As an employer, you know the importance of having a healthy and productive workforce. Proper workplace safety plays a vital role in keeping employees safe, but unfortunately, some workplace accidents and injuries are unavoidable. It is important to know your rights and responsibilities under the law.
Texas is one of the few states that does not require employers to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance. As an employer, consider whether you have—or should have—Workers’ Compensation insurance or whether you are a “non-subscriber.” In this article, we’ll discuss workers’ compensation and what employers need to know.
What is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
As Houston Workers’ Compensation attorneys, we can help you understand what Texas Workers’ Compensation insurance is and how it applies to employers.
Workers’ Compensation laws and regulations are found within the Texas Labor Code. It is a state-regulated insurance program that provides financial and medical benefits to employees who are injured at work or who have work-related illnesses.
Workers’ Compensation in Texas is a “no fault” or “strict liability” system. This means the injured employee is entitled to benefits regardless of who is at fault—with a few exceptions, of course. Yes, this means that even someone who trips over their own feet and gets hurt is covered. At first glance this may seem to only benefit the injured employee—but there are major benefits for the employer.
Benefits of Workers’ Compensation in Texas
One of the most important aspects of Workers’ Compensation for Texas employers is that it is the injured employee’s exclusive remedy against their employer. When an employee gets injured at work, and the employer has Workers’ Compensation insurance, the employee generally cannot sue the employer for damages resulting from the injury or accident. Their “exclusive” remedy is through Workers’ Compensation medical and financial benefits. This shelters employers from the high legal and medical costs stemming from serious injuries they might otherwise have to pay.
Are Employers Required to Provide Workers’ Compensation Coverage in Texas?
Almost any employer can opt out of Workers’ Compensation insurance. Employers who do not provide Workers’ Compensation insurance are called “non-subscribers.” Non-subscribers are generally financially responsible for an injured employee’s medical costs and lost wages.
Some employers choose to opt out of Workers’ Compensation insurance due to high costs of coverage or because they are able to provide other benefits that provide similar medical benefits. Non-Subscribers lose important legal protections and become vulnerable to most lawsuits brought by injured employees. If an injured employee can prove that the employer was negligent, courts may hold the employer liable for high damages due to their negligence.
Texas Requirements for Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Texas requires all employers to inform the commission whether they carry Workers’ Compensation insurance by submitting documentation annually. Texas also requires all employers, with or without Workers’ Compensation insurance, to comply with reporting and notification requirements. The reporting and notification requirements differ depending on whether the employer has coverage or is a Non-Subscriber. Next time we will take a practical look at employer’s obligations when an employee is injured at work and some tips on how to handle the process.
Cromeens Law Firm Can Help
Do you need a Workers’ Compensation attorney in Houston? We can help you with a wide variety of business law, including Texas Workers’ Compensation.
Adhering to the highest standards of honesty and ethical behavior, our mission is to truly understand each client’s unique needs and go beyond expectations to exceed those needs. You can count on our diverse team of highly experienced attorneys to use every tool at their disposal to protect your rights in any legal matter. We proudly deliver expert advice and pride ourselves on our proven track record to obtain the best results possible for you no matter what your legal needs are.