In most cases in which a Texas resident is injured on the job, he has recourse to the workers’ compensation system, which provides coverage for medical bills and time off from work (provided an investigation bears out that the injury really was work-related). Sometimes, however, a company elects not to participate in the Texas workers’ comp system, or a third party causes the injury. In these cases, it's possible to file a personal injury lawsuit—but you need to hire an attorney with relevant experience in employment law.
There Are Two Ways You Can Collect Damages in a Workplace Accident
If you have been injured on the job in Texas, there are two scenarios under which you can bypass the workers’ comp system and sue the responsible party directly:
- Your employer has opted for “non-subscriber” status under Texas employment law, meaning that it has chosen not to pay into, or participate in, the state workers’ compensation program. Legally, non-subscriber companies are required to carry insurance to cover worker mishaps, or at the very least to make their workers whole for their injuries. If your non-subscribing company does not carry the necessary insurance, and refuses to take your injuries seriously, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit.
- Your employer does, in fact, participate in the Texas workers’ compensation system, but a third party caused your injury. Say you are a construction worker who has been dispatched to a site by your employer, and you are injured by a subcontractor working on that same site; for example, the employee of an electrical company who accidentally burns you while installing a high-power line. You can't sue your employer under Texas law, but you are allowed to file a lawsuit against the electrical contractor.
Did You Suffer a Work-Related Injury? Ask Jim Zadeh What He Can Do for You
Employment law—especially in Texas, with its opt-out provisions for workers’ compensation and its ongoing tort reform—is a complicated business. If you have been injured on the job, and are unsure whether or not you are entitled to sue for damages, contact Ft. Worth trial lawyer Jim Zadeh today at 817-335-5100 to learn how he can help you. Jim's staff is fluent in Spanish, and welcomes inquiries from non-English-speaking Texas residents.