Why Should an Injured Worker Be Worried in Texas?
Because there is a pattern of behavior followed by Texas Non-Subscriber companies and their insurance carriers that does not favor the injured Texan! At Sandoval Law Firm, PLLC, we handle nonsubscriber work injury cases in large quantities all over the State of Texas. Because of this, we have been able to study the practices of non-subscriber employers and we have discovered that there are some things that are certain to happen immediately following an injury with a non-subscriber employer, neither of which are intended to benefit or “help” the injured Texan get better. In other words, injured Texans get the short end of the stick in Texas Subscriber cases if they don’t take action. So what are non-subscribers all about?
Why have Companies Elected to Go Outside of Texas Workers’ Compensation Program?
If you just think about it, when a company decides to get private insurance outside of the Texas Workers’ compensation program, they also loose the protections they have under Texas Workers’ Compensation (Texas non-subscriber cases are not your typical workers’ compensation case). After choosing non-subscriber status, that company has now opened themselves up to being sued. If a company chooses to have Texas Worker’s compensation, they are protected against lawsuits. So why give up that protection?
Non-Subscriber Companies: Playing the Numbers!
In traditional Texas Workers’ Compensation cases, an employer’s insurance is going to be required to pay medical and wage benefits on 100% of the injuries that occur while employees are in the course and scope of their employment with their employer. In other words, if you get hurt while you are performing your job duties for your employer (“i.e. you’re working”) and your injuries can be shown to have resulted from the incident, it doesn’t matter whether or not the company was negligent and caused your injury. This means that even if an employee was injured while working but it was really just an accident with no one at fault, the insurance would still have to pay. So, generally you would be entitled to medical and wage benefits under workers’ compensation but, you can’t sue your employer if you end up with some lingering, long-term injury. That’s the trade-off.
If you get injured and your employer is a Texas Non-Subscriber Employer (see list of common non-subscriber companies), the company can now be sued when a work injury occurs but, you can only sue your employer if you can prove that the injury occurred as a result of your employer failing to provide you with a safe workplace. You have to establish that the injury occurred because of your employer’s NEGLIGENCE. Therefore, even though you can now sue your employer if they are a non-subscriber, your case doesn’t automatically qualify as a case where you can file a lawsuit. So now, a Texas non-subscriber company and their insurance have the ability to reject injuries that occur when no one is at fault and, THE INJURED TEXAN CAN’T DO ANYTING ABOUT IT! So, Texas Non-Subscribers are simply playing the numbers to reduce the amount of money that is paid on work injury claims on a yearly basis. So, if there’s no negligence, there’s no way to force an employer to pay an injury claim in the non-subscriber setting.
Reducing the Amount of Money Paid on Injury Claims
Even if you are able to support a negligence claim against your employer, understanding the purpose of the non-subscriber system will allow you to understand why, following an injury, you seem to be getting nowhere with medical treatment and benefits. From the employer’s and insurance company’s perspective, the purpose of the non-subscriber program is to LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THEY PAY OUT ON INJURY CLAIMS AND TO PROTECT THE COMPANY FROM LIABILITY!
First, the company is obviously going to do everything possible to make it seem like they did nothing wrong, and you were the only one responsible for the work incident that caused your injuries. They try to convince you that you don’t need to go see a lawyer. (See Responses to the 10 myths in Work Injury Cases) Then and almost immediately after the accident, the insurance company steps in and does the rest.
- Reject Claims that are not reported or reported on time by the injured employee;
- Require the injured employee to sign a report that the employee didn’t complete;
- Discredit the employee by having them take a urine test;
- Discredit the employee by having the injured employee give a recorded statement;
- Send to the injured employee to an internal clinic that will purposedly take poor record of the reported incident and all the resulting injuries;
- Send the injured employee to an external clinic with close ties to the insurance company and one that is willing do the following for them:
- Do a poor job taking a history of the incident and the resulting injuries;
- Treat only one injury;
- Never take you off of work because of your injury;
- Take for ever to order a diagnostic test like an MRI;
- Only provide physical therapy despite how serious the injury is;
- Never make a referral to a specialist;
- Release the injured employee with only a few restrictions so they have to go back to work even though they are injured
- Send the injured worker or the injured worker’s medical records to a doctor that reviews everything and gives an expert opinion that you were not hurt as result of the incident involved;
- REJECT YOUR CLAIM;
- Hire lawyers to defend your lawsuit against the Texas Sub-subscriber Employer.
- Force Arbitration as a forum for the trial of your case;
- Force you to file your case in Arbitration in less time that what is allowed by state law (The Texas Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury cases is 2-years).
If either of these strategies convinces an injured worker that there is simply no hope in their case and therefore, they should just accept that they should work with their injury, the goals of the non-subscriber program would have worked in favor of the company and the insurance company.
In Texas Non-Subscriber Cases, You Can’t Sit on Your Rights!
Understanding that once you have had a work accident, the company and its insurance company shifts into high gear to prepare a defense in the case, then it will be clear to you that the longer you wait to speak up for yourself and take legal action, the more difficult your case could be getting. When you wait, you lose and that’s another strategy the insurance company uses to convince you to stay away from lawyers like us. They try to convince you that they are going to approve your treatment and that they are there for you. The only one there for your is yourself. And until your take action to inquire about your rights, you are facing very knowledgeable, skilled and experienced opponents. Don’t go at it Alone!
Once you’ve suffered a work accident working for a non-subscriber employer, there is no doubt that your life is never going to be the same. At Sandoval Law Firm, PLLC,
- We make them pay. We will make sure that those responsible for causing our client’s injuries pay for all the resulting harms and losses.
- We listen. We make sure that we understand the full impact that the work injury case has had on our client and their family.
- We set Expectations. We focus on listening to our client’s needs to make sure we that they are being addressed.
- We are available to our clients. We work very hard on understanding our clients in these times of struggle and make every effort to be a firm post to lean on but, we are also available to provide verbal support to our clients.
An attorney-client relationship is built on trust and confidence and we take this very seriously. We want our clients to know that we are compassionate but, we will bring a fight to the those responsible for causing hurt and pain to our clients.
If you’ve been injured at work accident (non-subscriber), do your research! We’re here to help injured Texans with their personal injury case. Call and speak directly with me, Texas Non-Subscriber Injury Attorney Hector L. Sandoval at (346) 347-7777 or visit us on the web at https://sandovalpllc.com/ to set up a free personal injury phone, virtual or in-person consultation!