Texas does not require private employers to carry workers’ compensation coverage. Companies that opt into the insurance system are called subscribers, and those that opt out are called non-subscribers. When employees accept a position at a company that does not carry this coverage, they need to know what Texas’ non-subscriber laws are and what happens if they get hurt on the job.
If you’re unsure of what your employer’s non-subscriber status means for your workplace accident, consult a Texas work injury attorney as soon as possible. They can explain how state laws apply to your situation, along with your financial recovery options.
Subscribers and Non-Subscribers Have the Same Duties Under Texas Law
Per the Texas Occupational Safety and Health Act (TOSHA), subscribers and non-subscribers must provide all employees with a safe, hazard-free workplace. They are also supposed to:
- Ensure all workers receive safety training and adhere to safe work practices
- Work to prevent future workplace accidents and injuries
- Promptly investigate workplace accidents and injuries when they happen
Texas employers also have certain duties under Texas Labor Code § 411.103, which include putting safeguards in place to protect workers’ safety.
Subscriber companies have workers’ compensation coverage to address workplace accidents; non-subscriber companies don’t. If they don’t have other benefits or insurance coverage, what options do employees have to recover compensation for a workplace injury?
We have offices in Houston, Corpus Christi, and Victoria; and will travel to any corner of Texas if we are capable of preventing an injustice.
If Your Employer Is a Non-Subscriber, You Might Be Able to File a Lawsuit
Under a workers’ compensation system, sick and injured employees can file a claim with their employer’s insurer to cover injury-related medical expenses and partial wages regardless of who caused the accident. Employees cannot sue their employers for damages in return for these benefits.
Companies opting out of workers’ compensation lose these protections and open themselves to employee lawsuits. If you got hurt on the job and your employer is a non-subscriber, you can sue for damages if you believe its negligence caused your work-related injury or illness.
A work injury lawyer can advise you on whether you can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Diminished earning ability for lasting or permanent injuries
- Property damage
- Other accident-related expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death damages (if a loved one suffered fatal injuries)
An attorney can identify all damages you can demand from your employer. If a third party is responsible for your injuries, you might be able to sue them for damages as well. You must also show how the third party’s actions demonstrated negligence.
Proving a Non-Subscriber Employer’s Negligence Key in Personal Injury Lawsuits
The burden of proof is on the injured worker to prove how their non-subscriber employer was negligent. They must show:
- Their employer owed them a duty of care to work in a hazard-free environment.
- The employer’s actions or inactions breached their duty of care.
- The employer’s breach directly caused an accident that injured the employee.
- As a result of the accident, the employer owes the injured worker compensatory damages.
If you or a loved one wants to take legal action against a non-subscriber employer, a work injury attorney can help you build your case. They can review the workplace injury and accident, gathering and reviewing evidence that shows what happened and how it directly caused your injuries and related damages.
Evidence could include:
- Medical bills
- Employment records
- Incident reports or police reports
- Photos and/or video footage
- Doctor’s assessments
- Witness testimony
- Expert witness statements (e.g., medical experts, mental health professionals, economic experts)
Representing the injured in all areas of Texas that extends back over 40 years
Other Things to Know If Your Texas Employer doesn’t Have Workers’ Compensation
If you work for a company that does not have workers’ compensation coverage, it must still perform certain duties. Texas requires the following:
Non-Subscribers Must Report Their Non-Workers’ Compensation Status Yearly
Per the Texas Department of Insurance, businesses not participating in the state-regulated insurance system must notify the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) of its status. Non-subscribers have until April 30 of every year to submit DWC Form-005, Employer Notice of No Coverage or Termination of Coverage.
Non-Subscribers Must Tell New Hires It Doesn’t Carry Workers’ Compensation
If you are a new hire, your employer must give you written notice that it does not carry workers’ compensation coverage. You should keep a copy of this notice. The company must keep a copy of it on file, too. Employers who do not provide notice about their non-coverage status to new employees risk facing administrative violations.
Non-Subscribing Employers Must Post a Notice About Non-Coverage
Businesses opting out of workers’ compensation must post a written notice about their non-subscriber status. The notice must appear in a place where everyone can view it regularly. It also must appear in multiple languages, including English and Spanish.
Non-Subscribers Must Report Work-Related Incidents Monthly
Under Texas law, non-subscribing employers must report the following to the DWC monthly if it has five or more employees (although certain employees are exempt from this category, such as domestic workers and farmworkers):
- All on-the-job injuries that make an employee miss more than one day of work.
- All occupational illnesses that occur at the worksite.
- All fatalities that occur at the worksite.
Non-subscribers must complete DWC Form-007 (the Non-Covered Employer’s Report of Occupational Injury or Illness) by the seventh day of each month.
You need a skilled advocate to protect your legal rights and present your claim in such a way as to maximize your recovery.
Call Carrigan & Anderson, PLLC for Guidance After a Work Injury – We Can Help
Employees who work at non-subscriber companies deserve the money they need to recover from an on-the-job injury or illness. Texas’ non-subscriber laws require businesses without workers’ compensation to follow certain rules, and the state’s labor laws require all employers to provide a safe working environment.
Still, accidents happen on the job. Our Texas work injury lawyers are ready to help you. Call us today to get started. We can review the accident and advise you of your legal options. We can also explain how the non-subscriber laws in Texas apply to your situation and other things you, the employee, need to know.
At Carrigan & Anderson, PLLC we can talk to you about your options and rights.