Non-Subscriber Employer Liability and the Sole Proximate Cause Defense in a Non-Subscriber Work Fatality Case
Workers’ comp insurance, even if it costs less than traditional construction liability coverage, is still far from cheap. This is primarily the reason why almost half of Texas employers choose not to purchase workers’ comp. So if you are to receive the compensation for your loved one’s fatal construction accident from a non-subscribing employer, you need the assistance of a skilled fatal construction accident lawyer to investigate the case, file an insurance claim, or – if necessary – civil lawsuit and see it through in order to receive fair wrongful death compensation.
All such lawsuits begin with the victim’s family, the plaintiff, filing a claim with the employer, and stating the need for fair reimbursement. If the employer is insured, the matter is usually handed over to the insurance company which either tries to negotiate a settlement or, most often, disputes the plaintiff’s allegations outright. But if the case is strong, negotiations can produce a settlement and the plaintiff collects fair damages. But often, work-related injury cases are contested and the survivors must file a lawsuit to win compensation. The plaintiff holds the burden for proving that the employer’s negligence caused the fatal construction injury.
Proving gross negligence, as we’ve already said, requires a very strong case that is only established through intensive investigation, witness corroboration, and the testimony of expert witnesses. As soon as the accident occurs, the employer’s insurance company’s adjusters and defense lawyers begin building a case against your deceased loved one. However, in a non-subscriber case, the family of the decedent is not required to prove gross negligence, and establishing standard negligence, which is clearly outlined in Texas workers’ comp laws is often sufficient enough to produce a successful outcome for the plaintiff. But if you can prove gross negligence, we’ll hazard a guess that you have a very strong case indeed.
The only true liability defense afforded to non-subscribers after a fatal workplace accident to an employee is to prove the employee is the sole proximate cause of the accident. This means that your loved one was completely to blame for his or her own fatal injuries. In order to invoke the sole proximate cause defense, non-subscribing employers, and their insurance company’s attorneys will further walk on your loved one’s reputation by using any means to prove he or she was a careless or irresponsible employee and caused the fatal accident. Since insurance companies and are very experienced, and their attorneys very shrewd, when it comes to fighting your claim or civil case, having a fatal workplace accident lawyer to turn the tables of liability back on the negligent construction employer is a powerful weapon indeed.
If the employer is a workers’ comp insurance non-subscriber, then he or she isn’t likely to suddenly pay you for the negligence-related death. That’s because the insurance company doesn’t want the employer to do that. And by paying a claim, it will certainly mean even higher future liability coverage rates for the construction company. Many insurance carriers have no qualms about using this “higher premium threat” to discourage their policyholders from settling what would normally be a legitimate wrongful death claim.
An experienced construction accident attorney with our Law Firm will help you deal with your challenging injury/death case anywhere in Texas. We have spent over 30 years accumulating the expertise and skill you desperately need to be required to help win the compensation you deserve. If you want to know what your rights are, how to proceed with your claim and how much compensation you can secure, then we can answer your questions. Call our Law Firm now for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.