Getting hurt on the job might mean significant financial hardship for a worker and for their close family members. In some cases, a work injury is the result of a minor mistake by an injured worker or someone else on their team. Other times, workers feel very strongly that their employer is to blame for their injuries.
Negligence related to security practices, training, facility maintenance or human resources could directly cause someone to get hurt on the job. Sometimes, there are even clear violations of safety regulations occurring at a business. Can a worker who gets hurt because of bad behavior or negligence on the part of an employer take the matter to civil court?
No, Texas does not permit most work injury lawsuits
In all but the rarest of cases involving an employer that was not only seriously unsafe but also in violation of workers’ compensation coverage rules, Texas workers typically will not be able to pursue a lawsuit against the company that employs them. Even in scenarios involving gross negligence, permanent injuries or worker fatalities, lawsuits are typically not a viable option after a workplace incident.
The law about workers’ compensation effectively absolves employers of financial liability even when they do things that directly contribute to an employee getting hurt on the job. Workers’ compensation is therefore typically the only viable means of securing compensation for a worker hurt on the job in Texas.
Workers’ compensation can be very helpful. Injured employees who successfully apply for workers’ compensation benefits can receive full medical coverage that will cover all of their necessary treatment costs and also partial indemnity benefits that will replace a portion of their lost income. Those benefits drastically reduce the financial strain generated by someone’s work injury. The trade-off to having such coverage available is that workers give up the right to take legal action against employers in Texas.
What if benefits aren’t enough?
Sometimes, workers who were the primary wage earner for their families and who now have functional limitations because of a job-acquired medical condition need more support than they can get through disability coverage.
There may sometimes be grounds to pursue third-party claims after job-related injuries. Scenarios that may lead to third-party claims include defective tools and criminal activity that lead to workers getting hurt on the job. Such third-party injury claims can help close the gap between the true financial impact of someone’s job-related health concerns and the limited coverage available through workers’ compensation.
Seeking legal guidance to learn more about the rules that apply after a serious workplace injury can benefit injured who are workers concerned about their careers and finances.