Do I Have a Right to File a Work Injury Lawsuit Against Kroger?
Worker’s Compensation vs. Non-Subscriber: KROGER IS A TEXAS NON-SUBSCRIBER
In Kroger work injury cases, in order to determine what rights to compensation you may have as an injured worker, you need to understand the type of insurance coverage that Kroger has for employee work injuries. Generally, Texas employers could have coverage under a workers’ compensation policy or a non-subscriber policy (Employee Injury Benefit Plan under ERISA). In short and without going into detail about the Texas Workers’ Compensation program, Kroger is a Texas Non-Subscriber employer. That means that the compensation for injured workers at Kroger comes from an insurance program that Kroger has purchased outside the Texas Worker’s Compensation Program. Because Kroger is a Texas Non-Subscriber, you have a right to file a lawsuit against Kroger, as your employer, for failing to provide with a reasonably safe workplace. In other words, in this lawsuit, it will matter if you can prove that your injury was caused by Kroger’s negligence in failing to:
- Provide a reasonably safe workplace.
- Provide the tools and equipment needed to do the job safely.
- Provide the training necessary to do the job safely.
- Provide the assistance needed for the job.
In an Kroger Non-Subscriber case, you are not limited to the remedies you have under Texas Workers’ Compensation laws. EVEN THOUGH YOUR KROGER SUPERVISORS OR CO-WORKERS, THE INSURANCE ADJUSTER OR THE DOCTORS CALL YOUR CASE A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CASE, YOUR KROGER WORK INJURY CASE IS A TEXAS NON-SUBSCRIBER CASE! Your employer would rather let you think that you only have rights under Worker’s Compensation so that you think that you do not have a right to file a lawsuit.
Why File a Work Injury Lawsuit Against Kroger? (Protecting Injured Workers’ Rights)
You may think that filing a lawsuit is not for you and that is understandable. Most people are not looking to pick a fight with big companies for minor reasons. Unfortunately, filing a lawsuit against Kroger for your work injury may be the only way to get compensated for the losses that you have suffered physically, financially and emotionally. For most injured Kroger workers, it takes some time to realize that the treatment and care provided under by Kroger’s insurance is not helping. Most injured workers start the work injury claim process thinking that the treatment and care is going to help them recover from the injury and get back to work quickly. Meanwhile, Kroger and its insurance carriers are focused on preparing to defend your case or, making your injury look like it did not happen at work. Understanding Kroger’s financial goals in your work injury claim and how it strays from yours, will help you understand why there is so much delay in the work injury process.
As an injured worker in an Kroger Non-Subscriber case, you likely have experienced at least one of the following:
- Delay in making a report of your injury
- Delay in sending you to emergency treatment
- Delay in approving medical tests that you need to diagnose your condition
- Delay in finding you a position at work that accommodates your injury
- Delay in sending you lost wage payments
- Delay in telling you if your MRI or other tests will be approved
- Delay in approving the surgery
- Delay, DELAY AND MORE DELAY in getting you back to work!
Meanwhile, Kroger’s insurance doctors are sending you back to work on restriction even though you don’t feel better, and you can’t do your job without causing yourself more injury and pain. The thing is, the doctors that you are seeing under Kroger’s plan also know that if they take you off of work because of your injury, Kroger’s insurance will have to make wage payments to you. That is a no-no in the insurance world. The doctor is encouraged to simply send you back to work on restriction so that you have to suffer through trying to make ends meet.
Ultimately, as with many insurance companies, the goal is to figure out how to deny your claim by denying that your injury occurred at your job with Kroger. Simply put, Kroger will attempt to deny that they are responsible for your injury.
At this point, you have no choice, you will need to consider speaking with a work injury lawyer who can file your work injury lawsuit so that you can protect your rights.
Do Not Fall Victim to the Myths About Filing a Work Injury Lawsuit Against Kroger
After a work injury occurs, Kroger’s power team, which includes management, lawyers, doctors and even other employees, get to work on building a case against you. Make no mistake, TIME IS OF THE ESSENSE! The sooner you act to get legal advice, the better.
Along the way, you are going to hear things that are intended to keep you from taking action and protecting your rights. You’re going to hear things that lead you to believe that you don’t need a lawyer and that the company is going to “take care” of you! It’s you against the Kroger’s power team! You need to protect yourself and you need to know what you are up against.
Here are some very common myths that you’ve likely heard along the way in your Kroger work injury case!
MYTH 1: Kroger will find out that you are talking with a lawyer!
KROGER WILL NOT FIND OUT THAT YOU’VE CONSULTED A LAWYER UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO LET THEM KNOW. YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO CONSULT A LAWYER ABOUT YOUR WORK INJURY RIGHTS! DON’T BE TAUNTED INTO HANDLING YOUR CLAIM ALONE! REMEMBER, KROGER HAS ALREADY HIRED ITS LAWYERS!
MYTH 2: Kroger has the best lawyers, and they never lose!
THAT IS JUST NOT TRUE. ALTHOUGH KROGER’S LAWYERS ARE VERY QUALIFIED, WE KNOW THAT KROGER’S LAWYERS OFTEN RESOLVE CASES WITHOUT DISCLOSING IT TO THE PUBLIC. THIS IS HOW COMPANIES ARE ABLE TO CONTINUE TO USE THIS MYTH TO SCARE INJURED WORKERS. WHEN CASES ARE RESOLVED, THEY REQUIRE CONFIDENTIALITY SO THAT NO ONE FINDS OUT THAT THEY PAID A CLAIM! REMEMBER, YOU CAN HAVE A GREAT LAWYER TOO!
MYTH 3: Kroger will fire you immediately for talking to a lawyer!
THE TRUTH IS, ONCE YOU GET HURT, SOME COMPANIES START LOOKING FOR REASONS TO FIRE YOU OR MAKE YOU LEAVE! TEXAS IS AN AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATE BUT, ONCE YOU ARE HURT, THERE ARE SOME THINGS YOUR EMPLOYER NEEDS TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT WHEN DEALING WITH YOUR EMPLOYMENT. FOR THAT REASON, I ALWAYS SUGGEST THAT IT’S BETTER THAT YOUR EMPLOYER KNOWS THAT YOU ARE REPRESENTED THAN IF THEY BELIEVE YOU ARE DOING THIS ALONE AND WITHOUT A WORK INJURY LAWYER HELPING YOU ALONG! KEEPING YOUR JOB IS A SHORT-TERM CONCERN. WHEN YOU HAVE A SERIOUS INJURY, YOU NEED TO BE FOCUSED ON GETTIGN BACK TO WORK AND BEING ABLE TO PROVIDE FOR YOUR FAMILY IN THE FUTURE. WE CAN HELP WITH THIS!
MYTH 4: Kroger does not have Worker’s Compensation!
This is true, but deceptive. As mentioned above, Kroger is a Non-Subscriber and they do have work injury insurance. IT’S NO SURPRISE THAT THE COMPANY DOESN’T WANT YOU TO INVESTIGATE! ONCE YOU DISCOVER THAT THERE IS INSURANCE, YOU HAVE COVERAGE FOR YOUR WORK INJURY CLAIM! THIS STRATEGY IS JUST INTENDED TO KEEP YOU FROM EXPLORING YOUR RIGHTS! IF THE INSURANCE IS THERE, IT NEEDS TO DO WHAT IT’S SUPPOSED TO DO WHICH IS PROVIDE COVERAGE FOR YOUR WORK INJUY!
MYTH 5: Kroger will find a way to sue you for filing lawsuit against them!
YOU CAN’T SUE FOR CLAIMS THAT YOU DON’T HAVE! THIS IS A PRETTY PRIMITIVE TRICK! THE COMPANY IS TRYING TO TURN THE TABLES ON YOU AND MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE THE BAD GUY! THIS ONE HARDLY DESERVES ANY ATTENTION. DON’T LISTEN!
MYTH 6: If you sue Kroger, you will never be able to find another job with any other company!
IT’S TRUE THAT YOU MAY NEVER WORK FOR KROGER AGAIN BUT, FILING A CLAIM AGAINST A THEM FOR NEGLIGENTLY CAUSING WORK INJURIES WILL NOT KEEP YOU FROM FINDING JOB WITH ANOTHER COMPANY! THIS IS ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO TURN THE BLAME ON YOU!
MYTH 7: If Kroger pays your medical bills and lost wages, you do not need to sue them!
EMPLOYERS ARE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE THEIR EMPLOYEES WITH A WORKPLACE THAT IS SAFE AND IS FREE FROM HAZARDS. IF YOUR EMPLOYER FAILS TO MEET THEIR OBLIGATION AND YOU GET INJURED AS A RESULT, YOU MAY HAVE TO SUE THEM TO FORCE THEM TO PAY ALL THE DAMAGES THAT YOU’VE SUFFERED AS A RESULT. THAT INCLUDES MORE THAN JUST YOUR MEDICAL BILLS AND LOST WAGES. DON’T SETTLE FOR JUST MEDICAL BILLS AND LOST WAGES.
MYTH 8: You can only see the doctors that Kroger’s insurance sends you to!
THIS IS TRUE BUT DECEPTIVE! IF YOU GET INJURED WHILE WORKING AT KROGER, NO ONE CAN LIMIT YOUR RIGHTS TO SEE A DOCTOR OF YOUR CHOICE. THERE IS NO LAW THAT PROHIBITS AN INJURED EMPLOYYEE FROM SEEING THEIR OWN DOCTOR. WHAT YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND IS THAT IN ORDER FOR KROGER’S INSURANCE TO PAY FOR DOCTOR’S VISITS, YOU HAVE TO SEE THE DOCTORS THAT THEY SEND YOU TO. THIS IS HOW KROGER IS ABLE TO KEEP CONTROL OF WHAT YOU FIND OUT ABOUT YOUR INJURY.
MYTH 9: You’re old so all your injuries are pre-existing!
ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO CONVINCE YOU NOT TO SPEAK WITH A LAWYER. AS WITH OTHER MYTHS ABOVE, THIS ONE IS OFTEN USED BY A COMPANY’S MANAGEMENT TO CONVINCE YOU TO ACCEPT THAT YOUR INJURY DID NOT OCCUR AT WORK. DON’T BELIEVE IT!
MYTH 10: You’re responsible for causing your own injury so, you can’t sue Kroger!
WHY NOT BLAME YOU? IF YOU BELIEVE IT, YOU WILL LIKELY CONTINUE TO WORK WHILE YOU’RE INJURED AND NEVER COMPLAIN AGAIN! EMPLOYERS MUST PROVIDE A WORKPLACE THAT IS REASONABLY SAFE AND FREE OF RECOGNIZED HAZARDS! IF YOUR EMPLOYER HAS ANY CHANCE OF PROVING THAT YOU COULD HAVE BEEN AT FAULT, THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO PROVE THAT YOU WERE 100% AT FAULT IN ORDER TO KEEP YOU FROM WINNING! YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT IN NON-SUBCRIBER CASES, KROGER CANNOT ARGUE THAT YOU WERE PARTIALLY AT FAULT! TO WIN THIS ARGUMENT IN A NON-SUBCRIBER CASE, THE EMPLOYER WOULD HAVE TO PROVE THAT YOU WERE COMPLETLEY RESPONSBILE FOR CAUSING YOUR INJURY!
Take Action in Your Work Injury Case
Understanding how Kroger work injury claims work is crucial for injured employees. As an injured worker, you need to be able to investigate the process so that you can ask questions along the way. When you reach the point that you feel that you need to discuss your case with a work injury lawyer, you will also be in a better position to explain where you are in the process and what how Kroger has handled your claim.