May 30, 2018
It’s a myth that you can’t sue your employer for negligence
If you were injured at work, you might be surprised to find out that you can sue the employer for negligence. Many employers will tell you that you cannot open up a lawsuit against them. To the contrary, employers are not allowed to be negligent. If you’ve been injured and your employer was negligent by failing to train, failing to provide the correct or working equipment or placing you in a dangerous work environment, then you have a right to go visit a work injury attorney and, at the very least, schedule a free consultation.
Here is some information about negligence and getting hurt on the job:
About Texas Workers’ Compensation
Texas doesn’t require most private employers to have workers’ compensation insurance. However, private employers who contract with governmental entities must provide workers’ compensation coverage for the employees working on the project. Some contractors may require their subcontractors and independent contractors to have workers’ compensation insurance. When an employer does elect to have worker’s compensation, it pays a percentage of an injured worker’s wages until that person is healthy enough to return to the establishment. There is no need to establish fault when it comes to workers’ compensation because it will cover you as an employee regardless. You can try to collect it if you get injured at work. You’ll have to provide the insurance company with proof of your injury and documentation that gives dates when you can return to work. Many such cases go smoothly, but there is a chance that you may receive a denial. If that happens, you can contact a Worker’s Compensation attorney who can fight for you to get the decision overturned.
Many times, individuals working for employers that have worker’s compensation are injured as a result of a third party’s negligence. In such a situation, the injured employee could be provided benefits under his employer’s worker’s compensation insurance but, could also have a right to sue the third party for that negligence without dealing with the limitation of suing an employer. If you believe that you were injured by a third party (company or individual at a jobsite) and that they were negligent in any way, then you can sue that third party for negligence.
About Non-Subscriber (Non-Workers’ Compensation) Companies
Although there are legal risks and repercussions for employers that make the election to go outside of the Texas Workers’ Compensation program, there are many Texas Employers who believe they stand to benefit more by selecting Non-Subscriber status. An individual injured while employed by a Texas Non-subscriber should be weary of the fact that the coverage provided in a non-subscriber policy could be less focused on getting you the treatment you deserve and instead, more focused on cutting business costs to the company.
According the Department of Insurance’s Division of Worker’s Compensation website (http://www.tdi.texas.gov/pubs/consumer/cb030.html): Employers who choose not to have workers’ compensation insurance are called Non-Subscribers. Non-Subscribers must:
File an annual notice with DWC;
Post notices in their personnel offices and workplaces; and
Tell new employees in writing that they don’t have workers’ compensation.
Injured employees can sue non-subscribers over workplace injuries and illnesses. If they’re sued, non-subscribers can’t argue in court that:
The injured employee’s negligence caused the injury;
Another employee’s negligence caused the injury; or
The injured employee knew about the danger and voluntarily accepted it.
Read More: What’s a Non-Subscriber Employer?
The Definition of Negligence
Negligence can be a specific act or failure to act a certain way in the workforce. It occurs when an employer does not do everything that it can to protect the interests of its workers. An example of negligence would be if you cut yourself on a meat slicer that had been functioning poorly for months. The employer would be negligent if they were aware of the problem and failed to conduct the necessary repairs on the meat slicer, or provide a new one, and that was the reason that you got hurt. Another example of employer negligence is when it does not train employees to follow the appropriate safety standards. Negligence occurs if someone, namely you, gets hurt because of that lack of training or failing to provide tools or equipment that are in work properly or are sufficient to do the assigned job in a safe manner.
What You Can Do if You Get Hurt
If you get injured on the job, it’s important for you to review the events surrounding your injury and then speak to someone about whether or not your employer failed to act as a reasonably prudent employer. You may be surprised to find that your employer was indeed negligent and that you are entitled to file a claim for compensation.
How an Attorney Can Help
A work injury attorney can help you by speaking to the negligent party and then trying to negotiate for either coverage for medical care or an out-of-court settlement so that the injured client can go seek treatment alternatives of their choice. If the out-of-court settlement is not possible, then you will have to go through the legal process of fighting for the compensation you deserve.
A skilled work accident attorney will be able to do that for you without causing additional stress injured workers experience when they are unable to provide for their family. You can receive compensation that will assist you to pay your hospital bills, household bills and any other bills that you would need to pay as a result of your injuries.
Make Your Appointment Today
Our firm will talk to you about your work injury without any obligation to pay for a consultation. Waldman Legal wants to help you to get the compensation that you deserve because not all employers live up to the obligation to their employees of providing a reasonably safe workplace.