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Workers Compensation is a state-regulated insurance system that provides covered employees with income and medical benefits if they are injured on the job or have a work-related injury or illness. Employers in the Texas have the option of whether or not to provide workers compensation insurance, with the latest figures from the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) showing that 81% of Texas employees are covered by Workers Compensation (WC) insurance. After all, what better way to ensure employee retention than to show concern for the well being of your staff.
For those not offering direct coverage, about 70% have some type of private occupational insurance. The remaining 30%, without some sort of workers comp insurance in Texas, adds up to half million people or more. Employers opting not to provide this coverage still are risking the possibility of losing certain statutory defenses and could be held responsible automatically.
How denying coverage can affect your business
Employers failing to provide workers comp coverage are required by law to report their non-coverage status. Anytime they experience employees suffering work-related injuries and/or occupational diseases they must report to TDIs Division of Workers Compensation (TDI-DWC). In the event of a lawsuit being filed by the injured party, they could potentially end up paying any punitive damages.
Without WC coverage employers will have difficulty arguing many common-law defenses, including claims that the injured worker’s negligence caused the injury, or the injury was caused by the negligence of co-workers. With a WC policy in place, employers have more leverage when arguing that they believe a claim to be fraudulent in nature.
Employers with workers compensation insurance in Texas are far better off since they will have legal protections in place, not to mention being able to aid their workers in a swift recovery, one that hopefully leads to their returning to work sooner than later.
This also includes immunity from most lawsuits that are filed by injured workers.If an employer has WC insurance, a lawsuit may go to court only after it has been through TDIs administrative dispute process.The court will consider TDIs recommendations, and only issues in dispute may be used as evidence.