The number one factor every employer must ensure at the workplace is the safety of the employees. Should any accident occur at work, it is the responsibility of the employer to compensate the affected individual. This is known as “workers’ compensation”. Workers’ compensation is an insurance package that is being run by the state which ensures that employers cater for the medical bills of affected workers and reimburse them for the salary forfeited during their period of recuperation.
This package is available in all states in the US, except Texas – it is optional in this state. Employers are not mandated to provide employees with workers’ compensation.
In a situation where the employer is a non-subscriber (one who isn’t part of the compensation program), such an individual will have to make either of these two choices when an employee is injured on the job:
- Compensate the affected employee through an alternate benefit plan, or:
- File for a non-subscriber work injury claim.
Hence, if you are working in Texas, it is important to know whether your employer is a subscriber or not. The amount an injured worker can claim varies on the method selected. On the other hand, working under a subscriber does not necessarily mean that you will get a fair deal all the time. Let’s discuss more on this subject.
Is Workers’ Compensation Truly Beneficial?
An individual may be tempted to jump into a firm where the employer is a subscriber. However, you need to read between the lines as a workers’ compensation may not truly get you “Compensated”. Do you know that most employers subscribe to the worker’ compensation program to protect themselves from lawsuits?
Also, do you know that this term and package was suggested by large insurance firms and companies just to protect their interests at work? Surprising as it seems, these are facts to bear in mind. Although an injured victim may get medical assistance, most of these people are denied medical care by the doctors and are sent back to work before they fully recuperate. Hence, they do not get well compensated.
Let us also take a look at the wages that are purported to be paid; a lot of individuals retain the misconception that they will be paid 100% of their wages. However, that is not the case. You get a portion of the wages, only after you may have missed some number of days at work. In terms of wages, the workers’ compensation package does not offer a better choice to injured workers.
So what would you do in such a situation? File a lawsuit against your employer? Nice option… Nevertheless, if your worker is a subscriber with Texas workers’ comp, then filling a lawsuit would be rendered null and void.
However, there are ways you can still file a lawsuit.
How You Can File A Lawsuit
In a situation where your employer subscribes to the workers’ compensation program, you can only file a lawsuit on the basis of gross negligence resulting in death. This implies that such an employer disregarded safety measures and policies set in place to ensure the safety of workers. On this ground, you have a strong lawsuit. If you would like to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer, please visit this link: Workplace Accidents – More Common Than You Might Think.
Another scenario where a lawsuit can be filed is when the employer hasn’t subscribed to the workers’ compensation. At this point, you are permitted by the law to sue for the full extent of your injury sustained. Hence, you can request 100% of whatever losses you have incurred.
What You Should Know Before Filing A Non-Subscriber Lawsuit
In a situation where your non-subscriber case is legitimate, you can receive significant compensation for your lost wages, medical expenses, suffering, pain, and potential disabilities. Although you need to consult an attorney to understand your legal options and point out various weaknesses that can mar the efficacy of your claim. Filing a non-subscriber claim or not is solely dependent on your employer.
Proof Of Injury
There is a likelihood that your employer would refute any claim with the aid of your medical records. For this reason, you need to be honest with your injuries, the treatment you have undergone, and the medical expenses that you covered. Whereby the injury sustained leads to permanent disabilities which have severe impact on your future earnings or key activities, then the only way out may be a non-subscriber claim, as it would help you cover your losses.
Insurance Benefit Plan
In an organization where workers’ compensation are not offered, there would be an alternate benefit plan that will cater for employee injuries. Whereby such insurance benefits are able to take care of your medical bills, then you may not need a non-subscriber claim. However, such plans differ from one state to another in regards to mandated workers’ compensation, and can be made available only to the workers that are selected. Additionally, the employer oversees these plans; hence, workers may be given less protection and compensation.
The non-subscriber claim is highly effective when an employer puts the lives of his employees in danger or violates the law. Such acts can be in the form of illegal company policies, poor safety measures, no notice on the employer’s workers’ comp status, and other illegal activities. In these situations, the employee can file a non-subscriber claim effectively.
Build-up Of A Successful Case
Filing a non-subscriber claim gives an employee an edge over the employer, due to the fact that the latter loses the right to specific defenses, among which include putting the blame on the employee. What the employee has to do is to prove that the organization has at least one percent input in the accident, to get compensated for damages. However, the amount of compensation you received can be affected by your action before and after the accident.
This means that if you weren’t safety-conscious of your work environment prior to the accident, or failed to treat your injuries, then it would be assumed that you had no regard for safety, which will in turn affect your compensation.