Houston Non-Subscriber Lawyer

An estimated 2.25 million Texans work for non-subscribing employers, but many of them don’t know their rights and don’t know what to do if they have been injured at work. When workers in Houston are injured on the job and are not covered by workers’ compensation, they can struggle to get their claims paid and get the fair treatment they deserve.

Aaron Allison is a Houston non-subscriber lawyer who fights for the rights of injured workers and will help you recover in case of a non-subscriber injury.

What Does ‘Non-Subscriber’ Mean for Houston Employees?

In the state of Texas, private employers are not required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp pays for the cost of medical care, lost wages, and other damages for injured workers and provides many legal protections to the employer who carries it. Texas employers who do not have workers’ compensation insurance are called “non-subscribers.”

Non-subscribing employers may be self-insured, and pay for the cost of worker injuries and damages from their own company assets, handing their own claims internally. Or they may carry a third-party insurance that offers different benefit packages to injured workers.

If a non-subscribing employer denies your claim, provides insufficient care or compensation, or leaves you with permanent injuries and disability, you may need to file a lawsuit in order to recover everything you deserve. It is important to speak with an experienced Houston personal injury lawyer in order to understand your rights.

What Separates Non-Subscriber Work Injuries from the Rest?

For employees, workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that provides coverage when they are injured in the workplace. However, for employers, workers’ compensation insurance provides a broad range of protection from legal risk. In order to encourage employers to carry workers’ compensation, the legal system gives subscribing companies exemptions from certain liabilities and prevents injured employees from suing the company or claiming certain types of damages.

When an employee has a non-subscribing work injury, there are several factors that make it different from workers’ comp. The biggest differences are:

Non-Subscribers are Not Protected from Lawsuits

Workers’ compensation prevents injured employees from suing their employer. A non-subscriber does not have those protections, and an injured employee may file a personal injury lawsuit. In the case of a fatality, the surviving family members and loved ones may file a claim for wrongful death.

Non-Subscriber Personal Injury Lawsuits Require Proof of Negligence

Unlike in a workers’ compensation claim, employees who file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer must prove negligence. An employer has a legal duty to provide a safe workplace and not jeopardize the health of employees. If the injury occurred as a result of the employer’s failure to properly train employees, provide needed safety equipment, or assign tasks outside of the employee’s job description, and the employee can prove it, the employer can be held liable.

Non-Subscribers May be Held Liable for Non-Economic and Additional Damages

Employers who carry workers’ compensation insurance are not liable for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. A non-subscribing company may be sued for damages like pain and suffering and may also be held liable for gross negligence or punitive damages.

Non-Subscribers May Not Use Several Common Negligence Defenses

In Texas, the law specifically prohibits non-subscribing employers from using some of the most common defenses in a negligence case. Non-subscribing employers are not allowed to claim:

  • Contributory Negligence Defense. In contributory negligence, the defendant claims that the other party partially contributed to their own damages through their own actions. For example, if an employee was injured in a construction accident, the company may not claim that they contributed to their own injury by walking under a scaffold.
  • Assumed Risk Defense. In an assumed risk defense, the defendant claims that the other party contributed to their own injury by knowingly taking a risky action. For example, they cannot claim that an employee working on a ladder assumes the risk of a fall.
  • Liability of Another Employee Defense. Importantly, a non-subscribing employer cannot shift liability for an accident to another employee or coworker. For example, a company cannot claim that the accident was really the fault of the employee’s coworker or supervisor, and they should be held liable rather than the company itself.

In order to file a lawsuit against a non-subscribing employer, the injured employee must not have deliberately caused their own accident or have an accident as a result of intoxication or other reckless behavior in the workplace. If the employee was truly injured as a result of the employer’s negligence, the law favors their lawsuit, making it easier to prove, easier to win, and easier to recover more damages.

When to File a Houston Non-Subscriber Claim

If you or a loved one have been injured at work and have a non-subscribing employer, you may be struggling to get your claim processed quickly and correctly. You may find that your employer is more interested in reducing costs and limiting their liability than in getting you the care you deserve.

You should speak to a Houston non-subscriber lawyer if:

  • Your employer recommends you delay medical care. If you feel you need to visit an emergency room or urgent care center, use an ambulance, or receive other immediate care, do not let a representative of your employer convince you to wait for treatment.
  • Your employer requires you to see a specific doctor or care provider. If you are not receiving adequate care from the recommended provider, you are free to seek better treatment elsewhere.
  • Your employer encourages you to ignore medical advice. If your employer encourages you to return to work or engage in work activities that your doctor has restricted, do not engage in those activities.
  • Your employer denies your claim. If your employer is denying you adequate compensation because they believe your injury is not severe or they believe you were injured prior to the incident, you should contact a lawyer.
  • Your employer claims that you waived your rights. An employer may claim that your employment contract or insurance policy requires you to follow their procedures, use arbitration or mediation, or that you have waived your right to sue. Under Texas law, you cannot waive your right to sue prior to an accident or injury – you can only waive those rights after an incident has occurred. Never sign a waiver or settlement agreement without consulting with a lawyer.

It is perfectly normal for an employer to want injured workers to complete forms and paperwork, take a drug test, and comply with certain procedures, but these procedures should never interfere with you receiving the fast, quality medical care you need after an injury. If you are getting poor care, unresponsive service, or unwanted pressure from your job, contact an attorney to help you fight for your rights.

What to Expect from Your Claim

When filing a non-subscriber claim, you should always work closely with a trusted Houston non-subscriber lawyer, who will guide you through the process. While every case is different, here is an overview of what to expect.

Firstly, your lawyer will work with you to conduct an investigation into the cause of the injury. You will need to explain exactly what happened and provide any information about witnesses or evidence that can help your case. It will be important to understand how the injury or incident is related to your specific job duties and instructions and whether you were acting within the scope of your assigned work at the time.

You will also need to gather evidence related to your damages, including lost wages, medical expenses, medications, treatments, and other effects of the injury. Remember that your loved ones may also be impacted by the accident and may have had to miss work or incur other costs in order to support your recovery. It will be important to have written records, receipts, and other documents to substantiate your claim.

You may receive a settlement offer from your employer, their attorneys, or their insurance company. Never allow anyone to pressure you into accepting a quick settlement, and never sign these documents before reviewing them carefully with your lawyer. If you and your attorney cannot negotiate a reasonable settlement with your employer, you may need to take your case to court. Make sure you choose a Houston non-subscriber lawyer with real-world courtroom experience who is prepared to fight for your case in front of a judge and jury.

Suffering From a Non-Subscriber Injury in Houston? We Can Help

Aaron Allison continues the family tradition of fighting for the rights of injured workers and their families. The law firm proudly upholds the rights of Houston residents who have been injured through no fault of their own and is one of the few Texas law firms that handles workers’ compensation and other difficult cases. If you have been injured at work, especially if your employer is a non-subscriber who is denying your case, contact us today for a free consultation. Call 512-474-8346 to get the compensation you deserve.

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What Others Say About Aaron Allison

“I looked at several attorney’s for my husband’s case, and Aaron looks like he was the best one. He was the best Worker’s Comp attorney in our area of Texas. So, we called and made an appointment for an initial visit. Once we talked to him we got that he knows his job. Plus he’s very nice and very personable. We could tell that right away.”

— Mrs. Mario Caballero, Austin, Texas

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