A Non-Subscriber Lawyer’s Perspective on Why it’s Urgent to Call a Lawyer!
Houston Work Injury Lawyer-Hector L. Sandoval
Sandoval Law Firm, PLLC
I often get a call from a injured worker asking me the following question:
I Just got Hurt at Work and My Employer Is Asking Me to Sign Some Papers, what should I do?
In short, I tell them…. Don’t sign it!
What is a Waiver?
A WAIVER IS A RELINQUISHMENT OF YOUR RIGHTS. In other words, if you sign that document, you’re giving up your rights to file a claim against your employer for your injuries. Your employer can present you with a written waiver either before you’re injured or even after you are injured. Generally, the law prohibits pre-injury waiver of rights but, recent decisions have made it less clear. Texas law supports the “Freedom of Contract” which works against an employee who unknowingly signs an agreement waiving rights before he even begins to work for his employer. This is a dangerous situation for an injured worker.
Injured at Work! Get Help Now!
If you’ve been injured working for a Texas Non-Subscriber, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you don’t need to seek legal advice until your treatment or benefits are denied. TIME IS THE ENEMY. Some employers have agreements that they ask employees to sign when they first being to work that are intended to limit the amount of time that you have to file a lawsuit against them for an injury. Currently, the law is not clear on whether this type of agreement is enforceable. For the reason, as an injured employee, the risk is not worth it. If you wait, you are placing your future and your family’s future at a high risk.
If you get injured on the job, there is no time to waste:
- Contact a Texas Work Injury (One that represents employees that work for Texas Non-Subscribers) Lawyer to discuss your rights! The lawyer will need to get work fast!
- Ask the Human Resources Department at your employer for a copy of you Benefit Plan!
- Do not sign any documents that you do not understand!
- Do not assume that your employer has your best interests in mind;
- Do not listen to unqualified advice! Family and friends don’t always know what’s best!
- Do not WAIT to investigate your rights!
- Call a Non-Subscriber injury lawyer, Talk to Non-Subscriber injury lawyer, Visit a Non-Subscriber injury lawyer’s office!
Under the Texas Labor Code, Non-Subscriber Employers are able to seek a waiver after an employee gets injured. There are some requirements that the employer has to meet in order to have a legal waiver but, once you agree to sign the waiver, you’ve placed the decision of whether that waiver is legal in the hands of an arbitrator or judge. This is a risk that I would recommend you do not take!
What can you do if your Employer is asking you to sign a Waiver?
Don’t sign it. If you don’t understand the document, get a lawyer that can help you understand what the document means. Don’t wait to speak with a lawyer. Too many injured workers wait to speak with an attorney because they think that the company will find out and they will lose their benefits. Remember, the company and the insurance company are working together for their benefit and not yours. Their goal is to minimize what is paid on your claim. You need to act quick and you need to know the truth as fast as possible.
WHERE WILL I FIND THE WAIVER OR AGREEMENT?
Pre-Injury Waiver- Arbitration Agreement
You should be aware of if you work for a Texas Non-subscriber is that these companies typically require employees, at the time of hiring, to sign an arbitration agreement where the employee agrees that certain work disputes that may come up during employment, such as a work injury, must be submitted to ARBITRATION. This means that the employee is waiving the right to file a personal injury lawsuit in State or Federal Court. Generally, the arbitration agreements will mirror Texas law when it comes to how much time you have to file the work injury claim in arbitration. This means that you could have 2- years to file your lawsuit against your employer. In more recent years, Texas Non-Subscribers have created a new obstacle for injured workers. These companies are now requiring employees to sign arbitration agreements that changes the statute of limitations on the work injury claim from 2 years to 1-year or less! By signing this type of arbitration agreement, before you are even injured, you are signing away a year or more of your rights to file a lawsuit. Most employees don’t even remember that they have signed an Arbitration agreement when they were hired. This is why it is important to seek legal advice early and to get help so your Texas Work Injury lawyer can get a copy of the applicable Arbitration agreement as soon as possible.
Post-Injury-Waiver or Release
If you get injured on the job, a person from the company will come to you and ask you sign a paper so that you can get treatment. This is likely a release of liability or a waiver of rights. Read it carefully but, do not sign it until you speak with a lawyer. The company is promising treatment that they and the insurance company will make decisions on. Therefore, what chance of getting better can you expect? Not much! Do not think that the company cares about whether you ever get healthy again! They are not in the business of getting injured employees healthy again. They are in the business of making money and not spending it!
If you’ve been injured on the job and don’t know if you’ve signed a pre-injury or, you are being asked to sign a post-injury waiving your rights, call Houston Work Injury Attorney Hector L. Sandoval and get the representation that you deserve! Sandoval Law Firm, PLLC helps injured workers. Call (346) 347-7777 for a free and informative consultation! Visit us at https://sandovalpllc.com.