The State of Texas provides worker’s compensation insurance to protect you in the event of a work-related injury or illness through the State Office of Risk Management. Although the Texas Worker’s Compensation Rules allow employees up to 30 days to notify an employer of an injury/illness, it is the policy of Sam Houston State that the employee notifies their supervisors immediately when an injury/illness occurs. Additionally, employees and supervisors are responsible for timely completion of required claim forms.
Workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for an on-the-job injury. This means that the employee may not sue the employer or co-workers for damages. However, an employee may notify their employer in writing within five days of beginning work that they do not want to be covered by workers’ compensation and prefer to keep the common-law right to recover damages for personal injury or death. If you elect to retain your common-law right of action, you cannot obtain workers’ compensation income or medical benefits. Additionally, the state provided Texas Employees Group Benefits Program does not cover expenses for occupational illness or injuries sustained at work, regardless of whether they are covered by workers’ compensation or similar state or federal programs.
You can get more information about your worker’s compensation rights from any office of the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers' Compensation, or by calling the Commission’s toll free number (1-800-252-7031).