What is Workers Compensation Insurance?
Workers compensation is an insurance policy bought by a company to provide benefits to employees who are injured while working for the company. In Texas, in most cases, companies are NOT REQUIRED to purchase workers compensation insurance. In the absence of a policy, the company is still liable for any injuries sustained by employees while “on the job,” but the employee may have to retain a Houston lawyer and sue to recover damages from the employer.
Some companies also make it difficult to collect on policies that have been purchased but the Texas Workers Compensation Law strictly dictates the procedures followed and application of this process. Nevertheless, a Texas attorney may also be necessary to guarantee the fidelity of this process.
Your Rights as a Worker Under the Texas Workers Compensation Law
Workers injured at a job site or anywhere else while actively engaged in company business are entitled to seek workers damages from a workers compensation policy or from the employer directly for the injury. The compensation typically involves medical costs, time lost from work and, sometimes, damages for pain and suffering.
There are very few instances where a company can legitimately deny liability in an employee accident situation. If your injury is sustained because of drug or alcohol use or because you are engaged in an illegal activity, the company is rarely held culpable. Otherwise, the company must make arrangements for your immediate care and well being.
What Do I Do in the Event of an Accident?
The Texas Workers Compensation Law does not stipulate exactly what must transpire in the event of an accident. Most medium to large companies have established procedures mandated by their own human resources (HR) departments that the company management should follow.
Typically, upon notification, the management of the company will ask if you require medical assistance and then place you in safe environment. While waiting for an ambulance, the police or a doctor, they will probably ask you for a statement. Be truthful and divulge all pertinent information. Your forthrightness will only bolster your case if a problem arises.
If you feel that the management is not following these procedures, directly contact the company’s HR department and the situation should be quickly remedied. Failure to follow their own guidelines is an open invitation to an expensive lawsuit.
The Next Step
No one faults anyone for acting their in own best interest. The Texas Workers Compensation Law was enacted to safeguard employers as well as the employees. The law requires that each party act in a reasonable and consistent manner. Accidents will continue to happen in the safest of environments. It is up to the employees and management to deal with them in a fair and equitable manner. In the unfortunate event that an employer does not fulfill their obligations, it is usually best to obtain competent legal counsel.