Attorney Doug Goyen has been licensed in Texas since 1997and has handled thousands of injury cases, including as a Dallas workplace injury lawyer, resulting in millions of dollars in settlements and judgments. We provide powerful, experienced, and aggressive representation for our clients.
Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Handling Serious Injuries and Deaths in Commercial, On-the-Job, and Industrial Accidents. Cases involving Texas Nonsubscriber Workers Compensation are handled by the Law Office of Doug Goyen. This is a personal injury or wrongful death case in which an employee is injured or killed as a result of their employer’s negligence and the employer does not have Texas Workers Compensation Insurance.
Very efficient staff. I am VERY pleased with this firm.
Doug is a great attorney. He took care of my auto accident claim promptly, and answered any questions I had. I also had one of my hospital bills go into... read more
Mr Doug Goyen took care of all the dealings with insurance companies, my employer and other parties. He was effective and professional through the whole ordeal. Excellent communication and timely... read more
Mr. Goyen helped me take on my own insurance company, the great and mighty Allstate. My prior firm basically dumped me, with a permanent injury, because the case didn’t meet... read more
WORKPLACE INJURIES AND ACCIDENTS
Employees may sue their employers for workplace injuries caused by the employer in the following circumstances:
1) If an employer is a “subscriber” to Texas Workers Compensation Insurance: An injured employee may sue their employer only if the employee was killed and the death was the result of gross negligence or an intentional act (intentional tort). In this type of case, only “exemplary damages” are permitted.
2) If an employer is a “nonsubscriber” to Texas Workers Compensation Insurance, an employee may sue the employer for any negligence on the part of the employer that causes the employee injury. In this case, the employee may recover from the employer all recognized Texas elements of damages.
If looking to sue an employer for an employee’s injuries or death the first thing to determine is if the employer is a “subscriber” or a “nonsubscriber” to Texas Workers Compensation Insurance.
Is Texas Workers Compensation Insurance Available? If a worker is injured on the job as a result of negligence, one of the first things to determine is whether the employer is covered by the Texas Workers Compensation Act, Tex. Lab. Code section 408.001. (a). Section 408.001(a) states that workers’ compensation benefits are the sole remedy for an employee who is “covered by workers’ compensation insurance coverage… for injury or death sustained in a work-related injury.” This means that if an employee is injured on the job and their employer has Texas Workers Compensation coverage, the employee cannot sue their employer for their injury; instead, the employee must file a claim with the Texas Workers Compensation insurance system for any benefits that may be available to them.
The lawsuit is barred if the employer carries Texas Workers Compensation Insurance: If the employer is covered by Texas Workers Compensation insurance your claim will need to be submitted through the Texas Workers Compensation system for any benefits. A lawsuit against the employer may be barred for the injury in this situation. Tex. Lab. Code section 408.001(a). Port Elevator-Brownsville, L.L.C. v. Casados, 358 S.W.3d 238, 240 (Tex.2012).
If an employee is injured by the negligence or gross negligence of a single employer defendant by the negligence of that defendant, the Texas Comp Act bars any suit based on those acts of negligence or gross negligence. Tex. Lab. Code section 408.001(a), Castleberry v. Goolsby Bldg. Corp., 617 S.W.2d 665, 666 (Tex.1981).
LAWSUIT ALLOWED in “subscriber” cases if there was Gross Negligence or Intentional Tort Resulting in Death: If an employee is killed by the defendant’s gross negligence or intentional act or omission, the Comp Act does not bar a suit for exemplary damages brought by the deceased employees surviving spouse or heirs. Tex. Lab. Code section 408.001(b), Fairfield Ins. v. Stephens Martin Paving, LP, 246 S.W.3d 653, 658-659 (Tex.2008), Castleberry v. Goolsby Bldg. Corp., 617 S.W.2d 665, 666 (Tex.1981).
HOW TO FIND OUT IF AN EMPLOYER IS A “SUBSCRIBER” TO TEXAS WORKERS COMPENSATION INSURANCE
The Texas Department of Insurance website has a search function that searches companies to determine if they have Texas Workers Compensation insurance. The current page is located here: Workers’ Compensation Insurance Coverage Verification.
The first section on that page is titled “Verify workers’ compensation coverage information for employers“
The first link under that section is titled “To verify individual employer workers’ compensation commercial policy coverage (subscribers)”. Select and click this link – and then choose the “Accept” button.
This takes you to a search page where you can enter the name of the employer and see if they are actually covered by actual Texas Workers Compensation insurance.
(Note: I have found that the Texas Department of Insurance is not always very user-friendly. They change up their websites at times without “redirects” from the old page to the new page. If the above link is not working go to the main page for the Texas Department of Insurance and search for their Texas Workers Compensation Insurance section. The main page for the Texas Department of Insurance is found here: www.tdi.texas.gov ).
NONSUBSCRIBER – WHEN EMPLOYER DOES NOT SUBSCRIBE TO ACTUAL TEXAS WORKERS COMPENSATION INSURANCE
Subscriber v. Nonsubscriber: Texas does not require employers to subscribe to Texas Workers Compensation insurance. Many employers do not subscribe to actual Texas Workers Compensation insurance but instead purchase a “replacement policy” outside of the Texas Workers Compensation insurance system. Some employers do not carry any insurance in Texas to protect their employees from injuries.
If an employer is a Nonsubscriber then the employer can be sued by the employee: If the employer does not carry actual Texas Workers Compensation Insurance then they are what is called a “Nonsubscriber”. This means that if any of their employees are injured or killed due to the employer’s negligence then a lawsuit can be filed directly against the employer for that negligence. See Tex. Lab. Code section 406.033 and section 408.001.
Nonsubscriber employers lose certain defenses: The Texas Workers Compensation Act penalizes companies that do not subscribe to Texas Workers Compensation Insurance by barring certain defenses, including:
Defenses Employer Cannot Use in Nonsubscriber Cases:
1) Contributory negligence;
2) Assumption of the risk;
3) Negligence of a fellow employee; and
4) Preinjury waiver of liability. Tex. Lab. Code section 406.033(a) and (e).
Defenses Employer Can Use in Nonsubscriber Cases:
1) The employee’s injury was caused by an act of the employee that was intended to cause the injury;
2) The employee’s injury was caused while the employee was intoxicated;
3) The employee entered into an enforceable post-injury waiver. See Tex. Lab. Code sections 406.033(c) and (f).
Note on Arbitration Clauses: Many employers have employees sign an “arbitration clause” before starting work. Sometimes the arbitration clause is not really even signed but is hidden inside a benefits package that is handed to the employee when they start their job. The Texas Supreme Court has held that a pre-injury arbitration agreement covering job-related personal injury and wrongful death claims is not a waiver of liability and thus does not violate section 406.033(e). See In re Golden Peanut Co., 298 S.W.3d 629, 631 (Tex. 2009).
So if your employer has an arbitration clause that you signed, or is part of your benefits package, a court may require that your personal injury claim be handled through arbitration as spelled out in the company’s arbitration clause.
Regardless of whether the employer has an arbitration clause or not, if they are a nonsubscriber we can help you pursue your personal injury case.
ISSUES IN NONSUBSCRIBER CASES
Workers are often injured at work due to negligence of one kind or another. In Texas, if the employer does not carry Workers Compensations insurance, then the injured employee is left with an injury that keeps him from earning a paycheck, and with hospital and doctor bills that ruin their credit, for an injury that the employer caused due to the employer trying to cut corners and save a dollar here or there.
If your employer has a “replacement policy” – one that is not actually under Texas Workers Compensation, they will send you to the “company” doctor for evaluation. What the employee doesn’t know is that the company doctor does not see the employee as his client, the company doctor sees the employer as his client. If the employer tells the doctor to stop treatment and get the employee back to work, that is exactly what most company doctors do, regardless of what the reality of the injury is. If the employee is unable to return, because he physically cannot stand for any period of time due to untreated torn ligaments, or damaged muscles, broken bones, or need for surgery – the employer then uses the doctor’s “recommendation” that the employee go back to work as a reason to fire the employee.
The logic is sound for the employer. The doctor told the employee to go back to work. The employee refused. They fire the employee. What they leave out of this chain of logic is the first part . . . “that the company orders the doctor to recommend the employee go back to work regardless of his condition”, and that if the doctor refuses to obey, they will find another company doctor who will do as they say.
In this situation, you need an advocate on your side. You need to consider a Dallas workplace injury lawyer. You are being put into a position where they are forcing you out of your job anyway. You have nothing to lose at this point – you must protect yourself from this unethical and harmful behavior of the company and the company doctor.
Injuries occurring on the job can have various impacts on your life. You can have damages including:
1. Physical Pain
2. Mental Anguish
3. Loss of earnings or loss of earning capacity
4. Medical bills
7. Physical Impairment
8. Loss of Consortium
9. Loss of the Enjoyment of Life
If you or anyone you know needs a Dallas workplace injury lawyer due to the negligence of their employer, call the Law Office of Doug Goyen. We can start working on their case today. Call (972) 599 4100.
TYPES OF CASES WE HANDLE
The Law Office of Doug Goyen handles personal injury cases throughout the state of Texas. This includes car crash cases (automobiles, 18 wheelers, motorcycles, pedestrians struck by vehicles, etc.), premises cases (such as injuries caused by a dangerous condition on a property), dog bite cases (or other animals where the owner let their animal loose or had a dangerous animal and the owner’s negligence causes injury to someone else), workplace injuries, and other injuries caused by the negligence or harmful acts of others.
We deal with the insurance company and protect your rights while you focus on what you need to do to get better and take care of yourself and those around you.
Large commercial trucks do serious damage and cause serious injuries. We will fight for you to get you the compensation you deserve and protect your rights while you recover.
Drunk drivers cause serious injuries and death every year. We fight their insurance companies to get you compensated for the damage and injury they have caused you.
Pedestrians struck by vehicles can suffer serious injuries. We represent people injured in by negligent drivers and help our clients get compensation for their injury.
Bicyclists are at risk of serious injury when struck by vehicles. We represent bicyclists who have been struck by negligent drivers.
When bars or restaurants continue to over-serve drunk people and those people cause accidents with injuries, we help clients recover compensation for their injuries.
We protect the rights of motorcyclists who have been injured by negligent drivers. We fight to get all the compensation due from the insurance company.
We help clients recover compensation for injuries caused by unsafe conditions on property. Businesses have a duty to their customers to keep their establishments safe.
Dog owners who are irresponsible with their animals owe for any damage their negligence caused. We deal with the insurance company involved to get compensation for injuries caused by negligent dog owners.
When someone dies due to negligence the family and estate has a claim against the negligent parties that caused the death. We represent families and estates in recovering compensation for the harm done.
Personal injuries are caused by negligence, assaults, and other acts where those who caused the injury owe for the injury caused. We help people with personal injury case recover what they are owed for the damage caused.
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