Can All Texas Companies Opt Out of Workers’ Compensation Coverage?
Except for government entities, most Texas employers can opt out of purchasing state workers’ compensation insurance. But that does not mean employees working for companies that have opted out lack workplace injury protections.
Non-subscriber employees are entitled to compensation for on-the-job injuries.
The main differences between non-subscriber and worker’s compensation claims are the types of damages available and the avenues an employee must take to receive compensation.
Can Alternative Coverages Replace Workers’ Compensation Insurance Coverage?
Employers that opt out of traditional state workers’ compensation benefits programs are responsible for setting up their own injury compensation processes.
Some buy accident and health insurance or disability policies from private companies or create employer indemnification agreements.
These policies may provide injured employees benefits, but Texas law does not recognize them as substitutes for workers’ compensation insurance coverage.
In fact, the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) prohibits insurance companies from representing their alternative coverages as substitutes for workers’ compensation insurance.
Furthermore, employers that buy alternative coverages do not receive the same workers’ compensation liability protections companies covered under Texas state policies get.
That means you can collect under these alternate policies and still sue for damages like doctor’s bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, punitive damages, and attorney fees in court.
How Do I Know If My Texas Employer Is a Non-Subscriber?
Before proceeding with a civil claim against your employer for a workplace injury, your Dallas work injury lawyer must verify if your employer participates in state workers’ compensation.
Whether your employer has insurance and what type will determine how you and your Dallas workers’ compensation attorney proceed.
All Texas businesses that opt out of providing Texas workers’ compensation must post written notice in English, Spanish, and other appropriate languages and place it where employees can view it.
They must also provide written notice of non-coverage to all new employees. You can verify whether a company offers workers’ compensation coverage on the Texas Department of Insurance website.
How Do I File a Non-Subscriber Work Injury Claim in Texas?
Non-subscriber injury cases are like any other personal injury lawsuit in Texas. This means injured workers can file a claim without going through state workers’ compensation.
They can also ask for substantially more than a workers’ compensation claim would offer, including pain and suffering damages. But to prevail in a civil suit, an employee must prove fault, and thus negligence on their employer’s part.
Proving an employer’s negligence requires concrete evidence. For this and other reasons, you must seek medical treatment as soon after your injury happens as possible to establish a clear connection between your work and your injuries.
Your attorney can also help you acquire other helpful evidence, including employer safety records and testimony from employees who may have witnessed your accident.
After investigating your Texas non-subscriber injury claim, your attorney may file a petition laying out your case and asking for damages. To prevail, you will have to prove the following:
- That your employer owed you a duty of care;
- That your employer breached their duty;
- That the breach caused your injury, and
- That you suffered damages because of the breach.
Having the right personal injury team on your side can make all the difference in succeeding in a non-subscriber injury case.
An experienced Dallas work injury lawyer who understands the nuances involved in proving workplace negligence can explain the non-subscriber claims process, help protect your rights, and recover compensation for your injuries.
Our Dallas Workers Compensation Attorney Can Help with Your Texas Non-Subscriber Claim
Our Dallas workers’ compensation attorney can help with your Texas non-subscriber claim. After a workplace injury, the last thing you need is the headache that comes with navigating Texas non-subscriber laws.
At Armstrong Lee & Baker, our experienced Dallas workplace attorneys know how private employers and insurance companies operate and can do all the heavy lifting for you.
We can answer your workplace accident questions, explain your options, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for you in the courtroom.
Your well-being always comes first, and addressing all of your issues and concerns, no matter how big or small, is always our top priority.
Contact us today, and let us explain how our skilled workplace injury attorneys can help you. We offer free consultations and never take a fee unless we win.