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October 9th, 2023

Informing Your Texas Employer of a Workplace Injury

Enduring a workplace injury in Texas can be an overwhelming experience both physically and emotionally. While workers’ compensation claims are a common avenue for seeking benefits after a work-related injury, it is important to understand some laws that are unique to this state. Texas does not mandate that all employers carry workers’ compensation insurance. Instead, many businesses in the state are “non-subscribers,” which means they do not offer workers’ comp benefits to their employees. In cases involving non-subscribers, injured workers have the option to sue their employers directly for job-related injuries. We will delve into the specifics of notifying an employer of a workplace injury in Texas.

Understanding Workers’ Compensation in Texas

Workers’ compensation is a state-regulated insurance program designed to offer medical and income benefits to workers who experience work-related injuries or illnesses, regardless of fault. This coverage encompasses various scenarios, including occupational illnesses and traumatic injuries. Note that workers’ compensation benefits apply only to injuries sustained within the workplace.

In Texas, private employers are not mandated to carry workers’ compensation insurance, but specific obligations exist for those who do. Employers with workers’ comp coverage must inform their employees about the existence of this coverage and prominently display a notice in the workplace detailing the insurance carrier’s name. If your employer does have workers’ compensation coverage, you generally cannot sue them for work-related injuries or illnesses; instead, you would typically file a workers’ comp claim.

Reporting a Workplace Injury to Your Non-Subscriber Employer

If you are an employee of a non-subscriber workplace, you must immediately notify your employer about the injury in order to initiate the claims process. You have the right to sue your non-subscriber employer for job-related injuries or illnesses, but you must adhere to specific reporting requirements.

To protect your rights, you should report your injury to your non-subscriber employer within 30 days from the date of the incident, or from the moment you become aware that your injury or illness is related to your work. To create a clear record, you should report your injury in writing and provide detailed information about how, where, and when the injury occurred.

Within one year of the injury, you must complete the DWC Form-041, Employee’s Claim for Compensation for a Work-Related Injury or Occupational Disease. You can find this form online or request it by mail. Submitting the DWC form within the stipulated time frame is essential to assert your rights and initiate the legal process against your non-subscriber employer.

What if My Employer Will Punish Me?

If you believe your non-subscriber employer is mistreating you or refusing to acknowledge your injury, it is vital to take action. You can file a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission if you suspect your employer is discriminating against you for filing a claim. It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for seeking compensation for a workplace injury.

Talk to a Lawyer When You Need Help Informing Your Texas Employer of a Workplace Injury

Informing your Texas employer about a workplace injury is a critical step in accessing the benefits and support you need during your recovery. While the process may vary depending on whether your employer subscribes to workers’ compensation, reporting your injury within the specified timeframe and completing the necessary documentation is essential. Should you encounter any challenges during the process, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance.

At Schechter Shaffer & Harris, our experienced personal injury attorneys help injured workers navigate the complexities of workplace injury claims in Texas. We are here to support you every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can assist you in your non-subscriber workplace injury case.

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