An injury on the job can mean any number of things, including missed days at work, loss of wages, and ongoing pain. In many instances, a person who is injured on the job is entitled to benefits through the workers' compensation system.
In Texas, however, workers' compensation is not required. Although many employers opt into workers' comp coverage as a means of protecting themselves, some business owners choose to go "bare," opting to do business without this additional coverage. This may allow them to save money over the years, but it is not always good for their employees.
If you've been injured on the job while working for an employer that doesn't have workers' compensation insurance, here are a few things you should know:
There are different way to get compensation for your losses
When a Texas company chooses to not carry workers' compensation insurance, its employees will have a more difficult time getting the money and medical care they need right away. An insured employer is required to pay for medical treatment and to pay for a portion of your lost earnings. These benefits are usually payable within days or weeks of your injury.
Some employers have private plans that provide benefits to their injured employees. These plans have different ways of requesting and obtaining compensation for your losses.
When an employer is not insured, you may be able to file a lawsuit. On one hand, this legal process can take months, even years. However, unlike a workers' compensation claim, which limits the amount of compensation an injured worker can receive; lawsuits have no such limits in Texas.
Seek and document your medical treatment and symptoms
If your company doesn't carry workers' comp insurance, documenting your injuries is even more important. Get medical attention right away following an accident at work, even if you think you are not seriously injured. Sometimes, symptoms don't show up until later, making it more difficult for you to prove that your condition is related to your job.
Keep a journal, jotting down the details about what happened and about the medical care you received. The more details you write down, the more help they can be later on after your memory has faded.
You don't have to do this alone
No matter what your circumstances or what type of insurance your employer has or does not have, you are still entitled to get help from a lawyer. Workers' compensation and personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis. This means you pay no lawyer fees until you win your case. Contact the law office of Jerry D. Andrews, P.C., to learn more.