If your employer is a non-subscriber employer who opted out of providing workers’ compensation benefits in Texas, you must prove that your employer was negligent in order to hold him responsible for compensating you for your workplace injuries. However, unlike other personal injury cases, your employer would be liable if you can show that your employer was as little as one percent negligent in causing your injuries. Comparative negligence is one of a number of defenses that your employer is barred from raising. However, your employer may still have defenses to your claim, and one of them is the routine job defense.
What Is the Routine Job Defense?
To understand the routine job defense, you need to know what you must prove to win your case for injuries caused at your job. You must prove the following:
- Your employer owed you a duty. This duty includes the requirement that your employer provide you with a reasonably safe work environment.
- Your employer breached this duty. Your employer failed to provide a safe working environment.
- Your employer’s breach of the duty caused your injuries. To prove this, you must show that your injury was foreseeable.
- You suffered damages as a result of your injuries. You incurred medical bills, lost wages, or other financial hardships because of your injuries.
The routine job defense attacks the third element that you must prove. It claims that the job duty was so routine that the employer could not foresee that the employee would be injured doing the task and there was no way to avoid the injury. For example, if part of your job duty was to empty a wastebasket which you did for years without incident, your employer could argue any injury caused by doing this task was not foreseeable or preventable.
Unfortunately, employers can abuse the routine job defense and try to argue that many injuries were not foreseeable due to the routine nature of the job. However, an experienced non-subscriber injury attorney will be able to help you refute this argument through the collection of evidence and expert witness testimony that establishes your employer’s negligence.
Did you suffer an injury at your job? You need an experienced attorney who handles non-subscriber employer cases on your side as these claims are very different from workers’ compensation cases. Review our case results to see how we have helped other clients and then contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free case evaluation. We help injured workers throughout Texas including Arlington, North Richland, Grapevine, Bedford, Hurst, Euless, Irving and all points in between.