What are the rights of injured workers in Texas if their employer has their own injury plan and not Texas Workers' Compensation Insurance?
The story is always the same -- a worker is injured and is sent to the company doctor who tells them their injury is not so bad and they can return to work. It seems unfair because the injury is real and the pain severe. The injured worker wants to get better medical care but is told that the only doctor they can see is the one chosen by their employer because the company has its own work injury plan and does not have Texas Workers' Compensation Insurance?
What can the injured worker do? First, Texas does not require employers to carry Texas Workers' Compensation Insurance or for that matter any coverage. That is hard to understand for many injured workers' but under Texas law their is no absolute right to medical coverage if a worker is injured on the job. However, if your employer does not have Texas Workers' Compensation Insurance or their own work injury plan then the employee can file suit against the employer for the injuries and recover all their damages if the injured worker can prove that their employer or a co-worker was negligent in causing their injuries.
The sad truth is that many workers in Texas are injured and have no options. However if there is any negligence what so ever on the part of the employer or a co-worker then the injured worker can hire an employment lawyer and sue for all damages. This is true even if the injured worker is partly responsible for his or her own injuries. For example if the employer is one percent a fault and the injured worker is ninety-nine percent at fault the injured worker can bring a claim and recover for all their injuries, including past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages and pain and suffering and there is no deduction for the negligence of the injured worker. Many employers in Texas do not carry Texas Workers' Compensation. For example Walmart does not carry Texas Workers' Compensation and many, if not most, trucking companies in Texas do not carry Texas Workers' Compensation. There are other laws that provide some protection for injured workers in Texas (even if the employer carries Texas Workers' Compensation) but injured workers should seek a competent board certified employment lawyer to protect their rights. El Paso, Texas has many employers who do not carry Texas Workers' Compensation Insurance (Non-subscribers). Know your rights.