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H-E-B is a beloved and very well-known Texas supermarket chain. H-E-B may not be widely known outside Texas, but its $32.8B in revenue lands it on the list of the top 10 “Grocers” in the United States. H-E-B is a private employer. The biggest private employer in Texas. And like many other private employers in Texas, H-E-B has made the decision not to subscribe to the state-governed workers’ compensation system.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance, also known as Workers’ Comp, is a state-regulated program that provides medical and income benefits for injured employees. Employers that do not offer worker’s compensation insurance coverage are referred to as Non-Subscribers. That is the case with H-E-B and many other big store chains like Walmart, Kroger, Target, Randall’s, and Whole Foods among others.
Many Texas employers choose to opt out of the state-run workers’ compensation system to save money. It also gives the employer more control over the doctors the employee can see for care. Usually, non-subscribing employers have a benefit plan with doctors that tend to minimize the injuries which in turn reduces the amount paid on a work injury claim.
While it is not widely known to employees, Texas law punishes employers for not subscribing to the Texas-governed worker’s compensation system by allowing the employee to sue the employer if there was some negligence of the employer or a co-employee that caused the injury. Texas law specifically says that it is not a defense in these non-subscriber work injury cases if the employee hurt was negligent. So as long as the employer or one of its employees is as little as 1% negligent, the worker can recover 100% of the damages. These damages are not limited to 2 years like most of the non-subscriber benefit plans and include damages beyond the non-subscriber benefit plan such as the following:
• mental anguish
• full medical bills
• loss of earning capacity
These damages are not limited to 2 years like most non-subscriber injury benefit plans, but can be awarded for damages in the past and far into the future. Truly that unforeseen circumstances can turn regular job duties into accidents. The attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris – Accident & Injury have seen grocery store employees at H-E-B and other grocery stores suffering from a variety of injuries including:
1. traumatic brain injuries
2. bone fractures
3. torn ligaments
4. neck or back strains
When an injured H-E-B employee seeks assistance from the attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris – Accident & Injury Attorneys, we always provide the option to be seen by a doctor the injured worker selects for a second opinion. That was the case for the above-mentioned H-E-B cake decorator. She came to us looking for help and she got the precise medical treatment she needed that was not being provided by the company-sided doctors chosen by H-E-B.
Being prepared is always your best option. Nobody plans to get hurt on the job, but accidents happen, and they can change your life.
However, what you decide to do right after it happens matters. Get medical care, report the injury so you have proof, preserve any evidence, document contact information for witnesses, and call an experienced injury attorney! The experienced Houston work injury lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris – Accident & Injury Attorneys are always willing to provide a free evaluation of your case. You can reach us by calling 713-893-0971 or visiting our website.