If I Get Workers Comp, Can I Still File a Lawsuit?

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In most cases, when you have been injured on the job, the only way you can recover compensation from your employer will be through the workers’ compensation system. Anyone who collects workers’ compensation in Texas for their workplace injury of illness is prohibited from filing a standard lawsuit for related damages because the law says that a workers’ compensation claim is an “exclusive remedy” for any such injury or illness.

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Filing a workers’ compensation claim has its benefits, of course; instead of the unpredictable nature of a personal injury lawsuit, workers’ compensation provides an injured worker with medical benefits and lost wages and disability benefits immediately and without complications. On the other hand, there are limits, since you can’t recover for other damages and the amount you recover will be limited to state workers’ compensation laws.

There may be some limited exceptions applicable that could allow you to file a lawsuit, anyway, despite the rules in the workers’ compensation system.

There may be some limited exceptions applicable that could allow you to file a lawsuit. Because Texas is the only state in the country that makes workers’ compensation optional, you may also be able to file suit against your employer if they provide insufficient or even no workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Whereas employers who do this in other states have broken the law, that is not the case for Texas employers.

In Texas, if the workers’ compensation coverage is either non-existent or insufficient, a worker can sue for full compensation.

If you are eligible to file a lawsuit for your workplace injury or illness in a civil court, you will not be limited to the same amounts as provided by benefits of workers’ compensation in Texas. In addition to recovery for medical benefits, disability and lost wages, you will also be able to recover for pain and suffering and possibly even punitive damages, which may mean a lot more money in recovery.

Additionally, if you were injured on the job and a third party was responsible, you can bring a claim against that party. Perhaps you were injured while working with a piece of machinery or a tool that was defective, or the accident that led to your injury was caused by someone other than your employer, like the negligence of the owner of a property owner regarding maintenance of the property.

However, in order to recover everything you’re entitled to, you’ll need the services of an experienced and skillful workplace injury attorney to evaluate your case and see what you can do and how much you can recover. If you or a loved one was injured or died on the job, contact us today for a free consultation, so that we can evaluate the facts and make sure you get everything you’re entitled to.