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How Does Being a Non-Subscriber Affect an Employer's Defenses?

 Posted on November 08, 2021 in Truck Accidents

texas work injury lawyerTexas is the only state in the nation that does not require employers to subscribe to workers’ compensation. In every other state, an injured employee’s only recourse is through workers compensation. In Texas, however, an injured employee who works for a non-subscribing employer has the right to sue for compensation. Interestingly, workers have the upper hand in non-subscriber injury cases in one key way - the employer’s defenses are limited. 

If you were hurt on the job and your employer is a non-subscriber, it is very important that you talk to a qualified lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney will want to begin his own investigation without delay, and will be able to tell you if any of these restricted defenses could help your case. 

Which Defenses are Unavailable to a Non-Subscribing Employer? 

Employers who subscribe to workers’ compensation insurance have a few defenses available to them that non-subscribers cannot use. If your employer is a non-subscriber, they cannot raise any of these defenses: 

  • Assumption of the risk - This means that the injured person knew that what they were doing was dangerous and accepted the dangers, thereby taking responsibility for any resulting injuries. Only employers who subscribe to workers’ compensation can use this defense. 

  • Contributory Negligence - This defense means that the injured person was also negligent and contributed to his own injuries, so the employer was not completely responsible. When this defense is successful, the amount of compensation an employee receives is reduced by the percentage of his fault in the accident. However, non-subscribers cannot raise this defense at all, allowing employees to recover fully if the employer was even partially at-fault. 

  • Waiver - Pre-injury waivers of liability are almost always legally effective - but not in non-subscriber injury cases. The only exception here pertains to arbitration clauses, which remain effective. 

  • Fellow Servant Doctrine - In this defense, the employer attempts to argue that another employee is responsible for the injured worker, not the employer itself. Non-subscribers cannot attempt to shift the blame to a worker in workplace injury cases. 

While non-subscriber on-the-job injury cases bring their own unique challenges and obstacles, statutorily taking these common defenses away from the employer certainly helps the workers’ cases. 

Call a Texas Non-Subscriber Work Injuries Lawyer 

If you were hurt in a workplace accident, contact a Carrolton non-subscriber work injuries attorney for help. The more quickly an attorney can begin his investigation, the easier gathering evidence to prove your case will be. Jerry D. Andrews, P.C., is dedicated to recovering compensation for injured workers. Call 214-221-5800 for a free consultation. 



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