The Texas Tribune reported on a interesting case of the state of Texas suing an injured worker, seeking the return of paid workers’ compensation funds. It sounds bizarre, an injured worker received workers’ compensation and now the state is actually suing her individually to get the money back? It is a relatively rare, but the Texas Tribune reports that the state has now taken at least eighty people to court trying to get workers’ compensation money back. This issue once again highlights the importance of an experienced and aggressive workers’ compensation attorney to protect the rights of injured Texas workers.
What Happened in This Case?
Teresa Hammond was an employee of a youth detention center located about an hour outside of Austin, Texas. In 2011, an incident occurred at the facility, and Hammond was required to chase down a youth offender. This resulted in Hammond falling, she ended up with a fractured knee and nerve damage to her shoulder. By the summer of 2012 Hammond had been medically discharged from her job at the youth detention center. In April of 2015, after a long battle with the Workers’ Comp Commission, Hammond won her workers’ comp case. A few months later, in the middle of the summer Hammond got the good news that she also won the appeal of the case. But, shockingly to her, things were not over yet. She received notice that the Texas Risk Management Office was filing a lawsuit in district court seeking the overturning of the administrative judge’s decision in favor of Teresa Hammond.
Can Texas Really Get the Money Back?
There is a possibility that Texas will get the some money back. The deck is certainly stacked against injured workers in this situation. A 2012 decision from the Texas Supreme Court made government insurers exempt for attorneys fees. That gives a huge edge for the insurance companies because it makes it difficult for attorneys to get paid, and can make it difficult for injured workers in this specific, rare, situation to find legal representation. The Texas Tribune story also reported that State Representative Nicole Collier supported a bill to update the law and removing the government insurer exemption. This bill would be very beneficial for injured workers facing this type of lawsuit from Texas. A case like Teresa Hammond’s won’t come up often, but workers are injured on the job in Texas every day. Insurers fight hard to avoid paying out, even when it comes to injured workers. If you have been injured an aggressive workers’ compensation attorney is a crucial asset.
A San Antonio Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help
This rare case demonstrates just how hard the state and the insurers are willing to fight to deny workers’ compensation. No matter your specific situation, it can be a complicated and difficult battle. If you were injured on the job, you have legal rights. It is important that you seek the assistance of an attorney with deep experience in Texas workplace injury law to make sure those rights are fully protected. If you, or a loved one, was injured on the job and you have any questions about workers’ compensation or Texas work injury law, contact an experienced San Antonio work injury attorney today.