If you work for a company or organization and receive no money for your efforts, you are typically classified as a volunteer. Volunteers dedicate their time and efforts to helping businesses, charities, and other groups operate. However, some volunteers are injured on the job. When workplace injuries occur, it puts volunteers in a tough spot. How do they collect the money they need to recover? Can they collect workers’ compensation benefits in Texas?
Volunteers May Be at Higher Risk for Suffering Injury
Unfortunately, volunteers and other part-time or seasonal employees may be at a higher risk for suffering an injury on the job. That is because they often do not receive enough training on safety protocols before beginning work. They may come in to help on a project for a particularly busy time of year. This can put them in harm’s way.
Volunteers can suffer serious injuries that include:
- Crushing injuries
- Caught in/between equipment
- Injuries from overuse or exertion
- Toxic chemical exposure
Volunteers may believe workers’ comp benefits will cover their injuries. Sadly, this isn’t always true.
Situations Where Volunteers Can Recover Workers’ Comp Benefits
Workers’ compensation in Texas is available to employees who suffer a job-related injury or develop a workplace illness. Since volunteers are not classified as employees, they are not able to qualify for workers’ compensation. However, there are exceptions to this rule.
For instance, volunteer firefighters who are responding to an emergency situation or disaster may qualify under Sec. 406.089 of the Texas Labor Code.
If you are a volunteer and suffer injuries on the job, then it is important to know your legal rights. While you may not qualify for workers’ comp benefits, you may be able to collect the compensation you need. The organization where you volunteer will typically have a general liability insurance policy which may provide coverage. You may be able to pursue a liability insurance claim or file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent party.
Workplace injuries can result in serious health complications and long-term disability. When volunteers are injured, they may face uphill battles when trying to collect the money they need to put their lives back together. During this difficult time, an experienced Texas workers’ compensation lawyer can review your legal options.
Can Volunteers in Texas Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
If you are a volunteer and suffered injuries on the job, it is important to know your legal rights. While you may not be able to collect workers’ compensation, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. In other cases, you may be illegally classified as a volunteer and could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine whether you need to file a workers’ comp or personal injury claim. That is why you need an experienced Texas workers’ compensation lawyer on your side from the start. Contact the attorneys at David K. Wilson & Associates at (903) 870-9050 or fill out our confidential contact form and we will call you back.