Worker Compensation in Houston
Texas is the only state in the country that allows employers to decide to opt out of workers’ compensation programs and leave workers without coverage. A growing trend has seen fifteen large Texas companies opt out of workers compensation and instead decide to write individualized workplace injury benefit plans. While this decisions results in large savings for the company, this situation is less desirable for workers in Texas. Because Texas is an “opt out” state, a worker who is injured on the job in Texas who works for an employed who has opted out only has the right to sue for civil damages. It common in Texas, however, for employers to have employees waive the right to sue in exchange that the employer promises to cover any medical bills incurred by the worker. As a result, workers compensation laws in Texas can leave workers quite compromised. It is essential the workers who were injured on the job in Texas contact a skilled worker compensation attorney to review all options and to review some basic information about worker compensation, which include the following.
The Benefits Of Worker Compensation
When workers in Houston and the surrounding area are covered by worker compensation, workers are usually eligible for any combination three main benefits: medical for medical treatment, income for payment due to lost wages, and death benefits which goes to the family of a deceased worker. Of course, coverage varies greatly based upon an employer.
Employers Who Opt Out Of Worker Compensation
Employers who decide to opt out of workers’ compensation programs, must still take certain steps which include the following:
- Employers must file the proper forms with the Division of Workers’ Compensation at the Texas Department of Insurance regarding the decision to opt out of compensation.
- The form must be filed both at the moment when the company elects to become opt out and annually for each year that companies continues to opt out.
- Employers must provide written notification to employees in addition to posting notices in the workplace regarding the company’s decision to not offer workers compensation.
If employers do not subscribe to workers compensation, individuals can still pursue personal injury claims against an employer to seek recovery of all lost income income, all medical expenses, and pain and suffering among various other types of expenses.
What Injuries Can Workers Compensation Cover?
When workers compensation is available through an employer, this benefit can cover a variety of injuries. These injuries, include, but are certainly not limited to: amputations, brain injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, hand and elbow injuries, hip injuries, leg injuries, neck and shoulder injuries, spinal cord injuries in addition to pain and suffering from any work related injury.
How Can An Experienced Houston Workers Compensation Lawyer Help?
If workers compensation is available, experienced legal counsel can help an individual file for workers compensation through the appropriate department.
If an employer does not subscribe to workers compensation, a seasoned attorney can help in several ways including: investigating the case to determine how the workplace injury occurred, consulting with workplace experts to determine if an employer adequately met safety standards, seek a potential settlement, litigate a case in the event that an employer does not agree upon the terms of a settlement, and ensure that compensation is properly received.