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Randalls Workers’ Compensation Claims in Houston

If you work for Randalls in the warehouse, as a cashier, cutting deli meat, or stocking grocery shelves, you do not expect to be hurt on the job. But it is sadly all too common. You could slip on a wet floor when customers track water in on a rainy day, suffer a head injury when crates of merchandise fall off a shelf, or develop carpal tunnel syndrome from months of working at a cash register or computer.

Nearly every U.S. state requires employers to offer workers’ compensation benefits that pay employees for medical care and lost wages after they are injured or develop a job-related medical condition. In Texas, employers can opt out and become non-subscribers, affecting your Randalls workers’ compensation claim in Houston.

Workers’ Compensation vs. Non-Subscriber

Workers’ compensation insurance can be costly, and opting to become a non-subscriber allows businesses to tailor benefits to their market and closely monitor claims. For example, when warehouse forklift accidents exceed all other claims, the company can devise a better safety program for its warehouse employees. Since medical bills and lost wages are paid directly by the employer instead of through a lengthy government-run process, injured employees are usually compensated more quickly. Once employees accept workers’ compensation, they usually cannot sue employers if something goes wrong.

Employees whose workers’ compensation claims are denied or disputed must still operate through a government-run appeals process. In contrast, employees of non-subscribing companies can file their own lawsuit against employers who fail to pay medical bills and lost wages. Although death benefits and long-term disability are available under workers’ comp, they may not be under a non-subscriber program. Contact a workers’ compensation lawyer if Randalls or another non-subscriber denies a workplace injury claim.

Employees Must Prove a Non-Subscriber’s Negligence

Employees filing workers’ compensation claims do not have to prove who was at fault for the accidents but they do if the claim is against a non-subscriber. Like a personal injury lawsuit, the employee must prove that Randalls had a duty to provide a safe working environment, they breached that duty, and at least partly caused an accident in which the employee was injured. Employers will present defenses to minimize their role and avoid a large payout, which is why it is crucial to work with an aggressive attorney to counter those assertions.

Defenses That Non-Subscribers Can and Cannot Present

Some valid defenses in personal injury cases are not permitted under Texas Labor Code § 406.033. The law is clear that employers cannot claim the injured worker was negligent and contributed to the accident, that a co-worker caused the accident, or that the employee assumed the risk. But just because the statute patently lists these exceptions does not mean there are no other defenses that the Randalls legal team will use. Some common defenses employers can claim include:

  • The injured employee was intoxicated by alcohol or high on drugs
  • The employee intentionally injured themselves
  • Their injury was part of a pre-existing condition
  • The employee voluntarily signed a post-injury waiver
  • The injury was not in the scope of the worker’s employment
  • A known hazard caused the injury and the employer did not have a duty to warn them
  • The injured employee was the sole proximate cause of the accident, which means their negligence caused the entire accident

Thus, employers cannot accuse employees of being partially responsible for the accident as a defense but they can try to prove the employee caused it entirely. A Houston lawyer could work with an injured Randalls employee on their workers’ compensation claim and identify evidence of employer culpability.

Let Us Handle Your Randalls Workers’ Compensation Claims in Houston

Randalls operates under Albertsons Companies, one of the country’s largest food and drug retailers. Unique to it and other large Texas retailers, such as Home Depot and Walmart, is the system they use to compensate employees injured on the job. These companies have opted out of traditional workers’ compensation insurance because Texas allows them to self-insure.

A non-subscriber employer can benefit employees in several ways but can also be a detriment because there is no impartial third party to monitor injury claims. That is where we can step in and help. If you suffered injuries while working for an employer that does not subscribe to workers’ compensation, we could fight for your right to be compensated. Contact Schechter, Shaffer & Harris to learn more about your Randalls workers’ compensation claim in Houston.

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