Each state has the right to tackle the subject of workers compensation in Texas as they see fit. All of them have their own unique ways of dealing with this through laws and regulations. Some have made it mandatory while others have made it optional. As for workers compensation in Texas, state legislators have thought it best to make it a judgment call for each business. Owners can choose to get workers comp insurance for the benefit of their employees in case of a job-related illness or injury. They can also opt out of it if they want to, although non-subscribers are taking on massive risks.
Disadvantages of Non-subscription
1. Vulnerability to Personal Injury Lawsuits
In the early days of the modern employee-employer relationship, there was no such concept of worker’s compensation. Working conditions were atrocious and employees often suffered from sickness or accidents. This led to heightened tension between the two sides which negatively impacted businesses. Affected individuals could file personal injury lawsuits against their companies to start expensive and protracted legal battles. Workers compensation insurance changed all that by guaranteeing the employees have a safety net against financial hardship when their health is compromised because of their work. In return, they forfeit their right to sue their employer. Texas businesses that do not subscribe to this form of insurance are leaving themselves vulnerable to lawsuits.
2. Possible Financial Shock Due to Damages
Fighting lawsuits in court can be quite expensive. As much as possible, businesses try to avoid these things as they require a massive amount of time, money, and effort. Top-notch legal teams do not come cheap. Neither does a mediocre legal defense. After all, courts can make companies pay millions of dollars in damages in the biggest cases. They will also have to shoulder the attorney’s fees. Losing can severely cripple business finances. What’s more, a case like this can leak into the press and paint the business in a bad light. This also leads to losses.
3. Unavailability of Legal Defenses
Non-subscribers are also barred from using defenses that are usually available in other types of personal injury lawsuits. These include contributory negligence, co-worker negligence, assumption of the risk, and last clear chance. This vastly reduces their legal options when it is time for formulate a defensive strategy. This increases their chances of a loss from the start. Clearly, it would be best to avoid getting into a disadvantageous position if at all possible. The good news is that employers can always subscribe to workers compensation in Texas. As long as they follow the rules, they should be well-protected.
The insurance coverage in the state includes wages from lost work, legal fees in case of a lawsuit, and medical costs for work-related illness or injury. It can also provide compensation for the family of a deceased worker. Employers may get the insurance from any licensed provider. The Texas Department of Insurance is tasked with regulating the workers comp system in the state. They monitor compliance and enforce laws.