In this informative article, DFW work comp lawyer Michael Graham explains the difference between a typical workers comp case and the less-common nonsubscriber case. Both have their own intricacies and subtleties and both require the help of an experienced law firm.
The difference between a workers’ comp and nonsubscriber work injury case in Texas
Texas is one of few states where workers’ compensation coverage is not compulsory. Businesses in Texas can choose between purchasing workers’ comp coverage, having no coverage at all, or purchasing some other type of insurance policy that is not approved by or administered through the Texas Department of Insurance. The latter type of coverage classifies the employer as a “nonsubscriber,” that is to say, the employer does not subscribe to Texas workers’ compensation coverage. In the eyes of the state, it is not enough to simply purchase some type of work injury policy; the employer must purchase an approved Texas workers’ compensation policy from an approved insurance provider in order for the conventional rules of the workers’ comp claims process to apply. When the employer simply purchases an umbrella policy, general liability policy, or some other type of supplemental work injury policy, it is not administered through the Texas workers’ comp board and such claims are resolved by an entirely separate area of the law.
Differences in liability
The biggest difference between nonsubscriber work injury claims and workers comp claims is that in a workers comp claim the fault of the worker, if any exists, is largely irrelevant. Regardless of how the accident occurred (within reason) the injured worker is covered and will typically receive some level of compensation. Naturally, a workers comp attorney helps by making sure that the injured workers receives all of the compensation that they deserve. On the contrary, in a nonsubscriber work injury claim the injured worker has the burden of proving that the accident was the fault of the employer. Imagine a scenario where an employee falls off of a ladder and breaks their leg. If the injured worker’s employer subscribes to Texas workers’ compensation coverage, with the help of a good lawyer the worker’s medical bills will be paid for and he will receive some portion of his wages during the recovery process, regardless of fault and so long as the insurance carrier does not unfairly deny the claim. But if the same injury occurred and the injured worker’s employer was covered by a nonsubscriber insurance policy, the worker would have to hire a Dallas work injury attorney to prove that employer should have to pay anything. In a nonsubscriber claim, any time there is fault on the employee, the employer will more than likely try to put ALL of the blame on the employee in order to be able to deny coverage. Workers’ comp claims have no such trappings. If you are injured on the job, you will likely receive some type of compensation, and by hiring an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer you will ensure that you receive all of the compensation that you deserve.