My Employer Has No Workers’ Comp Insurance: What Now?
Even if your employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, that doesn’t mean they’ll do so. While this doesn’t affect you day to day, it will have a big impact if you’re injured on the job.
What Can You Do?
If you’re injured on the job, the first step is notifying your employer and verifying that they have workers’ compensation insurance. You hope they do, but there’s no guarantee. That’s why you should ask in the first place.
If they have coverage, take the steps necessary to file a claim with their insurance provider.
Conversely, if they don’t have coverage, they could be in violation of the law. In Florida, there are a variety of laws that govern the workers’ compensation system, including which companies are required to carry coverage.
For example, in the construction industry, if a company has one or more employees — including the owner of the business — they must have workers’ compensation insurance.
However, in non-construction industries, coverage is only required of companies with four or more employees, including the business owner.
If your employer doesn’t have a policy — regardless of the reason — it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of luck. There are still steps you can take to receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and related damages.
While many states have an uninsured employer fund, this isn’t the case in Florida. For that reason, your best approach is to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer.
How to Win Your Case
As much as you don’t want to file a lawsuit against your employer, you must take your personal health and financial circumstances into consideration. Neglecting to take legal action will only harm you in the long run, not your employer.
The first step in winning your case is consulting with an experienced and knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney. This isn’t the type of situation you tackle without legal representation. Doing so will cost you time and money, while also bringing unneeded stress into your life.
Here are some other steps that can help you win your case:
- Maintain comprehensive medical records: This includes medical bills, test results, and anything else related to your injury or illness.
- Take photos: It may not seem like a big deal immediately following your injury, but it’ll help if you file a lawsuit. If possible, take photos of both the accident scene and your injuries.
- Talk to witnesses: For instance, if a co-worker witnessed your accident, secure their contact information for future use. Their testimony can go a long way in strengthening your case.
- Track your time off: This starts with reporting your injury to your employer. You want them to know exactly when it happened. Then, begin to track your time away from work. Do so by recording the days, while also collecting pay stubs.
What Will Your Employer Do?
You hope that your employer does the right thing and works with you to provide compensation for your injuries and other damages. Unfortunately, this very rarely happens, as the company stands to lose too much money.
It’s more likely that your employer will fight back, using one or more of these defenses:
- You were not injured on the job: This argument is based on the premise that you were injured outside of work, not while you were on the clock.
- You did not receive medical treatment: You must obtain immediate medical treatment, as this helps prove when you were injured. As noted above, maintain good records.
- You were under the influence: Your employer could argue that you were under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and/or prescription medication. This makes it much more difficult to obtain compensation.
Also, your employer may hire an attorney to defend them against your claims. That’s another reason why you need a legal team working on your behalf.
If you’re injured on the job and soon learn that your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, don’t panic. You can still file a lawsuit. Should you need to go down this path, contact our law firm online or via phone at 561-513-4376. One of our experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorneys can answer your questions, provide guidance, and help you seek compensation for your damages.
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