Does Lowe’s have workers’ comp? The answer to that question for Lowe’s employees in Texas is “no.”
Lowe’s does not subscribe to the Texas state workers’ compensation system. But this does not mean that you’re unprotected in the event of an accident while working at Lowe’s.
If you’ve suffered an injury while working at Lowe’s in Texas and have questions about Lowe’s workers’ comp alternatives, please contact the work injury lawyers at The Zimmerman Law Firm for a free consultation.
State Workers’ Compensation Laws
The Texas workers’ compensation program is a state insurance program to pay medical bills and replace income lost from a work-related injury or illness.
Workers’ compensation claims under this system are no-fault, which means workers can file a claim regardless of who is at fault.
It also means that if an employer subscribes to the state workers’ comp program, workers generally can’t sue them for negligence.
Unlike employers in other states, most Texas employers can choose whether to carry workers’ compensation insurance for employees.
Texas allows private employers to opt out of the workers’ compensation system for coverage and elect “non-subscriber” status.
Like many major retailers in Texas, Lowe’s is a non-subscriber.
Lowe’s and other large non-subscriber employers may provide some insurance coverage for injured employees, but not through the official state workers’ compensation insurance.
This means that a Lowe’s employee has the right to file a lawsuit against Lowe’s if their accident was caused by Lowe’s or one of its employees.
Filing a Lawsuit Against a Non-Subscriber for Negligence
Injured worker lawsuits against non-subscriber employers are negligence cases similar to most personal injury lawsuits.
If you sue based on your employer’s negligence, your lawyer must prove your employer’s negligence caused your damages.
But unlike in a typical personal injury case, Texas law prohibits your non-subscriber employer from using certain defenses to avoid liability. These statutory provisions strongly favor injured workers.
Contributory negligence means that the injured party is partly to blame for their injuries.
In other personal injury lawsuits, the party sued can raise contributory negligence as a defense to reduce its liability.
In non-subscriber claims, even if you were 95% at fault and your employer was only 5% at fault, the employer must pay 100% of your damages.
Assumption of Risk
The assumption of risk defense asserts that the injured party knew what they were doing could result in injury, and thus they assumed the risk of being injured by doing that act.
This defense, if successful, normally prevents the injured party from receiving compensation for their injuries.
However, in a non-subscriber employer case, the employer is prohibited from raising this defense.
Fellow Servant Doctrine
An employer using this defense claims that another employee caused the worker’s injuries and that this employee, not the employer, should be responsible for the injured worker’s damages.
A non-subscriber employer cannot use this defense. Thus, your employer could be responsible for your injuries even if another employee is liable.
Pre-Injury Waiver of Liability
A pre-injury waiver is a contract that a person signs before participating in an activity. The waiver normally relieves the business of liability if the person gets hurt.
Non-subscriber employers are prohibited from using pre-injury waivers to avoid liability if an employee is injured at work.
Employers are, however, allowed to require employees to sign an arbitration agreement to settle any dispute regarding a workplace injury in front of mediators instead of filing a lawsuit in court.
Non-subscriber cases can be complex. If you were injured while working at Lowe’s in Texas, please contact The Zimmerman Law Firm to discuss your options for suing Lowe’s for negligence.
The Lowe’s Injury Policy for Employees
If you cannot show that your employer or one of its employees caused your injury, you may still be able to collect some compensation from Lowe’s.
A Lowe’s workers’ comp claim will look different from a claim with other companies due to its non-subscriber status.
Lowe’s has its own employee injury policy. You likely received specific information about the Lowe’s work injury compensation plan when you began your employment with Lowe’s.
Such a plan would provide some medical and wage replacement benefits.
Returning to Lowe’s after workers’ comp may be challenging.
But as an injured worker, you should report the injury to your supervisor immediately, no matter how minor, and follow all other steps required under Lowe’s work injury compensation plan.
If you don’t, you may potentially forfeit your eligibility for benefits.
Lowe’s work injury compensation plan does not provide the same coverage as the state workers’ compensation program, but it does provide some compensation.
An attorney will be able to help you maximize your compensation, and advise you if you have the basis for a lawsuit.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Lowe’s Workplace Injury?
In determining what action to pursue against Lowe’s you would benefit from working with an experienced work injury attorney who is well-versed in handling cases against non-subscriber employers in Texas.
The Zimmerman Law Firm legal team can help you fight for your rights to compensation for your injuries.
In addition to providing you with legal guidance, we can help you determine whether they’re subject to arbitration under Lowe’s policy or if a lawsuit is an option.
Our job is to help you understand your rights and options for compensation if you’re injured while working at Lowe’s.
Our Texas Injury Lawyers Fight for the Rights of Injured Workers
Hiring a work injury attorney with extensive experience handling non-subscriber claims is critical. It will increase your chances of a favorable outcome.
The Zimmerman Law Firm attorneys have over 85 years of combined experience fighting on behalf of thousands of injured Texans.
We are ready to fight to get the compensation you need to pay your medical bills and other workplace injury costs. Please contact us online or call us for a free consultation.