Everyday across Texas, workers are hurt performing their jobs. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of our workforce here in Texas is covered by Worker's Compensation. If you are covered by "Worker's Comp," you will receive medical treatment for your injuries, temporary income benefits to compensate you if your injuries require that you miss work (in an amount equal to 70 percent of your recent wages) and impairment income benefits if you have a permanent impairment resulting from your work-related injury. However, depending on the situaton, you may be entitiled to additional compensation. Call a Dallas-Fort Worth personal injury attorney to find out whether this might apply to you.
Are You Covered by Worker's Compensation?
The State of Texas strongly encourages its employers to provide Worker's Comp insurance for its employees. Those employers that do carry this insurance are rewarded by the state, which grants them immunity from injury claims made against them by their own employees.
Stated another way:
If you are covered by Worker's Compensation insurance, you cannot sue your employer for it's negligence or for the negligence of a co-employee. Receiving Worker's Compensation benefits is your only option.
Who Can Make a Work-Related Injury Claim?
But injured workers make personal injury claims all the time in Texas. So how are they able to do so? These are two scenarios:
- Non-Covered Employee:
If an injured worker is not covered by Worker's Compensation insurance, then the injured worker can make a claim against his employer for its negligence or for the negligence of a co-employee, if such negligence caused the injury. Many employers who do not subscribe to Worker's Compensation insurance instead provide some sort of accident-related insurance coverage. However, the coverage must be true Worker's Comp and overseen by the Texas Department of Insurance for the employer to be protected from lawsuits by its employees for on-the-job injuries.
- Negligence by a Third Party:
Even if you are covered by Worker's Compensation insurance, you can make a claim for negligent conduct against anyone who caused you injury, as long as it is not your employer or a co-employee. We see his arise most often in two situations: The first is when the injured part is driving while on his or her job and is involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by another driver. The injured person can collect Worker's Compensation benefits and make a claim against the other driver's insurance. In such cases, the Worker's Compensation insurance carrier will be entitled to "subrogate" to the claim and seek reimbursement for the money it has paid out. Please see Medical Liens and Subrogation for more information.
Another common example is on-site accidents and/or oil and gas well drilling accidents (which have become extremely prevalent here in North Texas). In these situations, there are usually several trades on site at the same time. Sometimes when different trades are trying to accomplish different jobs at the same time, overall site safety becomes compromised and serious injury often occurs. Again, the existence of Worker's Compensation coverage will NOT prevent an injured party from making a claim against another company which negligently caused his or her injury.
If you have suffered a serious on-the-job or work-related injury and you would like to discuss your rights, please call Texas personal injury lawyer Mark Anderson toll free at 800-354-MARK (6275) or Contact Us Online.
Other Articles You Might Be Intersted In:
You May Be Entitled To Compensation In Addition To Your Worker's Comp
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Do You Have to Give the Insurance Company a Medical Authorization?
Vicarious Liability: The Legal Responsibility of Employers