And if you are employed like Mr. Bozeman in this story–you have to pay for the medical care out of your pocket. Hopefully you have insurance and only have to pay a deductible and co-pay. But if your insurance doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions you are just out of luck.

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Men sent to work at a chicken processing plant for “treatment” rather than go to prison. Chicken processing plants have high incidences of on the job injuries. Program participants that got injured on the job were sent to prison while the owners collected the workers compensation payments.

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Thousands of people are killed every year on the job, and multitudes of others suffer serious injuries. On-the-job injuries account for huge losses of time and productivity, but if you’re hurt at work, these concerns are secondary to your own. These injuries can prevent you from working, result in lost wages and even land you in bankruptcy thanks to high medical bills. Fortunately, there are workers compensation protections, and this is how you can become eligible.

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Workers’ compensation is a state-regulated insurance program that pays medical expenses and lost wages of employees who are injured at work or suffer from work-related illnesses. Workers’ compensation cases are treated on a case-by-case basis, which means that employees are treated differently based on the nature and severity of their injuries.

In Texas, the agency responsible for regulating the state’s workers’ compensation system is the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). Within the TDI exists a smaller division, which carries the sole responsibility of processing and monitoring workers’ compensation claims, called the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC).


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I haven’t been able to update my blog because I had been sent a cease and desist letter from the DWC informing me that I was in violation of Texas Labor Code Section 419.002(a) because I had used the words “Texas Workers’ Comp” in this blog’s URL.
Well, today I filed suit against the DWC in federal court. You can view my petition here:

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For the attorneys that follow this blog, in a decision that should surprise no one, the Texas Supreme Court refused to review the decision in Texas Mutual Insurance Co. vs. Vista Community Medical Center, LLP. Practitioners will recall that this is the Austin Court of Appeals decision from 2008 that invalidated the stop-loss exception.

Hospitals

First, an injured worker’s alien status is not a complete bar to receiving workers compensation benefits. Commercial Standard Fire and Marine Company v. Galindo, 484 S.W.2d. 635 (Tex. Civ. App.–El Paso 1972, writ ref’d n.r.e.); This holding has been adopted under the current compensation act by APD 022258-s. Second, in a case involving a meat packer, Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Guzman 116 S.W.3d 233, (Tex.App.-Tyler 2003,no pet.), the court held that not only can an undocumented alien be compensated for lost wages, the undocumented worker is also entitled to recover for lost earning capacity for the future. In other words, there is no presumption that the worker would be deported and unable to earn wages in the country of origin. However, if an employee returns to work, even at light duty, and is later terminated, laid off, or quits, and the evidence shows that the injured undocumented worker’s medical condition has not changed, the worker may not establish disability if the sole reason other employment cannot be obtained is the injured worker’s illegal alien status. APD 000529.

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