Workplace injuries are a sad fact of life. Even in industries or positions that carry no inherent danger, you never know when an accident will occur or if conditions will place you at risk of a work-related illness. In most states in the U.S., business owners carry workers' compensation insurance to cover medical bills and other expenses related to workplace accidents.
Texas is a rare exception in that it is the only state that does not require its employers to offer workers' compensation coverage. When you accepted the position at your job, your employer should have informed you whether he or she carries workers' compensation insurance. If your employer is a non-subscriber, you may wonder about your options when you get hurt on the job.
What should I do if I get hurt?
The purpose of workers' compensation is to provide injured workers with the funds they need to recover and get back on their feet as quickly as possible. This coverage applies no matter who is at fault for the accident. In exchange for this insurance coverage, employees waive their right to sue their employers in most cases.
However, if your employer does not subscribe to workers' comp insurance, it is your right to sue for damages if you become injured on the job. In this case, you should know some important facts, including these:
- You may be eligible to sue for more damages than workers' compensation would have covered, such as pain and suffering.
- Your legal claim can include other parties who may have contributed to your injuries besides your employer.
- You will likely have to prove that your employer or other parties were at fault for the accident.
- You would be wise to seek legal advice as soon as possible after the accident.
- Many attorneys accept work injury cases on a contingency basis, which means you do not have to pay unless your case is successful.
You do not have to suffer silently if your employer does not have insurance to cover your injuries. The cost of medical bills, lost wages and other expenses can be devastating to your family. Whether your employer carries workers' compensation or you have no coverage from your job, your first step is to obtain as much information as possible about your options so that you can make an informed decision.