April 23, 2019

Blog Thumbnail: Houston Injury & Accidents

Many Houston workers face the risk of injury or death every day, from working at significant heights. Employers control access and support structures, such as ladders and scaffolds.

 Some companies use worn out, defective equipment, and violate safety rules. You may be expected to perform 100% of your job responsibilities under stressful and unsafe conditions. This is wrong ! 

Unsafe work conditions may violate OSHA safety rules, but many employers disregard the rules because they think they will never get caught. They use improper ladders. They fail to use scaffolds when they are required. They fail to use safety fails, so there are exposed ledges. They do not provide fall protection or other personal protective equipment (PPE), or tell you not to use it so you will work faster! Do you know why companies skimp on safety? To save money! If a company puts profits ahead of human life, do you trust that company to watch out for your best interests if you are injured? NO!

It only takes a second to fall, and if you survive that fall, the injuries may affect your ability to work and support your family for the rest of your life. The medical care you receive may make the difference. Do you trust your employer to take care of you, if your employer was responsible for your injuries? NO!

You should LEARN ABOUT YOUR RIGHTS. You have legal rights, and you should learn about your rights from an experienced work injury lawyer. Even if your employer was paying you as an “independent contractor,” you have a right to a safe workplace.

Texas Worker’s Compensation Law

Texas employers are not required to have worker’s compensation insurance coverage. Many companies carry Official Texas Worker’s Compensation Insurance. Under this system, you are entitled to pursue a claim for a limited amount of wage replacement benefits, as well as whatever medical treatment that is related to your injury, and all your benefits, including your medical treatment, is under the supervision of the Texas Department of Insurance.

However, many employers – particularly many “Big Box Stores” and construction companies – have chosen to either have no coverage, or have an alternative form of employee injury compensation. They may even call it “worker’s comp” to attempt to confuse you. But DON’T BE CONFUSED. It is not Official Texas Worker’s Compensation Insurance. Employers who do not have Official Texas Worker’s Compensation Insurance are called “Nonsubscribers.” And there are MAJOR DIFFERENCES, including:

Nonsubscribers are not subject to Texas Department of Insurance regulation, so they can withhold your medical care, and you cannot ask a state agency to force them to provide you with medical care.
Many nonsubscriber medical plans are limited to two years. After that, you have no coverage for treatment, regardless of how seriously you are injured.
If a nonsubscriber is providing your medical care, your employer is often in charge of your medical care, and if your employer decides to terminate your care, you must appeal that decision to your employer.
Nonsubscribers cannot be required to pay you weekly wage replacement benefits, and if they are providing those benefits to you, they can terminate them for no reason, and your remedy is usually to appeal to the employer.

Those are some of the disadvantages of having a Nonsubscriber employer. However, there are some advantages to having a nonsubscriber employer:

Nonsubscribers can be sued for all your damages, including actual lost wages, medical treatment in the past and future, and pain and suffering, if the negligence of your employer or one of your coworkers was a cause of your injury.
Nonsubscribers can be made to pay you all your damages in court or in arbitration, with no limit on your recovery of damages (provided the nonsubscriber is insured or has sufficient assets).

It is CRITICAL that you IDENTIFY if your employer has Official Texas Worker’s Compensation Insurance, or is a Nonsubscriber.

At Sandoval & Waldman, we can help you by first, telling you what kind of case you have. We look up your employer and date of injury, and tell you if your employer has Official Texas Worker’s Compensation Insurance, or is a Nonsubscriber.

Then we evaluate the facts surrounding your fall or other on-the-job injury, to advise you if you have a case.

We are experienced work injury lawyers.

We are only interested in helping you.

And we are only paid if you make a recovery.

Remember, if you suffered an injury at work, don’t go it alone. You have rights and we can help you protect them. Call Sandoval & Waldman at {{cta(‘6fd60e8c-ecfe-4516-b74d-d539a9228248’)}}for your free consultation today.

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