On the Job Injuries: When Can I Sue?
On the job injuries are a major point of confusion for many Houston workers. For instance, when can you sue your employer? How does workers’ compensation affect my claim? Am I forced to file for workers’ compensation or can I file a lawsuit? In this article, we’ll take a look at Texas law and discuss when it’s possible to file a lawsuit when you’ve been injured on the job.
You Have a Right to be Compensated for On the Job Injuries
Know that if you’ve been injured on the job, you have a right to be compensated for your injuries. There are two main ways that workers receive compensation. The first is through the civil court system (filing a lawsuit) and the second is by filing a claim on your employer’s workers’ compensation policy.
In Texas, injured workers have a right to either sue their employer or file a claim under workers’ compensation. However, that decision is made by your employer. Texas gives employers the ability to opt into their workers’ compensation program. That means if your employer carries a workers’ compensation policy, you are required to file a claim on that policy and cannot sue them directly. However, if they opt out of the Texas workers’ compensation program, then you are allowed to sue them directly to recover damages.
Filing a Claim on a Workers’ Compensation Policy
Texas’s workers’ compensation policy is a no-fault system. In other words, with some exceptions, it doesn’t matter whose fault the accident was. You can recover medical expenses and a percentage of your wages while you recover. However, some workers struggled to get their claim honored by the insurance company that insures their employer. In these cases, a workers’ compensation attorney can be relied upon to litigate the claim.
Note that your employer’s workers’ compensation policy does not cover intentional acts of violence committed by one person on another. Nor does it cover third-party lawsuits. If you’ve been injured by an independent contractor or a defective piece of equipment, you must file a lawsuit against the party you claim is responsible for your injuries.
Filing a Lawsuit Against Your Employer
If your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against them. In a lawsuit, you are required to prove that your employer was negligent. That means proving that they owed you a duty of care, breached that duty of care, and your injuries are a direct result of that breach.
Unlike workers’ compensation, you are entitled to recover all of your lost wages and pain and suffering damages. This is why many Texas employers opt into the workers’ compensation program.
Talk to a Houston Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured on the job and you were injured either by a third party, a defective piece of equipment, or an employer who doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance, you are entitled to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. Talk to the Houston personal injury lawyers at Livingston & Flowers today. We’ve had success filing work injury lawsuits before and can help you with your lawsuit.