Select your state

Employment law

workers' compensation insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance laws and requirements for employers vary from state to state, but private employers can generally choose whether to carry workers' compensation insurance coverage. A workers' compensation insurance policy provides lost wages and medical benefits to employees injured on the job—and death benefits for the spouse and dependents (children) of a worker who dies in a work-related accident.

Under workers’ compensation laws in many states employers who subscribe to workers’ compensation insurance receive a significant legal protection—they cannot be sued by an injured employee (or the estate of a deceased employee) unless the employer was grossly negligent (more negligent than simple, ordinary negligence).

In other words, if an employer has workers’ compensation insurance, that is usually the exclusive remedy for an injured employee (known as the exclusive remedy provision in the statute), and the insurance coverage bars an injured employee from suing the employer (known as the workers’ compensation bar).

An employer who does not purchase or subscribe to workers’ compensation insurance is known as a nonsubscriber. Workers’ compensation laws are usually located in a state’s statutes.

In Texas, workers' compensation insurance is optional for private employers. This means that employers can choose whether or not to carry workers' compensation insurance. If an employer opts into the system, they are generally protected from most lawsuits by employees who are injured on the job, due to the exclusive remedy provision. This provision makes workers' compensation benefits the sole remedy for injured employees, barring them from suing their employer for work-related injuries, except in cases of gross negligence. However, if a Texas employer decides not to subscribe to workers' compensation insurance, they are considered a nonsubscriber and lose the legal protections provided by the workers' compensation system. As a result, nonsubscribers may be exposed to civil lawsuits brought by injured employees for workplace injuries. It's important for employers to weigh the benefits and risks of becoming a subscriber or nonsubscriber to workers' compensation insurance in Texas.

Legal articles related to this topic