Texas Workers Compensation Laws
Whether you work for an oil refinery in Houston, a manufacturing company in Dallas, or a commercial retailer in Austin, a job-related injury or illness can happen anywhere. The good news is, many Texas employers carry workers’ compensation insurance, which provides partial wage replacement and other benefits to employees who get hurt or sick on the job. Here’s what you need to know about workers’ compensation laws in the Lone Star State.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a state-run program designed to provide partial wage replacement and other benefits to employees who suffer an on-the-job injury or illness. In exchange, the employee generally foregoes their right to sue for negligence.
What Are Income Benefits?
If you work for a Texas company that carries workers’ compensation insurance, you may be eligible to recover income benefits for a workplace injury or illness.
- Temporary Income Benefits: If an injury keeps you out of work for a while or you can work but earn less than your normal wage, you may be able to collect temporary income benefits (TIBs). TIBs are equal to 70% of the difference between your pre- and post-injury wages.
- Impairment Income Benefits: If you have a permanent impairment from a work-related injury or illness, you may receive impairment income benefits. These benefits are determined by your impairment rating, which describes the degree of damage to your body as a whole.
- Supplemental Income Benefits: You may be able to receive supplemental income benefits if you meet certain requirements. You must:
- Have an impairment rating of 15% or greater
- Have not returned to work or are earning less than 80% of your pre-injury wage
- Demonstrate that you are actively looking for work
- Have refused to accept a lump sum payment for your injury
- Lifetime Income Benefits: If your injury reaches a certain level of severity, you may be able to receive lifetime income benefits (LIBs). If, for example, you’ve lost sight in both eyes or lost both feet at or above the ankle, you may recover these benefits. LIBs are equal to 75% of your average weekly wage, with a 3% yearly increase.
What Other Benefits Are Covered?
Texas workers may also be eligible for additional benefits such as:
- Medical benefits for reasonable and necessary treatments
- Travel expense reimbursement for medical appointments
- Vocational rehabilitation to learn a new skill
- Death benefits for the surviving spouse, children, and other eligible family members of a deceased worker
Is Workers’ Compensation Required in Texas?
Unlike most states, Texas doesn’t generally mandate workers’ compensation insurance. If you get hurt and your employer doesn’t provide this coverage, you can file a personal injury claim to recover financial compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and more.
Contact Morgan & Morgan
Texas is unique in many ways, and so are its workers’ compensation laws. It’s essential that you understand your rights and how these rules apply to you. At Morgan & Morgan, our attorneys have helped workers just like you recover the benefits they are owed following an injury. Contact us now for a free case evaluation.