Work Accidents & On-The-Job Injuries
Work Accident Attorney
Dallas - Fort Worth, Texas
Have you been injured on the job? Do you need a work accident lawyer in Dallas?
Work accident cases are divided into two categories: “Subscriber” claims and “non-subscriber” claims. This is how it works.
The Texas Workers Compensation Act (“TWCA”) is a statute that governs how claims for work injuries are to be handled and paid. Although there are some incentives for employers to participate in the TWCA, it is not mandatory for an employer to participate.
If an employer participates in the TWCA, they are called “subscribers.” This means that the employer provides benefits for injured employees in compliance with the TWCA. If an employee is injured on the job, then the employee would be entitled to those benefits as defined by the TWCA, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and impairment benefits.
The benefits under the TWCA are the employee’s sole remedy for their injury and the employee cannot sue the employer for any other damages beyond what is provide for under the TWCA. This is one incentive for an employer to “subscribe” to the TWCA. It is also beneficial to employees since they do not have to prove any negligence by the employer. The injured employee simply has to show that they were injured on the job.
If the employer, however, decides not the carry worker’s compensation insurance or otherwise provide benefits under the TWCA, then the employer is considered to be a “non-subscriber.” If an employee is, therefore, injured on the job, then the employee may sue the employer for any and all damages recoverable for personal injuries, without the limitations of the TWCA.
However, the employee would have to prove that the employer was negligent in causing the injury. It is not enough to simply prove that the injury occurred at work. The employee would have to show that the employer did something to cause or contribute to the accident.
If the employee can prove negligence, the employer is barred from the defense of “contributory negligence.” This means that the employer cannot reduce the employees recovery by showing that the employee was partially at-fault. If the employee can prove that the employer is at least 1% negligent, then the employer owes 100% of the employee’s provable damages.
Third Party Claims.
If you are injured on the job, but the accident was caused by some other third-person, then you would have a claim against that person just like any other accident claim. An example would be a car accident while the employee is working. In those circumstances, the injured employee would proceed to file a claim through their employer for workers compensation benefits just as in any other work accident. However, the injured employee would also proceed with a separate claim against the liable person just like any other personal injury claim.
If the injured person is able to collect a settlement from the liable party or their insurance company, it may be necessary to reimburse the workers compensation insurance company for the benefits received. The amount of reimbursement is subject to many factors and could also effect whether the employee would be eligible for future benefits. Therefore, one must be very careful and should get the advice of an experienced attorney before proceeding.