Understanding Texas Nonsubscriber Coverage

Imagine a scenario where you are a wind turbine technician working at a wind-energy generation site outside Houston. The pay is great and the benefits are excellent, but when company negligence causes a piece of machinery to fall off its fittings and hits you on the head, you quickly realize that the safety standards leave a lot to be desired. The injury leaves you with a broken shoulder and a potential lifetime of severe headaches and blurred vision.

You deserve compensation for your injuries. But how much you receive and how you go about collecting it depends on whether your employer is a subscriber or nonsubscriber when it comes to workers’ compensation insurance.

In Texas, subscribing to workers’ compensation is elective, and an estimated 44% of employers throughout the state are nonsubscribers. If your company is a nonsubscriber, employees’ medical costs and lost wages are not automatically paid. You are required to prove that the employer was negligent, meaning that they failed to keep the premises safe and in good working condition, adequately supervise the employees, provide necessary equipment to do the job safely, and/or are guilty of a similar error or omission.

That’s a difficult burden when you’re already injured. Fortunately, a personal injury team like The Sharp Firm is ready to fight for your rights.

Employee Benefits in Nonsubscriber Cases

By ensuring that medical bills and lost wages are covered, workers’ compensation protects the employer from being sued directly for employee injuries. It also, incidentally, minimizes the amount an injured claimant can receive. Below is a comparison of the damages an employee may reasonably expect when an employer is a Texas nonsubscriber:

 

  • Medical Bills and Costs: An employee may seek all medical expenses, although how much he or she recover depends on the strength of his or her claim.
  • Pain and Suffering: Although how much an employee may be entitled to is up to the court, if an employer is a nonsubscriber, he or she may sue for pain and suffering. Workers’ compensation claimants are not entitled to recover these damages.
  • Lost Wages: An employee can sue his or her employer for all of their lost wages, whereas workers’ compensation would only cover 70% of your income while they were unable to work.
  • Reduced Earning Capacity: If an employee’s injury has substantially diminished their earning capacity, they can sue to recover these damages. With workers’ compensation, this loss is not recoverable.
  • Loss of Future Income: An employee may sue for the entirety of future income loss. Workers’ compensation will pay partial long-term income benefits only in the cases of catastrophic injury.
  • Punitive Damages: When an employer is guilty of gross negligence, an employee may seek punitive damages. Workers’ compensation will only pay if a fatality is involved.

 

 

 

In Texas, many nonsubscriber companies have private insurance for worker injuries, medical costs, and/or lost wages. If your workplace has an employee injury plan, read it over to understand what your rights and benefits are if you are injured on the job. It is important to remember that for you to be eligible for these benefits, certain requirements will typically have to be met. Federal law requires your employer to provide you with a copy of its injury benefit plans upon request.

If you have been injured on the job and your company is a workers’ compensation nonsubscriber, the Sharp Firm can help you understand your legal rights, prove employer negligence, and fight aggressively for the compensation you deserve. To schedule a consultation and case evaluation, we welcome you to contact us today.

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