Can I Sue My Workplace for an Injury?

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In the majority of states, workers are barred from suing their employers for injuries sustained on the job. Workers’ compensation is generally the only legal remedy for employees who get hurt at work.

However, the unique workers’ compensation law in Texas makes it more likely that employers can be held liable for job-related injuries. A Houston work injury lawyer can explore all of your legal options if you got hurt in the course of your employment.

Patrick Daniel Law has extensive experience representing workers and their families in a wide range of occupational accident claims. Contact Patrick Daniel Law to discuss your case for free.

When Is My Employer Liable for a Work Injury?

Unlike other states, Texas does not require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Employers who choose not to purchase workers’ compensation insurance are known as “non-subscribers.”

Non-subscribers are exposed to liability in the event of a workplace injury or accident. However, unlike in a workers’ compensation claim, workers have to prove that the employer was at fault for their injuries to recover compensation.

You will need to show that negligence on the part of your employer led to your injuries and damages. Broadly speaking, some of the most common types of negligence in work injury claims against non-subscribers include:

  • Failure to provide a safe working environment
  • Failure to provide adequate safety gear
  • Negligent hiring and training of employees
  • Inadequate supervision
  • Errors in maintaining workplace equipment, machines, vehicles, etc.

If your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, you are generally barred from bringing a fault-based claim even if the accident was caused by one of the issues above. (Unless you were injured as a result of an intentional act, which is a difficult burden to meet.) Non-subscribers do not have this protection, which gives injured workers the right to file suit in the event of a workplace accident.

Holding Third Parties Accountable for a Workplace Injury

Liability for work-related accidents may not be limited to employers. Depending on the circumstances, the industry in which you work, and other factors, one or more third parties could be held liable for injuries you sustain on the job.

You may be able to bring one or more third party claims if negligence on the part of the following caused an accident in your workplace:

It can be difficult to know exactly what caused your injuries in the event of a workplace accident, let alone who is responsible. Your ability to recover maximum compensation depends on prompt investigation and advanced knowledge of the laws governing work injury claims.

Do I Need to Sue My Employer After a Workplace Injury?

Although non-subscribers do not have workers’ compensation insurance, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are totally uninsured. Employers in Texas may purchase alternative insurance policies to cover losses suffered by workers in job-related accidents. These policies are not an adequate substitute for workers’ comp, but alternative insurance can help cover at least a portion of an injured worker’s damages.

If your employer has alternative insurance coverage, a work injury lawyer can negotiate with the carrier on your behalf to reach a settlement. An attorney can help you determine if a settlement offer is fair. Should you decide to accept the offer, you will not need to file a lawsuit to recover compensation.

Unfortunately, private insurance companies and employers frequently dispute liability for work-related injuries. The policy limits also tend to be fairly minimal, which can make it difficult for your lawyer to negotiate a fair settlement.

For both of these reasons, filing a lawsuit might be your only option to obtain the compensation you deserve after a workplace injury. This is also true if your employer carries no insurance, in which case you will likely need to sue the business directly.

Why Sue an Employer for a Workplace Injury?

A surprising number of employers in Texas are non-subscribers. This makes it challenging for many workers to get the compensation they are due after a workplace injury or illness.

Workers’ compensation benefits cover common costs incurred by injured workers, such as medical expenses and lost income. However, if your employer is a non-subscriber, fair coverage of these expenses is not guaranteed. Therefore, it is important to explore all of the potential legal remedies after a workplace accident.

If you were harmed as a result of your employer’s negligence, you can bring a personal injury claim for damages such as:

  • Medical bills and the cost of future medical care
  • All lost wages (workers’ comp income benefits are calculated as a percentage of the income you lose due to an injury)
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • And more

Personal injury claims against employers are not subject to the same limitations imposed by workers’ comp. As such, workers and their families may be able to recover much more in claims against non-subscribers than they could through a workers’ compensation claim.

However, proving that an employer is at fault for your injuries is often difficult. It is paramount to work with a Houston work injury lawyer who can investigate and gather evidence on your behalf.

Injured at Work? Know Your Rights!

Employers’ ability to opt out of workers’ compensation makes it difficult for workers to be fairly compensated for injuries they sustain on the job. However, you are not barred from recovering damages just because your employer is a non-subscriber.

Attorney Patrick Daniel has extensive experience with the complexities of workers’ compensation law. Our team will assess the facts of your case and identify all options for recovery – including bringing a personal injury claim against your employer.

Please call Patrick Daniel Law at (713) 999-6666 today for a free case evaluation. Our Houston work injury lawyer serves clients throughout Texas and nationwide.

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