In most places around the country, injured employees have full confidence that they will be covered by workers’ compensation insurance if they sustain an on-the-job injury. However, Texas workers’ compensation laws are not quite like every other state. In Texas, employers are allowed to become “non-subscribers,” which means they may not carry the workers’ compensation insurance that most people are familiar with. Here, we want to discuss what a non-subscriber is and what injured workers need to do if their employer does not have the traditional worker’s compensation insurance.
In Texas, a non-subscriber is any employer who chooses to opt-out of the workers’ compensation system in the state. If an employer chooses not to subscribe to the traditional workers’ compensation insurance coverage, an injured worker will be unable to file a workers compensation claim against them. Approximately 50% of Texas employers choose not to subscribe to the workers’ compensation system and are considered non-subscribers.
If your employer is a non-subscriber, then you have the right to file a lawsuit against them if you sustain a workplace injury. These incidents are handled just like traditional personal injury lawsuits in which negligence must be proven in order to recover compensation.
The downside to this system is that injured workers are not automatically covered by some type of compensation if they sustain an injury. In a traditional workers’ compensation claim, an injured worker can receive compensation for their injuries and lost wages regardless of who caused the injury. However, securing compensation from a non-subscriber requires showing that the employer was negligent. The compensation is not automatic.
Yes, there can be a shared fault in a personal injury claim against a non-subscriber employer. Texas operates under a comparative negligence law that states that an injury victim can recover compensation even if they are less than 50% at fault for the incident. However, the total amount of compensation they receive will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.
Comparative negligence will come into play if you sustain a work injury and your non-subscriber employer tries to place the blame for the incident on you. If they can show that you were more than 50% responsible for the incident, they will not have to pay any compensation at all.
If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury in the workplace, you may need to seek legal assistance in order to recover full compensation for your losses. At Johnson, Zegen, Scott & Williams, PLLC, our team is standing by to help residents in and around the Dallas area after they have sustained an on-the-job injury. We will work to ensure that you receive coverage of your medical bills, lost wages, and even disability benefits if necessary. When you need a Dallas work injury attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or by calling us at 214-295-2900.