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Filing a Kroger Workers’ Compensation Claim in Houston

When you get hurt on the job, your employer often bears some responsibility. If the employer subscribes to the state-sponsored Workers’ Compensation program, accessing your benefits is straightforward. Kroger, however, does not subscribe to the program in Texas, so the Human Resources Department might tell you to seek benefits through its employer-sponsored occupational injury insurance.

Talk to an experienced workers’ injury attorney before accepting any benefits from Kroger’s insurance. Employees of non-subscribing companies are entitled to file negligence lawsuits against their employer seeking compensation for work-related injuries.

Filing a Kroger workers’ compensation claim in Houston is often more advantageous than accepting the company’s benefits. If you prove your case, you can collect reimbursement for your medical costs and lost wages, and receive compensation for your pain and suffering.

First Steps When You Suffer a Workplace Injury

Whenever someone suffers an injury in an accident at Kroger or develops a work-related condition, they should do two things: make a report to their supervisor and seek medical attention. If the injury results from an accident, make the report that day or as soon as possible. If the condition developed over time, such as a herniated disk or repetitive stress injury, report it to HR when a doctor diagnoses it. Kroger might seek to have its own doctor confirm the diagnosis.

Seeking immediate medical care and complying with the doctor’s orders is essential to protect the worker’s health and to establish a case for compensation. A Houston attorney uses medical records to prove an injury or condition is work-related and establish the worker’s medical expenses and fitness to return to full-time employment. A worker’s case is substantially weakened if they do not seek prompt treatment or comply with medical advice.

Kroger could present an employee with a waiver, allowing them compensation but requiring them to give up certain rights in return. The company cannot present a waiver until at least ten days have passed from the injury report date. An injured worker should always consult an attorney about their options before signing a waiver.

Asserting Negligence Caused an Injury

Kroger is liable if the employee can prove the company’s negligence contributed to their injury. Negligence means failing to take reasonable steps to ensure a safe workplace and maintain a hazard-free environment.

The circumstances surrounding the injury or health condition determine whether Kroger was negligent. Kroger could be liable for an employee’s injury or health condition if it resulted from:

  • Inadequate security
  • Unaddressed tripping hazards
  • Delayed spill cleanup
  • Faulty wiring
  • Poor ventilation
  • Lack of proper training
  • Inadequate screening before hiring
  • Unsafe or poorly maintained equipment
  • Inadequate security measures

Almost any action or failure to act that resulted in preventable harm to an employee could be negligent.

A Houston attorney could review a worker’s case to determine whether evidence exists showing Kroger’s negligence was a factor in the situation that caused the injury. If so, the worker could file a lawsuit seeking damages for their injury-related losses, including all their medical expenses and lost income, disability, pain, and suffering.

Special Rules Apply to Negligence Claims Against an Employer

Non-subscribing employers like Kroger save money and increase their control over employee benefits because they do not participate in the state-sponsored Workers’ Compensation program. To protect workers, Texas Labor Code § 406.033 allows employees of non-subscribing employers to sue the employer and it deprives the employer of some defenses they might assert against the employee.

For example, in most negligence lawsuits, when the plaintiff is partially responsible for the injury they can collect only partial damages from other negligent parties. If they were primarily at fault for the injury, they cannot collect any damages. When a worker claims their non-subscribing employer was negligent, a Houston attorney only needs to prove the employer was one percent responsible for the incident and the worker can collect 100 percent of their damages.

The law also prevents the employer from asserting that the injured worker assumed the risk of injury, or that a co-worker caused it. However, Kroger could assert that the worker intentionally injured themselves or that they were intoxicated when the injury happened. Proving either of these claims could reduce the company’s liability for an injury.

Contact a Houston Attorney About Filing a Kroger Work Injury Claim

When you are a Kroger employee who got hurt at work, reach out to Schechter, Shaffer & Harris. Because Kroger is a non-subscriber, you have more legal options than employees of other companies.

Filing a Kroger workers’ compensation claim can be complicated, but it is always worthwhile to review the available alternative. Schedule a meeting with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney today.

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