Personal Injury Lawyer
Most states require employers to obtain workers’ compensation insurance to cover injuries that may occur in a workplace accident. One notable exception is Texas, in which workers’ compensation insurance is optional.
If you are a worker employed by a non-subscriber to workers’ compensation, it is important for you to know your rights, as well as your employer’s responsibilities toward you, in the event of an accident.
What It Means for Employers
If your employer is a non-subscriber to workers’ compensation, you should already be aware of this fact. The law requires that a non-subscriber post notices informing employees of the lack of coverage and advise new employees that workers’ compensation is not among the benefits that they enjoy upon joining the company. Additionally, a non-subscriber must inform the state of this fact on a yearly basis by filling out an annual form and submitting it to the state’s Department of Compensation.
By not enrolling in workers’ compensation coverage, non-subscribers can save on expensive insurance premiums. However, not having coverage does not relieve an employer of the responsibility to compensate workers for injuries. Therefore, choosing not to subscribe could cost more in the long run.
According to a Texas A&M study, most large non-subscribing companies offer employees a responsible alternative to workers’ compensation; an example of which would be self-insurance.
What It Means for Employees
If your employer is a non-subscriber, you still have the right to claim compensation for a work-related injury. The difference is that, instead of filing your claim with the DWC, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer.
For those who participate, workers’ compensation offers mutual benefits to employers and employees alike. As a worker, you can receive compensation regardless of where the fault for the accident rests, though it will be only a fraction of what you would have earned if you had not been injured. Your employer gains limited liability for workplace accidents, meaning protection from lawsuits, and pays out less in benefits.
If your employer is a non-subscriber, you may be able to receive compensation equal to the wages that you would have earned if not for your injury. To accomplish this, however, you typically need to go to court and be able to convince a judge and/or jury that your injury was the employer’s fault. You may be able to receive more money in damages than you would get from workers’ compensation, but you could also wind up with nothing if the court decides against you.
If your employer is a non-subscriber, it can be difficult and confusing for you. Contact a law firm today and let a catastrophic injury lawyer in Trenton, NJ assess your situation and explain your options.
Thanks to Davis & Brusca for their insight into personal injury claims and workers compensation.