What Is My Employer Responsible For If I Am Injured On-The-Job?

Whether your employer had Workers Compensation Insurance or opted to “go bare” as a non-subscriber

Unlike many other states, employers in Texas are not required to carry Workers Compensation Insurance.

Under Texas law, all employers must notify new employees if the Employer has Workers Compensation or is “going bare” as a Non-Subscriber.

If an employer subscribes to Workers Compensation Insurance, then there are certain set limits to how much compensation an injured employee can receive.

However, if the employer does not offer workers compensation insurance, injured employees can file personal injury lawsuits against the employer. There are very few limits to how much money the employee can ask the court to award.

Whether You Chose to Waive Your Right to Workers Compensation

Under Texas law, an employee does not have to be covered by Workers Compensation Insurance. Employers must notify all new hires they have five days to choose whether they want Workers Compensation coverage.

Texas Employers Responsibilities Under Workers Compensation

Injuries at Work Are Not Covered If You Were Not Working

Worker’s compensation insurance does not cover injuries for employees who are injured while:

  • Engaged in horseplay
  • Intoxicated from drugs or alcohol
  • Doing something criminal
  • Intentionally injuring themselves
  • Only there on a volunteer basis while off duty

It also does not apply to Acts of God, which is the term that the law uses for occurrences like weather and fire which the employer could not control.

But Fault Generally Does Not Matter For Injuries Received On-The-Job

In most cases, any injury or illness you received while doing your job will be covered by worker’s compensation, no matter whose fault it was. This includes injuries sustained during work-related travel.

Worker’s Compensation Will Pay Fixed Benefits

If you are injured on-the-job and you elected to be covered by your employer has worker’s compensation insurance, you can receive:

  • Medical Benefits
  • Income Benefits
  • Death Benefits

The exact amounts you can receive are set by the Texas Worker’s Compensation Act.

If An Employee Files a Claim, An Employer Cannot Retaliate

Under Chapter 451 of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Law, an Employer is prohibited from retaliating against employees who file workers’ compensation claims. This includes employees who are in the process of filing a claim (discussing it with a lawyer.)

If You Elect Not to Have Workers Compensation Coverage

Employees who waive their right to Workers Compensation coverage can keep their right to sue the employer for any work-related injury. This might include:

Economic Damages

  • Medical Bills

    If you have bills from a doctor or hospital, your employer may have to pay for them
  • Lost Wages

    If the injury causes you to miss work, the employer may have to pay for your lost wages

Non-Economic Damages

Money can address costs like medical bills or therapy. But if you have been injured, especially permanently, money may not really be enough to ‘make you whole’.

You may have permanent physical pain or damage. You may have mental anguish or trauma from the accident. You may be unable to work.

In these cases, the law tries to assign a dollar figure to your pain and suffering. This is not perfect. It is the best that the law and society can offer under the circumstances.

Even a simple work injury can sometimes become complex if you ask your employer to pay. You may be afraid of retaliation, or intimidated into accepting a low-ball offer.

If you have been injured on the job, call Justinian and Associates today. We offer a free consultation with an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney (not a “screener.”)

Tell us your story. We will explain your rights under Texas law – no fee, no obligation. Even if you choose our Texas personal injury law firm to represent you, unless we get you compensation for your injuries, you owe us nothing.