The Texas workers' compensation system is different from almost all other workers' compensation laws in the United States. In Texas, employers can "opt out" of the state-run workers' compensation system. When employers opt out, injured workers have only one course of action under the law: filing civil lawsuits, usually called "non-subscriber claims."
Unfortunately, many workers whose employers have opted out do not discover what this means for their lives until they are in need of serious help. After suffering an on-the-job-injury or falling victim to a work-related illness, they are unable to collect the compensation they need and deserve to support them and their families. They can't get the medical care they need. Many struggle to make ends meet.
At Carlile Law Firm, LLP, in Marshall, Texas, we understand the impact that employers who opt out can have on our community because we see it all the time. Many of the people who come to our law firm are workers who turn to us because something bad has happened in their lives, and they don't know what else to do. They never thought they would have to take legal action, but they find themselves picking up the phone for a free initial consultation. They have to. Their employers' actions have left them no other choice.
But that's why we practice law-to help community members in need. For decades our family has run the Carlile Law Firm, LLP to support hard-working people who need help overcoming some of the most difficult challenges they have ever experienced, like work injuries and illnesses that leave them unable to provide for their families.
Employers who opt out put their employees at risk. Studies have found that injured workers receive lower workers' compensation benefits, face more restrictions and have less power to take action when denied medical aid if their employer has opted out of the Texas workers' compensation system.
So why do employers opt out if they know it is bad for their employees? In basic terms: money. Employers who may be struggling to maximize profits often look for cost savings in their workers' compensation expenses. By opting out, they can save a great deal of money. But that money often comes directly out of the pockets of injured workers.
Our law firm believes that employers should be held accountable for the harm their workers experience on the job. When a work injury or illness leaves you in need of help, let us support you. We can review your situation and help you determine a course of action, including civil litigation. This may take the form of a non-subscriber claim against your employer. It may also take the form of a lawsuit against a third party, like a sub-contractor, property owner or the manufacturer of defective equipment.
If you have been hurt at work, but your employer does not carry workers' compensation, you may have more options than you think. To learn more, contact us at 903-938-1655.