What does it average for a state to be an “opt-out” state for workers’ compensation? The majority of states place requirements on employers to cover employees under a workers’ compensation policy to help them with things like medical bills and lost wages when the employees suffer injury.
This is not true in Texas, however. Here, employers are not required to carry any form of workers’ comp insurance. That method that in Texas, if a worker is injured, and the employer has opted out of providing workers’ comp coverage, then the employee is at the mercy of at any rate different plans the employer has come up with (this is, of course, barring the possible for a third-party injury claim against a negligent party). A dramatically 40 percent of all Texas businesses, large and small, no longer carry workers’ comp insurance. These companies are known as workers’ comp nonsubscribers.
Because workers’ comp nonsubscribers are allowed to come up with their own different workers’ comp plans, employees often run into problems. Employer-produced plans tend to cover fewer injuries, cut off assistance payments sooner, dictate which doctors employees are allowed to visit and sometimes impose mandatory settlements that do not fully cover the injured workers’ costs, such as medical bills and lost wages. Because of these problems, victims of workplace accidents who are not covered under workers’ comp confront serious financial and medical uncertainty.
A thorough Dive into the Issue
An investigation by the nonprofit ProPublica and NPR found that many independent insurance plans in Texas only cover care for an average of two years. This is in direct contrast to workers’ compensation insurance, which lasts as long as a worker needs it to.
Furthermore, employer-produced plans sometimes will not pay for things like wheelchair vans or for complications due to occupational diseases caused by exposure to dust, mold and already asbestos. Worse nevertheless, appeals are often controlled by the employers, and payments for extreme injury and wrongful death are can be strictly limited.
For the reasons listed above, whenever you suffer an injury at work, the best course of action is to discuss your case in a free consultation with a workers’ comp attorney.
Without the assistance of a qualified personal injury/workers comp attorney, it can be extremely confusing and complicated to seek fair reimbursement for things such as medical expenses, wages lost while unable to work, and any other financial losses related to your accident.