How Workers' Compensation Opt-Out Provisions Hurt Employees

Posted By Thomas F. Martin, PLC || 19-Sep-2013

Suffering a serious work injury is bad enough. But a Texas, a workers compensation ”opt-out provision” makes recovering from a work injury or construction accident even worse – for the employee that is.

Take a recent workplace accident in Texas. When Mary Ernewayn, an employee at Home Depot in Texas, was injured when plywood collapsed and trapped her against a lumber cart and pickup truck in 2012, she learned first hand how the employer “opt-out” provision means for injured workers in Texas. (There is no such provision in California).

Because Texas employers can “opt-out” of the State Workers Compensation system, and instead permit the employee to sue the employer for negligence and damages – which is what Ms. Ernewayn’s employer Home Depot did – that’s exactly what she did; file a lawsuit in a Texas State court. But Home Depot had a surprise for Ms. Ernewayn – the tried to move her case to the United States Federal Court, creating yet another roadblock for her to obtain prompt and fair benefits. Fortunately, her work injury attorney was able to get the case returned to the state court – but not until after a long delay.

Employers, and their insurance carriers often rather try to avoid their responsibility to provide restorative medical and financial benefits, and instead use their resources to resist what is owed with court maneuvers, and lawyers. Some legitimately injured workers just give up.

If you, or someone you care about, is getting “out gunned”, contact Thomas F. Martin PLC immediately by completing a free Case Evaluation form, or by calling (714) 594-5389.

Categories: Workers Compensation
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