Texas employers who do not enroll in the state’s workers’ compensation insurance system are considered nonsubscribers. A nonsubscriber employer may be on the hook for any injuries that employees suffer during their work duties. Employers who choose to go the nonsubscriber route need to be vigilant with their safety practices, and should understand the potential legal implications of a worker injury.
No lawsuit immunity
Barring a few exceptions, employers who maintain workers’ compensation coverage are immune from personal injury lawsuits brought by injured employees. Nonsubscriber employers do not share this same immunity. This means that the employer could be on the hook for hefty damages.
Injured workers who want to secure compensation from their nonsubscriber employers must be able to prove that the employer was negligent or otherwise at fault. This requires a substantial amount of evidence, so employers might not feel too worried in this situation. It is still important to be vigilant though, as nonsubscriber employees are generally not permitted to use some common defense strategies, including claims that:
- The injury was the result of the victim’s own negligence
- The injury was the result of another employee’s negligence
- The injured victim understood the danger of an action and accepted it
Employing people and running a business is already time-consuming enough as it is without adding in the pressure of nonsubscriber claims. Not only can these types of injury claims be lengthy and time-consuming, they can also negatively impact a business’ daily operations. It is imperative that Texas employers understand just how much is at stake in these situations as well as their options for countering claims.