Texas Worker's Compensation Act

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What is the Texas Worker’s Compensation Act?

The Texas Worker’s Compensation Act is a Texas law covering compensation for injured workers.  The Act provides various rights for both employers and employees dealing with workers compensation issues. 

Generally, it is up to the employer, not the employee, to decide whether or not they will subscribe for the protections.  As such, it is possible for the employee to be subject to various sets of employment rules depending on the employer’s decisions. 

How Does the Texas Worker’s Compensation Act Work?

For employees who work with a company that is participating under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act, there are various benefits.  For instance, the employee is provided with some amount of insurance compensation coverage for work-related or on-the-job injuries.   These will usually cover reasonable expenses such as necessary hospital bills, and other losses.  The employee usually needs to prove that their on-the-job task was the cause of the injury.

Also, employees may be entitled to lost wages for missing work due to an injury.  This may sometimes involve only a percentage of the lost wages, depending on the type of injury.

For employers, the benefit is mostly that the employee forfeits their right to sue the employer in exchange for the insurance and other benefits.  That is, the employee can’t sue their company due to injuries but instead must claim their benefits under the Texas Worker’s Compensation Act, if this is part of the company’s decision. 

Thus, both employers and employees need to be fully informed before taking up benefits from the Act.  Future workers should inquire during the hiring phase if the company will be operating under the Act.

What if I Have a Dispute Over the Texas Worker’s Compensation Act?

As mentioned, the worker usually forfeits their right to sue for a work-related injury if they will be claiming under the Compensation Act.  On the other hand, it can happen that the employer may be involved in a violation of the terms of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act.

For instance, if the employer intentionally fails to inform the worker of their rights under the Act, it could lead to liability for the employer.  An example of this is where the employee attempts to artificially increase insurance premiums in violation of the Act.  Another example is where the employer fails to disclose necessary information regarding the Act.

In such instances, it may be necessary to file a private lawsuit against the employer.  Alternatively, the worker can file a claim with a government agency like the EEOC or the Texas Workforce Commission.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With the Texas Worker’s Compensation Act?

Claiming benefits under the Texas Worker’s Compensation Act can often be complicated.  You may need to hire a lawyer if you need assistance with your legal claim.  Your attorney can help you with the filing process, and can represent you during any legal proceedings as needed. 

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Last Modified: 04-04-2013 02:03 PM PDT

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