As is the case in other states, Texas has a workers’ compensation system.
The idea behind the system is for employees to be able to get medical care and financial support while they are out of work because of a job-related illness or injury.
The system is supposed to be efficient since employers pay benefits without regard to who is responsible for the illness or injury.
The tradeoff is that, if an employer pays these benefits, the injured worker usually may not turn around and sue their employer.
Texas employers may choose not to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, but most do opt to pay these benefits in exchange for protection from lawsuits.
This tradeoff can present a problem for a victim and their family since workers’ compensation benefits are limited. They do not pay for every dime a person loses because of their injury.
Importantly, these benefits do not account for the non-economic costs of suffering an injury like emotional distress or pain and suffering.
What are my other legal options after a job-related accident?
If a Dallas-area worker gets hurt on the job, they should explore whether they can obtain workers’ compensation benefits and, if so, how much compensation they can collect.
However, Tarrant County workers may find that workers’ compensation alone is not enough for them to pay for their care and maintain their standard of living.
In these situations, workers should explore the other legal options available to them.
While they may not be able to sue their employer for additional compensation, they could have a legal claim against anyone else who is responsible for their accident.
To give just one very common example, if someone while driving on the job gets injured by a negligent motorist, the victim may sue the negligent motorist even if they are also eligible for workers’ compensation.
Texans who are injured on the job may have several legal options depending on the circumstances of their case. They should explore these options carefully so that they and their families can get the compensation they need and deserve.