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Walmart Employee Killed On-The-Job

Texas Workers' Compensation Attorney

Help From a Texas Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Following a workplace accident, a Texas injured worker might be entitled to pursue Texas workers’ compensation benefits by filing a claim with their employer’s insurance carrier. Texas however allows private employers to choose whether to participate in the state’s workers’ compensation system or to instead opt out of it. If an employer is a non-subscriber, an injured employee can file a negligence lawsuit against the employer to recover damages. The damages available in a lawsuit against a non-subscriber might be substantially higher than the benefits available through the Texas workers’ compensation system. A recent incident in which a Walmart employee was killed can be used to illustrate how both situations might work.

Texas Worker Killed

On Dec. 13, 2022, an employee of a Walmart Distribution Center in Terrell, Texas was killed in a workplace accident involving heavy machinery. The employee reportedly fell into the heavy equipment. Emergency responders from CareFlite and the Terrell Fire Department arrived and administered emergency treatment before transporting the man to the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. The man was pronounced dead at the hospital. The accident is being investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

How Workers’ Compensation Works in Texas

Texas allows private employers to decide whether or not to participate in the state’s workers’ compensation system. When an employer participates in workers’ compensation, they must carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect employees who are injured or sickened on the job. An injured victim can file a claim for benefits with the employer’s worker’s compensation insurance carrier regardless of fault. The employee will not have to prove that the employer was negligent to recover benefits.

Worker’s compensation benefits for injured employees might include the following types:

  • Medical benefits to cover all of the required treatment and any related medical expenses, including prescriptions, prostheses, travel to and from medical appointments, and others without copays or deductibles
  • Medical expenses incurred to treat their loved one from the time of injury until they died, including the life flight, emergency medical care, and hospital care
  • Temporary partial disability benefits until the employee return to work full-time
  • Temporary total disability benefits until the employee can return to work
  • Permanent partial disability benefits – Permanent benefits for workers who suffer partial disabilities and can’t return to the same type of job
  • Permanent total disability benefits – Permanent benefits paid to people who are totally disabled and permanently prevented from returning to work
  • Survivor’s benefits to replace a percentage of their loved one’s previous income on an ongoing basis
  • Reasonable funeral and burial costs

It’s important to note that workers’ compensation claims do not allow victims or their families to recover damages for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering. The benefits for lost wages are also capped at a percentage of the employee’s former income instead of the full amount.

Claims Against Non-Subscribers (No Work Comp Insurance)

Employers who don’t subscribe to the Texas workers’ compensation system (companies that opt-out) are not protected against lawsuits that might be filed by injured workers and or the families of those who are killed. That means they have the right to file negligence claims against the employer to recover compensation, including medical expenses, lost wages, other economic losses, and non-economic losses. The total damages that might be available in a lawsuit against a non-subscriber employer (like Walmart) are generally substantially greater than a traditional worker’s compensation claim. That means the company runs the risk of paying much more money to the injured worker or their families so long as they can prove negligence against them.  In this instance, the surviving family members might win a lawsuit against Walmart if the OSHA investigation reveals the company violated safety guidelines.

Talk to Texas Workers’ Compensation Attorney Evan M. Ostfeld

If you were injured at work and or have lost your loved one in a workplace accident in Texas, you should speak to a Texas workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Offices of Evan M. Ostfeld. Attorney Evan Ostfeld has been practicing for more than 29 years and provides a no-obligation case evaluation. That means, there are no attorney’s fees or costs unless we secure a recovery or court award for you. Contact us today at (844) TEX-INFO (839-4636, (954) 998-0075 Text or evan@attorney4life.com. We are here to help!

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