Workers’ compensation originated as a response to modern industrial development and is legislation which sought to address the inadequate remedies which were available under already existing causes of action. The underlying philosophy of workers’ compensation involves the idea that workplace accidents are an inevitable reality in the modern industry. The burden of those accidents shouldn’t put on those who may be victims in such accidents.
The Texas Workers’ Compensation Act was enacted by the Texas Legislature to provide a mechanism for injured employees to recover, regardless of the injured worker’s negligence, while reducing the exposure from uncertain and possibly high damages under other available actions. However, Workers’ Compensation coverage is not mandated and only comes into play when the employer chooses to purchase it.
Main Difference Between Workers’ Compensation Claims and Personal Injury Claims
The main difference between workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims is under a workers’ compensation claim; the injured employee does not have the burden to prove fault to collect benefits from the employer (provided that the employee got injured on the job and the employer already has workers’ compensation). However, this does not come without its disadvantages. Compensation does include weekly benefits, permanent impairment benefits, rehabilitation expenses, and medical expenses.
For those who are severely injured, damages such as pain and suffering, available under a personal injury claim, are barred from recovery. For those who suffer severe injuries, recovery is robust only from a medical perspective. Many employees are under the false impression that if they get injured at work, they are entitled to recover only workers’ compensation benefits from their employer. Worker’s compensation does not bar all claims against employers and many strategies for recovery are available to an injured employee, responsible companies and product manufacturers can also be held liable.
Many employers in Texas are choosing to go “bare” by choosing not to purchase worker’s compensation coverage Moreover, many companies are also wanting to use alternative coverage, to reduce the cost of coverage. However, many of these plans are not registered with the State of Texas as workers’ compensation and do not automatically qualify as immunity for the employer. Many employers and corporations do this because they are expecting their employees to be too fearful to file a claim, or they will simple pressure their employees to accept a nominal settlement.
If you are unsure if you have workers’ compensation we can help
Our attorneys at Morrow & Sheppard LLP encourage you to contact us for a free, confidential legal consultation if you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a workplace accident. The avenues for recovery for worksite injuries will vary depending on each specific fact scenario. Navigating the minefield of worker’s compensation coverage is not one which you should do alone. Our team of trial-ready lawyers is ready to help you assert your rights as an injured employee. To learn about what legal recourse may be available, please call our office at (800) 489-2216 or request a free case evaluation with an experienced work injury lawyer in Houston, TX.