Recently in Texas and other states there has been a new trend emerging where employers are choosing to "opt out" of the traditional Worker's Compensation benefit scheme. By opting out of the Worker's Compensation scheme companies are self-insuring themselves and foregoing protections that Worker's Compensation provides to the company when an employee is injured on the job. However, what many feel the companies are betting on is that injured workers will not retain the services of an attorney, and will rely on their employer to provide them the medical care and benefits they need and deserve. This reliance can lead to issues of proper coverage and adequate benefits to the injured worker.
Many Texas workers have identified unsafe workplace conditions that they fear could lead to injury or death on the job. If you discover such potentially hazardous conditions, you need to notify someone -- but whom?
If you are a temporary worker, you may not realize that workers' compensation laws do not always apply to your individual situation. In fact, a growing number of companies that are employing temporary workers -- in office settings and even manufacturing plants -- are being cited by Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials. Temporary workers face heightened risk for on-the-job injury for a variety of reasons; paramount among those: The fact that temp workers generally are not properly trained.
In 49 states, most or all employers are required to participate in a workers' compensation program to provide benefits to employees injured on the job. In Texas alone, it is entirely up to the employer whether to provide workers' compensation benefits to employees. Employers who chose not to are called "nonsubscribers." So, if you are injured on the job, what is the difference between having an employer with workers' compensation and having an employer who is a "nonsubscriber"?
Thirteen workplace-related deaths occur across the United States every day. In Texas most employers are required to obtain workers compensation insurance in order to have some protection for their employees in the event of a workplace injury or death. This insurance sets limits on the amount of damages the family of a loved one can recover after a workplace death or for the employee in the event of a serious work-related injury. When a serious injury or death occurs while on the job, family members should find out if a third party is responsible for the incident.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recently been cracking down on U.S. construction sites for health and safety violations. When a worker is injured, an OSHA citation may seem like a justified response. However, this citation may result in the injured worker getting less compensation for his or her injuries in civil cases. The lawyers of Abraham Watkins have the experience and expertise to reverse this effect.
For almost 25 years, the law protected injured workers by allowing them to pursue an action against workers' compensation insurance carriers when they act in "bad faith" during the handling of workers' compensation claims. That protection no longer exists for those who are most vulnerable: workers whose ability to earn a living has been interrupted by an occupational injury.