Injured At Work? Be Careful What You Sign.
Texas is one of the few states where employers are not required to provide employees with worker’s compensation insurance. This is a bit of a gamble for employers because failing to do so allows injured workers to sue their employers. (Employers that do provide worker’s compensation cannot be sued by injured employees). One way employers try to reduce this risk is by fooling their employees into believing they actually provide worker’s compensation benefits. In short, this works as follows: a company buys an insurance policy for injured worker’s that does not meet worker’s compensation requirements, the company uses forms that make injured employees think the insurance policy is actually an official worker’s compensation policy, and employees then receive less benefits than they are entitled to while also forgoing their right to file a lawsuit against their employer. This is a common game we say all the time.
Another game we see is companies getting employees to sign away their rights to file a lawsuit without even knowing. One such company is Tyson. There is an exception to the worker’s compensation statute that works as follows: a worker is injured, the company sends the worker to a “Doctor” that the company contracts with, the company then asks the employee to sign a form to keep receiving health care paid for by the employer. What the employee does not understand is that by signing that form, they may have waived their rights to file a lawsuit against their employer, even if they do not get the healthcare they were promised. Fortunately, sometimes the employer fails to follow the strict requirements of this exception, but relying on a mistake is not the best way to protect your rights.
How To Protect Your Rights Following A Workplace Injury.
There are two easy steps workers can take to avoid these traps. You can click on the following link to verify if your employer actually has workers compensation insurance: https://www.tdi.texas.gov/wc/employer/coverage.html. Or, you can take advantage of your free consultation with one of our experienced workplace injury attorneys before you sign any documents that may limit your rights. But whatever you do, take the steps necessary to protect your rights.
With offices in Dallas, Austin, and Terrell, our work injury attorneys are ready to help Texans injured on the job. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you.