What is a non-subscriber?
Many of Texas’s largest employers—like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Sears, and Target—do not carry, or “subscribe to,” workers comp insurance. These companies are known as non-subscribers, and cases where workers are injured while working for non-subscribers are known as non-subscriber cases. Some non-subscribers carry other insurance that is like work comp, but in fact is not.
In most personal injury claims, the defendant (the person or company who is being sued because they caused the injury) is allowed to attempt to blame the plaintiff (the injured person who filed the lawsuit). At the end of a jury trial, the jury puts a percentage of fault on both the plaintiff and the defendant. Importantly, any amount of blame placed on the plaintiff will reduce his or her recovery.
For example, if the jury assess damages at $100,000 and assigns 10% of the fault to the plaintiff and 90% of the fault to the defendant, the defendant will be ordered to pay the plaintiff $90,000; the plaintiff’s recovery was reduced by 10% due to his or her own fault in causing the injury.
How non-subscriber cases are different
However, if you are injured at work while working for a non-subscriber, Texas law is very generous: the employer is not allowed to try to blame the worker for their own injuries. In fact, if the employer is found to be just 1% at fault in causing the injury, the employer is on the hook for 100% of the damages.
The most common ways in which employers are found liable for their workers’ injuries is bad training, poor safety gear, and inadequate safety policies. Again, if the non-subscriber is found just 1% at fault, they must pay 100% of the injured worker’s damages, including lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and physical impairment.
Talk to a personal injury attorney today
This is why it is so crucial for injured workers to contact a personal injury attorney. Don’t trust your boss when she says you’re covered by work comp. A qualified personal injury attorney will be able to verify subscriber status.