October 9, 2012
A recent decision by the Texas Supreme Court makes it more difficult to hold workers’ compensation insurers accountable for their actions. According to the Houston Chronicle, the ruling eliminates the ability of an injured person to file a bad faith claim against an insurance company.
The ruling comes after an employee of a Galveston, Texas, electric supply company suffered a slip and fall accident on the job. Doctors determined he had suffered a hernia and scheduled surgery, but Texas Mutual Insurance of Austin cancelled the policy saying his employer stated the injuries were from playing softball.
The victim never played the sport and filed a Texas workers compensation lawsuit against the insurer, claiming they acted in bad faith. The victim won the lawsuit and was awarded $173,000 in damages; however, the insurance company appealed and the decision was overturned. Furthermore, the panel of judges decided on a 5-4 vote to do away with the section of Texas workers’ compensation law that allowed victims to file claims of bad faith. The decision means an insurance company can now refuse to pay a victim for whatever reason they deem legitimate with no repercussion.
The Austin Personal Injury Lawyers with Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers understand how frustrating and confusing filing a claim after an on-the-job accident can be and are here to discuss any questions you may have if you, or a loved one, has been hurt in a work-related accident.