If you have been injured on the job in Texas, there are laws that can protect you and help you recover fair compensation. However, there are some differences between Texas laws and many other states’ laws when it comes to things that happen in the workplace. Here is what you need to know about your rights in Texas with regard to workplace injury.
Texas Doesn’t Require Workers’ Compensation Coverage
While many states require employers to have workers’ compensation programs, Texas is not one of them. Texas is the only state in the country without mandatory workers’ compensation. That is both good and bad. The good part of this is that when there is a workers’ compensation program, you generally cannot sue the employer for your injury, and the program becomes your sole means of compensation. Since there is no program of this type in Texas, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer for your injuries, which can possibly lead to higher compensation if you are successful. Of course, there is no guarantee of winning the lawsuit.
What Workers’ Compensation Covers
While workers’ compensation is not mandatory in Texas, some employers may elect to offer it to protect themselves from legal liability. This will generally serve to protect workers in the event of a work-related injury or illness. However, there are limits to what an employee can recover through a workers’ compensation claim. The three main types of things that are covered by workers’ compensation are medical benefits, income benefits, and death benefits. However, there are limits to these benefits that can put a cap on what you are able to recover. Also, if an injury occurs due to the worker’s negligence or intoxication, it won’t be covered by workers’ comp.
Minimize Your Risk of a Workplace Injury
The best way to protect yourself in the event of a workplace injury is to not get injured in the first place. Make sure that you are as careful as possible on the job, and do not take any shortcuts when it comes to safety. Minimize your risk of sustaining a workplace injury by wearing PPE. To the extent that your employer has safety rules, make sure that you follow them because failure to follow these rules could impact your ability to receive compensation for any injury that you suffer on the job.
While Texas does not have the same protections written into its laws as other states, you are still able to take legal action to recover compensation for injuries that have been suffered at work. Of course, the best treatment is prevention, so be careful at work and wear your PPE.
Author Harper Harmon is a freelance writer and blogger who focuses on business, health and other various topics. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication from UCLA and currently resides in Santa Cruz with her dog, Sassy.