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Have you ever wondered who would pay your medical bills if you got seriously hurt on the job? Or what would happen if you got so sick from a work-related illness that you had to take an extended leave?
For many companies in Texas, workers’ compensation will cover the costs of your recovery, and even compensate you for lost salary due to your ailments. Workers’ compensation is a government-managed form of accident insurance that an employer will pay for at no cost to their employees.
Unfortunately, not all companies in Texas pay for workers’ compensation. These companies that opt-out are referred to as non-subscribers. Seeking compensation from an alternative accident insurance can be much more difficult than workers’ compensation, and you may be required to file a lawsuit to receive full compensation for medical bills and lost salary.
To better understand the Texas workers’ compensation non-subscriber landscape, we looked at workplace injuries, the largest non-subscribers in the state, and a breakdown of who is not covered by workers’ compensation.
If you are injured while working for a non-subscriber, you may be able to file a claim to seek compensation for your injuries. Call Zinda Law Group today at (888) 671-5127 to speak with an attorney about your situation for free. If we are unable to secure compensation for your injuries, you do not owe us anything.
Workplace Injuries Are More Common Than You Think
According to the United States Department of Labor, there were 62,910 workplace injuries in Texas during 2017. That is an average of 172 on-the-job injuries every day! There were over 500 fatal accidents in 2017, with an average of about 10 per week.
Of those injured workers…
- 65% were aged 25-54
- 32% were in their first year on the job
- 27% missed more than a month of work
The timing of the accidents are not evenly distributed. According to the data…
- 22% occurred on a Wednesday
- 33% occurred between 8am and 12pm
- 26% occurred during the first 2-4 hours of the shift
Seeking Compensation for Workplace Injuries
Compensation from Subscribing Employers
Workers’ Compensation makes it easy for injured workers to seek compensation for medical bills and lost wages due to an accident, whether it was the fault of the employee or the employer. Workers’ Compensation provides full coverage of medical treatment, and may pay you 70% of your normal wages starting once you have been out of work for at least one week. There is a cap of about $860 per week.
Beyond this, there are few other ways that workers’ compensation will cover injured workers. Unfortunately, if you find workers’ compensation to be insufficient for the injuries you have sustained, you cannot file a claim against your employer. When a company opts in to the Texas workers’ compensation plan, the state grants them nearly complete immunity from a lawsuit.
Compensation from Non-Subscribers
In 2018, 28% of Texas employers were non-subscribers. This accounts for nearly 2 million employees. While many of these employees still had some kind of accident coverage, over 600,000 have no coverage at all!
Compensation from Non-Subscribers Without Coverage
For those employees without coverage, an accident at work could be financially devastating. With no insurance provided by the employer, they may be left with only their health insurance to cover medical bills, and the goodwill of their employer to cover lost wages.
For employees without coverage, filing a lawsuit may be a necessary action to receive any compensation whatsoever for the costs resulting from injury.
Compensation from Non-Subscribers With Alternative Accident Insurance
When a company has workers’ compensation, which is essentially accident insurance provided by the state government, it is easy for injured workers to seek compensation for their injuries. At a non-subscribing company with alternative accident insurance, it may not be so easy to pursue compensation. By default, some insurance companies may aim to provide the minimum insurance coverage they can to maximize profits. If the company believes the accident was your fault, they may be hesitant to provide any compensation at all.
While workers’ compensation bars nearly all employees from filing a lawsuit against the employer, nothing protects non-subscribers from a lawsuit. If you are injured on the job while working for a non-subscriber, it may be in your best interest to contact a lawyer and file a claim against the company. A lawyer may be able to seek compensation for various damages resulting from the accident beyond medical bills and lost wages, such as loss of future income and diminished earning capacity.
What To Do After A Workplace Injury
1. Report The Injury (No Matter How Minor it May Seem)!
As soon as you have been injured, it is important to report the injury to your employer. Even if the accident may seem minor at first, you may later learn that the injury has more severe implications. Waiting to report the injury it may make it more difficult to seek compensation.
2. Take Pictures of the Accident Site and Document the Situation
If you end up filing a claim with the employer, the strength of your argument can be easily bolstered with photos and documentation. It may be far more difficult to seek compensation for an undocumented incident.
3. Seek Medical Treatment As Soon As Possible
As mentioned earlier, an injury that seems innocuous at first may later turn out to be severe and debilitating. The sooner you can get your injuries seen by a doctor, the better chance there will be to make a full recovery. If you are filing a claim, a long gap between the injury and you finding medical treatment may also make it more difficult to seek compensation.
4. Request and File the Necessary Paperwork With Your Employer
A major step in seeking any compensation for your injury is filling out the required paperwork and getting the settlement process started.
However, if you work for a non-subscriber, be wary that nothing you sign from the insurance company will to bar you from filing a claim. It may not be in your best interest to sign a settlement from the insurance company without consulting a lawyer first. If you don’t understand what you are signing, it may also be helpful to contact a lawyer.
5. Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Dealing with your employer and the accident company can be a stressful process, especially if you are trying to recover from a serious injury at the same time. Consulting with a lawyer may allow them to relieve you of the hefty task of negotiating compensation. If your employer does not want to settle for a fair amount, a lawyer may also take the claim to court and seek maximum compensation for your injuries.
Tell Zinda Law Group About Your Accident
If you have been hurt in a workplace accident and are unsure about what to do next, the experienced workplace injury lawyers of Zinda Law Group may help you navigate through the legal process. We have experience negotiating with insurance companies and seeking maximum compensation for our clients’ injuries. We may negotiate with your employer on your behalf, allowing you to focus on recovering from the accident.
Call Zinda Law Group today at (888) 671-5127 for a free consultation with an attorney! If we are unable to reach a settlement in your case, you won’t owe us anything!
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