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On The Job Accidents
Eric Reyes has represented victims of work-related injuries for the past two decades. The system for compensating injured workers for their lost income and medical bills is called the workers compensation system. Workers’ compensation is a state-regulated insurance program that pays the medical bills and some lost wages of employees injured on the job. However not all employers participate or “subscribe” to the state workers’ compensation system. Employers that do not subscribe to the workers’ compensation system are called “non-subscriber” employers.
Whether your employer is a subscriber to workers compensation or a “non-subscriber” has dramatic consequences to your rights and benefits as an injured employee.
If a Texas employer decides to subscribe to workers compensation insurance the employers insurance company must pay the medical and income benefits due to the employee. This is generally a no fault system which means that no attempt is made to assess blame or determine fault on the employer. However, the employee generally loses all right to sue the employer even if the employer’s negligence caused the employee’s accident. Additionally, the workers compensation benefits do not pay for mental anguish, pain-and-suffering, physical impairment and other common law damages.
Employers who choose not to participate in the system, or become a “non-subscriber,” can be sued by the employee if the employee can show that the employer’s negligence caused the accident. These non-subscriber employers may purchase insurance that provide for benefits similar to workers compensation benefits however there are many more limitations to these policies. These non-subscriber accident policies are dramatically different than the state workers compensation policies. Moreover some employers carry no insurance whatsoever and will keep their employees in the dark regarding this information.
Additionally, non-subscriber employers lose key legal defenses and can face high damage awards if an injured employee can prove in court that the employer was negligent in any way.
Just because your employer has told you that they had workers compensation insurance on the day of your accident does not tell you which system applies to you. Additionally, there are very important deadlines that apply to each system. Contact Mr. Reyes by e-mail or call us today to find out which laws, rights and benefits apply to your accident.