Being involved in a workplace accident where you get hurt is bad enough; finding out that your employer doesn't have workers' compensation insurance makes things much worse.
Understandably, running into this issue is going to make you angry, frustrated, and stressed out. It can no doubt be difficult to pay your monthly expenses when you can't work. So, what can you do about this type of situation? Read on to learn some helpful information about what you should do in the event that your employer lacks worker's compensation insurance.
Every state in the union (except Texas) requires every business owner to provide their employees with worker's compensation insurance. Now, some states do have a minimum employee number that excludes some employers from this law. California is 20 or less, and in some states, it's as small as four or five employees.
If you've yet to experience an accident at work, it is still important to make sure that your employer has some sort of worker's compensation insurance. How can you go about learning this information? You have two options: Either ask your employer directly if they have this type of insurance or, if you simply don't trust them, you can visit your state's worker comp agency to ask if your company has this type of insurance in place.
If you are involved in an accident and find out that your employer doesn't have insurance, then you do have two options you can fall back on. Let's explore the first one. Although most states don't allow you to sue your employer for an accident, that rule is void when the employer doesn't have insurance. This would be a personal injury lawsuit against your employer.
Your second option is to apply for your state's uninsured employer's fund. Now, before you choose one over the other, you should first understand what you're getting with these two options.
If you choose to take your employer to court, you will have to show proof to a Des Moines workers comp lawyer and the courts that the company was negligent to the point they caused you to get hurt while on the job.
Now, even if you do win your court case, you will have to take some time to negotiate a settlement. This, of course, takes a long time, and you may be forced to live without a paycheck for a few months. Now, if you can tough it out, the settlement you receive may not just include your medical expenses, but also lost wages and even future wages.
If you absolutely cannot go weeks or months without a paycheck, there is a quicker way of obtaining funds: Most states have a state worker's compensation fund for these exact instances. All you have to do is file a claim with your respective state agency and submit proof that your employer has denied or has not purchased work comp insurance for their business.
In addition, you really don't have to prove that it was your employer's fault for your accident, thereby speeding up the process. Going this route will rather quickly provide you with wage loss, medical care, and temporary disability assistance.
Now the disadvantage of going this route is that you normally won't receive a check that reflects what you used to earn. A workers comp lawyer will tell you that this also means that not only are you not earning the same, but you won't be compensated for any pain and suffering either.
There's no doubt about it. Going through a workplace accident is a challenging experience for anyone. Add your employer not having worker's compensation insurance to the mix, and it can be downright stressful when you think about your future. Therefore it is recommended to adhere to the information above so you can understand what to do in the event that you find yourself in this type of situation at work.