Workplace Injuries in Texas
The Kishinevsky Law Firm is a personal injury law firm in the greater Houston area. If you have suffered an injury at work due to the fault of your employer, contact us today for a free consultation with a Houston work injury attorney.Can I Sue My Employer for a Work Injury in Texas?
The answer to this question depends on whether your employer was a subscriber to Texas workers compensation insurance at the time of your injury.
Employers in Texas have the option to subscribe to Texas workers compensation insurance but are not required to do so and can choose not to subscribe. This choice by the employer will determine what type relief is available to someone injured on the job.
If the employer was a subscriber to Texas workers compensation insurance at the time of the work accident, an injured employee generally cannot bring a lawsuit against the employer for negligence. Texas Labor Code § 408.001(a); Port Elevator-Brownsville, L.L.C. v. Casados, 358 SW 3d 238, 240 (Tex. 2012); Entergy Gulf States, Inc. v. Summers, 282 SW 3d 433, 436 (Tex. 2009); Garza v. Excel Logistics, Inc., 161 SW 3d 473, 475 (Tex. 2005). This means that for most employees injured on the job, if their employer had workers compensation insurance, their exclusive right to recover would be through the workers compensations system.
If an employee dies as a result of gross negligence or an intentional act or omission by their employer, the Workers’ Compensation Act allows the deceased employee’s surviving spouse or heirs to file a lawsuit for exemplary damages against the employer. Texas Labor Code § 408.001(b)
If the employer is not a subscriber to workers compensation insurance, an employee injured on the job due to the fault of their employer can file a lawsuit against their employer to be compensated for their damages. In these types of lawsuits, the law does not allow the employer to assert certain legal defenses in defending the claim. These include contributory negligence, assumption of risk, the negligence of a fellow employee, and preinjury waiver of liability. Texas Labor Code § 406.033(a).
The types of damages which would potentially be recoverable in this type of lawsuit would include the following:
- Past and future physical pain
- Past and future mental anguish
- Past and future disfigurement
- Past and future physical impairment
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future loss of earning capacity
- Loss of consortiun
- Loss of Services
If you were injured at work due to your employer’s fault, contact us for a free consultation with a Houston work accident attorney to see how we may be able to help you.