If you are like many employees in Texas, you may work for a non-subscriber employer who does not provide workers’ compensation benefits to workers injured on the job. However, you still have a right to compensation if you hurt at work, as long as you can prove that your employer was at least one percent negligent in causing your injuries. If you are in this situation and need to file a claim, you may be wondering if you should represent yourself or retain an experienced workplace injury attorney.
Times You Can Represent Yourself After Suffering a Workplace Injury
You may be surprised to learn that there are situations when you can represent yourself when settling a workplace injury claim. However, these are limited cases. If all of the following apply to you, you may be able to settle your own claim:
- You suffered a minor injury, such as a sprained wrist or ankle or one requiring stitches.
- You only took a little time or no time off work.
- Your employer agrees to liability for your injury and is paying for your medical expenses and any lost wages.
Why You Need an Attorney in Most Workplace Injury Cases
A non-subscriber workplace injury case is more complicated than a workers’ comp case and can be much more difficult to settle. Here are common issues that arise in these cases that require an attorney’s assistance:
- Negligence. While you only have to prove that your employer was one percent negligent to be entitled to all of your compensation, you still must prove that your employer’s negligence caused your injuries. This can be impossible without the help of an experienced workplace injury attorney who can investigate the incident and collect the evidence necessary to prove your employer’s negligence.
- Disputes. You could have disputes with the insurance adjuster for your employer about the cause of your injuries or their severity. In a non-subscriber case, you are entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages, and pain and suffering, which is not allowed in a workers’ comp cases. The insurance adjuster may raise more disputes in your case because of the higher value of your claim.
- Serious injuries. Whenever you suffer any serious injuries that require you to take off more than a few days, need surgery, or result in you becoming partially or completely disabled, this will increase the amount of settlement that you are entitled to. This can also make it more difficult to obtain the full amount of compensation you deserve without aggressively fighting for it.
- Pre-existing injuries. If you have any pre-existing injuries to the same body part, the insurance company could argue that this prior injury and not the incident at work was the cause of your current injuries. An experienced attorney will have strategies to defeat this argument.
- Value of your claim. Calculating the amount of your past and future medical expenses and lost wages can be more complex than you think, and you do not have the experience to value the pain and suffering portion of your claim. To ensure that you receive what you deserve, you need the advice of an attorney on how much you should receive in your settlement.
- Third-party claims. You may have a claim of negligence against a third party as well as your employer. Proving liability and negotiating settlements with multiple parties is not something that you can successfully accomplish on your own.
Do you work for a non-subscriber employer? Our experienced legal team can help you file your claim for compensation for your workplace injuries. Contact us online or call our Colleyville office directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation. We will talk about our experience and your legal options.
We help injured workers throughout Texas including Arlington, North Richland, Grapevine, Bedford, Hurst, Euless, Irving and all points in between.