If you work for a non-subscriber employer who has opted out of workers’ compensation insurance, you have an added worry if you are injured on the job. Will your employer pay for your medical bills and lost wages? If not, can you make your employer compensate you? The good news is that employees of non-subscriber companies have a right to compensation under Texas law. However, you may need to retain an attorney to fight for what you are entitled to.
Why You Need an Attorney for Your Work Injury Case
In very limited situations, you may be able to represent yourself if you are injured on the job. Times you may want to do this include:
- You suffered a minor injury like a cut that needed a few stitches.
- You did not have to miss time off work or missed very little time.
- Your employer admits liability.
- You do not have a pre-existing injury to the currently injured area of your body.
Unfortunately, most workplace injuries are much more serious, and you could be off work for months or longer—if you can return to work at all. Here’s why you need to hire an experienced workplace accident attorney:
- Knowledge of the law. The law that applies to non-subscriber employers is complicated and limits the defenses an employer can raise. For example, an employer cannot claim that you were partially at fault in causing your accident to escape responsibility for your injuries. An experienced attorney who understands the law will be able to negotiate a more favorable settlement for you.
- Understanding of what your case is worth. An attorney will have experience settling cases similar to yours and will know how much compensation you could be entitled to. If you try to settle your case yourself, your employer will most likely make a lower offer and could claim you are not entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering—which is not true in non-subscriber employer cases.
- Your injuries are severe. If your injuries are severe—especially if you are permanently disabled—you need to be certain that all your future medical bills and lost wages are included in any settlement. These claims are very expensive for employers and their insurance companies and they will fight harder to deny liability and the extent of your injuries. You need an experienced attorney to fight to get the compensation you are entitled to.
- Pre-existing medical conditions. If you had a pre-existing medical condition in the same area of your body that was injured in a workplace accident, your employer may try to argue that you are not entitled to any compensation. This is not true, but you will not be able to effectively argue about this issue without an attorney.
- Potential third-party claims. You could have a claim against another party as well as your employer. For example, if you were injured in a vehicle accident while driving for your job, the negligent driver could be partially responsible for compensating you. These cases can get complicated in terms of deciding how much your employer and a third-party is responsible for paying you.
If you or a family member was injured in a non-subscriber workplace accident, we urge you to contact an experienced workplace accident attorney as soon as possible to not miss the deadline to sue your employer. Call us at (817) 380-4888 or start an online chat to schedule a free consultation.