What do you mean my employer does not carry Texas Workers’ Compensation?
Texas is one of the only states where your employer does not have to carry Texas Workers’ Compensation. Your employer could have their “own plan” or no coverage at all. For most employers it is almost impossible to determine if their employer has Texas Workers’ Compensation. Usually they have a work injury and they ask to file a claim. If their employer has their own plan then the employer controls what doctors the employee can see and will usually limit their right to compensation. The way employee’s injured at work usually find out their employers have their own work injury plans (as opposed to Texas Workers’ Compensation) is when their claim for medical or to see a specialist is denied. So what rights to injured workers have? Fortunately, if your employer does not carry Texas Workers’ Compensation or has its own occupation injury program then you can bring a lawsuit against your employer for the negligence of your employer or a co worker. Also, your employer cannot use your negligence to offset or limit your rights. Even if your employer (or a co-employee) is only 1% at fault and your are 99% at fault you can recover the full measure of your damages including lost wages in the past and future, pain and suffering and mental anguish and medical expenses in the past as well as future medical expenses. Why is that? The law was designed to encourage employers to carry Texas Workers’ Compensation (If your employer carries Texas Workers’ Compensation then you are generally barred from suing your employer for negligence). So what should you do if you are injured at work? You should see a board certified employment lawyer to determine what are your rights. A board certified employment lawyer can determine if your employer carries Texas Workers’ Compensation and can also advise you on how to handle other job related issues that come up with an injury such as “do you have to go back to work on light duty”, are you eligible for light duty, can you switch doctors, how much time can you take off without jeopardizing your job and does your employer have to take you back with any limitations or disabilities. Don’t wait to see a board certified employment lawyer. There are strict deadlines that apply so you should seek a free legal consultation with a board certified employment lawyer for any work injury as soon as possible.