Nonsubscribers lose important legal protections, including immunity from most lawsuits by injured workers. They could also be forced to pay high damage awards if an injured employee can prove in court that the employer was negligent in any way.
If an employer has workers’ compensation insurance, Texas law limits the employer’s liability for work-related injuries. Injured employees may get medical and income benefits set by state law but may not sue their employers.
Employers without workers’ compensation could be forced to pay punitive damages if they lose injury lawsuits. They also lose certain common-law defenses, such as arguing that
- the injured worker’s negligence caused the injury
- the negligence of fellow employees caused the injury
- the injured worker knew of the danger and voluntarily accepted it.
Employers that do not carry workers’ compensation coverage must file DWC Form-005 annually with the Texas Department of Insurance. A written notice must also be posted at the workplace telling employees that they do not have workers’ compensation insurance. For more information and copies of the notices – CLICK HERE .