Bad Faith in the Texas Workers Compensation System


The Texas Supreme Court recently determined that injured workers under the Texas Workers Compensation system do not have a statutory right to sue their insurance carrier for Bad Faith. The Court had previously determined that injured workers did not have a common law right to sue for Bad Faith. (Texas Mutual Insurance Company v. Ruttiger, 2012 Tex. LEXIS 501, (Tex. June 22, 2012). In their decision, the Court agreed with the insurance company’s argument that the New Act (1991) eliminates the need for a judicially imposed cause of action outside the administrative process and other remedies in the Act. This being said, the Court felt that the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers Compensation was able to give administrative violations for violations done by the injured workers insurance carrier. As a result of this determination, injured workers need to be more diligent in handling their claims. Insurance carriers no longer have the threat of a law suit for their actions done in Bad Faith. We have seen a rise in totally denied claims and hearings to resolve those claims. Injured workers must have a clear understanding of the burden needed to establish their claim and how to collect the evidence to prove it. This must be done within strict deadlines set by the Division of Workers Compensation. Daniel L Morris (214)357-1782


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