What is the law regarding an on the job injury?

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What is the law regarding an on the job injury?

About 5 years ago I broke my hand on the jobsite after hours. My boss at the time said I wasn’t covered under the insurance because he just had the insurance switched. I am so far in debt in medical bills it’s ridiculous. It was a city contract so is there anything I can do or just go ahead and try to get the bills paid off?

Asked on November 13, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Normally, if an employee notifies their employer within 30 days of a claim and follows up with a formal worker's comp claim with the Texas Dept of Insurance within one year, an employee can file a claim and have their medical bills paid by the employer.   Your issue is that it's been five years.  Because of the delay, your options could be severely limited, but you may have a basis for filing a personal injury suit against your employer if they actively mislead you into not filing the claim and they were uninsured at the time. Texas is actually one of the few states that does not require employers to carry worker's comp insurance, but if they do not carry insurance, they are subject to a personal injury suit.  The problem with this option is, again, that it's been five years since the claim.

You may still be able to file a suit, however, if you can show an excpetion applies to your case. This will be a very fact specific determination, so you really need to visit with an attorney that routinely does employment law, personal injury, or worker's comp-- many offer free consultations.  Medical bills are extremely expensive, so it really is worth the time to get the consultation.  Your clock has expired on some of your remedies, so the sooner you can talk to someone the better to see if you can invoke an exception by fraud or duress.

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It would be advisable to speak with a workers' compensation attorney.  Since you were injured on the job, you have a workers' compensation claim.  What your boss said about switching insurance and not being covered does not make sense.  Employers are required to have workers' compensation insurance.


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