Texas, as the country's second-largest state and the second-largest economy, has a lot to offer. It is home to almost 30 million people of diverse ethnicities and cultures and serves as the breeding ground for 48 Fortune 500 companies. With so many thriving companies and businesses, you may wonder what you need regarding workers' compensation insurance.
Most states mandate employers to carry workers' compensation for their employees, usually by purchasing an insurance policy from private insurance companies. However, Texas workers' compensation is not mandated by any state law, which makes Texas the only one that does not require it.
Nonetheless, even though there is no workers' compensation law in Texas, having workers' compensation insurance is still necessary. In addition to assisting injured employees with recovery and returning to work, it can protect a business owner from lawsuits for any work-related accident. Workers' compensation can also assist employers in paying for legal costs if they ever get sued due to a workplace injury or illness.
To learn more about Texas workers' compensation, continue reading the article below.
Understanding Workers Compensation In Texas
Texas workers' compensation insurance provides benefits for your employees to assist them in recovering from a work-related injury or any occupational illness. Such benefits include:
- Medical Benefits to pay for medical treatment;
- Income Benefits to serve as payment for any lost wages;
- Disability Benefits provide payment for any temporary or permanent disabilities as a result of a work-related injury;
- Vocational rehabilitation to assist an employee in regaining his or her earning capacity before injury; and
- Death benefits to help an employee's family in case of a life-ending workplace accident.
There are specific processes that an employee must follow to obtain these workers' compensation benefits. In addition, there are certain things you must keep in mind regarding workers' compensation laws in Texas, which are outlined below.
The Choice To Opt-Out
Workers' compensation law in Texas permits employers to opt out of carrying workers' compensation insurance, which covers medical expenses, disability benefits, and wage replacement benefits for employees who suffer from work-related injuries.
While Texas workers' compensation laws require public institutions to provide workers' compensation insurance, most private employers opt out of it, according to the state's Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC).
Rights And Responsibilities
Employers in Texas who do not opt-out must purchase workers' compensation insurance from private insurance companies, who then pay the benefits to the injured employee once the claim is filed and approved.
Benefits And Coverage
According to the DWC, workers' compensation payments in Texas include medical benefits, income benefits (including temporary disability benefits, wage replacement benefits, supplemental income benefits, and lifetime income benefits), as well as death and burial expenses.
However, settlements for workers' compensation claims and accompanying benefits are often disputed by the insurance company, citing multiple reasons, including:
- Assumption of risk
- Contributory negligence
- Co-worker negligence
- Damage cap
If your claim is disputed and turns into a lawsuit, it is best to have an experienced workers' comp lawyer as your legal representative.
Return To Work Programs
In Texas, employers, healthcare providers, insurance carriers, and the Texas Department of Workers' Compensation all share responsibility for returning an injured employee to work. Return-to-work programs can also reduce employee turnover, maintain productivity, and boost employee morale.
Finding The Right Texas Workers' Compensation Lawyer
A workers' compensation lawyer can help you file a claim against the liable party or parties if you have been injured in a work-related accident. An attorney can handle your lawsuit, prepare your claim for trial, and help you negotiate an adequate settlement amount.
When looking for a workers' comp lawyer to handle your claim, consider important factors such as their success rate, experience in handling similar cases as yours, and extensive knowledge of workers' compensation laws in Texas.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few questions commonly asked by injured employees seeking workers' comp benefits.
Texas is the only state that does not mandate private companies and businesses to have workers' compensation insurance for their employees. However, there are still employers who do not opt-out of providing these benefits to their workers.
The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) regulates the workers’ compensation system in the state, ensuring that all workers’ compensation costs are reasonable. However, estimated employer rates in Texas for workers' compensation are $0.52 for $100 of covered payroll.
Workers' comp insurance cost is determined by a variety of factors, including:
-Number of employees and their line of work
-Industry-related risk factors
A highly competent and experienced workers' compensation lawyer can assist you in obtaining the compensation and benefits to you are entitled to. Workers' comp attorneys can provide numerous legal services that benefit your claims process.
Understanding the requirements and benefits of workers' compensation in Texas is critical for both employers and employees. Workers' compensation insurance is critical in ensuring that injured employees receive the benefits they require to recover properly and return to work as soon as possible.
If you are planning to file a workers' compensation claim, find out how long does it take to receive your workers' comp benefits in this article by Disability Help.