What happens when an injured worker in the state of Texas looks to receive a settlement for a work-related injury? The Workers’ Compensation Act of 1993 was brought about to eliminate work injury settlements altogether. While an injured worker is still able to obtain compensation, it will not be in the form of a settlement much like what happens in other personal injury cases.
When someone experiences an injury at their workplace and their employer subscribes to Texas workers comp insurance coverage, then any compensation the injured worker receives is paid in the form of benefits. Benefits are then paid out on an “as-needed” basis. Unlike a settlement that is received once legal proceedings come to a close, benefits are paid as any expenses arise. For example, if an injured worker needs surgery due to a workplace injury, workers’ comp will then pay the cost for the surgery. Workers comp also pays injured workers a portion of any lost wages in the form of weekly checks.
How workers comp cases differ from others
Worker’s compensation cases are unlike practically any other personal injury case in that you cannot sue your employer for any illness or injury under a negligent cause of action. In any other case a jury may award financial compensation that is proportionate to any losses sustained.
Because an employee is denied the right to sue an employer in a worker’s comp case, Texas worker’s comp laws takes any perceived negligence claims out of the court system transforming them into what would be considered a benefits claim, much like filing for social security disability. This takes away the risk of losing in court if a claim is deemed to be without merit.
In cases where injured workers are eligible to receive benefits, irrespective of how the accident happens, “impairment income benefits” can be paid in a lump sum. However, this should not be mistaken for a settlement, which is the result of litigation based on the findings of a jury. Impairment benefits are rewarded under Texas workers comp insurance and determined by pre-established formulas. Discuss any questions or concerns with a qualified agency.