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Personal Injury

Non-Subscriber Employee Injury Arbitration

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In Texas, workers can sue their employers for injury in State Courts when the employer doesn't provide workers' compensation. Many of these cases are transferred to arbitration, a private, parallel court system where attorneys and former judges act as the judge, there is no jury, and the outcome is binding with no appeal.

The employer, by not carrying workers' compensation, has severely limited defenses. The employer cannot blame the injury on a co-worker or assign partial fault to the employee. But this doesn't mean that the employee always wins. The employee still must show that the employer was negligent and that the employer’s negligence caused the worker’s injury. This is most frequently done by showing that a co-worker’s negligence caused at least some portion of the injury, that the company did not provide the worker with the proper tools and equipment, or that the equipment and tools provided were defective, or that the employer did not provide proper training to the employee. The cases are hard-fought and the stakes for the arbitration trial are very high, since there is no appeal.  Experienced lawyers are essential to getting the fair recovery that the worker deserves.

Non-subscriber cases have been around as long as the workers’ compensation system in Texas.  However, over the past two decades, employers have developed their own employee-injury system of insurance under ERISA. This system offers workers' comp-like benefits for injured employees, with disputes about whether benefits are due under the plan, adjudicated under ERISA in federal courts.  These injury plans almost always contain arbitration provisions to adjudicate injury claims and disputes.  These plans typically provide for the worker to see a doctor contracted for by the employer, and employees may get some medical treatment and be provided with some light-duty work.  Just because the worker receives some medical treatment and some pay for light-duty work, it doesn’t mean the employee is going to receive all that he or she is due.  Many times, things go sideways when a worker needs to have surgery, or can’t return to the job he or she did when the employee was injured.  Then, the company may fire the injured employee and cut off all benefits, including medical coverage, and if the employee tries to sue, invoke the arbitration clause.

ERISA and arbitration – the employer’s bet – are significant enough barriers to put off busy attorneys who don’t have deep experience with arbitrations.  We focus on this niche practice, and we take referrals from other attorneys. 

We have years of experience bringing personal injury cases on behalf of injured workers in both State Courts and in Arbitration panels. We work with doctors who can pick up the medical treatment when the company cuts off medical benefits to make sure the employee gets necessary care, and then sue the employer for the cost of that necessary medical care and also lost wages, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.

 Along with experience at personal injury arbitration, we have years of experience in high-stakes commercial/business arbitrations and are well-versed in the intricacies of the arbitration system. We have repeatedly beat back employers' attempts to limit recovery with ERISA and other federal laws, and to deny workers the past wages, future wages, and personal injury damages they are due.

We investigate the facts of the case, develop a comprehensive plan, work with experts in the pertinent fields, work with doctors to see that the injured employee gets his or her necessary medical care, and get positive results for our clients in the arbitrations.  We litigate non-subscriber cases and are not afraid to have a personal injury arbitration trial.  We go to trial (arbitration and court) when the company won’t pay a fair settlement to the injured worker, and we have a good track record at non-subscriber arbitrations and business litigation arbitrations. We litigate to win and care deeply about our client, their families, and the damage wrought by serious workplace injuries.  We can’t undo all the damage done, but we can fight to get you the healthcare you need and compensation for the damage.

If you or a loved one is injured at work, and you are unsure of whether there is workers' compensation coverage, contact us. If there is no workers' compensation and you want attorneys with experience in the unique forum of non-subscriber litigation, we will be your attorneys.

Call us at 281-949-8904 or email us here. The attorneys of Schreiber | Knockaert, PLLC will give you the legal representation you deserve and need.

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Joseph M. Schreiber

Founding Partner

Erik A. Knockaert

Founding Partner