In Texas, a worker injured on the job whose employer maintains workers compensation insurance will be limited in personal injury claims against the employer to the workers compensation system.
In wrongful death cases, claims can be made outside of the workers compensation system for malice or gross negligence in an effort to seek punitive punishment damages from an employer.
An injured worker in Texas can make a workers compensation claim without regard to fault under the Worker’s Compensation scheme in Texas. In other words it is enough that the worker injured is covered by workers compensation and was injured on the job.
There are many employers in Texas who choose not to have workers compensation coverage for their employees and they are known in Texas as “nonsubscribers”. An employee making a claim against his employer without the benefit of workers compensation coverage must prove some fault on the part of the employer (or his coworkers, whose conduct are attributable to the employer) in order to make a successful nonsubscriber case.
In other words, with the non-subscribing employer in Texas, the worker must prove some fault on the part of the employer.
THIRD PARTY CLAIMS
Frequently, particularly in jobs such as construction, there are multiple employers on a job at a given time. In this situation the legal analysis becomes much more complex. Who actually provided workers compensation coverage, the specific persons and entities involved and contractual issues that apply should be analyzed by a construction accident attorney.
Analysis of a construction injury claim centers on who was at fault for causing the accident. If a third-party caused or contributed to the accident depending on the legal conclusions referenced above, a third-party claim can usually be made. In other words the worker can pursue a legal action in many instances if someone caused the on-the-job injury other than his employer.
Another 3rd party example would be if a machine or equipment caused the injury. Product liability or dangerous product claims can be made outside of the workers compensation system if the product was unreasonably dangerous by design, defect or lack of warning.
Persons injured on the job should consider seeking counsel regarding the potential for claims as soon as possible after the accident if it was a serious one. There are attorneys that handle nothing but workers compensation and there are attorneys that handle personal injury.
Most attorneys offer free initial consultations to persons seeking information regarding the construction or on-the-job injury claim.