Tribpedia: Division Of Workers' Compensation

The Division of Workers' Compensation is a sub-agency inside the Texas Department of Insurance. In 2005, lawmakers merged the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission into TDI, which created the Division of Workers' Compensation that exists today. A Sunset Commission review in 2010 found the agency in a state of transition, as lawmakers have overhauled it and made several changes to its ...

Humble Trucker Wins Hollow Victory in Workers' Comp Case

Juan Boston, of Humble, holds a sign in support of injured workers on the steps of the Texas Capitol. The former truck driver has fought a years-long battle for workers' compensation benefits following a back injury that required surgery.
Juan Boston, of Humble, holds a sign in support of injured workers on the steps of the Texas Capitol. The former truck driver has fought a years-long battle for workers' compensation benefits following a back injury that required surgery.

State regulators have told an injured truck driver what he already knew — that his insurance company failed to properly document his debilitating back injury — but the finding won't help Juan Boston pay his medical expenses. 

Travis County District Attorney's office in Austin, Texas.
Travis County District Attorney's office in Austin, Texas.

Emails: Prosecutors Got Texas Mutual "Great Publicity"

Travis County prosecutors say the money they get each year from a large insurance company to prosecute workers’ compensation fraud helps both consumers and businesses. But behind the scenes, top officials in the DA's office highlight other benefits: They say they generate a lot of cash and good publicity for Texas Mutual Insurance. 

Juan Boston, of Humble, holds a sign in support of injured workers on the steps of the Texas Capitol. The former truck driver has fought a years-long battle for workers' compensation benefits following a back injury that required surgery.
Juan Boston, of Humble, holds a sign in support of injured workers on the steps of the Texas Capitol. The former truck driver has fought a years-long battle for workers' compensation benefits following a back injury that required surgery.

Inside a Texas Lawyer's Campaign to Ditch Workers’ Comp

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One Texas attorney is helping companies opt out of workers' compensation insurance and write their own rules. What does it mean for injured workers?

Lehmberg Sues to Block Records of Deal With Insurer

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Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg is suing to block the release of records about a controversial agreement that allows a giant insurance company to pay her office more than $400,000 a year to investigate the insurer’s fraud cases. 

 

Juan Boston, of Humble, holds a sign in support of injured workers on the steps of the Texas Capitol. The former truck driver has fought a years-long battle for workers' compensation benefits following a back injury that required surgery.
Juan Boston, of Humble, holds a sign in support of injured workers on the steps of the Texas Capitol. The former truck driver has fought a years-long battle for workers' compensation benefits following a back injury that required surgery.

In Texas, Injured Workers Struggle to Be Counted

On any given day across Texas, truck drivers might crash their vehicles, construction workers tumble from scaffolding or refinery workers inhale nauseating fumes. Many of those injuries will go unreported  — as if they never happened. But what is written down about workplace injuries is more than just scorekeeping. 

Jane Hays, 73, spent most of her career handling insurance claims and personnel issues. Now she's on the other side — fighting what she sees as a wrongful denial of her work injury claim. Hays had her lower right leg amputated on her way home from a work meeting.
Jane Hays, 73, spent most of her career handling insurance claims and personnel issues. Now she's on the other side — fighting what she sees as a wrongful denial of her work injury claim. Hays had her lower right leg amputated on her way home from a work meeting.

Amputee Awarded Benefits in Rare Order

A woman who lost her leg in a car accident on the way back from a work meeting will start receiving her workers’ compensation benefits after all—at least for now. In a rare order, the state required the insurer to start immediately paying Jane Hays income and health benefits.

Jane Hays, 73, spent most of her career handling insurance claims and personnel issues. Now she's on the other side — fighting what she sees as a wrongful denial of her work injury claim. Hays had her lower right leg amputated on her way home from a work meeting.
Jane Hays, 73, spent most of her career handling insurance claims and personnel issues. Now she's on the other side — fighting what she sees as a wrongful denial of her work injury claim. Hays had her lower right leg amputated on her way home from a work meeting.

Injured After Work Meeting, Amputee Fights Claim Denial

Jane Hays, an employee benefits manager at the Temple Independent School District, thought she knew everything about the Texas workers' compensation system. But after losing her leg in a car wreck and having her work injury claim denied, she said she's discovered the difficulty many workers in Texas face when they're hurt on the job. 

Teresa Hammond, a former corrections officer in the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, broke her knee and suffered other injuries while subduing an inmate on New Years Day 2012.
Teresa Hammond, a former corrections officer in the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, broke her knee and suffered other injuries while subduing an inmate on New Years Day 2012.

Texas to Injured State Worker: "You Have Been Sued"

Teresa Hammond, who was injured on the job at a youth lock-up, thought she had won her more than two-year battle against the state’s workers' compensation insurer. But last month, the state sued her, leaving her scrambling to find help. She's not the only state worker in that situation. 

A six-month Texas Tribune/Austin American-Statesman investigation reveals a chummy and unusual financial arrangement between Texas Mutual Insurance and the Travis County district attorney's office.

Video: Paid to Prosecute

A six-month Texas Tribune/Austin American-Statesman investigation reveals a chummy and unusual financial arrangement between Texas Mutual Insurance and the Travis County district attorney's office.

Glenn Johnson, 55, was injured in a smelting accident near Amarillo in 1997 when a furnace filled with molten metal exploded, crushed him and left major burns across 90 percent of his body. Johnson struggled to get compensation for his on-the-job injuries.
Glenn Johnson, 55, was injured in a smelting accident near Amarillo in 1997 when a furnace filled with molten metal exploded, crushed him and left major burns across 90 percent of his body. Johnson struggled to get compensation for his on-the-job injuries.

High Court Ruling Protects Insurers From Lawsuits

In a major victory for insurance companies, the Texas Supreme Court said Friday that injured workers can't sue for damages in workers' compensation claims even when the insurer intentionally misrepresents their policies, or uses the criminal justice system to punish them.

Glenn Johnson, 55, was injured in a smelting accident near Amarillo in 1997 in which a furnace filled with molten metal exploded, crushed him and left major burns over 90 percent of his body. His left arm was amputated and all but two the muscles in his right forearm were removed.
Glenn Johnson, 55, was injured in a smelting accident near Amarillo in 1997 in which a furnace filled with molten metal exploded, crushed him and left major burns over 90 percent of his body. His left arm was amputated and all but two the muscles in his right forearm were removed.

State Fights Release of Race Records

The Texas Department of Insurance is fighting the Tribune’s request for records that could shed light on why the agency has failed to collect racial data on injured workers, despite a 1993 law that requires it. The agency says release of the data would violate its attorney-client privilege and unfairly reveal its inner workings.

Glenn Johnson, 55, was injured in a smelting accident near Amarillo in 1997 in which a furnace filled with molten metal exploded, crushed him and left major burns over 90 percent of his body. His left arm was amputated and all but two the muscles in his right forearm were removed.
Glenn Johnson, 55, was injured in a smelting accident near Amarillo in 1997 in which a furnace filled with molten metal exploded, crushed him and left major burns over 90 percent of his body. His left arm was amputated and all but two the muscles in his right forearm were removed.

Injury Data by Race Goes Uncollected in Texas

After the Texas Division of Workers' Compensation admitted it is not maintaining race data on all valid worker injury claims — despite a law requiring it — Rep. René Oliveira is pressing the agency to start collecting it. Advocates say without the data it's impossible to tell if injured minorities face discrimination at work.

Texas Work Safety Hotline Upgraded

More than 20 years after the Texas Legislature passed a law establishing a 24-hour work safety hotline, real people are answering the telephone calls around the clock. The upgrade came after the Tribune reported that callers were being turned away from the hotline after normal business hours.

Insurer Drops Suit Against Tyler Widow

Crystal Davis, a stay-at-home mom from Tyler, finally got some welcome news in her battle against an insurance company that sued to cut off the workers’ comp benefits she got after her husband was killed on the job. The insurer is dropping its lawsuit, her lawyer said.

Injured, Dead Workers are Casualties of "Texas Miracle"

For every hurt or killed worker, there are financial frustrations, hopes dashed, careers on hold. Here is a list of 2,000 Texans who died on the job and the stories of seven injured workers whose experiences underscore findings in our "Hurting for Work" series. 

 

Video: A Twisted System

Crystal Davis, a young widow in East Texas, fights a workers' comp system in which the odds are against employees in disputes with big insurers. This is part 3 of Hurting for Work, an investigative series. 

*Editors note: Since the Tribune’s reporting of this story, ACE American Insurance - Wayne Davis' workers’ compensation carrier - has decided to drop the lawsuit against Crystal Davis and her two children.

Workers' Comp Insurer Sues Widow to Stop Benefits

When two state troopers arrived at Crystal Davis' home in 2012, she learned the awful reality: Her husband had died in a traffic accident on the way to work. The nightmare didn’t end there. Her husband's workers' compensation insurance carrier sued her and her children to deny them benefits. 

After Catastrophic Fall, the Fight of One Worker's Life

When Santiago Arias fell off of an industrial warehouse roof, an expert hired by his attorney called his job site one of the most hazardous he’d seen in 40 years as a safety engineer. But advocates for injured workers say Arias' case is far from unique. While the Texas economy is booming, the state leads the nation in the number of worker deaths. And there is often no state-provided workers' compensation insurance or private equivalent, because Texas doesn’t require it. 

Behind Texas Miracle, a Broken System for Workers

Drive almost anywhere in the Lone Star State, and you'll see evidence of the “Texas miracle” economy that policymakers can’t quit talking about. But there’s something about the thriving economy that state leaders rarely mention: Texas has led the nation in worker fatalities for seven of the last 10 years, and when Texans get hurt or killed on the job, they have some of the weakest protections and stingiest benefits in the country. Texas is the only U.S. state that doesn’t require any private employer to carry workers’ compensation insurance.