A serious injury can cause many problems in your life. At first you have to deal with the pain, inconvenience, cost of medical bills and time off from working. You may continue to deal with issues for the rest of your life if you have an injury that causes you a disability or lingering health problems.
No one will ever be fully prepared to deal with these situations. Most people will take the time to set up worst case scenario assistance through emergency savings accounts and insurance policies. For many people, it is impossible to build up enough of a cushion to cover more than a minor setback. This leaves many people relying heavily on their insurance to cover them.
Most States Require Employers to Carry Insurance
In the state of Texas, this is a massive problem. More than 4.3 million Texans do not have health insurance, and this includes over 600,000 children. It is even more concerning when you realize that Texas is one of the few states that does not require your employer to provide injury coverage if you are injured on the job.
In 2015, more than 2% of full-time workers in Houston were injured at work, and over 500 died on the job. Houston personal injury lawyer T. Ernest Freeman deals with work injury cases on a regular basis, and he sees many people that are confused by what exactly they need to do after a workplace injury. According to Freeman, if you are covered by workers compensation insurance and decide to take that payout to cover your medical expenses and lost wages you give up the right to sue your employer.
However, it is important to note that this only applies to suing the employer. If you want to sue another worker or for product liability you are still eligible to. You are also eligible if you were a victim of sexual harassment, wrongful termination, or employment discrimination – even if you accepted the workers compensation benefits.
What if Your Employer Does Not Have Coverage At All?
If your employer does not have injury insurance you can still take legal action to try to get compensation. You would need to prove that your employer was negligent and is liable for your injuries to win. It may also take months, if not years, for you to receive any money.
Employers in Texas who do not have workers’ compensation insurance coverage must contact the Division of Workers’ Compensation to report injuries and occupational diseases to avoid penalties.
It is important if you find yourself in these situations to keep calm and not speak to anyone about your injury if you are not thinking clearly. As one man in Texas found out, speaking too quickly to his insurance company cost him his insurance claim. He mentioned his knee giving out, and since this was not the fault of the employer he had to take legal action to get any compensation.
Start this year off by exploring your options before it is too late. Take an evaluation of your available savings to see if you are able to support yourself for at least 1-6 months if you are unable to work. Check what kind of personal coverage you have for injuries, and check with your employer to see if they have injury insurance coverage.