diverse body of trial and litigation experience to the table, putting us in a unique position to help clients with a wide range of legal issues.

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