Workers’ Compensation: When Do You Need An Attorney?
Did you know that Texas is the only state that does not require employers to provide workers’ compensation? Thirty-three percent of employers choose not to provide workers’ compensation insurance and leave nineteen percent of employees uncovered. Whether or not your employer provides workers’ compensation insurance coverage, you need to know more about how this affects your livelihood in the occurrence of an injury at work.
Can I Sue For Damages After A Work Related Injury?
The answer to this questions depends upon whether or not your employer provides this benefit.
If your employer does provide workers’ compensation,
then you will not have the right to sue unless under special circumstances. In most cases, you can hope for a smooth process of getting you healthy and back to work while receiving compensation for lost wages. However, there are five occurrences in which you cannot make a claim from workers’ compensation insurance. These include when the injury:
- was self inflicted or intentional
- resulted from voluntary horseplay lik alcohol or drug intoxication
- resulted from voluntary off-duty recreational or sports events
- resulted due to an “act of god” unless the job places the employee in a high risk of injury from these acts
- was inflicted by someone else unrelated to the job or employment
Along with the immunities to these occurrences, workers’ compensation provides immunity from most lawsuits. You will need a lawyer if there is a dispute in the claim process or in the amount allotted for your compensation. You will have to go through the Texas Department of Insurance administrative dispute process before proceeding into a lawsuit and even if your case does go to court, your employer will still be exempt from punitive damages and non-economic damages like pain and suffering. If you’ve been injured on the job and have not received the benefits you think you deserve, call us today for a free consultation and find out about what options you have.
If your employer does not provide workers’ compensation or uses alternative coverage other than workers’compensation,
then you can file a lawsuit and sue your employer for damages related to the injury. These can also include non-economic damages and punitive damages if the employer is guilty of gross negligence. Even if the accident was due to you or other employees negligence, courts will rule that the employer is financially responsible. If you’ve been injured on the job and your employer is refusing to reimburse you for lost wages or medical expenses, then in most cases you have the right to file a lawsuit and recover the money you need. This occurrences will require an attorney and legal counsel to investigate and build your claim against the employer.
Other options you have to obtain compensation include lawsuits in the following instances:
- toxic chemicals—If your work environment is surrounded by toxic chemicals and you fall victim to an injury by these chemicals, then you have the right to sue.
- product liability—If a product or piece of equipment malfunctioned, failed to work properly, or is inherently dangerous, then you can sue the manufacturer.
- third party—If a third party, such as another employee, was negligent and caused your injury, you can sue them for the damages they are responsible for.
In any instance related to workplace injuries, we can help get you the advice and counsel you need to ensure you are not left hanging by your employer and that you are able to continue to provide for yourself and your loved ones while recovering from the injury.