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Can I Sue My Employer for a Work Injury?

Home » FAQs » Can I Sue My Employer for a Work Injury?


You can sue your employer for a work injury under certain circumstances, so you may not have to file a workers’ compensation claim. The answer depends upon if your employer has purchased a true workers’ compensation insurance policy that is properly registered with the Texas Department of Insurance.  Other options may be available, such as filing a non-subscriber claim against your employer.

It can be confusing though.  Some employers have insurance that looks and appears to be workers’ compensation but is actually what is called “non-subscriber” insurance.  These plans are typically called Occupational Injury Plans or Insurance or Accident and Injury Insurance or Plans.  Be careful though!  Employers will often tell employees their insurance is “workers’ compensation” meaning the employee can not sue when the insurance is actually non-subscriber insurance which allows the filing of a lawsuit when the employer is at least partially at fault for the employee’s injury or death.

Our firm can discuss your options with you and determine which one would suit you best. Once you and a lawyer decide which option to take, they will file your claim or suit and pursue your due damages, even if they must go to court. We can tell you more during a free consultation.  Remember there is never a charge or fee by our firm unless and until we win a monetary settlement for you.

What Are Your Rights If You Get Injured at Work in Texas?

According to Texas’ Office of Injured Employee Counsel (OIEC), you have certain rights as an injured employee or contractor even if your employer has workers’ compensation insurance. These rights are as follows:

  1. You have the right to hire a lawyer.
  2. You have the right to receive OIEC assistance.
  3. You may have the right to receive certain benefits, or beneficiaries may be able to receive certain benefits.
  4. You may have the right to receive medical treatment.
  5. You may have the right to dispute certain decisions regarding your benefits.
  6. You have the right to choose your doctor.
  7. You have the right to keep your personal information confidential.

Texas’ Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) lists additional rights for certain other workers, like construction site workers.

No matter what kind of work you do, you also have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim, a non-subscriber claim, a third-party claim, a personal injury lawsuit, or a wrongful death suit, depending on the circumstances. You may not necessarily have all of these options available. Our firm can discuss your available options with you with no charge to you whatsoever unless and until we recover a settlement for you.

Why Shouldn’t I Pursue Damages Through Workers’ Compensation?

If the company you work for or with provides workers’ compensation, you could file a claim through workers’ compensation. However, they could deny the claim or delay processing, and they won’t compensate you for certain damages. Typically, workers’ compensation only compensates for basic financial damages, like lost income.

For those reasons, you should consider your damages through other options, like suing. You should also consider suing if the company you work for or with doesn’t provide workers’ compensation.

How Can I Sue My Employer for a Work Injury?

You might not be able to sue the company you work for or with if you have workers’ compensation benefits through them. However, it might be possible to sue under certain circumstances, such as if the company was grossly negligent and your spouse or parent was killed while working). If it is possible to sue the company, you can do so with a personal injury lawsuit.

With a wrongful death lawsuit, you could sue the company if you lost a family member in a workplace incident. A work injury lawyer from our firm can prepare and serve your lawsuit properly.

If the employer has non-subscriber insurance you can sue the employer even if you have already recovered lost wages and medical benefits for additional damages, but there are strict time limits for these lawsuits so you must act quickly.  Do not take your boss’ word for what rights you have as an injured employee or the family member of an employee killed while working.  Always consult with a work injury attorney like Domingo Garcia.   We can advise you free of charge!

What Damages Can I Recover for a Work Injury in Texas?

With any kind of lawsuit, you could recover damages you may not be able to recover through a claim, including physical, mental, and even emotional damages. In Texas, suing may be the only option for recovering most or all these damages, so you really should consider suing in your case.

A work injury lawyer from our firm may be able to recover some of those damages through a claim, but your lawyer could potentially recover more damages through a different claim or a lawsuit instead. Regardless, your lawyer will pursue:

  • Full income compensation: It likely isn’t possible to get all your lost income through workers’ compensation. However, through a different claim or a lawsuit, your lawyer may be able to get all your lost income as well as lost future income, lost bonuses, benefits, and even retirement contributions. Your lawyer can even claim lost earning ability as a loss.
  • Full medical compensation: It also may not be possible to get all your medical expenses through workers’ compensation. However, your lawyer may be able to file legal action to get all your expenses, including those for healthcare, therapies, medicine, medical devices, and medically related home renovations.
  • Further financial compensation: This could include compensation for your damaged or destroyed vehicle and any property within the vehicle. Your lawyer could also claim other financial losses.
  • Compensation for non-financial damages: These could include physical pain, disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, emotional trauma, and/or loss in your ability to enjoy certain activities. You likely can’t receive compensation for these damages through workers’ compensation.

Wrongful Death Damages

One of our firm’s work injury and wrongful death attorneys will pursue other damages through a lawsuit if your family member suffered fatal injuries in a work incident. Such damages could be:

  • Income, bonuses, benefits, and retirement contributions your family has lost
  • Medical expenses you haven’t been able to pay
  • Funeral, burial, or cremation expenses
  • Pain your deceased family member may have experienced
  • Your family’s anguish
  • Trauma
  • Loss in your ability to enjoy activities 
  • Loss of love

How Long do I Have to Sue for a Work Injury in Texas?

According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, you generally have two years from the date of your injury (or your family’s loss of life) to file a personal injury lawsuit (or a wrongful death suit). To help you meet this deadline, your lawyer will begin your case and prepare for a lawsuit right away.

But be careful, some work injury plans have shorter time periods!  So if you delay in consulting a lawyer with experience in work injury cases you may lose your right to recover for your injuries or the loss of a loved one!

Call Domingo Garcia to Learn If You Can Sue Your Employer for a Work Injury

You may be able to sue your employer or pursue other options for compensation in your case. Our firm can discuss your options with you during a free consultation.

With over 35 years of experience in work injury law, we can also recover your damages for you. Our attorneys have recovered damages for many other people like you, such as when they recovered $5 million for an individual involved in a scaffolding collapse. You should be confident in our abilities, and you should consult with us to learn more. For a free consultation, contact Domingo Garcia today.

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    Meet Domingo

    Attorney Domingo Garcia has led an active civic, legal and political career. He was born in Midland, Texas and grew up in Dallas, Texas. He received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Texas in 1980.

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