A Quick Definition – What is Workers’ Comp
Workers’ Compensation is an insurance program that provides money to people who suffer injuries or illnesses at work or as the result of work duties. In most cases, an employee who suffered a work-related injury or illness can receive workers’ compensation benefits no matter who is at fault. Whether the incident was caused by the employee, employer, a coworker, a consumer, or another party, the injured party may be eligible for benefits. After receiving these benefits, employees generally agree to not (or do not have the right to) sue the employer in a court of law in relation to these injuries.
About State Laws and Workers Comp
Each state has its own set of workers’ compensation laws, and a local lawyer will be most knowledgeable of the laws near you. Some states require employers with at least one active employee (even part time) to carry insurance, while other states allow employers with 5-10 employees go without insurance. Employers in the construction industry are often bound by stricter laws. Failure to carry legally required workers’ compensation insurance is a serious offense. Employers who violate this law can face hefty fines and lawsuits.
The Big Question – What If Your Employer Doesn’t Carry Workers’ Comp?
What if you are injured at work and your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance? First, do your own research to make sure this is true. In most states, employers are required to display proof of insurance on premises and online. If your employer tells you they don’t have workers’ compensation insurance or that you are not eligible to receive benefits, don’t accept that and move on. Some employers will do anything they can to discourage the filing of a claim. You should not be intimidated; You were injured at work and deserve appropriate compensation. If you find out your employer really doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance, you are not out of options. There are two things you can do to get compensation for your injury:
1. File a claim with the second injury fund in your state, if one exists. The second injury fund helps injured workers when their employers don’t have insurance. The second injury fund may pay for medical care, but no further benefits.
2. File a personal injury or negligence lawsuit.
Both are complicated actions and require the specialized knowledge of a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer. Contact a lawyer ASAP to help you with you next move. This is only general information on workers’ compensation that can be applied in most states. It is important to remember that every state holds different laws and every case is different. Always consult with a local attorney for advice on a specific incident. The Hayes Firm can get you in touch with a local lawyer today. We will find you the best workers’ comp attorney in your area, completely free of charge. Simply describe your situation using the online form to the right of this screen or by calling 1-800-603-6833 and we will review your case as soon as possible.