On the Job Injuries

If you’ve been injured at work or in the course of performing a job, your injury is not the only battle you’ll be fighting. Texas is a particularly inhospitable place to be an injured worker. Over 500 people are killed on the job in Texas every year, leading the nation consistently and trending higher year after year. Similarly-sized states like New York and Florida have death rates less than half of Texas. Even the more populous California is not letting its workers die at nearly the rates of Texas. The reason our workers are dying in Texas is no secret. Texas law protects employers and disregards workers. Injured workers in Texas will find themselves in a battle against Goliath.

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One of your first considerations after being injured on a job, besides seeking immediate medical attention, is determining if your employer is a subscriber to the Texas worker’s compensation insurance program. Worker’s compensation is an insurance program managed by the state. It provides medical and lost wage benefits to employees who have a work-related injury or illness. The insurance pays regardless of who is responsible for the injury, as long as it occurred on the job. However, this insurance coverage is expensive for employers and it is not statutorily mandated, meaning not all Texas employers provide workers’ compensation insurance. Employers who choose not to maintain this coverage are called non-subscribers. Many employers of all sizes, large and small, opt not to obtain this important coverage. For example, Walmart and H.E.B. Grocery are non-subscribers! Employers are legally required to tell you if they provide this coverage and to timely file a claim on your behalf when you timely report your injury. If they won’t tell you or they won’t file your claim, contact Gibbs & Crivelli immediately.

Does My Employer Have Workers' Comp?

One of the most significant differences between employers who have worker’s comp and those who don’t is that those employers who do have it cannot be sued for injury to their employees, unless the injury results in death and is caused by gross negligence, an elevated legal standard requiring a person to have disregarded a significant risk of which they were actually aware. Although you may not be able to sue your employer for your injury, there may still be an avenue for your recovery of just compensation in addition to the benefits available to you through workers comp. Drew Gibbs and Scott Crivelli have represented many clients that were able to recover damages from third parties who shared responsibility for causing the injury. In these situations, injured workers have the benefit of getting medical care and lost wages paid up front by workers comp insurance, while pursuing a claim against the third party that contributed to the injury. This requires hiring an attorney who is familiar with both the law governing the third party’s responsibility and the law governing the subrogation rights, or reimbursement rights, of the worker’s compensation insurance carrier.

If your employer has elected not to obtain worker’s compensation, getting reimbursed for the harms and losses resulting from your on-the-job injury will require proving that your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence. Drew Gibbs and Scott Crivelli have pursued lawsuits for countless individuals injured in these situations, from post office delivery drivers, 18 wheeler co-drivers, fork lift operators, construction workers, mechanics, etc. Employers who elect not to obtain worker’s compensation will use many other tools to protect themselves from your injury. Some will require your compliance with an “occupational injury benefit plan.” Others will delay your medical care, require you to submit to a drug test, or urge your co-workers to blame you for your own injury. What few employers will ever do is voluntarily provide you with fair compensation for your injury. To get this, you need the best attorney for your case. You will need an attorney familiar with the battle you’re facing. Gibbs & Crivelli are prepared to help you in that battle.

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