Do injured workers have access to the courts for benefit disputes?

Yes.

  • Employees have extensive internal and external rights to appeal any benefit denial, including access to state and federal courts.
  • Federal law prohibits mandatory, final arbitration of injury benefit disputes.
  • Some Texas employers require arbitration of negligence liability claims by injured workers, but that does not apply to any dispute regarding payment of injury benefits. 
  • Injured workers covered by an arbitration agreement in Texas still retain all rights to sue for employer negligence and can recover the same damages allowed in a court of law. Many state and federal statutes and court decisions over the past 25 years have specified clear requirements to ensure fairness both to injured workers and employers.