If you are a Truck Driver in Texas the odds are your employer does not carry Texas Workers' Compensation. What are your rights?

08 Jul 2020
In Texas, employers are not required to carry Texas Workers' Compensation and most trucking companies do not carry Texas Workers' Compensation and have their own work injury benefit plans which are extremely unfavorable to employees.

Most truck drivers who are based out of Texas work for a trucking company that does not carry Texas Workers' Compensation Insurance. Instead, these companies have their own Occupational Work Injury Benefit Plans. So why don't they have Texas Workers' Compensation Insurance? The reason is cost. With their own plan they get to decide what benefits to pay, how long to pay the benefits and even if the injury is covered. If they have Texas Workers' Compensation on the other hand, there are usually greater benefits and you have the right to have an independent judge, not the employer, decide if you should be paid benefits. Also, Texas Workers' Compensation allows for unlimited medical payments, lifetime death benefits which private employer supported plans rarely if ever allow.

That's the bad news, the good news is that if your employer does not have Texas Workers' Compensation insurance and you are injured in the course and scope of your employer as the result of negligence of your employer or a co-employee you can sue your employer for all your damages, including mental anguish, pain and suffering, lost future wages. Texas Workers' Compensation is "no fault" insurance so you don't have to prove employer negligence while a claim against your employer who does not carry Texas Workers' Compensation the injured employee must prove some negligence. However, negligence can be proven in many different ways and the trucking company is liable even if the employee is 99% and fault and the employer is only 1% at fault. If you are a truck driver who is injured while working for a trucking company it is important that you speak with a board certified employment lawyer about your claim.

Roger Davie P.C. El Paso's Board Certified Personal / Work Injury, Wrongful Termination, Workers' Compensation and Employment Lawyer. Free Consultation.

Can a Truck Driver be forced to Arbitrate his claim for injuries when he or she is hurt at work?

Can a Truck Driver be forced to Arbitrate his claim for injuries when he or she is hurt at work?

Arbitration is an agreement between an employee and an employer that any disputes, including injuries, must be taken to an arbitrator and not to court. These agreements are incredibly unfair to fired and injured workers and are purposely designed and implemented by employers to keep fired and injured workers from getting a fair trial. You see, the arbitrator is paid by the employer and the rules are designed to make sure that the fired and injured workers lose their claims no matter how valid those claims may be. This is not a secret and all lawyers understand this which is why lawyers for the defendants always advise their employer clients to have forced arbitration. These forced arbitration agreements are legal and have been upheld by Texas Courts. Fortunately for most Truck drivers these agreements are not valid and cannot be enforced against them. This is because validity of arbitration agreements comes from the Federal Arbitration Act, which explicitly excludes Truck Driver who's companies operate in different States. See New Prime Inc. V. Oliveira (United State Supreme Court 2019). In El Paso and New Mexico this is nearly always the case because part of El Paso area is actually in New Mexico. Therefore most Truck Drivers in Texas can actually sue their employers in a State District Court and avoid arbitration even if they signed an arbitration agreement. It is extremely important that the truck driver contact a board certified employment lawyer as soon as possible to make sure all the evidence is preserved and the right to go to Court and not Arbitration is not waived by the truck driver.