For the most part, workplace injuries that occur while an employee is doing their job results in a workers’ compensation claim. However, Houston is located in a state that does not require employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. As a result, many companies are non-subscribers.
This fact can place injured workers in a difficult position. Instead of receiving free medical care and wage reimbursement after a work injury, they must instead sue their bosses or fellow employees directly for their losses. This can require filing a lawsuit in a Houston courtroom as well as paying out of pocket for medical bills.
If you suffer injuries a workplace accident and your employer does not subscribe to a workers’ compensation insurance plan, a Houston non-subscriber workplace accident lawyer may be able to help. An attorney can explain the concept of an employer being a non-subscriber and how this affects your rights after suffering an injuries from an accident.
State Laws Do not Require Employers to Provide Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Most employees around the country enjoy protection under a workers’ compensation insurance program as a matter of law. Sadly, this does not apply to many workers in Houston and around the state. Texas Labor Code § 406.002 says that with the exception of public employers, providing workers’ compensation coverage to employees is strictly elective. This means that it is entirely legal for employers to not offer this protection to workers.
We call these employers non-subscribers. In short, the company has made the gamble that their workplaces are safe enough that employees will not suffer harm while on the job. This is a gamble because a company is directly liable for any injuries that occur due to the company’s negligence. It follows that an injured worker may sue that company for all their losses. These losses can often carry more value in a lawsuit than they would have in a workers’ compensation claim. A Houston non-subscriber claims lawyer could explain the legal concepts behind workers’ compensation as an elective for employers.
Pursuing Negligent Employers and Fellow Employees After an Injury
If an employer is a non-subscriber, an injured employee’s only option to collect compensation after an injury is to sue that employer in court. However, unlike workers’ compensation claims that center around a no-fault model, non-subscriber claims require an injured individual to prove that another party’s negligence was the cause of the accident that led to their injuries.
A Houston workplace accident attorney could take the lead in proving this concept. For example, an injury may occur in a warehouse when an employer does not properly maintain a forklift. Similarly, an injury may occur when a fellow employee collides with a worker while driving that forklift. In both these examples, the employer is liable to provide compensation.
This compensation can take on many forms. At the most basic level, demands for payment will seek out reimbursement for all related medical costs. However, compensation packages may also demand payments for lost wages in the full amount of missing income. Additionally, a demand may seek compensation for pain and suffering. In many cases, these payments eclipse those that would be available had the incident fallen under the umbrella of traditional workers’ compensation. A Houston non-subscriber claims attorney could help to pursue these lawsuits.
Call a Houston Non-Subscriber Workplace Accident Attorney Today
If your employer has made the choice to not provide workers’ compensation insurance, your legal options after a workplace injury are limited. In short, you need to prove that an employer or fellow employee was negligent in allowing your injury to occur. This may only be possible by filing a lawsuit in a Houston courtroom.
However, this path forward is not without its benefits. Claims against non-subscriber employers can often bring greater compensation than workers’ compensation insurance claims. A Houston non-subscriber workplace accident lawyer is here to help you to pursue these lawsuits and protect your rights.